Writing novels takes a long time. Even if you publish your first draft (don’t you dare publish your first draft) it still takes months to write that. Then you have rewrites all over the place—if your lucky. Sometimes you have to start over completely with zero words. I’ve done that twice with Book 3. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t accomplished anything.
It feels so good to finish a project so it is demoralizing when it takes a long time for it to happen.
To avoid getting down about it every so often I switch gears and spend a day or two writing a short story. Specifically a King and Wakefield mystery. I give them a case to solve and then write until it’s done. The longest word count is 11k and the shortest is only 2.5k. At the end of the day I finish a story and feel like I’ve accomplished something. I now have four King/Wakefield short stories sitting in my back pocket.
I don’t know what I’m doing with them yet. Maybe I’ll wait until I have a dozen or so and then publish them all at once Netflix style or maybe I’ll draw it out like broadcast TV. Maybe I’ll stick one at the end of Book 3 for fun. That’s a decision for later.
The point of this blog is that short stories offer a break from the stress of novel writing. It especially helps for me that each story has the same protagonists and I know everything about them so it is easy for me to slip into their heads and solve crime.
Sometimes I wake up and look at the work I have to do and get exhausted. but if my distraction from novel writing is short story writing then at least I’m getting something done.