Motivation Monday: The Big Power of a Little Story

Hi, there. Are you an essayist or a short story writer who has tried to make it into the big leagues of memoir and novel-writing? Here’s something for you today.

I think about the “big leagues” of writing often. Novelists and memoirists get all the acclaim, and the glitz and glitter attracts me like a socialite to a Harry Winston store. In comparison, it makes my contributions to literature seem… tiny. Shallow. Unaffecting and trivial.

Do you feel that way sometimes?


Short stories and little essays and single poems have a lot of power. In fact, can you remember the last time you were exalted or devastated by just a single sentence? Maybe it was, “We’d like to offer you the job,” or “I want a divorce,” or “Mom’s in the hospital, and you should get here soon.”

Words are powerful. And the curious thing is the sheer amount of words doesn’t add to or diminish their power; sure, short stories don’t make the Times bestseller list, but they can still leave a reader undone, unmade, and transformed.

Maybe you were in the big leagues all along.

Do you worry about making it into the “big leagues”? I know I do. I try not to. Share your experience in the comments.