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Writing and Instant Gratification- Ha!

The constant revising and editing process just gets to be too much sometimes, so I decided to try my hand at writing short stories.  I completed my first one, and I’m almost nervous to say this, but it was easy in comparison to what I’ve been working on lately.  Instead of wondering whether what I was writing on page two-hundred conflicted with what I’d written on page two, I had the most amazing sense of freedom.  And, the best part, people really seemed to enjoy the story!

It wasn’t just a short story though, I had bigger plans.  I was going to write a short story series!  I fleshed out each detail of the story, back stories of even the most minor characters, and almost every aspect of how my world worked.  I wrote three short stories in total, glorying in their creation.  And as I submitted the second story in the series to my peers, I felt confident, ready to take on the world!

Then someone broke the news to me.  I was not, in fact, writing a short story.  Somewhere along the way, it’d become a novella, or perhaps even a novel.

All I wanted was a short story, perhaps a bit of instant gratification in a field where gratification can take years or longer!  But, no, this mystical aspiration slid from my grasp.

With this new knowledge, everything had changed.  Gone was the ease, and in its place, the familiar feeling of anxiety, making it impossible for me to write.

This isn’t writer’s block, oh no, this is something more.  It’s like getting out of a long relationship and just wanting to date and have “fun,” only to find yourself stuck in a relationship with the first guy you go out with.

I didn’t want to “get involved” with this new story, but I have.  I love this story.  I love all the characters and the world.  But will I be able to get over the stomach-wrenching feeling of being trapped once more in the complications of writing a novel?  Or can I keep things “casual”?  Have you ever experienced something like this?  How did you get through it?

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  1. Yup, been there & done that, LOL. I think most writer’s have. The whole journey is a roller coaster ride, and going uphill is where you learn more about yourself. *Try* not to stress. Maybe it should be a longer piece, but first, just write. Editing is where you worry about pg200 conflicting with pg2 😉

  2. I’m not sure I know how to write short stories. They just don’t intrigue me enough so every idea I seem to have grows and grows until its too much for anything but a novel length story. I don’t know maybe that should be my next exercise. Forcng myself to write a story in 5,000 words or less.

  3. I love the short story format. But I still get into relationships with my characters that feel long term at times. And although I don’t have to deal with page 200, my obligation (or commitment if you will keeping with the relationship analogy) is to stay true to the characters voice throughout the piece. If you read short stories, you pick up a rhythm. If you want to have fun try some flash fiction.

  4. Contradictions are to be ignored while you are in the flow.

    Editors have to earn their money!

  5. Thanks guys! I’ll try to keep all of this in mind. 🙂


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