Getting into writing – an interview with Jesse Stanchak of Micro Flash Fiction

Jesse_Stanchak

I’m Jesse Stanchak, and I run Micro Flash Fiction (@MicroFlashFic), a Twitter account that publishes 3 pieces of tweet-length fiction per day in a variety of genres. I’m a journalist by training but these days my day job is in marketing.

Why did you start your publication?

I’ve been writing since I was four. My current project started tweeting daily from @MicroFlashFic on July 11 2017, and I haven’t missed a day yet.

What is the most gratifying element of publishing the written word?

I love it when people respond to one of my Twitter stories with their own continuation or interpretation of my work — even when they take the story in a direction I never intended or anticipated. When someone builds on my work, I feel like I’ve met a fellow traveler on the road.

What are your happiest memories of your writing/publishing career?

I love when someone writes to me to tell me that they connected with my work on a personal level. My fiction comes from some pretty weird places. When someone says they’ve had the same thought, or experience, or emotion, I feel less alone. I don’t know what else I could ask for.

How do you handle success and failure?

I don’t handle failure well. That’s why I manage my fiction the way I do. I control the publication schedule. What I can’t control is the reception. When a story doesn’t do well, I stew on it. But I can’t do that for too long because I have to start working on the next story.

What makes you write when you’re exhausted, and your fingers ache?

The reason my project is structured the way it is (3 stories a day, no breaks) is so that I have to push through any creative blocks. When I feel stuck, I try to clear my mind of conscious thought. Something interesting invariably appears out of the void.

What is your advice to young and new writers?

Read a lot. Read lots of different kinds of stories. Read nonfiction. Read unfamiliar genres. Read stories by people who come from places you can’t go — other genders, races, sexualities, mental states, nationalities, religions. It’s how you grow as an artist and a person.

Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)

I’m a functionalist. Whatever gets you to consume more stories is a beautiful thing. I love paper, digital screens, audio, and interactive experiences. Reality is hard right now. We need the power of fiction, both as an escape and an inspiration.

Do you blog?

I lived in England for about 3 years. I had travel blog during that time. You can find the archives at travelswithstanchaks.wordpress.com. I’ve also run blogs for work. I like long-form writing, and I’d like to get back into it for myself someday.

Do you self-publish?

I write non-fiction for other people. All my fiction belongs to me.

Follow me at @microflashfic. The account publishes a lot of different kinds of stories in different genres, so if you don’t like the first one you see, you might still love the next one. If you want to get a feel for the variety of what appears on that account, check out:

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/951905894387933186

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/965786298169556992

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/956322979117457408

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/970009412764127232

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/953666474823991298

https://twitter.com/MicroFlashFic/status/961993567857242112 

 

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