Since lockdowns started in early 2020, I have been running Virtual Writers Groups for young writers. I’ve been setting them a writing prompt, then write along with the kids.
During the session, I’ve been handwriting the stories in notebooks left over from when my kids were in school. I ripped out the pages they’d used and used the other pages for my writing. Recently, I’ve started typing up these stories so I can sort through them to see about publishing a short story collection, finishing novels and chapter books, or leaving some of them as stories just for me.
Today, I typed up my 110th story from 85 different writing prompts, and there are still more stories to go.
The thing I realised today is that I have been feeling very unproductive on the writing front. I had so many projects I started before 2020 that were sitting unfinished and I didn’t have the energy to work on them. I felt like I wasn’t getting any closer to my next published book as I hadn’t had the energy to participate in the Chapter Book Challenge or anything like that. I didn’t have the headspace to work on edits or sit down and write deliberately.
While doing the Virtual Writers Group, I was having fun with silly writing prompts. I was writing alongside other writers, enjoying sharing the joy of writing. I wasn’t putting any pressure on myself for wordcounts or creating stories for publishers, or anything like that. I was just writing.
Each piece, I’d play around with the story, the point of view, the format, or anything else I could think of. Some pieces are complete short stories. Some are snippets that won’t go anywhere else. Some are the beginnings of either a longer short story, a chapter book, or a novel. Some are picture book manuscripts.
Every piece is a first draft and needs editing before it gets published, if it gets to that stage.
Reviewing each piece as I type it up is showing me that I have great ideas, and that I wrote so much more over the last couple of years than I had realised.
So far, I’ve typed up 110 stories and there are many, many more left to go. Who knows how many I’ll write in 2022.