Short Break from Long Stuff

I just started a revision and expansion of Refuge, one of my short stories. It’s currently around 4,500 words, and I hope to get it up to between 6,000 and 7,000 words. Why, when I’m trying to get Bentham’s Dream finished, am I veering off again? There’s certainly some burnout here–really good progress for a while, and then the wall. Maybe jumping from getting Camp Expendable out of my hair right into another big project wasn’t a good idea.

One reason to switch off is the nagging need to publish, to start making up for the last two dead years. Even a short story is a right step in that direction, and it can be done comparatively fast. From that point of view, it can relieve the pressure to get Dream written and published as fast as possible. Fast doesn’t work for me, so some downtime is never a bad thing. As long as it doesn’t turn into nevernever time. I’m always going to be switching back and forth between projects, but maybe using a short story for burnout breaks will keep me from switching to one of the long WIPs and keep me on target with Dream.

I’m thinking all this through as I’m writing, and I think I see how spending some time with short stories might break into my dysfunctional pattern of jumping constantly between novels, which just delays finishing any of them. That’s probably a big contributor to that period of publishing nothing at all. So a new pattern would be: work on a novel or novella until I reach burnout. Take time out with a short story, and then go back to that novel or novella. Repeat until publication.

It could work. Something has to work, before I’m too old and feeble for it to matter any more.


3 thoughts on “Short Break from Long Stuff

  1. Sounds good to me. i wonder if that’s what I’ve been doing all these years. And of course, the money short stories might attract is always nice. Have you looked at The Sun Magazine out of Chapel Hill (I think), NC? They take stories up to 7,000 words. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m thinking of having a go.

    1. I used to read The Sun years and years ago. I’ll have to check them out again. And thanks for the head bump. I was thinking only in terms of putting this story on Amazon. I should look around and see if there’s some place it might be worth submitting to.

  2. I’m publishing something soon, too, and it’s a LOT shorter than yours. It’s like the length of legs, though: just long enough to reach from your trunk to the floor.

    What would give you the most PLEASURE? The intermediate projects should be stories of the heart.

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