5 Things I’ve Learned from Writing My First Short Story

In elementary and middle school, my teachers would encourage me to write a short story. Writing a short story was the perfect outlet for me to unleash my imagination.

Well, I stopped writing stories when I got to high school, since my teachers made me writing essays only.

I didn’t think about writing fiction again until I stumbled upon Yin Chang’s 88 Cups of Tea podcast.

To my surprise, Chang interviews various NY Times Bestsellers on their writing process and struggles they’ve faced as writers.

After listening to the podcast a few times, I decided to write a short story! After editing my final draft, I submitted it to a literary magazine!

No matter what response I get from the magazine, I’m proud of myself for finally writing a short story.

From writing my short story, I’ve learned some things.

1. It’s a process

Don’t expect a perfect draft on the first time. Your story will probably change more than once. Get the idea of perfection out of your head.

2. Don’t get lazy

I will admit that I didn’t work on my story for more than a week. I was being lazy. It was my friend, who was so nice to edit my story, was always asking me when I would get a new draft to her. That forced me to continue perfecting my draft.

3. Expect a lot of rewrites

Coming up with an ending was the most challenging part. Every ending I wrote, my friend rejected it. She expressed that each ending didn’t feel natural for the story.

I took Matt de la Pena’s advice of not overthinking how a scene relates to the story. His advice eventually led me to my ending!

4. Accept constructive criticism

You won’t grow as a writer if you’re unwilling to accept constructive criticism. For example, my friend commented that the dialogue didn’t show the characters’ personalities. Her comments┬ámade me realize that the character development aspect was missing in my narration.

5. Utilize free time to write

During my breaks at my temp job, I was working on my story. I always brought a printed copy of my draft, so I could read and revise my story. Using those breaks were so beneficial because I didn’t have to worry about my draft when I got home.

Lessons Learned From First Year Out of College

It has almost been a year since graduating college. The first year after college proved to be a huge adjustment. Becoming an adult has turned out to be rather overrated.

But I have learned some important lessons.

1. Exercise is a must

I’m very lazy when it comes to exercising. Getting my butt up is such a hassle. But I have realized that I have to move my body or else I will get fat.

To avoid sitting all day, I take a walk outside. This allows me to breathe in fresh air and appreciate Mother Nature.

2. Care about what you’re putting in your body

Eating junk food was my favorite activity growing up. In college, I stuffed my face due to the stress.

After graduating, I began to feel rather sleepy and sick when I ate too much greasy food. Now, I only eat fast food to twice a week. I drink tea daily too.

3. Make time for others

In school, people are right there to hang out. Once you hit the real world, you classmates are not physically there. They become busy with their own jobs and lives.

That is why you have to put in the effort to reconnect with others or else your friendships will slowly fall apart.

4. Keep learning

It’s easy to let your brain rot after college. That is why you have to keep your learning up. However, learning doesn’t have to be in a classroom. You can take online courses for free or take part in a community based class. Traveling is another great option too.

5. Focus on your goals

You’ll probably face plenty of rejection. I’ve received so many no or things didn’t work out. Yet, you can’t quit. People who succeed are the ones who keep going.