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Lessons From the Writing Life



I’ve learned so much about myself as a writer this past month.


February was the month of the Flash Fiction Contest.


What is Flash Fiction?


It is a form of writing where the writer is required to compose a story strictly adhering to the guidelines provided. They must also construct it within a rather rigid timeframe.


I never envisioned myself entering a contest of this nature, but alas I did! I succumbed to the pressure of possibly winning a $25 gift card and declaring bragging rights on social media.


And…I did not win.


But trudge on I must, despite the judges not acknowledging my entry as prize worthy.

No hard feelings here! It was my first attempt to create a story in 48 hours with the given prompts I was supplied:


Genre: A fairytale

Items: A ticket taker, a toothbrush.


Composing a story with three things so vastly different from the next was daunting, but I dove into the challenge with the deepest level of grit I could muster.

And I produced a product, one that I have shared with a handful of people.

For that, I am most honored and particularly surprised that I was able to construct a viable story with the above components and it be somewhat captivating by adults.

Even more so, worthy of being enjoyed by a child!

I told myself that I would not be disappointed if it wasn’t recognized, and I wasn’t. But there of course was that part of my ego that wanted to know, “Why?”

And you know what? It doesn’t really matter. What I do know is that I have something tangible that can only get better. Yes, it needs work, but now I am not restricted by the confines of it falling within the 1,000-word count. I see the potential in the story, and that excites me more than the wood-carved pen I would have been awarded (an additional prize that was offered).


I am now awaiting the response from another Flash Fiction contest I participated in two weeks ago. And if nothing comes from that story, I’ll be ok. I have no choice!

“No” does not mean “never” in this business. It may simply mean, “not now.”






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