Short Story Problems

I have a problem. See, I get this overwhelming amount of story ideas throughout the day and, unfortunately, night. Some of them are so awesome that they just rock my world. I’m convinced they are truly genius …

And then I start to write them. And I flounder. And I get tired. And never finish most of them.

I have notebooks full of great story ideas, pithy one-liners, and even half written stories. But, to be honest, most of them never see the light of day. They are kept in darkness, tucked safely away in my notebooks, never to have true life breathed into them. Many don’t even make it to my laptop. 

To be granted permission to live on my laptop is a true honor for these stories because it means that they actually have a chance. Stories never start out on my laptop, though. I don’t know what it is. I get seriously blocked when I look at a blank screen. Hand me a notebook with clean, lined pages and I’m Stephen King … okay, maybe not The King, but you get my point. 

I don’t know what it is that happens between “Once upon a time” and “The End” that kills some of these stories. Am I afraid of commitment? Good grief! It’s called a short story for a reason. Do I lose momentum? Suck it up and just finish the damn thing. Do I not get ahold of paper fast enough before the fire inside the story burns out? Who knows.

Last night I experienced thunder and lightning unlike anything I’ve experienced before; last night was special. I couldn’t sleep while the earth was trembling beneath me, of course, so my mind ran wild. And … voila! I got a story idea. 

So, after two lattes this morning I grabbed my notebook, plopped in the recliner, and spent over 3 hours writing my story–from beginning to end. This story didn’t plummet to its death over the side of a cliff. I handwrote all 36 pages in one sitting and it felt great! Well, except for my aching hand. 

After months of short story droppings (see reasons above combined with my being busy with the novel-whose-title-keeps-changing), my story is now basking in completeness. Enjoying just being in the moment. Brace yourself, Story, because you’ll be moving to my laptop soon … very soon. 


(For the record, I have other short story issues, too, but I’ll save the rest of my confessions for another day)

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