Year 8 (And 9. (And 10.))

Another year, another social post closer to our collective nightmare being over. Today I’m wrapping up eight years, two thousand nine hundred twenty stories, and one million, sixty-five thousand, eight hundred words*. “When will the madness end?” you’re asking yourself if you’re invested enough to read – let alone question – this. I’m happy for both of us that the answer is simple.

2024. Two years from now, I will write my last short story in my tenth year of writing a short story every day, and I’ll be done. I mean it**.

Wait, ten years? And this is the end of Year Eight? If you’re having an internal crisis vacillating between “Yesterday came suddenly…” and “The years start coming and they don’t stop coming…” imagine being me. Uncomfortably crammed into my cranium, you’ll probably be somewhere closer to “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” since there’s a decent chance that I and the rest of us don’t make it another two years. You never do know, though, do you?

Just in case there is a next couple of years, I have a plan for them***.

Next year, I’ll be using AI-generated writing prompts. Because I can’t make making my life easier easy, yes, I am in the process of training an AI on data I’m collecting from Reddit. Because I don’t know what I’m doing, yes, I am creating way more work for myself than is advisable. As usual.

The last year, I’ll be rewriting previous years’ stories based on their titles alone. I’ve got plenty to choose from, so that part’s easy. It will get complicated if I end up getting some sort of streaming setup up and streaming and don’t get immediately turned off by how much work that is for what I anticipate will be meager returns****. But – as a wise man once typed three paragraphs ago – you never do know, do you?

To everyone who’s ever read one of these things that I’ve posted online or put in their hands, thanks. To everyone who thinks these things’re worth reading, tell your friends. Especially if they’re publishers or publicists.

Signing off for this year*****,

Alex

*Plus, y’know, all the words I cut out to hit that exact three-sixty-five mark each time. And the extra stories I wrote out of penance for missing a day or just for kicks. And the notes and commentary I made for my own editorial edification. And the spreadsheets tracking character appearances and references and the relationships between them. But you know what I mean.

**Okay, I’m a realistic man. If I in any way end up getting attention for this, I’ll probably write another done-in-one-day story to get more coverage or to contribute to an anthology or to provide an example of how one might be written. If the crowds chant my name, I’ll come out of retirement for one last story. Okay, maybe I’m not that realistic after all.

***I can promise that this isn’t like a Battlestar Galactica-style Plan, though, because at least in this case, I have mapped out what I want to accomplish and am actively taking steps to make that happen, rather than letting it just sort of happen to me. I won’t pretend that my plan is foolproof, though, because mine’s going up against the biggest possible fool. They say no plan survives contact with the enemy. That’s got to go double when the enemy is yourself.

****Yes, streaming is part of the plan. It was since the end of Year Five, if I’m being honest. But it was going to take more work than the first year’s worth of fatherhood could leave free, and each subsequent year hasn’t left me too much more margin there. But I can’t imagine that the writer community on Twitch and YouTube is supersaturated, so why not throw my hat into the ring? Other than the fact that the glare off my bald pate blows out my webcam, of course.

*****Whoops. Looks like I wrote a whole extra three hundred sixty-five words in the annotations by accident******.

******It was not exactly by accident. But writing nonfiction letters to myself and an imaginary audience is my version of writing a short story “the easy way.” What else was I gonna do with my day? Live life? Pfffffff…

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