Last week I took up the Swinburne Microfiction Challenge: to write five stories in five days in response to five daily word-prompts.
And while I won’t win the prize – one thousand dollars, if you don’t mind – I haven’t come away empty-handed. The exercise has taught me three valuable lessons about me, my stories and literary magazines.
Here’s what I’ve learned about myself: that I’m a craftsman and not an artist. My stories are facile and lack true depth of feeling – that’s take-away number two. And as for literary magazines, I found that their editors favour atmosphere over action.
Sobering stuff. What it means for my writing, I can’t really say.
Having taken the challenge I’ve learned what’s lacking in me and my work: artistry, emotion and atmosphere. What I’m not lacking, though, are the five stories I finished in five days.
I can write!