The good folks at http://www.readmill.com recently interviewed me about my writing project. This is what I had to say to them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who are you and what do you do outside of 300stories?
My name is Dieter Rogiers, I’m 35 years old and I live in Brussels. After dabbling for a while in screenwriting (not all that successfully alas) I now am part of the communications team of Belgium’s biggest political party. From an early age I devoured books and started writing my own stories. And that has proven to be a common thread throughout my life. Since putting my screenwriting career on the backburner my output has diminished considerably though I have published over a thousand online movie reviews over the past decade and a graphic novel of mine called Tunguska was published weekly in a big Flemish newsmagazine in 2010 and 2011.
What is 300stories all about?
I should write more. That’s what I said to myself on the eve of my 35th birthday. 300stories is my way to grab the bull by the horns. My aim? To produce a short story in 300 words or less practically each day for the next year. Some of the stories will be hardly more than a sentence. Some of them will be hell to whittle down to a mere 300 words. It won’t always be easy to keep up the pace and the quality of the stories. But that is the challenge I’m setting myself.
What inspired you to take on this challenge?
A birthday is always a good reason to look back on what you have achieved in your life so far. So when I turned 35 I came to the conclusion that I could have written loads of stuff during the past couple of years but for some reason I didn’t. And I was feeling pretty bad about that. Writing is a craft you should hone each and every day if you want to achieve good results. This challenge will help me do that and I hope it will make me a better and more diverse writer. Augmenting my grasp on the English language is an interesting side challenge as my mother tongue is Dutch.
Why flash fiction?
I love short stories. Always have and always will, with Philip K. Dick and Edgar Allen Poe being among my particular favourites. Short stories don’t waste time with endless character traits or side-plots. Or as William Shakespeare once wrote in Hamlet: brevity is the soul of wit. Taking time concerns into account I settled on flash fiction and 300 words struck me as being a pretty elegant number for a year-long writing challenge. It’s also a perfect length to keep the reader’s attention on a computer screen.
Where does the inspiration for your stories come from?
Part of it comes from daily life. The main character in ‘Incoherent strumming’ is based on a street musician I cross every morning near the subway station on my way to work. And ‘I love the things I hate about you’ has its roots in a doomed romance. But it can also be a photo I saw in the newspaper or something a friend told me. And then there are times when I just sit down to write a story in a certain kind of genre. Equally often I start by devising an intriguing opening line and see where it takes me.
How do you find time to write?
I work nine to five at my day-job, need about seven hours of sleep a night and one hour for eating, try to watch a movie every day and now and then grab a couple of beers with my friends. Which leaves about 3 or 4 hours a day to sit down and write. Most often I just plug out the internet for an hour in the evening and force myself to write. But I also carry a notebook at all times to scribble down ideas I have. Or I record interesting lines and plot-points on my cell-phone’s voice recorder.
Where and when do you write?
Mostly on my sofa with my computer on my lap, sometimes at work. I generally do my best work in the evening, when ideas have had an entire day to grow into (hopefully) interesting stories in my head. I’ve always been a stream of consciousness writer so the typing of the story itself seldom lasts longer than twenty minutes, after which I tweak for another half hour.
Do you hope to encourage people to write more? Why?
I do hope 300stories encourages more people to write. As to why, I’d like to share with you the following quote from the great cosmologist Carl Sagan, that perfectly expresses how I feel about the subject: “One glance at (a story) and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”
What do you hope to take with you from writing the 300stories?
I hope the experience will make me a better and more confident writer, sure. And I’m definitely planning to take a look at those 300 stories next year and see if I’ll be able to expand one or more of them into a novel. But equally important: I hope it will allow me to entertain the people following the blog. I’ve already had a lot of supportive comments from the readers and that in itself is something very positive and touching I’ll be taking from this project.
I admire you for the challenge you have taken on. After all, it took Melville more than 300 words just to introduce Ishmael. Godspeed with the project.
Hello newest Spikey! I know, a bit corny, eh, but that’s the term that has come to stick for those folk who are part of the clan known to be followers of Uncle Spike 🙂
Thank you… I really appreciate that as I for one, know how many interesting and entertaining blogs are out there.
My aim is to deliver an eclectic offering of posts, from my ‘point n shoot’ attempts at basic photography, to the sharing of my travel adventures over the decades, as well as day to day happenings here on the farm. Oh, plus a few observations on life as I see it, thrown in for good measure.
My promise to you is not to be overbearing, just a couple of posts a day, maybe 3 at weekends if I have something special to share. But if you are at a loose end one day, maybe you’ll enjoy trawling through some of my older stuff too. I have added plenty of categories to help in said digging process.
Thanks again and hope you have a great day…
Thanks for the follow and good luck with the 300
Thanks for following justagrumpyoldman.
Curious as to why there are 365 stories to round out the full year… but I suppose you need some time out
I’m glad to have re-discovered your blog. I’d hit the follow buttom some time ago, but hadn’t been getting e-mails when you posted, until last week when I finally figured out how to change my preferences so I get them. What can I say, I’m a slow learner. Anyway, great blog, thanks.
Thanks for the follow Dieter!
Thanks for the follow.
Thanks for the follow. Your project sounds fascinating and I look forward to reading your stories.
Fantastic stuff here!
Hi, thanks for stopping by!
Hey Dieter. Thanks for following my short-fiction blog, ‘Wild Ink’. There’s some terrific stuff here! Keep it up… nearly there…
Thanks for the follow! Great blog – I look forward to reading more. All the best!
Thanks for your “About Me” info. I love the quote by Carl Sagan! I read Cosmos back in the day – he’s a brilliant mind. I will enjoy reading the rest of your 300 stories – good luck in your goal for 300 in 365!
As one who is always catching up on things to read I am not sure what I think about writers with such ambitious goals. Seriously though, good luck, it is a worthwhile project. I’ve frequently said that I may be immortal since I refuse to die until I’ve read everything I want to read. If I add your stories too, I will continue to extend my life. Cheers
Wow, very interesting project. Very inspirational to young writers!
Very cool blog you have here. Great idea to do 300 stories in a year. I too decided that it was time to get off my butt and do my cartoon, after many years of sloth! Thanks for following my blog-I will be back to read your work as well. 🙂
Your plan to write 300 stories in a year is an admirable one. I am a believer the only way to get better is to practice the craft. Blacksmiths bend a lot of metal before they get a working sword.
I am also a writer of genre fiction on my WordPress site, Hub City Blues (http://hubcityblues.com). I have also put forth a writers mandate of beating my sales last year. I sold 12. This year the target is 18 sales. I am already at number 8 and have written over 40 short stories since the year began.
If you are writing to eventually get published this is a great way to start. Keep up the good work. I do an annual challenge called 30 Cubed, where the goal is to write 30 short stories in 30 days. Minimum is 200 words, with no upper limit. Maybe next time I host it, you come and sign up: You can see a number of the writers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/30cubedsf.
Come and say hello!
My dad and I share this website and we’re a little new. This initiative sounds awesome and and it is very inspirational so keep up the good work!
What a great mission to write 300 words a day stories… I should really learn from you and make tree sculptures a day… Well, actually, come to think of it I should! Thanks for giving inspiration! Love, Charlotte
I was hoping to be the 300th comment but I’ll take number 299. Congrats on setting yourself such a task. It’s a great exercise and one which will stand to you.
I like how your About Me page is basically a Q&A. I would have never thought of doing that. I’ve taken the liberty to read some of your short stories and I’ll get back to you on which I like the most.
Thanks for following my blog. I always appreciate the support of a fellow writer. Best of luck on your journey to 300. Seems like you are almost there!
Thanks for following! 🙂
Hi dear, I have nominated you for the Liebster Award, Do check here http://thereadingbud.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/liebster-award/
If you are interested, do participate.. 🙂
Hey Dieter, So close now, eh? 28 more to go. Good on ya. I do read most of them, and while I don’t click the like button very often, I do enjoy them. I’m just lazy.
You posted recently about whether people would read these posts in book form. I say, if you have the funds, just self-publish it and sell it on amazon. I think you could even do just electronic version at first. I always read with an eye for grammar, etc. and you’re nearly flawless, so all you’d have to do is compile them and hit print. People will buy it.
Just a thought.
Wow one a day, that is a challenge (along with everything else life contains!) I’ve no doubt your writing will benefit though. At present I have lots of stuff on file to post daily but I’m wondering if I’ll keep up a story a day when I run out! Guess I’ll have to set myself some tough discipline! ha! Thanks for the follow and likes! .
Thanks for the follow — and may I admire your awesomeness? 😀 I think this is brilliant!
Also, I’m with A Mugwump: I can see people purchasing these as a collection, especially if you market the premise alongside since it has a positive, feel-good author story behind it.
Thank you for following “A Way With Words.” My joy in writing is made more complete when people read what I’ve written (and even more as they respond).
I write primarily about faith and mental illness, but I’m also known to dabble in other subjects, stories, and even the occasional poem. If you have any requests, please let me know.
You have some wonderful work here, from what I’ve read. I pray you are continually blessed in your life and writing, as you bless others.
Thanks for following my blog! I love the passion of your mission–300 stories in 300 words!
We all have a catalyst that makes us push ourselves to achieve a goal. Yours is quite an inspirational tale. A great read. ~~ Karen
Dieter! thank you fro following katesclippings- it’s such a compliment when someone chooses to follw. And, it means I’ve found your blog! looks great I’, looking forward to reading more.
I really like your blog. Flash fiction is a concept new to me and after I saw some of your short stories, I’m impresses. Usually I can absorve a story like that in one glance, but yours had me reading every word. I found them engaging and unique.
Thank you! You are ever so kind.
I love this, wishing you the best. via http://nomadswriting.wordpress.com/
Thank you for following my blog! I followed yours too. Having read this About page, I am truly inspired to keep on writing, especially at the young age I’m in. Makes me really aware of how I shouldn’t waste all the time I have by spending it honing my skills as a writer. Looking forward to reading your posts. Good day!
I am nomination you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award.’ I know not everyone is about awards but this one is an exception even if you don’t like the process. It shows that you are inspiring others and I want you to know you inspire me. It’s not for everyone, however, and it should not create pressure or frustration. You can find information at http://bookishswint.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/very-inspiring-blogger-award/
[…] brought to mind my own whimsical tales and revved up my own passion to write again. So thank you, Dieter Rogiers. You totally rock and everyone needs to follow […]
Thanks for the “like” Dieter. And best wishes on what I see will be a brand new challenge!
What an interesting project and creative way to get the writing down. Looking forward to the new challenge. Thanks for the follow!
Incredibly ambitious. I have a lot of respect for people who can do that kind of writing–you have to be incredibly creative. I only think in long books. 🙂
Hi there, I love this idea! And I’ve just read the last story first! I will read the rest when I’m not at work and supposed to be working! 😀 Am doing something a little similar with Today’s Author, but following on with an on going story each week – very daunting! But fun! Definitely boots your writing skills up the proverbial butt! Well done it’s a great achievement and looking forward to reading the rest 🙂 Cybs
[…] 4. 300 Stories […]
I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Looking forward to reading more from you and good luck on getting your stories together for your book!
This is something to LOVE! every single word is an inspiration by itself!
Thanks for dropping by and leaving a like footprint. I’ve a similar (though not as specific) aim to post something every day. i have unfair two advantages though, I have a lot of unedited stuff gathering dust on my computer files, also I’m retired (though I tend to be as busy as ever if you factor in the loss of stamina etc.Retired of work but not of life). I admire your goal and hope you make it through (I suspect you will). We can live many lives simultaneously through writing I think.Not only that but we can invite others to partake of them too. A worthy quest..
Great blog you have going here and I really like the theme!
Thanks for liking my post “The Invisible Man”. Best wishes to you.
Very good answers to the interviewer. Glad you made a stop by my little blog.
Thanks for liking my post on http://positiveparentsandkids.com/2014/08/04/parents-are-we-asking-the-right-questions/
I love your 300 challenge. Years ago I took various writing course and I love to write fiction for older children. I have been focusing so much on my business over the past few years, my fiction writing has taken a back seat.
Your challenge has inspired me. Thank you.
Hello Dieter! Thank you for following Candle&Quill! I have another blog or two you might be interested in – my main blog for writers, http://stephaniehuesler.com, and a reasearch / history blog, http://historyundusted.wordpress.com. I love the concept of a flash fiction a day – it’s something I’d like to try my hand at once I get my next novel manuscript published! Keep writing! I’d be interested in knowing how your publishing/marketing works for English books from a non-English-speaking country; I’m in Switzerland, and face that challenge…
That would be “research”… one of my cats was distracting me! 😉
Thanks for visiting my Murder Blog, and for the follow!
Thanks for following Indifferent Ignorance. 🙂