I’m About 50 Stories In – What Have I Learned?

by Chris McGinty

I’ve completed two stories that I would like to do at least one rewrite on, and I’ve posted a piece of short fiction each day since the start of 2024. These are all new story ideas. I might end up finishing some older works as the year goes on, but so far, they’ve all been new ideas. I guess I’m curious where I am, what I feel about it, and what I’ve learned.

Ideas Are Easy – I’ve known this and I’m sure there are people who would fully disagree with me. Good ideas aren’t necessarily easy, but ideas are easy. I think some people think of an idea as the big overall structure of a story. I would argue that there are many ideas per piece. This might be more or less true depending on the length and dynamics of the piece but look at this blog post as an example. There is the overall idea, and then there are the ideas that make up each section. When I write jokes into my blog posts, each of those jokes might count as its own idea. Maybe it’s the way that I’m getting so many works of short fiction done without too much fear of running out of ideas. For me, it’s easy enough to sit down and write a list.

I’m Not Good at Blocking Out Time – I’m a little too free spirited. It’s amazing that I’ve even got this far in the year doing this. I’ve managed to squeeze in time to work on blog posts and stories, but I’ve had very few days where I’ve said, “I’m going to write for this amount of time,” and then did it. I feel like my work this year would be of slightly better quality if I was spending more time daily writing in long stretches of time.

I Don’t Think Starting and Finishing Flash Fiction is Helping Me with Larger Projects – This goes along with blocking out time. What I really want to do is write about six pages daily. This is a thing that I do pretty easily, but I’m usually writing all over the place. I don’t write six pages on one project. I write a lot of random thoughts, most of which are useless. My hope was that I would write some short works and then work on some bigger works. It’s not happening that way.

Quality vs. Quantity – I’ve always said that 90% of everything I write is bad. Given that I’m not just writing the bad material, but also releasing some of this bad material, I guess it’s a little clearer just how true that statement is. I still don’t regret this method. I think I’ve written a few good pieces this year, and I don’t believe that they would have happened if I wasn’t pushing myself to publish something to the blog every day.

Daily Posting – I’ve written a whole blog post about this. Even Seth Godin, who has posted a blog post every day for many years now, schedules his blog post so he doesn’t miss a day. I don’t know if this means that he misses writing some days but has plenty of stuff covering for him. This has been my biggest issue this year is getting to a point where I have material scheduled. I really worry that if I schedule that I’ll not feel the urgency to get something written for the day. It feels like if I want to keep up this pace that I’m going to have to do it sooner than not.

I’m not sure if this is everything that I’ve learned from this project, but it’s some thoughts. Once again, I can quit anytime I want. I do like posting daily though, so I’m going to keep trying to streamline and implement my work.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who has learned nothing. It’s the same plan. The definition of madness…

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