Time challenges: My short fiction conundrum

The journal continues, and I’m surprised at how much pent up reflection, brainstorming, story ideas and more it’s generated for me. I journaled (I don’t care, it’s a verb to me) for years and never felt like I got much out of it. Maybe I should take a look back at those stacks of notebooks and reassess.

This morning I sat down and started thinking about short stories. I’ve never focused too much on them. I enjoy reading them but I usually defer to reading full-length novels rather than shorts, novelettes or novellas. And I feel pretty much the same about writing them. I could focus my energy on writing short stories, but I’m always afraid it will distract me from novel writing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are a lot of novelists who aren’t very good at or flat out just don’t write shorts.

On the other hand, I look back at this blog, and it’s been going in this incarnation for pushing two years now. I’ve been talking a lot about writing, the writing business and issues related to my genre. The only problem is that I don’t have anything to share with people and it occurs to me that generating some short fiction would be a quicker way to allow people to get familiar with my work.

It’s not for lack of ideas either, I’ve got a collection of story ideas that I’ve been cultivating for a long time now. I always thought they were novel ideas but being able to pick what stories can support a novel is a discussion for another time.

In the interest of starting to get some exposure around my work, I’m reconsidering my reticence to go short.  More importantly though, I’m coming at it with a definite need to become more well rounded as a writer. I need to be able to identify for myself the short vs. long boundary and be satisfied with both. Regarding time concerns, I may have to accept that this will delay the editing process on my first novel and the writing of the second. There are, unfortunately, only so many hours in the day.

Are you a traditional novelist considering getting into shorts? Are you someone who is or has been in my situation? Leave me a comment!