Getting ready to launch isn’t easy for me. I keep asking myself if it’s easy for anyone. I never get an answer to my query.
I’ve a few projects sitting on the back end of that diving board, along with a few creeping toward the business end of that plank. The one that will dive first is Short Tales of Twisted Wishes, a chapbook of flash fiction. It will launch next weekend on Kindle.
From there will come the second in the Short Tales series, and on through different themed chapbooks. My hard drive holds enough flash fiction to put together at least five or six of the little samplers. Some might ask why anyone would waste time creating these when she has bigger projects to finish.
Here’s an answer to that.
Several larger projects are on the boards. I’ve been working on them for a long time and haven’t gotten them finished yet. They’re under the pen, but novel-length work goes slower than the other writing. Why? Personal perfectionism tendencies.
Yep, if a chapbook of twenty-thirty pages can go to readers, filled with stories I loved writing for others to enjoy, I’ve won a race. True, the race is one of my own making, but given my penchant for extreme perfectionism, anything that goes out is a plus.
Case in point: a week or so ago, a call for submissions came across my desk. The contest was a small one, with no prize money, no trophy. It asked for a 140-character complete story. Those are some of the best challenges, like tiny puzzles of the mind. The deadline was rapidly approaching—can we say a matter of an hour. I couldn’t resist.
Fifteen minutes later, I hit the send key to submit my tiny story. The actual prize for the top 10 winners was to have their stories professionally produced as individual short videos to be released on each writer’s YouTube Channel.
That prize might not seem like a lot. It might even seem lame. For me, though, it was a boon. I liked the idea of seeing a few sentences created into a book trailer with voice over, music, and good quality. It cost me fifteen minutes time and creativity. That’s all.
Now comes the wait time for my video to launch. You see, my little tear-jerker was one of those top ten stories received. It may not seem like much, but it’s a great confidence booster. It’s also a good lesson about perfectionism for me. The six sentences that comprised the story had three rewrites in that fifteen minutes, but in the end it was right.
The work went quickly. No real obsession with perfectionism prevailed. And it rewarded me with acceptance and pride in my work.
This is the second time such a prize has come my way–the first was a children’s short story produced in the U.K. a few years ago with the same scenario. It’s a terrific feeling.
My decision to work small for a while and get things out was reinforced in short order. Pun intended.
That diving board doesn’t have to get higher than one meter right now. Springboards are just fine. My flash fiction and poetry chapbooks can act as goldfish, growing with time and then acting as feeder fish for larger projects that take longer revision times.
The launch of a novelette-length series episode is also coming soon. That’s right. The first installment of the Wisher’s World Series, Composing an Apprentice, will come out next month, too.
See, there’s going to be plenty of work done from that flexible plank at the end of the writer’s pool.