A few friends coaxed me into trying Idol, and I wanted to stretch myself as I writer, so I thought, Why not? I had written fanfic for 7 years when I signed up, but only a siingle Original Fiction story. This seemed like a great opportunity to try doing more original fiction, and at the end of week 35 it looks as if I got 28 more fiction stories out of it, which pleases me greatly. I tried out a lot of different genres, including the obvious humor and drama entries. But I also did a fable, a police procedural, several dystopian stories, horror (! Twice, even!), fantasy, poetry, and Sci-Fi. Plus, you all showed me that a person CAN by god write Crack and have it be enjoyed. :D
I guess it's better to go out with a good story than to have weeks of thinking, "Dang, why did I half-ass that thing?" afterward. The truth is, I wrote all of these stories to the best of my ability. Sometimes the prompt left me feeling high and dry, but I wrote the idea I got for it as well as I could. For this last prompt, Sins Of Omissions, my immediate idea was a nonfiction entry on my nephew, a Russian orphan whose adoptive family is now caught in a living hell because of things the adoption agency hid from them. I think that would have been a safer entry, in terms of votes, but it just seemed too exploitative to do that. Given that I lost in the other poll as well, it wouldn't have mattered, so I'm really glad I didn't do that. Instead, I risked a new genre for a story that been tugging at me for two weeks now, and which the prompt worked really well for. No regrets.
I could certainly have played this last part smarter, by taking an Immunity instead of a Bye, but these are the kinds of mistakes a newbie makes! Once someone had written a story as my Champion, I couldn't in good conscience take the Bye for this week, and IF I survived I knew I'd need it during the next two weekends of vacation at my Dad's Internet-free house. So I went for the "avoid writing at all" choice instead of the "Oh noes, I'm dying in the polls!" choice. In hindsight, that was pretty stupid, but I'll enjoy my vacation more. I've been expecting to be voted out for about 25 weeks now, so it's not as if I'm not ready. :)
I want to thank all of you for your support—people on my Friends-list who have tolerated my endless Idol entries in the place of fanfic, those of you who actually liked the original fic better (!), and all of the other Idol contestants.
Idolers, you have shown me so much with your own writing for these prompts, and through your comments on my work. I've read stunning nonfiction entries here, and many original short stories that would put some published authors to shame. You have helped me become a better writer, and you have moved me and entertained me week after week with your wonderful stories.
Thank you for having me along for the ride. And if you can risk the liberal politics and the slash fanfic, please—friend away!