Bring me another!

We have been asked to look back at all our assignments over the last year and pick a favorite. I’ve been over the calendar multiple times, trying to think of a specific week that spoke to me. I’ve scanned over the posts, mine and my colleagues, waiting for something to jump out.

Nothing has. It isn’t that we haven’t had interesting assignments. We have. It isn’t that we haven’t had good contributions. They have been great. The more I’ve tried to isolate an assignment, and the more I have failed to do so, I’ve realized my brain just doesn’t work that way.

Ask me about my favorite story I’ve written this year, and I won’t be able to answer it. I’ve already moved on. I rarely think about the things I have written in the past, unless I am currently re-writing or submitting them. The other day, a guy I know asked me a question about “Perfect 10,” a horror story I wrote for Insomnia Press. It took me a second to understand what he was asking about. I hadn’t thought much about the piece since it got published.

Certainly, I’ve enjoyed writing the flash fiction assignments more than non-fiction assignments. Like most of the people here, I enjoy writing fiction more than most other things. But when I thought about the prompts we wrote, or the final product of any of my stories, I don’t really have a favorite. Some were stronger than others, some were just different.

The important part was proving to myself that I was up to the challenge. No matter what the prompt was, I came up with something that worked. No matter the topic of the week’s blog, I had something to say. That is the real challenge, and the thing I enjoy the most about this website. Other writers challenge me to write things I might not write otherwise. They give me a new perspective, one that may not have started from on my own. Then, I go from there. I create something new, and put it out in the world for anyone to see.

That’s the joy of writing. You get to create something from nothing and then say, “Look what I did.” It’s like bringing home your preschool art project, being proud of the finger painting hanging in its refrigerator magnet gallery.

Looking back over my finger paintings of the past year, looking for something that strikes me, I only have one real thought. What do I get to make next? What is my favorite assignment? The next one.

Jack Campbell, Jr. is a dark fiction writer in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared in various venues including Twenty 3 Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Insomnia Press. He writes about reading, writing, and life on his blog at www.jackcampbelljr.com.

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