I don’t like this, but I said I’d do it.

It’s frustrating for me to feel such discomfort when sharing my writing on this blog. I can throw together a half-assed thought in less than 280 characters, tweet it out without hesitation or proofreading, then completely forget about it a minute later. But piecing together my fragmented thoughts into a lengthy blog post that represents me as a writer? I’d rather have teeth pulled without anesthesia. 

According to my iPhone’s Screen Time, I spent nearly 2 hours a day on Twitter last week. To be fair, Twitter is where I read the news, keep up with recent memes, and get the latest celebrity gossip. But, it’s also a place of comfort for me where I can rant, throw myself a pity party, and test out my latest dad jokes. 

While I did write more than usual last week, I intended to post my writing at least one or two more times on here but ultimately didn’t publish anything. To me, what I wrote wasn’t good enough. Whether that’s true or not is beside the point. Clearly, blogging is harder for me than shitposting on Twitter. Y tho?

The way I see it, when you post on social media, you’re essentially talking to yourself until someone interacts with or replies to what you wrote. It feels like I’m just shouting into a black hole, so the stakes are really low for me. Contrarily, I view my writing here as a sample of my art, which significantly raises the stakes. 

I don’t know when it will get more comfortable for me to publish my writing. Still, I’m proud to do it again despite the agony I put myself through in preparation. 

Asshole Writer

My tenth grade English teacher started each class period with 15 minutes of writing in response to a prompt he’d write on the whiteboard. When writing time was up, he’d choose a few people in the room to read their writing aloud. No one was safe. He chose anyone in the room at random (mostly), whether they raised their hand to share or not.

I don’t feel comfortable sharing my writing, especially a first draft, so I was terrified of this daily assignment. At first, I’d spend half the writing time overthinking what to write because I knew if my teacher called on me, I’d have to share. When he involuntarily asked me to read, I refused to say anything other than “no, thank you.” He waited in silence for me to start reading, which I considered a challenge of who-can-stay-silent-the-longest. I’d wait so long my peers would plead me to “just read it” in impatience.

I’m very stubborn and refused to lose a battle in a war of “who’s the biggest asshole?” As a skilled asshole, I eventually refused to write anything at all, so I’d hold up my clean sheet of paper if called on. I mean, I can’t read if there’s nothing on the paper!

I got a C that year in English. I won the war of who’s the bigger asshole and still passed the class. It was the participation that brought my grade so low, but I otherwise did a great job? It was tenth grade, though, so it doesn’t matter. The point is, I developed an unhealthy way of coping with the idea of sharing myself with others that remains in my psyche today.

Now, when I sit down to write, I have difficulty doing it because what if someone else reads it? What will they say? What will they think? Is this too personal? “Yadda, yadda,” as George Costanza once said. I’m afraid to share my thoughts with others, so I shut them down altogether to avoid sharing them at all.

This coping mechanism might’ve helped me then, but as a writer who wants to get published, it’s preventing me from following my dreams today. Now, I’m pushing myself to write more and find comfort in the absolute nightmare of sharing my writing.

I want to write more, share more, and learn to deal with the anxieties that come with it. My goal is to post original writing here more frequently. About what? I’m not sure, other than whatever’s on my mind. From movie reviews to short story drafts – I need to type it out and post it to “face my fears” and get over them.

Writing Flash Fiction vs. Short Stories

Shell's Writing Ink

What is the difference between flash fiction and short stories beside length?

First, flash fiction is a shorter version of a short story, though the length varies depending on the magazine or journal. It can be anywhere from 100 to 1,000 words or even 1,500 words, while short stories are defined as 1,000 to 10,000 words.

Think of flash fiction as punchy and to the point, a story of extreme brevity with the plot pared down to the core of the story. Every detail, every character gesture, every description counts; each word has its place. Take one word away and the meaning is lost.

Short stories are more flexible, and unlike flash fiction, may take a couple of sittings to read. There is more space to develop ideas, plot, character and theme; there is at most, one plot and a small subplot or a plot and a half. Flash fiction…

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