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I Made It to 100*

*100 stories on Vocal

By Leslie WritesPublished 24 days ago Updated 24 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023
I Made It to 100*
Photo by Valentin Balan on Unsplash

This story has been sitting in my drafts for a while. I was nervous about boring people with a clip show of my Vocal portfolio. I've seen many of these Vocal milestone pieces on the platform and I figure, why not? I'll just spice it up with my signature wit and optimism.

Today is my 42nd birthday. I took the day off to sit here in Panera Bread with my laptop and pretend to be a (full time) writer. Now that I am approaching middle age, the pressure to follow my dreams has evolved into a gentler form of self motivation. Pressure has the tendency to crush. These days I favor progress over perfection. I am not a failure for taking it slow. Success has many definitions. My day job feeds my family and writing feeds my soul.

My experiences as an actor right out of college and as a stand up comic in my twenties, taught me just how hard it can be. You really have to want it! Suffer for your art! That said, it is never too late to achieve your dreams. I still have hope. Listen to these wise words from a fellow Leslie...

I began my Vocal journey in June of 2021. I joined to participate in the 'Doomsday Diary Challenge.' Submitting that first piece was a real rush of adrenaline. After that, I was hooked!

I love the frequency and diversity of the challenges presented by the Vocal team. They often inspire me to branch out of my comfort zone and learn something new. I am not the most prolific creator or consumer on Vocal, but I try. My full time job and personal responsibilities only allow me to indulge in my writing habit a few times a month. Kudos to anyone who can manage to write every day. I admire your dedication.

I was curious about how my body of work is spread out among the vocal communities, so I decided to nerd out and create this little pie chart. I limited the data to only communities where I have at least 2 stories. I was not surprised to find fiction and poetry comprising more than half.

I also have one story each in Chapters, Filthy, Lifehack, Longevity, Men, Proof, Psyche, The Swamp, and Wander. I guess I'll try anything once!

Of course, not every idea makes it to the publishing phase. I’ve had some dumb ones that got deleted without remorse and others that linger in my drafts for one reason or another. Here are some examples.

©️2023 Leslie Writes

*Note to would-be plagiarizers - please don’t steal my ideas. Vocal Neighborhood Watch will eat you for breakfast and make a stylish, yet practical bookshelf with your bones!

Sometimes I involve my daughter in the creative process. She is whip smart and loves to read. She is one of my best beta readers. We even collaborated on this interview. That was so much fun, I also interviewed my husband about his career as a tour guide.

This Spring I wrote a few articles about the joys and horrors of American processed foods that I am pretty proud of. There's one about chicken nuggets and one about American cheese. If inspiration strikes again, I could make it a series. I am open to suggestions.

I am so glad I found Vocal. I recommend it to any new writers interested in getting their feet wet. The challenges are fun and the community here is very encouraging. I know my writing has value and I plan on continuing. Some day, when my life slows down a bit, I might even try NaNoWriMo.

Shout out to my Vocal buddy, Donna Renee and all the other talented, hard working folks out there writing novels this month!


About the Creator

Leslie Writes

Another struggling millennial. Writing is my creative outlet and stress reliever.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (36)

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  • Akeel saifi18 days ago

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  • Great story. Thank you for sharing ☺️💕

  • Manisha Dhalani20 days ago

    Love how you involve your family in this - congratulations, Leslie!

  • Kageno Hoshino22 days ago


  • Kulshum Khatoon22 days ago

    Congratulations on reaching 100 stories on Vocal! 🎉 Your journey is not only impressive but also beautifully articulated in this piece. Your honesty about the evolving nature of pursuing dreams, the balance between a day job and writing, and the varied experiences you bring into your stories is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your creative process, challenges, and the delightful collaboration with your daughter. Here's to more milestones and creative adventures ahead! 🌟

  • Luna Biss22 days ago

    Omgggg! The geek in me was so delighted to see that pie chart! That surely was a great treat! Now I'm particularly excited about the Classic Old Lady Flavours item! I would love to read it if you do decide to publish it! Also, congrats on achieving the big 100 and Happy Birthday! 💖

  • JBaz22 days ago

    Congratulations , my motto Every step in life is a milestone. Every day is a new beginning Love you work, keep it up you middle age writer😉

  • Congratulations, Leslie! And what a great place to write this. I love Panera!

  • Margaret Brennan23 days ago

    I've also gotten in the habit of resurrecting some old stories and some notes on my old computer in the hopes of making them better. If you have time, please read my "Now Will Ya Leave Me Alone?" shorts. So far, I've written three parts and I'm not done yet. Too many thoughts roaming in my head to just let it go.

  • Mariann Carroll23 days ago

    Yahh!!!! I am so happy for you!!! You create very good quality stories !!!!!!

  • Novel Allen23 days ago

    Wow! This was really great to read. Congrats on a lovely story.

  • Healty Life23 days ago

    literally ur writing left me in awe, Love your wrting

  • Gerald Holmes23 days ago

    "These days I favor progress over perfection." This sounds about right! Well done and Congrats on your 100 and the Top Story.

  • Talya23 days ago

    Congratulations! I love this so much. I just entered the 4th decade of my life and have been toying with the idea of getting into writing as a creative outlet. I found this piece informative and uplifting. Congratulations again! And happy (belated) birthday!

  • Cathy holmes23 days ago

    Congrats on 100 and on the top story.

  • Billie Whyte23 days ago

    Congratulations on 100 stories! fantastic work! and congratulations on the top story too!

  • Rene Peters23 days ago

    Congrats on 100 stories! Congrats on top story! That pizza one NEEDS to be done.

  • C. H. Richard23 days ago

    First congrats on your 100th story! Also congrats on your Top Story! I too have taken days at Panera trying to pretend to be a writer. I also have to continuously work to fit writing in. Love this line from your story " My job feeds my family,Writing feeds my soul. " So true! Love so many of your pieces, but your story on American cheese has stayed with me and I think about with every cheese meal. Great work! So glad you are here ❤️

  • The Dani Writer23 days ago

    This was so well done! Thoroughly unique and engaging! The total OPPOSITE of humdrum! I'm glad you found Vocal too. And I'm glad to find you a vital part of the Vocal Family. Keep creating however you do it best, and congratulations on a riveting top story.

  • Paul Stewart23 days ago

    Yay! I need to deep dive your work more, but always appreciate your wit and wisdom in the pieces I have read, plus a Whovian, plus hilarious, plus, just a great writer. Well done on your milestone and for sharing it with us, Leslie! I think people should be comfortable sharing their achievements! I am down for your processed foods series, if you have time and inspiration for it. They were two of my favourite non-poetry, non-fiction pieces I read this year! Anyway...Thanks too for the bit of encouragement at the end, my NaNoWriMo is proving to be a weird scatterbrain thing. Congrats again Leslie on the achievement and the Top Story badge! Deserve it!

  • Congratulations an amazing achievement

  • Rachel Deeming23 days ago

    Congratulations on 100! Congratulations on being 42! What an age! Congratulations on Top Story. Hat trick achieved. I don't have enough time to write and carve it out when I can. But 100 is a massive achievement and I can't be the only intrigued by old lady flavours, surely?

  • Hannah Moore23 days ago

    My next story will be 100! Well done, keep them coming!

  • Teresa Renton23 days ago

    Congrats for 100, TS, and Happy Birthday! Keeping to the rule of three I see 😂. I love to read about these milestones and people’s journeys. Yours is very engaging and full of positivity and enthusiasm. 🥰

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