Stuff I like, Writing

Pen, Paper, and Six-Word Stories

My weakness for lifestyle blogs has backed off some…or maybe it’s just that I’ve narrowed my focus. I don’t care so much how people organize their houses, bit I still follow several bullet journal and planner blogs because…pens and notebooks.

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Aside #1. re: the planner and “bujo” fad. For the initial idea behind the “bullet journal” go to  @bulletjournal on Instagram has a nicely curated
gallery, or you can search #bulletjournal and see what people do with calligraphy, art, washi tape… (Particularly popular are @bohoberry, @tinyrayofsunshine, and fullsizerender-9@decadethirty.)

My diary looks nothing like those (see right). I’ve kept an “everything journal” for ages, but I’m more deliberate about it now. But I don’t aspire to any aesthetics other than a grid and straight lines. I like a grid. I don’t always follow it, but I like it there. Which probably says a lot about me.

Which brings me to @pageflutter‘s “Six-Word Story Challenge” on Instagram (#pfsixwordchallenge).  As you can maybe guess from the whole “story challenge” thing, Megan is also a writer-writer, so I like her blog because it combines two of my favorite things. (Writing and also writing.)




The idea of the six-word story isn’t new—there’s an anecdote of someone challenging an author (Hemmingway? Asimov?) to write a story with six words, and he (whoever he was) came up with Wedding dress for sale: never worn.

Aside #2: I’ve also heard it as Baby shoes for sale: never worn. In fact, I misheard that as “Ballet shoes for sale: never worn” and that was what prompted me to write The Splendor Falls. True story.

Anyway. As an exercise, the deceptive simplicity of six-word stories appeals to me, and I appreciate the prompts. Using pen and paper also helps with my everlasting struggle to make something good enough and leave it the heck alone.

In the spirit of the challenge, though, I’m posting a pic of my progress so far. As you can see, I’ve been really successful this month so far. Also, I edited the first entry anyway. (*sigh* The first step is accepting I have a problem, right?)

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Aside #3: Posting this picture is WAY harder than I thought it would be. My handwriting is stupid, I don’t know if my “Ashes” entry is a story or more of an axiom, and—OMG I misspelled “tomorrow.”

Ugh. I suck.


I don’t suck. I’m just human.

Maybe this is therapeutic. If you’ve ever wondered why I take so long to write a book, it’s because I obsess with getting things absolutely right instead of absolutely done. So if y’all promise not to judge me on this glimpse into my unedited brain, then I promise I’ll try to only rewrite each scene of my book…not more than twice…per draft.FullSizeRender 7.jpg

Which is the point of writing exercises. To free up creativity, sure, but also to find what works for you and what habits you need to break. All journaling is like that, I guess.

Click here or the picture above to go to the Page Flutter blog for more explanation on the challenge. If you post something on Instagram, you can tag Kara Connolly (@readkaraconnolly) and I’ll see it, too.

Aside #4: Rosemary doesn’t have an IG account. But, strangely enough, Rosemary and Kara share many of the same interests, including an obsession with fancy pens and clever office supplies.

Aside #5: Kara needs to get off her butt and post more Instagramage. She’s got a freaking book coming out in 5 months.

Or if you’re inspired to type your effort my comments, I’d love to see it. But do click through to Page Flutter, regardless. Otherwise, I will feel like I co-opted her idea for my blog post, and that’s just tacky.

Do you creative types have any exercises or rituals you do? Do you keep a journal? Do you keep a bullet journal? I’m always looking for the thing that’s going to make life easier, make me get my to do list done, and never let me forget things.

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