Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I flash therefore I am

A couple of revelations this week. Firstly, someone I met yesterday asked me what I did and for the first time I said, with no hesitation, "I'm a writer". Not "Well, I used to be a journalist, but now, well, um, I write fiction, I'm trying to... um". Just straight: "I am a writer". Felt very good.

Second, I have been beating myself up for the past six months about not being able to write "full-length" short stories, i.e. anything over 1000 words (4 pages or so). Ever since my book deal in June, I have felt blocked on this front and I was despairing. However, I have been writing flash stories, under 500 words, loads of them. I've written at least 30 in the last 6 months. And Jen at Salt Publishing is a huge fan of flash. My book deal gives Salt first dibs on my second collection, and I have finally decided that this will be a flash collection. Yesterday I decided that it is totally fine to write only short short stories. Why not? Just as I resist all pressure to write a novel, I can resist my own pressure to write a short story. I love flash fiction, I love how it feels to write it, the process is completely different from a short story. So why shouldn't I just do this for a while?

I had two flash stories accepted for publication this week by Brand Magazine.... so I shall just continue in this vein. Sometimes we need to listen to what makes us happy, and stop trying to do the things we think we "should" but which feel far too much like hard work. I flash. That's what I do right now. And I'm proud.


Anne Brooke said...

Fab - well done! I love flash fiction so will look forward to that one for sure!



TitaniaWrites said...

Thanks, Anne!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! More markets are starting to open to flash fiction. I believe flash fiction writers will produce work that revitalizes the language; that will be read by the many and studied in our halls of higher learning; that will ultimately have the very short story take its rightful place along side the poem, short story and novel as one of the great artistic forms of literature.

Jeremy said...

Just found your blog and find so much comfort in another writer finding their own self expression.

Look forward to reading more.

TitaniaWrites said...

Guy - from your mouth to God's ears, as they say! We can only live in hope, and keep producing flash.

Jeremy, so glad you stopped by. That is the aim of my blog, to share my writing experiences, and I am very happy to hear that you found comfort in it.


Nik's Blog said...

A flash anthology sounds fab, Tania. Keep us posted!


TOR Hershman said...

Howdy do, Tania,
I just did a googleing of "Hershman Blog" and am visiting everyone that pops-up.

Stay on groovin' safari,