I used to sell stories.
Not sell as in publish; sell as in SELL.
I had this racket when I was in grade school. Me and two of my friends called ourselves “The Bookworms”, and to raise funds for our little organization we decided to sell stories.
Our business model was simple: (1) talk to classmates; (2) ask them if they wany any stories written; (3) get the genre, details, character requests of our clients; (4) write the story; (5) charge twenty pesos per story. Easy, right?
We had a grand total of four orders, I think. One was a repeat, so that means we had three clients in all. At least one of them was guaranteed satisfied, yeah?
I don’t remember why we stopped. Maybe because twenty pesos for creative work was peanuts?
Anyway, I sort of realized that I haven’t really written a story in years. I wrote one in high school, then another three years ago. I think I wrote a couple in college but those sucked so hard they don’t really deserve to count.
I think I just want to know: what happened?
You know what I believe? Maybe reading too much had an adverse effect on my writing. I got so caught up in trying to get the style right that I forgot the fundamental truth:
Stories are just stories. You just go ahead and tell them.
Of course style matters, but maybe if you get too caught up in perfecting the style the story ends up in a maze somehow.
I was trying so hard to impress that it ended up too glossy, too slick, too shallow.
Now I’m going back to plain and simple storytelling, hence the new “Stories” category on this blog. I’m not saying I’ll be prolific. I rarely get inspiration to write stories anyway. I don’t have any “method”. I can’t claim any special talent.
But when a story captures me it just tap dances on my brain until I finally write it all out.
I’m not writing for anyone else. I’m writing because the story requires it. And — as far as I’m concerned — that’s all that matters.