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50 Stories Later

Reflecting on my Vocal writing so far

By Jessica NorrisPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 9 min read
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50 Stories Later
Photo by Elisa H on Unsplash

50 stories. This is it! I'm finally at story 50. My goal was to hit this by the end of January, and I have. Yay!

When I started on Vocal in March of 2021, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't even sure which communities I should publish my work in.

I am happy to have reached this milestone in a little less than a year. I'm excited to see what the future holds. I have been going back through my work. It's been great to reflect on how I have changed and grown as a writer.

I've seen improvement in myself and in my writing. That has been happy to see. I've also noticed some recurring themes in my work.

Here are just a few of the things I've learned about my myself from my first fifty stories.

I am a total nerd.

I love to post in the Geeks community. I am partial, especially to the characters of Batman and Captain America. My confessions in my piece, The bookcase, also reveal that I hoard a lot of geek literature.

To recap, here are the articles I have published in Geeks if you want to give any of them a read.

  • A Whovian at hearts. Here, I discuss the complexity of Dr. Who and why I'm a Whovian.
  • The Matrix 101. This was one of my very early pieces, but it's about the core themes of The Matrix.
  • Harley Quinn and the Joker. This piece is about Harley Quinn and how her story can help us better understand abusive relationships and open up honest conversations.
  • We need both. Here, I discuss Iron Man and Captain America. I emphasize that we need consistent characters to remind us that it's good to stay strong. But we need characters that change to remind us that it's good to grow.
  • Captain America's most humble moment. I examine what true humility looks like through the character of Captain America.
  • Getting to the heart of Batman's character. I emphasize how Robin enhances the character of Batman in the animated film Under the Red Hood.

I love dogs.

I've published a few pieces in Pet Life. All of the pieces center on dogs. I'm clearly not a cat person. Dogs help bring out the best in people. The truth is sometimes we all need the unconditional love of a dog. Here's a list of the pet pieces I've published on Vocal so far.

Boone and Zelda

I need to keep trying in order to succeed.

I keep reminding myself in my work to not give up. I remind myself and my readers to keep trying, whether that's in writing, karate, or at work. Here are just a few of my pieces that focus on persistence.

By Brett Jordan on Unsplash

My family and friends are fantastic.

I have been incredibly blessed with a great family and friends. Writing about my family members has helped me appreciate their strengths and recognize how great it is that people are different. I am also reminded how one person's strengths can make up for another person's weaknesses. Here are some pieces I've written about various friends and family members.

Pic from when my sister and I were in Asia

I love food, and I like making people laugh.

I have written a few different food pieces and have included some silly humor at the end of them to hit the word count.

  • Breakfast potatoes. This piece details a delicious breakfast recipe, with some random funny things at the end. Enjoy.
  • Parmesan cheese popcorn. This one is about how to make my favorite type of popcorn.
  • Marshmallow roasting 101. This piece is all about the essential skill of marshmallow roasting. It's something everyone should know how to do.
Breakfast potatoes

I like to write the occasional informative piece.

It's okay to be a little boring sometimes. I have an odd collection of knowledge, from my life as a diabetic to my education. Here's a quick list of my informational pieces.

By Green Chameleon on Unsplash

I am tense and need to lighten up.

This theme is slightly more subtle, but I find it in many of my pieces, whether it's in a touch of humor added to a serious essay or just a reminder to laugh about something.

Niagara Falls

I need to slow down and savor the beauty of the moments.

The moments of this life are fleeting, so it's best to enjoy them while we have them.

  • A cup of tea. This was the first piece I ever published on Vocal, and the further I go back in my work, the more I cringe, but here it is. This piece reminds me that it's essential to slow down and take time to drink a cup of tea every now and again.
  • When I looked up in silence at the stars. This one is about my stargazing experiences while I was on night shift.
  • Never too old for story time. Here, I write about why we will always need stories. Take time to read and enjoy those wonderful reading moments.
  • Moments frozen in time. One day, the good times won't end, but for now, enjoy the moments.
  • December baby and proud. I am thankful to have a December birthday.
By Content Pixie on Unsplash

I need to remember that often situations are complex. Relationships and life aren't always easy to figure out.

  • Better. This piece discusses my karate training and how I had to learn that I didn't have to be better than other people.
  • Finding freedom in the box. Giving yourself structure can help your creativity thrive, whether it's in theater or in writing.
  • Dwelling with the roses. It's good to cut toxic people out of your life. But it's also good to learn how to surround yourself with people who make you a better person.
  • The truth field. This is my first published fiction piece. And in this fictional setting, I note that relationships are messy, that it's important to forgive, and we often aren't as innocent as we think we are.
  • As you grieve. This piece is a reminder to all who a grieving that it is okay to not feel anything right now.
  • What happens after listening? This piece is a reminder to respond in compassion and love.
  • COVID-19: I'm a nurse, and I don't have the answers. This piece is my reflection on my work as a nurse during the pandemic. And I realized that it's okay to not have all the answers.
By Kristin Snippe on Unsplash

Fear keeps me from experiencing what is best.

  • Empty journals. You can't let fear keep you from trying. So, fill the journal, whether it's with shopping lists or the next great American novel. Just do something.
  • Freedom in following. I discuss my experience with West Coast Swing dancing and how learning to admit I'm not in control is beautifully freeing. We need to learn to trust even when it's scary. (There's a grammar error somewhere in this piece. Bonus points if you find it.)
  • Dear younger me. This piece was my advice to my younger self. It was a reminder to not be afraid of the future. Even though we might want to know what is coming, it is best to discover it as it comes.
  • When fear doesn't win. We have to take each moment we don't give into fear as a victory.

It's not about me.

It's easy for me to become focused on myself. But when we focus on ourselves, we can hurt other people, and ultimately, we end up more miserable.

  • Memorial day. Sometimes, focusing on others means taking a day to remember those who have died in service to this country. I am proud to be an American and thankful for those who have protected it.
  • Trading our smiles. We often give up what truly matters for the things that don't matter. I need to stop focusing on myself and look up and out.
By Kamal Bilal on Unsplash

The next 50

I'm thankful that I've been able to write these pieces. I look forward to writing many more and building my presence on Vocal.

I hope to publish more fiction and continue to publish encouraging and inspiring pieces.

To everyone who has supported my work, thank you. Here's to the next 50 stories and the next 50 after that!

humanity
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About the Creator

Jessica Norris

Passionate writer that is enthusiastic about writing engaging, compelling content. Excels in breaking down complex concepts into simple terms and connecting with readers through sharing stories and personal experience.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (1)

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  • Robby Tal2 months ago

    A bit late on congratulating you on your 50th (story)! Well done :)

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