In response to What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say on Medium by Kyle G. Jones.

How my first short story got published

I had to run. I had less than an hour to get to the writing seminar and I haven’t even written my story for the event. Without even the slightest idea about what to write about I was quite lost.

I got to the subway, shoving people aside to get to my destination as fast as possible. While travelling, I was thinking about different scenarios. The buzzword for the month was animal. “That’s too broad,” I thought.

I got off, reached the surface and looked for the first fast food restaurant I could find. I rushed in, ordered the smallest menu and sat down to write. I had less than fifteen minutes to come up with something.

“What should I write?” was the only thing I could think of. I started searching for memories in connection with my task and found a suitable dream of mine about a leopard.

In the dream I’m living in a big house in the mountains. It’s very safe there, no one bothers me, I even have a glass door as my front door installed. One day I wake up, brew coffee and turn on the TV when I hear a meow. At first I think it’s from the TV but I hear it again. I turn off the TV now and begin looking for the source. I find a small, cute leopard outside my door.

The rest of the dream is not relevant, the point is I used that as the basis. Because the leopard was in a dream I immediately associated shamanism with it. In certain shamanic cultures an initiation of the shaman is a dream where the dreamer’s spirit animal pays a visit and basically tears the shaman into pieces, before getting pieced together again. This symbolises the dreamer becoming a real, fully initiated shaman. I may not be correct about it, but this is how I remember the ceremony.

So in fifteen minutes I did all this thinking and wrote one page. 2,263 characters. I still had to get to the seminar though, so I was late, but it wasn’t a big deal.

The seminars always started with a lecture. After that, we read our short stories so everyone could offer suggestions and correct stylistics. The author who held the seminar liked my short story so much that it actually became my first short story ever published.

My first short story ever published was something I’ve written in fifteen minutes in a fast food restaurant.

For me it was hilarious. I always reach for my memories when I have no idea what to write about and give it a twist, but I didn’t think it would ever get me published.

Thank you Kyle G Jones, I enjoyed reading the article, just wanted to share a different method for breaking through writer’s block.