W1, S1 Update

Since the end of October, I’ve been following Ray Bradbury’s advice to write one story and submit one story (W1, S1) every week. This is my 12th week of W1, S1: a good time for an evaluation.

The “Submit 1” has pushed me to submit, and re-submit, and submit again. Otherwise, I tend to use my precious writing time for, well, writing, not submitting. I haven’t had a flurry of accepted stories, but I did get a reprint anthologized. Even better, I’ve learned that a single rejection doesn’t sting nearly as much when I have four or five other stories out. Overall, making myself submit one story a week has been unequivocally good for me.

The “Write 1” gets a bit more of a mixed review from me. I haven’t suceeded in writing a story every week: there’ve been three weeks so far that I didn’t finish anything in that week. And, wanting to finish a story every week has pushed me toward shorter fiction. One story even turned into a poem! When I finish a short or flash piece for the week, I come back to my ongoing longer pieces and plug away at them a little more.

The crux of Ray Bradbury’s advice is, “No one can write 52 bad stories.” Well, I’ve turned out at least one real stinker. I did finish it, but it needs one of two things: either a complete rewrite, or the recycle bin. So far I haven’t turned out anything I’d call my best work. Still, 9 finished drafts in 3 months is a huge improvement on my usual pace, and some of them are not bad.

Have you tried W1, S1, or another writing discipline that you’d recommend? If so, I’d welcome your comments.

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