Everything needs a month and, apparently, short stories are no exception. May is Short Story Month. Who knew? Fitting as I just received my issue of Sierra Nevada Review with my short story in it. So maybe this month is all about me?
For many, many years, all I wrote were short stories (and short creative nonfiction). I would labor over a story for months, workshop it, think about it, re-write it. And then I’d send it out. I always liked to have a few stories on submission.
But at some point, when I went to send another story out on submission, I realized I didn’t have a back log. “Where are all my stories?” I thought with panic. “What the hell have I been doing that I have no stories!” And I seriously couldn’t figure out where my time had gone and why I didn’t have any new stories.
And then I remembered. Oh yes. The novel. I’ve been writing a novel. Which doesn’t provide a diversity of pieces, but one major piece. Whereas writing short stories is a months-long process, noveling is a years-long process, and while I’m doing it, I’m not working on shorter pieces. Yet despite the fact that I have a 300-plus paged novel that I love, I feel like I haven’t been productive because I don’t have a stack of short stories.
The novel, though, is done. And last night, I started working on a new short story. My fast twitch muscles are a little out of shape, after all the endurance training, and I’m a bit breathless trying to get my ideas down, but they’re coming. It feels great, like meeting up with an old friend.
While you’re waiting for my short story, you can entertain yourself with this great video from OpenRoad Media about writing short stories:
Time to write! Shortly!