‘Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.’
— Ray Bradbury
I posted that quote on Twitter today, and a large number of my followers have shared it, Liked it, engaged in conversation about it, and have even said they are going to do it. How about it? What a brilliant challenge – to sit down and write one story a week for a year. It’s absolutely possible – if we let go of our limiting thoughts about how our writing ‘should’ be, and instead let the words flow and just find out what happens.
What if we don’t know what to write about? Try opening a book at random, putting your finger on a sentence, and start writing a story about whatever that sentence said. Of course, this will work better if you choose an interesting book, as opposed to a technical manual or some such! You could choose a work by Shakespeare, a book of poetry, a sacred text, a favorite novel. Or you could check out my Twitter feed @write4wellbeing – I post lots of interesting quotes and links to my Facebook posts, as well as retweeting fascinating stuff. I have recently discovered a wonderful Twitter account @PastPostcard, which posts fragments of messages from real postcards – lots of possibilities for inspiration there.
Ray Bradbury certainly knew how to write short stories – he wrote every day of his life since the age of 12. He published nearly 600 short stories, and that’s not counting his novels, poems, essays, and plays. I think he sounds like a writer from whom we could take some encouragement.
So, what do you say? Anyone up for a story a week challenge? This time next year, you’ll have 52 stories!