"Writing is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent elimination," Louise Brooks once said. Probably no phrase could describe Peter Chiykowski's work better. This Canadian author writes short stories that fit on a postcard, and he's nailing them, too. He said that his creative writing style is hard to pin down and he switches and mashes up genres and tones, but that's part of what makes his interesting stories so unique. You never know what the next sentence is gonna be.

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Chiykowski has been pursuing his dream of making a living off his creative ideas for the past three years. "I've cobbled together a full-time career writing inspiring stories, drawing webcomics, appearing at conventions, developing for the tabletop RPG EMBERWIND, and running Kickstarters, like one I have going right now for my short stories and deck of story prompts," he told Bored Panda.

"I have a weird background as a freelance writer and illustrator in a bunch of random genres. I've worked on everything from video games to pinball machines to literary poetry to Korean comic translations. It's a weird life, but I love it. I think that's why my motivational stories take on so many genres and styles."

"I've always been a big reader of just about every genre," Chiykowski said. "I started off writing poems and short stories for Canadian literary journals in 2009ish, which was around the time my webcomic Rock Paper Cynic started taking off. I had more and more work to do on the webcomic and less and less time for short stories, which sometimes took weeks to finish. Over time, I stopped writing stories altogether."

#3

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Kai
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To my mind came college and changing/dropping it 👏

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As it turned out, microfiction was probably the only way he'd ever get writing inspiration again. "The longer I went without writing, the more I'd have these weird little nugget-ideas for short story premises. I'd jot them down and daydream about what I'd write "when I find the time. It took a few years for me to realize I'd never find the time, so I decided to make the time. I started off trying to write down these ultra-short stories, and because I was so used to visual storytelling from my webcomic, I experimented with different graphic formats."

#4

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Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My social skills in a nutshell. ♥

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The one that really stuck with him was the 'postcard story' that became the basis for his project, Shortest Story. "I loved the idea that these felt like postcards sent from parallel realities, alternate selves and impossible worlds that feel familiar even while being full of fantasy or horror or science fiction. I loved that every narrator could be you."

"It helped that inspiration was out there. A Small Fiction by James Miller is an incredible example of the power of microfiction, and the photo-comic A Softer World by Joey Comeau and Emily Horne has always been a favorite of mine."

"The best time to start your creative project was yesterday. The next best time is today," the author added. "It's a cliche, but it's a damn good one. If you have a creative project you've been wanting to pursue, give yourself permission to try and to fail. Start now. Go ahead and make a joyous mess of it. The worst that can happen is that you do a horrible job and no one but you ever knows about it. But even that will let you learn something so you can start again on stronger footing tomorrow. There's a version of you one year in the future who is looking back through time at you at this exact moment, and they're wishing they could tell you to just go for it. I'd listen to them. They're from the future, so they know what's up!"

#7

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KT Trondsen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aww so sad. Trust your mom and tell her, she loves you more than anyone else in this world <3

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#8

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Dani
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"I want to write a book, but I'm scared nobody will read it." "Well, how many people will read it if you don't write it?"

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#14

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SacredPistachio
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

if you cant beat em, burn them for the rest of time for a useful cause :P

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#16

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Kiss Army
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My husband and I have literally have more books than some small libraries. The last time we moved, every time one of our friends passed carrying another box of books, they yelled "LIBRARY CARD!" We have gotten e-readers but we still have not given up our precious collection.

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#17

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Grapeling
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one is beautiful. It's implicit but also easily understood. Great job :D

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#21

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Wes
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This could be the new Dexter, that text could be the opening monologue before each episode.

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#23

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Ryo Bakura
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Our successes and failures make us who we are. And global events, bad or good, have given us the lives we have now. There's plenty of people who wish they did something, or didn't do something, they feel they should have done, but they wouldn't be the same people they are now, or here at all, had they acted.

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#25

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Grapeling
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because whoever had that monopoly set before you also played it and we've grown used to it

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#26

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who hears it with the voice of DEATH from Discworld?

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#27

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A B C
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Whoa. Tripping while diving sounds AWESOME! Pretty f*cking dangerous and deadly, but awesome!

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#30

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Donna Faye
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a veteran, the things you've witnessed or seen cannot be unseen. There's good and bad to being a veteran. Some things you miss about war and some things you don't. I interpret this story as a way of saying that after war, you're changed and just want to live and cannot be at peace until you die.

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#32

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Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Turns out - it wasn't the doll, it was your mind that was haunted.

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#33

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JJM
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'll take the last one. Can't live your life full of regrets.

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#34

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S.
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I now need a novel based on this! Not just this post, but the entire post, if you will.

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#35

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Jason M
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"We'll just call it Ambient White Noise..."

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Note: this post originally had 209 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.

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