• GabrielMerithew

My 30-Day Short Story Challenge

In late October I realized that I wasn't ready to do my novel justice. I'd been slowly chipping away at it, spending much more time outlining and planning (procrastinating) than anything else, and I knew that something had to change. After much internal debate, I set aside my scattered puzzle pieces of a novel and started to brainstorm ways of improving my writing skills so that when the time came to return to my novel, I might be able to write more than a couple chapters over and over again.

The timing happened to be perfect. I reconnected with an old friend and learned that she was planning to partake in New-Song November, a challenge that involved writing and performing a new song every single day for 30 days. The concept fascinated me and I was quick to use it as inspiration to create a unique challenge of my own. Having not completed a short story in way too long, I decided to jump into the deep end and force myself to write (and complete) a short story every day for 30 days. Failing to follow through on this would not be an option. Luckily, every day during the challenge, I was treated to my friend performing her daily song live on Instagram. Her passion and dedication was pure inspiration fuel.

I completed the challenge. It honestly wasn't as difficult as I was expecting. I enjoy creative writing tremendously and this was the perfect excuse to set aside 2-5 hours a day to simply sit with my laptop and type away. The challenge was a bit lonely though, which is why I would like to surround myself with more amazing storytellers, and though the sense of competition might curb the desire to share works in progress, the mutual motivation between driven people is just about the most powerful thing there is.

Though I'm certainly not the first to partake in such a challenge, I heartily recommend it to all writers who are looking for something. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for going into the challenge, but now that I've completed it, I feel like I'm getting closer to finding my voice, the very thing I've been subconsciously looking for for years.

The 30-Day Short Story Challenge was an amazing experience. It makes me so fucking excited that I was able to write things that made me laugh out loud and sob uncontrollably. My confidence is boosted and I hope my skills are too. Nevertheless, this challenge has enabled me to take another stab at my novel with a totally different outlook. So if you need me, I'll be here typing away.

You will find my stories here on The Next Story, and I'd love to know how they made you feel.

Thank you for reading! Consider sticking around, because The Next Story is right around the bend...

Your friend,

Gabriel Merithew

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