Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I first heard about Write1Sub1 thanks to Alex Shvartsman. He mentioned it in a thread over in the Absolute Write Short Fiction section in mid-December 2010.

Sounds interesting, I thought, and headed over to the blog to check it out. And was immediately bitten by the W1S1 bug.

For various reasons 2010 was an awful writing year for me. I managed one complete short story--which was an ugly thing to read--and nothing else. To contrast, in 2009 I wrote a dozen short stories and two novels.

The stories were still there in my head, clamoring to be told, but writing them had become an exercise in frustration.

When I read through the W1S1 blog, however, it was like a circuit had been reconnected. Whereas previously there’d been a dull resignation when I thought I should be writing, now there was a scorching enthusiasm to sit down and craft beautiful things made of words.

Which may seem like a strange reaction, given that W1S1 is a deadline-oriented challenge, and surely putting pressure on myself to write stories wouldn’t help me rediscover the enjoyment I’d been missing.

But it has helped, most definitely. It’s not just the challenge, it’s also the community. Knowing there are other writers persevering towards similar goals on similar schedules, and being able to share encouragement and commiseration with them, is a huge thing.

So far this year I’ve written eight fresh stories. One of those stories has sold, and the rest are dressed to their best, visiting all the markets they can until somebody offers them a home.

Without W1S1 I doubt any of those would’ve been written. So thanks, W1S1!

(Also, a special thanks to all the awesome writers who hang out in the Write 1/Sub 1 subforum at Absolute Write. Youse peeps rock!)

Sam Mae


  1. "It’s not just the challenge, it’s also the community." You got that right, bub.

    On a side note, Sam, Alex, and I will each have stories in the next issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. How's that for kismet?

  2. Congratulations to all of you.

    I'm finding W1S1 a great thing to get me not only writing, but finishing what I write.

    And I agree about the community. I couldn't do it without you all. :)

  3. Major congrats on the w1s1 trio making the same issue of Bards & Sages, and major props to Sam for the excellent post.

    Also, Sam, your blog ROCKS. You're doing yeoman's work with those Spec Fic news updates. I've decided to enter a few of the contests you've linked to.

  4. Hoooah! ;) Can't choose our family but sure can choose our associates. Good luck with the rest of the year.

  5. Congrats to the three in Bards (I was going to say in B&S, but that didn't seem right). That's on my list to get when it comes out! The whole W1S1 concept is great, and I'm so grateful that it helped get me submitting again.

    You're right, Sam, the community is awesome, too. And you're a huge part of that. I think you're like the forum lynchpin, because you show up to empathize, sympathize, cheer, boo, gripe and encourage, and you've done that since day 1.

    W1S1 is pretty awesome, and so are you.

  6. Thanks, peeps.

    Actually, there's *4* W1S1ers in that edition of Bards&Sages. Nicky Drayden is in there, too.

    Thanks, Joe. Glad you've found the newsletter useful. It's by no means all-inclusive, but i think it's typically got some good stuff in there.

    @Shelley: Aww. That's a very nice thing to say. By the way, Shelley just won the Shock Totem flash contest. Heap praise on her!

  7. Hey Sam, Awesome post!

    I'm relatively new to trying this writing thing, and have only been part of W1S1 for two weeks, but have already gained a huge amount of inspiration and information from the other members here. For that, I want to say "thank you!" to you and to all the members of W1S1.

    Also, even though I'm still wet behind the ears, I already know what you mean about the benefit of the W1S1 commitment helping to get the writing done and the story out there. Just knowing that I publicly took the W1S1 pledge, and that there are other writers going through the same thing I am, seems to add the just the right amount of kick-it-in-the-rear impetus needed.

    So thanks again from the FNG...

    And BTW -- I checked out your blog, Sam. Fabulous! I'll be a frequent visitor. ;^)

  8. Nice post, Sam, and I completely agree. I joined the challenge only a few days ago, and I'm already more energized about my writing.

  9. The circuit being reconnected--that's a great way to put it, Sam. Had a similar feeling myself when I heard about W1S1. I was scared to commit to it, but I am so glad I did. I have met some wonderful people along the way so far. (though I do believe I was promised sushi at some point *stares at Sam* ;))

  10. Great post, Sam! Thanks for sharing. I laughed at the part about how you'd think a deadline would make you feel more pressure - I felt the same way initially but isn't it weird how it's done the opposite? :)

    And congrats to Sam, Milo, Alex and Nicky!

  11. Yep, great interview. Inspiring stuff! I'm really delighted W1S1 has helped in some, small way with your writing.

  12. Gotta love the energy here. Thanks Sam for sparking it with your excellent post and tireless work ethic.

    Congrats to Sam, Milo, Alex, Nicky and Shelley and pretty much to everyone who has stuck it out so far. We're just about halfway through the challenge.

  13. Aww thanks guys and congrats to Sam and Milo for their excellent stories coming out in the next issue of Bards & Sages - I got to read them already thanks to an advance proofread copy they provide, and I'm proud to be published alongside them :)

  14. Thanks again, lads and ladies, for your nice words. I've been in a bit of a writing funk this week, but y'all have given me some motivation :)

    Write hard, peeps!