Poetry, Short Stories, and Realizations

A good friend just reminded me that today marks the beginning of Story-a-Day May–a challenge to write a story every day for a month. This comes on the heels, of course, of Poetry Month and Script Frenzy, a challenge to write 30 poems in a month and to write a script in a month, respectively.  And then, of course, there is my personal favorite, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the challenge to write a novel in a month, in November. This has me thinking that one could easily spend a whole year devoted purely to writing challenges, with all the “off-months” consumed with revising the frenzied outputs of April, May, and November.  In fact, I like this idea so much that I’m tempted to make this my “writing project” for 2012 (which is, incidentally, also the year that I’ll get married, which should give me plenty of material.)

As of now, I came in short of the April 30-poem challenge at 23 poems (respectable or measly, depending on your perspective). 24 if you count the one that LiveJournal deleted of its own volition.

Until November, I’m continuing to explore short forms. I realized recently why poetry and short stories are so difficult for me — it’s because my writing Kryptonite is endings. With these forms, the end is always looming within sight, even from the very first word. Perhaps my preference for novels doesn’t come just from the fact that I read more in that format, but because it allows me to procrastinate writing an ending, sometimes for years and/or for over a hundred thousand words. BUT shorter forms also mean that I get to revise sooner, which, for me, is the fun part.

I won’t be doing Story-a-Day May, but I WILL commit to finishing my short-story-in-progress this month.  Strange that that can feel like a bigger challenge than the 50,000 words demanded by NaNo!