I just finished another course and bot are my arms tired. Or should I say head? I had to write a short story, 1200 words! Now I know what you’re thinking; “You’re doing that now!” This was different. This was me having to write something I wasn’t used to writing. Maybe they call it “flexing your brain muscle” (well, I said that, but that’s how it felt). I guess it’s a good thing, but what a workout! I’m exhausted (whew!).

So the course asks me to write a short blurb on motivation. Now I’ve dealt with prompts before but this was different. Usually (or in my case, sometimes) I’ll look up prompts and write a story about it (I’m actually stuck on one called Fabric. I thought of moving on to another, it just didn’t feel right if I did). These prompts usually fall in the realm of an object or feeling, about love, hate, fear, etc. But not a feeling that leads to a life altering event. A feeling that could ultimately shape a character’s future.

And it is this maturing of a character that I’ve never thought about except in the realm of Revenge or Gratitude. Now Revenge could be a life altering event, but it doesn’t define the character because of it’s temporary nature. Nor does Gratitude, Enjoyment, or Grief. Now these feelings can be altered to become Obsession, Devotion, Dependance, or Depression, things that are more long-term. And it is in this realm where I find my creativity challenged. I’m going from a temporary one-day-in-the-life-of… thought process and moving into a more long term arrangement.

For example, the idea that I even came up with all of those emotions is freaking me out! Revenge to Obsession? What am I, mad!? Where’d that even come from? What are these lessons doing to me?Here I am, minding my own business, when some jackass comes up to me and says “Here, try this”, and like a dope I go “M’kay”. And then your hoooked , and stuck with it. There are many different shades of emotions out there, and some can have life-changing effects, while others are more of the moment. Both are good, and bad. I have to channel these feelings into a person I just made up, to help him/her grow, and grow up.

So I go “No prob, let me at it”. One week later, I finish it. They pulled an okey-doke on me. Two part question. The first; write a short piece on a motivator. Ok, no prob. 300 words, easy. Finish that in 15-20 minutes. Second; write a short story on the motivator you’ve chosen. WHAT!?!?!? 1200 WORDS! Took me three days to come up with a character, two days to devise a situation, another two days to flesh it out, one day to say to myself, “Really?”, and two days to write it. Wait, that’s longer than a week. Is that too long?

I’ve never taken on a project that lasted so long. Not because I don’t have ideas, but because I’ve never had to write something not mine, I guess. It’s hard to describe, but I know that if an idea comes up I write about it. This was written to their specs. So it wasn’t mine, or, it wasn’t something I’d write about. It stretched my head a bit, I will say that. It’s making me think about my other stories and how to improve them. I guess that’s the point, right? To become a better writer. I do feel good doing it. And it’s making me write more concisely. I’ll be going over some of my stories to see what I can change about them, or the characters now that I know how they work.

I’m grateful to have this opportunity for self-improvement. If you would like to read the story it’s right here. This set of letters that go on and on and on…

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