Sunday, 26 January 2014

I write short things

Writing holds many challenges, but lately I have mostly just been trying to make things shorter. I wrote a short story that came out over 8,000 words, and then discovered that to enter it for competitions and collections, it needed to be 5,000 words or under. I whipped out my editorial scalpel and set to work. I wrote a synopsis of 813 words for my novel to enter it for a competition, but then found that for another competition, I needed to shorten it to 300 words. Having just completed that task, ruthlessly chopping out anything extraneous, I feel editorially invincible. From force of habit, I am already mentally reducing the contents of this paragraph into something more concise: I write short things.

To be honest, it is nice to feel I’m skilled at something, as rejections have been trickling in following my attempt to get some writing credits to my name – rejections and prolonged, discouraging silences. Sigh. Moment’s self-pity, followed by self-imposed pep talk – onwards! Improve! Persevere! Have faith!

Ah well, if all else fails, I could start a business taking in people’s novels and editing them down into tweets.


  1. Hi Sophie, There's always so much backlog for the things I have to read - hence I've only just read this post - that I think being able to write concisely must be underrated! I'm sorry to hear you've been getting rejections, but I'm glad to hear you have found the courage to send it out there. Keep going and the right ears and eyes will find you.

    1. Thanks Dawn. Yes some rejections but more great echoing silences. You have to take a moment to feel the soul-destroying self-doubt, then pick yourself up and keep going!