Charli Mills’s theme for this week’s flash fiction is futuristic. In her preamble leading up to the topic she discusses the idea that writers may well share some strengths but clearly not necessarily all be the same. She’s fascinated by strengths and how we use them and clearly likes to test herself by choosing a topic she feels isn’t one of hers: writing about the future.
I read all this – no, to be honest, I’ve had quite a week – I scanned her post last week until I got to the topic, played around with inventing my star wars name (distracted by novelty) and then let the blank page in my head irritate and intimidate me until there was no time left, but to get on with the task over lunch today. Sigh. Clearly being futuristic is not my strength either.
What turns out to be fascinating though is – at this point, having written the piece below, I then went back to read her scene setting post properly.
In there she briefly discusses Donald Clifton’s concept of working with strengths to get the most out of people in the workplace, rather than that traditional focus we have of pulling everyone up on what they’re bad at.
I’ve always been a non-conformist. Fortunately, whilst much of society doesn’t appreciate that, those recognising the need for change and progress sometimes do. I’ve been recruited with my ‘rebel’ personality profile deliberately by two large organisations who wanted to shake up the status quo. My unwillingness to put up and shut up or simply accept ‘facts’ most likely saved my life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer because I tend to make my own mind up about things rather than be a sheep.
Anyway, not sure if this makes sense to anyone who thinks in a linear way (not my strength!) but finally I pulled out my own “StrengthsFinder” questionnaire to remind myself what the Donald Clifton model would put as my top strength and it is “Individualization” – “People strong in the individualisation theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person.”
I guess this means I’m also keen that others also respect what is unique about me.
Without having read any of this I had already written my 99 words, subconsciously worrying about a future where there’s no room for the individual and where being different would continue to be punished. I hope I’m wrong.
In 99 words (no more, no less) write a futuristic story that looks ahead.
“Well? Which do you want? Time’s up..”
Reili may as well have picked one at random. She hadn’t enough credits to enter the Utopiverses. The damage to her arm had reduced her choices to live the remainder of her life as a warning to others – the insights they gave children in order to control their behaviour.
Having disobeyed the ‘restraints’ and injured herself riding that 21st century museum exhibit she was destined to be a lesson to all non-conformists.
Now at the junction of the quantum she only had the dystopiverses to choose from.
“That one..” she sighed.