I’m trying to write a short story for the Get it Writ competition as part of the Essex Book Festival 2013. A story in 500 words sounds a bit of a challenge so I thought I’d have a go but I’m not getting very far at the moment. I sit and look at a blank page and then find myself on the internet ‘looking for inspiration’ but in reality reading the BBC news pages, checking my email, or writing this blog. Needless to say I’m not finding the inspiration I need.
I’ve got stories I’ve already written and I’ve thought about adapting one of those to 500 words but the theme for the competition is ‘The Legacy of Summer 2012’ (interpreted in whatever way I like) and none of them seem to fit however much I think they might. What I need is a new story.
The challenge is going to be finding a beginning that grips the reader straight away and telling the story in very few words and then wrapping it all up. 500 words is not a lot to tell a story in.
Hemingway was once challenged that he couldn’t write a story in six words. He wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Brilliant. There’s a wealth of story in those few words and it’s up to the reader to make what they will of it. I’ve got 500 as my challenge.
I downloaded an app recently called Freedom that locks you away from the internet for a chosen amount of time so you can be productive. The only way to unlock it is to restart the computer. I guess the thinking behind it is that restarting takes time so you would carry on being productive in whatever you’re doing. I think the reason I keep shying away from using it at the moment is that I have no idea what to write.
Writer’s block? Wikipedia defines writer’s block as “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.”
I’m hoping things aren’t that drastic! I’m just having a hiccup with inspiration.