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A Story Every Day in 2024

"It's impossible to write 365 bad stories in a row." Scott Christenson

By L.C. SchäferPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
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A Story Every Day in 2024
Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Promising the Possible is for Noobs

Recently, I wrote about my plan to write a story every day next year.

I also disclosed that I have no stories ready to go at the moment.

I had several supportive comments. There were also several realistic ones. "Impossible!" they said. "I can't commit to that." "Too much pressure." "I'm exhausted already."

You know what?

They're dead right.

For some people, it would be easy. But not for me. Not for a lot of people, it seems.

You know what else?

That's why I'm doing it.

What is the point of promising the possible, darling?

If it wasn't going to be hard, what would be the point?

Quantity + Creativity = Quality

My favourite comment is quoted up there at the top, in the subtitle. I agree completely. I believe it is impossible to churn out that many stories and for them all to be terrible. Next year, I plan to test this theory.

Have you heard the parable about the ceramics class? I saw it floating around on social media and it stuck with me. I did a little digging and apparently it's from a book called Art and Fear. (I haven't read it.)

Here's the story:

A ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

The point is, you have to be brave enough to be a bit shit. You have to churn stuff out and keep churning it out.

Keep it flowing

It's like turning on an old, unused tap. Initially, the water might flow slowly, and what comes will be mucky and gross. The pipes creak and groan, rusty muck spatters your sparkling white sink. Keep it going. Let the process itself flush out the crap. It'll start flowing more freely, and more clearly.

It's got to be easier to keep water flowing, clean and plentiful... than to let it sit, and let the pipes rust, and the muck build up.

If you're joining me...

Word count: Stories of at least 300 words, no more than 366.

Going AWOL: There are going to be times when I know I won't have an internet connection, or I'm going on holiday. Let's say I know I'm going to be offline from the 23rd December to the 28th. The plan is to post seven stories on the 22nd. I'll probably put all these in one post, and date each individual story. This will keep my story streak alive until I'm back on the 29th.

Prompts: I don't know if I'll have 366 prompts before 1st January, but I should have plenty to be going on with! I'll post a list of what I have so far on the 31st December. You are always welcome to suggest prompts in the comments. If I use one in a flash fiction piece, I'll tip for it. If I list it, I will credit you so others can tip you for using it as well.

+++++++++++++

As always - thank you for reading! Please leave a comment to make it easy for me to reciprocate. If you liked the taste of these words, the very best compliment you can give me is to read some more.

Glass Dolls is out

Some of my fiction:

Or a poem, if you prefer that:

InspirationPromptsChallenge
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About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (33)

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  • Jaye Ruggiero-Cash4 months ago

    Love this! Great advice and so well articulated! I really love the ceramics class analogy too!

  • The final page of our page a day calendar for 2023 (The Daily Bitch) stated, "Failure isn't an option? Just watch me." That seems apropos for me on Scott Christensen's statement, "It's impossible to write 365 bad stories in a row." Just watch me, lol. I wish you the best in this new year. May succeed in what many consider to be impossible (the writing a story for every day in 2024, that is; not the writing of 365 consecutive bad stories).

  • Rene Peters5 months ago

    I love this idea! I don't think I'll be able to do it... I usually write poems when I'm overly emotional to cope. Out of my almost 200 pieces, only one is an actual story. Definitely looking forward to reading them though!

  • Md. Shah Jahan5 months ago

    I am diligent. Its inspair me.

  • Oh my gosh. I am SO joining you in this absolute, beautiful madness. I might fail fairly early, since I'm also starting a training program in January, but hey, maybe not. We'll see! Having accountability partners will help! I'm new to Vocal, and I have but one question. Don't our stories have to be at least 600 words? In any case, I love your approach to this so, so, so much! I cannot wait to watch you kick some story-a-day arse!

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    Hey, I write 3-4 stories per day. I have to pace myself on posting them. But are they quality or quantity...remember when Vocal mentioned sub-par stories. Yet I tell people to write, more write, better stories will get. So I totally grasp this concept. Congrats.

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    Is it like that theory that if you give a room full of chimpanzees a typewriter each, eventually they will write Shakespeare. Good luck on your adventure, I'm sure you'll do well.

  • What’s the point of promising the possible? Because you want to keep your promises, lol? I get the philosophy behind all of this, just amused by that particular quote

  • Congrats on the Top Story! I put this concept to the test this year (though I do articles, not stories). It works. My quality has improved, and my consistency has been noticed with some crazy results! Best on your goal for 2024! Go get it!

  • This showed up right on time today. I just told a friend yesterday that I want to write a story every day in 2024. Then I see this!

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! If I decide to jump in on this one, it will probably be to disprove the subtitle. 😋

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    I love your ideas, and you're right. The subtitle is great. Good luck to all who commit.

  • Md. Shah Jahan5 months ago

    I am delighted with you

  • Caroline Jane5 months ago

    I love and agree with the philosophy behind this. Good on you and good luck to all! 🥰

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!! ❤️❤️💕 Best wishes on your writing a story a day!!!

  • K. Kocheryan5 months ago

    Good luck! Micro Fiction is hard but fun. I would love to take on this goal, but I also know myself. lol

  • Paul Stewart5 months ago

    Bakc to say congrats, Top Story. You've been killing 2023, LC. Long may it continue!

  • I wish you all the best for this! You know how much I love your stories so a story a day from you for the whole of next year makes me so happy!

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    Sending positivity your way! I wish I could loan you some ambition too but it looks like you have that covered 😁. Best of luck, and will def send you a prompt for inspiration. 💖

  • Belle5 months ago

    I am so excited for this!

  • Brin J.5 months ago

    I'm excited to keep up with this process with you, watching and supporting you along the way! A cheerleader, if you will 📣 🤸🏼‍♀️ Unfortunately, I won't be joining you because I have my plate full with my book and it's stealing a lot of my time 😅. But following you on this journey sounds like something I don't want to miss! I'm excited for everything this new year is bringing.

  • Kenneth Lawson5 months ago

    I have been writing one good story a month for the last several years. There are months when I can get it done in a week. But more often than not it takes me most of the month to get it done, much less edited and ready to group on my site, and here. There have been a lot of months when I've had to start over, sometimes 2-3 times before I had something I could finish. There for a long time, I was writing a really short 300-500 story every Sunday I've since let that go because it was just too much along with Real Life and the other things I had to do. But it was fun, and a challenge. Writting 500 words and widdling down to about 300 or so, was a challenge, and worked my editing brain. In a good writing session of 30-45 minutes or so, I can usually get 600 or so words if I get into the Zone and the story works. I used to be able to churn out 1000 words plus in a day, and on a really good day 2000 words. My best day once several years ago, was over 3000. But that's a rarity. I haven't done much over 1000 words in a long time. So writing a story a day sounds easy and Fun. Guarantee its not either of those. Well, maybe fun and easy on a really good day, But most days won't be really good days. There are a LOT of variables that go into a project like this, When are you going to write,, How long at a time, Distractions, how to handle them. I do my best work early in the morning. Ideally, I like 30 minutes of writing time before I have to do Real Life. Some days I get it, some days I don't. Technically I can write any time in any place, and I have. This leads me to another thought to consider, Portable writing; writing the o, I've done it on my phone in Google Docs, not ideal, but doable. An iPad or other device with a real keyboard would be ideal if possible. Best of lunch with the project/ challenge. .

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    So, like, writing to the prompts? To be fair, I'm on holiday now, so may even miss the first four days. Hmm. I'm still non committal. I'm unafraid of producing shite, but I AM afraid of talking too much.

  • Shirley Belk5 months ago

    Good points!

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