On Why I’m Writing Short Stories — Essay

2 min readOct 24, 2020


(to be copied into my 2021 Annual Letter)

A couple of years ago, one of my peers at university told this story about how when she was running one morning around her neighourhood, a guy had come up to her and said. “Hey do you like my art? I created it.” She looked around at what this guy was referring to and saw some paintings at the art shop. So she said, “yeah that’s pretty good. I like that.” To which the guy was like: “not that” and pointed, to her utter horror and disgust, at a piece of poo on the ground.

That story has stuck with me ever since I heard it, and sometimes whenever I do something creative or ‘my own thing’, it creeps back up on me. I think that’s one of the greatest fears of anyone creative is to hear that something that they’ve invested a lot of time and effort into is nothing more than a piece of shit.

So I’m going to talk about the tangible benefits of writing that I’ve discovered, that doesn’t depend on other people’s opinions. Since starting to write, I’ve found that I’ve become more empathetic and more mindful of my interactions with other people.

I’ve start putting my subconscious to work noticing these things in real life. After all, these actions now matter more because they might end up in a story. I notice people walk around, how they walk, what they are dressed in, their mannerisms, and how they behave. I noticed things that play out in the world, and think ‘how can I put this into a story?’… What kind of theme am I actually looking for?

I’ve also noticed how I acted and a lot of my behaviour drives many of my characters as well. A lot of their characteristics come from myself as a person but taken to the extreme.

From the littleness and extreme anger of the failed video maker FunnyClips Brian (I kind of imaged myself as a social media star a few years ago) to the somewhat misogynist dreamer Jimmy Hudson (whom I blunted the misogyny in a later revision). Being engrossed in filter bubbles and conspiracy theories (FunnyClips B and Wizza The Barista). Trauma and the decision on whether you choose to pass on that pain or respond with never again (Bilgy Beagle).

Anyway, just to conclude, unless your art is literal shit on the ground, don’t worry that your labour of love is all just a waste of time. You’ll end up picking a lot of skills along the way. Maybe they might come in useful one day. Maybe not. But it’s all just fun today.




I've had this idea for Ausmerica, a country 300kms north of Hawaii since I was a child. Nowadays, I'm trying to get it out of my head and into the world.