I really love to write, but I often get into a rut — one that lasts for months and sometimes even longer. What happens is that I get an idea for a novel and I have some idea of how I want it to work out and then I sit in front of the keyboard, white screen staring me in the face. I really want to start the novel but I am not sure how to start it so I just keep staring at the screen until I decide to do something completely different and then move on to something else. This staring procedure happens again and again until I give up on the novel entirely. I then get another idea for a novel and the problem starts up again — this is why I have only managed to write exactly one book in this lifetime but I have ideas for many more.

I have recently made a wonderful discovery and it is this — when I am faced with the void of the blank screen, one of the best cures is actually to take a story idea and write a short story. There are many ways to write short stories but at the end of the day you actually accomplish something and sometimes in the process I have found that I get genuine inspirations for my novels which I am able to use later and get past that initial blank screen.

Part of the fun of writing a short story is that you know before you even start that your story will not go on and on but have a fairly brief beginning, middle, and end. Every month, for example, I write a ten sentence story for the 10txt blog, where I write stories that are exactly ten sentences long — not nine sentences, not eleven, but exactly ten. In January I wrote a story about a gentleman who is stuck in a high school mentality which I then followed with a story in February about the same gentleman who is fed up with styrofoam cups.

When I thought of writing the first story it was based on people I knew that were just like this and it baffled me so much I felt that I had to get it out. The second story featured the same character again — I hope to keep him around this year. Depending on the story I either write it in a strictly linear manner or begin at some point — middle, even the end — and work my way around it until I have a full story.

I would like to challenge you, dear reader, to put a blank slate in front of yourself and write a short story. Pour your heart into that story and when you are finished, share it with us here. Will it lead to a novel? Perhaps. Even if it does not, you know that you made something special with your time and did not waste your evening with silly games.

Posted by Gordon Davidescu

Born in Perth Amboy, Gordon Davidescu lives in Queens with his wife, toddler son and bears. He loves reading a good book whether it is cloth and paper or digitally.


  1. I think it’s a wonderful plan, Gordon! I love the way you’re using your 10txt.com articles to inspire longer pieces!



    1. I’m excited to be doing it!🙂



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