NaShoStoWriYe (National Short Story Writing Year)

I was just sitting in bed, on my laptop, sort of itching to write something but not having any idea what. Then I remembered: I have a blog! Just prior to that thought, I was reading what I’d written during a “100 Days Writing Challenge” I’d done a while ago. My Google doc shows I made it to Day 16, back in September of 2020. I was just starting to write story snippets. And reading them back now…I actually kinda liked them!

This feels novel (ha) because for most of my life I’ve come to despise the art I’ve made when enough time has passed from the making. My major exception to the rule is my old comics, which can still be quite funny to me. Or, if not funny, at least something that I don’t hate and want to destroy on sight.

I may just pick up where I left off with that 100 Days thing, and ride it for a while longer. Of course, like with unfinished video games, my impulse is to start over from scratch (because “what if I don’t remember some crucial bit”) but there’s a good chance that if I did I’d get back to where I was, on Day 16, and then drift off again, getting no further in the challenge.

It’s funny; I tried the National Novel Writing Month thing some years back and got halfway through before giving up, realizing that no, I actually did not enjoy the process of trying to write a whole long story. (My wife got a little miffed — she’d been following along with my updates and actually wanted to know where it was all going, so I had to give her the sketched out version of the 2nd half of the story).

Ever since then I’ve still been tempted, hit by the urge every few months when I feel creatively dissatisfied (or just existentially bored) and I think “I should write a novel! Surely I have a story in me” but I reflect on the NaNoWriMo experience and remind myself of the wasted effort it will bring. But maybe I should just go for it anyway. Who cares about not finishing? Maybe it would be good to try and scratch the itch anyway, rather than forcing it down until it passes. Maybe the next time I get the writing itch, I might learn to pick up where I left off, against my nature of “got to start over from scratch”. Let the end product feel disjointed! It might not! Who knows?

Thing I Saw: The rock band Big Wreck is coming to do a free show at a local summer festival. Discovering this aged me terribly; it means that bands from the 70s and 80s have probably run their course, and the bands of my formative musical years (the 90s) are now the washed-up old fellas doing the summer festival circuits. Aw.

Thing I Learned: “Bonsai” isn’t a species of tree. Bonsai is the art of maintaining and shaping the tree, but the trees themselves can be common varieties like junipers, pines, and so on.

I’m Grateful For: Moments of quiet reflection, few and far between though they may be. Not to imply that my life is too crazy to have them; I’m sure I’ve passed on opportunities to sit and think for my own reasons. Anyway I’m glad for this one!

I’m Dreaming Of: Writing stories, I guess??

This is actually a cover of a Japanese band, and the original didn’t have lyrics so Greg’s good friend Michael Jackson helped him write some