Weekly Short Story Challenge

A short story ranges from 1,000-10,000 words.

At an average typing speed of 50 words per minute, it takes 20 minutes to write 1000 words. From there, it takes about 3 1/2 hours to write 10,000 words.

So there’s no reason why you can’t write a short story a week, right?

(Muffled maniacal laughter.)

But seriously. One of my favorite stories about Picasso (basically the only story I know about Picasso) tells how, at the request of a near-stranger (or acquaintance or in-law or postal worker; like many stories, this one has warped in the retelling), he drew their portrait with a single pencil stroke. (Maybe this was a skinny guy. Or he was drawing their good side, and it didn’t take much.)

Picasso then asked for $5000. When his acquaintance/in-law/mailman/now-less-enthusiastic-fan protested, Picasso pointed out that while it only took a moment and a single line to draw the requested portrait… it took his whole life to learn to draw like that.

This is where most people wax poetic about a lifetime dedication to art and fixing a monetary value to your work and so on and so forth.

This is where I think Hmmm. So with enough practice, great art can be produced with ease and speed.

This write-a-short-story-a-week challenge is not new or unique, but it is valuable. If you’d like to join me in a quest to become as proficient (and maybe someday as expensive) as Picasso (but with words instead of pencils), then come aboard! Adventurers wanted!

I Choose to Choose

The first reason I don’t drink coffee is because it’s against the Word of Wisdom – the health code that I believe in as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (you know us as those weird Mormons).

The second reason I don’t drink coffee is because I get scary hyperactive just on sugar. A handful of Skittles can make me vibrate in place so hard I blur around the edges. The world is not ready for me on caffeine.

But the last reason I don’t drink coffee is because there are too many choices. Starbucks has a menu more than a meter long for just one beverage! And I don’t even speak the coffee language well enough to understand what all those choices mean. Latte? Cappuccino? Decaffeinated? (Why?)

Just like setting up this website, in fact. So many choices! Options and themes and plugins and styles and colors and oh my!

Decision fatigue is a real thing. So I often stand at the threshold of decision, hesitating to step out because, as long as I don’t choose yet, I can’t make the wrong choice. So I’ve hesitated to start a Real Writer (TM) website. I’ve hesitated to start a blog. I’ve hesitated to choose a pen name. (This isn’t one, by the way.)

Today, I choose to choose. Maybe I’ll choose wrong. Maybe my website will be hideous. Maybe my blog will be the newest non-addictive anesthetic of choice for people going into surgery.

But definitely I can choose again. If I’m brave enough to make the first choice.

I choose to try.