I’ve written a few Tuesday Tips on having space to experiment, and “Josephina’s Guide to Magic for Kids” as well as “The Wishing Star” have been that space for me.
"Josephina’s Guide" was inspired by a nightmare. I woke up in the middle of the night unable to stop thinking about the dark town, the shadowy people chasing me, and yeah, there was a train that chased us down the streets and all the cars broke off.
While I was writing it I realized it might come across extremely ridiculous. This is a story without rules. Well, “dream rules.” As for "The Wishing Star," I found it cute, but very flawed. It’s full of borrowed fairytale rules and clichés.
But I think that while we work on our main stories, we can get so caught up in how important they are to us, and making them 100% perfect, our creativity can get restricted. We don’t always have to be so rigid, especially in early drafts. I found myself afraid to experiment with metaphors and fun descriptions, because they sounded just a little silly. Perfectionism is also a top cause of "writer's block." Let it go, just for now. Conquer the blank page first. You can always edit. That’s why this experimenting space is so important.
And I’ll be honest. While I wasn’t sure about either of my short stories at first, I can now honestly say I absolutely love both "Josephina’s Guide" and "The Wishing Star." I’m not even afraid to share them, because they’re so much fun.
I do plan on editing it and posting the finished version of “Josephina’s Guide” next year, just as “The Wishing Star” is being polished and re-posted for Christmas. I think these will be growing stories. That might be a fun thing to try, too. Write a short story at a certain time of the year, then revisit it the following year to update it. See how much you’ve grown as a writer.
Well, I’ll be off next week for Christmas. Happy writing, and see you in 2019! (Well, I'll still post the last chapter of "The Wishing Star" tomorrow).