Friday, 24 June 2011

Why I'm no Longer Writing Short Stories

In my blog bio and my twitter bio for that matter, I have the information that I write short stories.

I have had a couple of short stories published and have been listed in the Brighton Cow short story competition. I was thrilled with this. What writer wouldn't be? To do a piece of work that is loved and have someone validate it in such a way. I know many writers who have taken the love of the short story and done really well with it. They have multiple pieces published and been listed or won writing competitions. It really is a great feeling.

I however, have stopped writing short stories for now. My dream from childhood has been to write a novel. As a full time worker in a day job with two children I just don't have the time to work on my novel and write short stories as well. I had to make a decision. I have taken the decision that I will focus on my novel.

I'm not snubbing the short story or it's writers. I love short stories. In fact I really love flash fiction. Pushing the ability to tell a story in so few words. I love a good short story. You get a quick fix with the ending so close, but I'm now in for the long haul and my nose is to the grindstone of the novel length story.

I have a dream to write and have published, a series of crime novels with a female protagonist. What I'm working on at the moment is my first step towards that dream. I intend to work hard at it which is why the time I have for writing, has to be given solely to the novel.

Maybe I should change my biography. Not completely. I'm proud of my short story work, but I think I just need to alter it a little to show my main focus as aspiring crime writer novelist.


  1. Don't change it. I feel the same as you and don't want to set time aside to write short stories or poetry as I'd like to because I would rather spend it on novel writing and article writing.

    That's where my lovely writers' group comes in. 2 hours every week to do something completely different, and that's where my flash fiction is coming from. I also think I might allow myself time to write one short story every 6 months or something, just for the practice and the enjoyment of completing something!

    But whatever you do, there's no need to change your bio - you have written short stories, so you are a short story writer! :)

  2. I agree with Clare... just because you're not writing them now doesn't mean you never will again. It's okay (and good) to prioritise, but you don't have to say no stories forever... just no stories for now.

  3. If you really wanted to change your bio (and I'm using your 'about me' as an example here), maybe you could swap the first two sentences around; but I'm with the others, definitely don't take the information out.

    Good on you for having a plan of action, time is very precious!

  4. We can only do so much with our writing and eventually I think we all find our niche. Once you've started writing any kind of story, it's like riding a bike; you never forget how to do it.

    CJ xx

  5. I also write fewer short stories than I used to in the interest of spending more time on my novels and novellas.

  6. I'm the same. I write very little that isn't to do with one of my novels.

    Short stories tend to break my speed.


    Good luck with chasing your dream.

  7. I just can't believe you juggle so much into your life as it is. Fretting about the 'about me' section is not on the top of your to do list I imagine. I just wish I could blithely write I have published.....

    Jokes aside, your about me is fine, if you want to tweak it do so but none of it as others have said is not true.

    On mine, the dog I talk of is no longer with us and is replaced by another rescue one. I think I may have mentioned my kids ages,they are older now, but I can't remember... ummm think I should be off to look at my 'about me'.

    You are a multi tasking individual, the details are inconsequential.

  8. Clare - Thanks Clare. I probably won't change it but maybe jig it around a little. I'm feeling really motivated for this novel.

    India - You're right. I'm enjoying the novel right now, but they may be something I do in the future again.

    Sarah - Thanks Sarah. I think you're right, I will just have a change around and write the bio as my priorities currently are.

    CJ - There is only so much time in a day isn't there. I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now, but will probably try my hand at some shorts again at some point in the future.

    Ranae- It's all about the prioritising isn't it and working on what's currently important.

    Thanks Misha. It's hard to remember everything I'm putting in the novel without breaking that concentration and writing something else.

    Achelios - Thank you. It is a bit of a juggle at times, but I love doing it.

  9. Don't change your bio. Like you, I've written short stories and had some published. Now I'm concentrating on my novels. But those publications were still an achievement!

    Ellie Garratt

  10. At first I thought you were going to write a post about the disadvantages of the form, and was so relieved to see that wasn't the case!

    It's totally understandable that you want to focus on something else, so go and do that, but as other have mentioned there's no reason to take short stories off of your profile

  11. Ellie - You are right. They are something I have done and that doesn't alter by moving on to something different. Thank you.

    Jenny - No, I don't see disadvantages with short stories. I really enjoy them and they have been good to me, helping me practice my work. I hope to go back to them at some point.