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“Fiction does not ‘make it new,’ it makes it felt.” — Matthew Salesses

Here at the Story Factory, we value quantity over quality. 

More words, more hours, more stories. The goal is 52 stories at the end of the year. So far, we are on target. Which, I know, isn’t much to say at this point of the year, but on the other hand, this time last year, I was already behind. So, Wednesdays, we will report production and celebrate the little victories.

Wednesday 1/20/2021 Production Report:

Words for the week 1/13-1/19  – 10,302

Hours for the week 1/13-1/19  – 41

Cumulative through 1/19

Words – 34,401

Hours  – 108

(That includes Morning pages each day, prewriting on either the week’s story or the novel that I am re-writing, and this blog. I only count the short story once, so there is the total for that, and I don’t count the blog on Story Sunday.)


A good week number wise. I am definitely on target for the goal of 168 creative hours this month. February is a bit scary, so I may use up some vacation days and get some overage to cover the short month. And still caught up on stories, so that is good. I am still not where I want to be as far as having them done early enough to edit/revise. I am basically still finishing them off during the weekend and basically doing a quick copy edit before hitting post and that is not the optimum. But it’s only January. 

As far as raw materials, I have been able to do the Bradbury reading each evening, although I am only reading one short story a week for that, to really study it. I am reading The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett for my novel, and Essentialism by Greg McKeown for my “craft” book. I am also reading a chapter a day of a professional book on Student Affairs for the day job this semester.  I also ordered three years of the “Best American Short Stories” series, in paperback, so after I finish the novel, I may just stick with stories for my fiction. 

And, because I an not odd enough, I found a Short Story Challenge to sign up for.  http://www.nycmidnight.com/Competitions/SSC/Challenge.htm

Basically, Friday night I will receive an “assignment” (prompt, genre) and then I will have 8 days to write a story that is 2,500 or less. That will be judged and if it moves on, then we get a prompt, genre, and 3 days to write a 2,000 word story. The challenge goes on (Round 3 – 2 days to write a 1500 word story and the final round, 24 hours to write a 1,250 word story.) For me, a win will be to get to round 2. Although, I am sure there are thousands of entries, so even that might be a stretch goal. But I paid the fee and so I am committed.  Once that is over, whenever it happens to end for me, I will start trying to figure out how to submit to some of the Medium publications I read all the time. So, following Cal Newport’s advice and writing for editing.

Have a great week.