I got to seventeen.
Part of this experiment was to make me a better writer, to condition myself by writing every day and, through practice, become better at turning around a story on a deadline. To a certain extent I feel like this project was successful. I’m proud of the stories that were written, even the ones I haven’t had a chance to transcribe yet (I’m still working on that, but will probably let them sit on the back burner for now). But I kept running into the same problem: I felt like I had a limited voice when it came to story telling. Instead of being able to experiment with narrative devices I relied on what I knew worked and after story nine I felt like it was more about idea generation than actual writing.
Then I started feeling the pressure of the deadline, especially as I started collecting more and more of the stories in my story journal and not actually typing them on the computer. As that panic grew it effected what I considered writing next. I looked for shortcuts to try and have enough time during the week to transcribe in addition to writing additional content – and then I’d get so worked up that I barely got the new content done.
So I decided to stop torturing myself. I collected my remaining ideas (and keep cataloging the new ones) and started looking for ways to expand my storytelling voice. Any writer will tell you that a good writer reads and I’m not too ashamed to admit that I’m terrible about reading. I take that back, I actually enjoy reading quite a bit but have been terrible at committing to reading anything that isn’t a script for the last seven years or so. The last book I read was “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac about three years ago. It was good. I liked it. I think I need to do more of it. So I am. I’m starting by re-visiting “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess. I read it last when I was in college during my exploratory years watching Stanley Kubrick movies. Then I have a list of books that I either never read or read so long ago that I barely remember reading them. If you have suggestions please feel free to pass them my way!
See you next time!