Hello, hello, hello all you flash fiction writers out there! How are you doing? I hope you’re doing well.
I’m doing well. Although today I took a trip down memory lane that I didn’t want to take.
I finally took that overdue book about money and power at the Vatican back to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the public library; and I paid my fine of 0.90 for three days and I renewed the book and then I waited for the 54 bus to take me from Oakland in the middle of the campus of the University of Pittsburgh back to North Oakland where my apartment building is and on to Little Italy (Bloomfield) where I could have a couple of beers and eat a few peanuts at Armand’s and think deep thoughts about life and writing as I watched Liberty Avenue on what was a sunny, mild (70s) day in Pittsburgh.
I got on the bus and sat in front of a man around my age (a senior citizen) that I recognized. I had no intentions of doing anymore than saying hello; but he engaged me in conversation and I spent the entire bus ride turned toward him.
He wanted to talk about the old days (30 years ago) when he and I lived at the YMCA, the days when I was on the dole writing in my room. The days when I was temporarily homeless. The days when I survived by living at the Salvation Army and worked as a helper on one of the trucks. The days when if it wasn’t for food kitchens and food banks I would have starved to death. He was disappointed that I didn’t remember any of the people he mentioned by name that shared our experiences on the edges of society. The only thing that got me through those hellish days was writing.
(This was my history before I finally got a steady job and eventually went back to college for my BA and MFA.)
I was amazed that he remembered all this stuff. I let him talk and I participated in the conversation as best I could. I know what it’s like to need someone to talk to. But I was also relieved to get the hell off that bus and on a stool at the bar at the window in Armand’s.
But I digress…
One quality (probably the most important quality) that you will need for success as a flash fiction writer is perseverance.
Most writers don’t succeed at some level of writing flash fiction because they simply give up. Why do they give up? They’re too busy. Life gets in the way. They find out that writing well is really hard work. They find out that they have to promote themselves and so on and so forth…
They find out they can’t make a living writing flash fiction.
If none of these obstacles deter you from being a flash fiction writer, then I’m talking to you. Perseverance will take you a long ways toward some level of success as a flash fiction writer. Hell, you may even be able to supplement the income of your real job.
Hemingway was supposed to have said, “A writer must survive in order to get his work done.”