Let’s face it. Even if you love writing, clacking out an 80 to 100 thousand word novel will suck up at least six months of time that you could probably spend doing something else. If you are a committed writer, you definitely feel the crunch between finishing the manuscript and living up to your daily obligations.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone from chiseling out a full length masterpiece, but the door to publication has several paths. One of them is short stories. And drafting these quick and sweet nuggets can be oh so forgiving to your schedule.
Whereas the short story market is rarely lucrative, one must understand that in ANY profession, you have to pay dues. Doctors must complete an internship with little or no pay; why should writers get off the hook?
A friend of mine, Betsy Dornbusch, who edits for the online magazine Electric Spec, said she was contacted through the website by a pretty well-known literary agency, looking for recommendations. I’ll state that again. An agent was actually querying a magazine to find an author rather than the other way around. Bet that got your attention. It probably helped that Electric Spec published a piece by Stuart Neville, who very shortly thereafter, got a book deal for The Ghost of Belfast which is getting all kinds of rave reviews.
Lest we forget, Stephen King wrote tons of short stories for magazines. Joe Hill, who has a striking resemblance to King, heh heh, focused on shorts as well before writing Heart Shaped Box.
Writing short stories, novella’s as well, was a shot in the arm for me. I felt like I could produce. Some were accepted for publication and some weren’t. Most importantly, I think it sped up my learning curve. I look forward to seeing your short titles soon.