Shapeshifting 13 #107 Kickoff

May 24, 2017

What it do, Ghoul Friends?

Let me ask you something.

What is your “best” writing?

I’ve mentioned this before–I’ve put out my first collection of short stories and poetry in print and ebook formats, and I’m preparing to put out my second one in the next few weeks. All self-published. All selfishly publishing myself because I have this illusion of capability that I can–that my writing is interesting enough that someone will pay actual money for it. My husband is probably sick of hearing me talk about it all at this point, but he commented on something the other day. I asked him to read one of the stories from my first collection. I’m trying to turn it into an illustrated book for kids, and I was second-guessing the length of the story. Reluctantly, he read it, and his feedback, as always, was brutally honest. I knew it wouldn’t be a story for him, but he noted how disappointed he was that I had put it out in the first place. He said that he didn’t think it was my “best,” and that I should focus on quality over quantity–that I shouldn’t put something out unless it’s my “best” writing.

I have this weird idea that I’m on borrowed time. I’m going to be starting my new career soon, and I have actual work starting in the next month, so part of me feels as though I need to get content out while I can. I just have this feeling that I’m not going to have the time (or energy) once I start working again, mainly because I feel like I’m going to want to use my free time in other ways. As Mark stated, that’s probably not the case, but I’m always overthinking things. He knows that. I know that. I’m always going down a force-fed rabbit hole of my own making without any justification. So, while I should really shake the feelings I’ve been having and actually listen to his advice, something perturbed me just a bit. What is my best writing? I don’t think I’m a good judge of my own writing. I tend to really like what I write, and I put it out because I like it. If I start breaking it down, tearing it apart in an effort to make it better, I feel like I’m going to resent it. If I start trying to find problems, I feel as though I’m definitely going to find them, and that will make me unhappy. If history shows me anything, it’s that I’ll abandon a project because it makes me unhappy, and I don’t want to do that with my writing. In essence, it seems as though I need an editor of some sort. But it’s an interesting topic. What makes up your “best” writing? How do you determine what in your writing is better than the rest? What do you look for when editing your pieces? Do you focus on the story delivery, or do you focus on writing style/word choices/etc.? It all plays together, but focusing on one over the other has its pros and cons, and it’s quite challenging to do it all in one sweep. So, what is your “best” writing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and let’s start a conversation!
Before we get to this week’s prompt, here are a few important reminders:

  • Submissions for our Mutant 750 close tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm ET. You’ll have until Saturday at Noon ET to cast your votes for your three favorites.
  • Don’t forget to keep in touch: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our mailing list.
  • The Shapeshifting 13 goes live every Wednesday at Noon ET. The grid will stay open until Sunday at 8:00 p.m., after which voting will open. Voting ends on Monday at 8:00 p.m., so you get about 24 hours to read and vote for your favorites pieces. Winners will be announced in a separate post on Tuesday at Noon ET. Further details can be found here.

Last week for THE SHAPESHIFTING 13 challenge, you were tasked with creating a story or poem in just 52 words. This week, your challenge is to write a story or poem in exactly 13 words inspired by/using the following image:

The Rules

  •    Challenge submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  •    Submissions must be exactly the number of words specified; no more, no less.
  •    Submissions must use the prompt(s) as directed, but it can be in any tense.
  •    Submissions should be written in response to the challenge, so they shouldn’t pre-date the kickoff post.
  •    One submission per person.
  •    Make sure to give proper credit to the artist if you include the image in your post.
  •    Please put lengthy explanations at the end of your post, not at the beginning.
  •    Don’t forget to add the code for the challenge badge to your post.
  •    When voting, you are on the honor to not vote for your own piece.

Now, while you’re getting ready to post those wonderful words, don’t forget to grab the Shapeshifting 13 #107 badge from the right side of the page, and insert it into your post. Remember, you have until Sunday @ 8pm Eastern Time to submit something. Have fun!

Until next time, au revoir, and SHARE THE GEEKDOM!


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  • kalpana solsi May 25, 2017 at 10:02 am

    where is the badge for shapelifting 13 #107?

    • Tony Lovell May 25, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Oops! Forgot about that. Thanks! It’s been updated.

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