Becoming a Storyteller with Friday Flash
I believe I can make a story from anything, apparently nothing even. Stories appear to me suddenly seemingly on the air or they formulate from snippets of the world around me and my imagination works on expanding, distorting or reorganising into fiction just about everything I see or hear.
I repeatedly have to discard most of these ideas because I am not in a financial/domestic position to donate enough time to turn everything that comes to me into that tangible complete form, known as a story, to share with others.
This is the curse of the writer without an agent or a publisher.
There is no one waving a contract at me or tapping me on the shoulder saying, “Write. It’s what you do – it’s who you are. It’s your profession.” So I have to do everything else that serves a purpose in our daily lives and save the writing for … for when I can sneak it in like a lover (Ooh… I think I’ve used that writing/lover analogy before)
But once a week there is an event known as Friday Flash that gives me the permission, the urgency, the legitimacy to sit down and create something.
Because it’s that one day, the only day and the story must be within 1,000 words it seems doable, allowable and from the first week I joined in it seemed like a proper commitment. I can say to my husband, “Oh, it’s Friday Flash time” and he knows that although there is little obvious gain for anyone else in the family from my writing, that it gives me immense joy, satisfaction, a sense of self and purpose and something new at the end of it that makes me buzz more than any retail therapy.
And it gets better. One of my Friday Flash stories has won a competition and 7 of my previous Friday Flash stories have just been published in e-format for Ether Books.
I now call myself a writer and not ‘aspiring’ or ‘wanna be.’
Thanks to Jon Strother who set up Friday Flash for creating this community that helped get the ball rolling for me.
Here’s how Friday Flash works. From organiser, Jon Strother’s “Mad Utopia” Site:
“Write a piece of flash fiction, defined as 1000 words or less, post it to your blog, and then on Friday tweet about it on Twitter (or some other social network) along with the link to your post and the hashtag, #fridayflash…If you want your story to be included in my weekly listing visit the #fridayflash Collector and add the details for your story. It will then be included in The #fridayflash Report.”
I have been studying creative writing academically with The Open University for a year and a half and the formal feedback of a professional writing tutor is extremely important. I also took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November which has given me the beginnings of a novel to work on. But nothing beats that fabulous feeling of knowing that once I’ve posted a link on Twitter and facebook to a new story on a Friday that within minutes real people will (hopefully) be being entertained by my latest story. And that’s why I write – to be a storyteller.