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As of today, I’ve written and edited 4 short stories, 3 poems, and begun to work on a new novella since I started Write One, Sub One. And that’s not even including the six blog posts that I’ve posted since January 1st!

All of this is thanks to the Write1Sub1 Challenge, a challenge created by Ray Bradbury to write (and submit) 52 short stories in 52 weeks. Although W1S1 isn’t for everyone, I’ve learned so much in the past two months! This challenge has helped me branch out into different genres and forms of writing that I would never have considered attempting otherwise. And that’s what I’d like to talk about today.

In the age of self-publishing and social media, authors have to wear more hats than ever in order to be successful. Increasingly, people are seeing writers that are writing anything and everything. A lot of writers, both professional and amateur, have blogs that they post on semi-regularly. Many authors are writing scripts, nonfiction articles, short stories, and essays in order to make ends meet.

And that is what makes Write 1, Sub 1 so wonderful. By working on different things each week, you have the ability to try new things without worrying so much about what is and isn’t working. You have the freedom to experiment, which I think a lot of young writers are denying themselves while chasing their dreams of publication. But experimentation is more than just fun, it can also be a valuable skill in today’s writing climate.

Before I started W1S1, I was looking for a very specific type of idea. It had to be a novel-length work. It had to be fantasy or science fiction. It had to be something that would be taken seriously. Oh, yeah, and it had to be worthy of publication.

To say that I had very few ideas that met these criteria would be an understatement.

Now that I’m only spending a week on each writing project, I feel much more relaxed. Do I have an idea for a children’s story? Let’s give it a shot! How about this psychedelic rant about how shoes are taking over the galaxy? Sure, why not? I wonder what it would be like to write a script…well, hey, there’s a week that I can try it!

For once, I’m casting my mental net as far as I can and learning a lot in the process. That children’s book might reveal a talent that I never knew I had. That rant might be just the thing to practice writing an unhinged character or a story where surrealism is key. And that script? How better to practice dialogue and writing the bare minimum?

Plus, did I mention that I’m having a lot of fun?