Indie Author Weekly

087: Why you should write short stories

November 24, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 88
Indie Author Weekly
087: Why you should write short stories
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Indie Author Weekly
087: Why you should write short stories
Nov 24, 2020 Episode 88
Sagan Morrow

In this episode of Indie Author Weekly, I want to share about my recent experience with writing a short story… and why I’ll be doing that on a monthly basis from now on. 

I actually had plans to publish my next romcom, Small Town Stilettos, within the next few weeks. But about a month ago, I realized that I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself to hurry up and edit that book and then publish it. There are other aspects of my business that I also need to focus on, and if I prioritized Small Town Stilettos right now, I’d just be pulled in way too many directions all at once. So I decided that I needed to take a step back and slow down a bit. 

I don’t know about you, but impatience is definitely a weakness of mine. I’ve been able to channel and reframe it into a strength in a lot of ways, because I’m very action-oriented… but I need to remind myself in these situations that it’s not a race, and that I don’t need to hustle every single day to get things done in a rush. So with that in mind, I’ll be working on Small Town Stilettos at a slower pace over the next couple months, and I’ll likely publish it in February or March.  

In the meantime, you can learn more about that book and add it to your To Read list on Goodreads by searching “Small Town Stilettos”... I’ll also drop the link in the show notes of this episode.  

Anyway, when I made that decision, I knew that I still wanted to work on creative writing projects on an ongoing basis. I wanted something smaller that I can complete quickly, without it taking a huge amount of time and energy out of my week, the way that full-length novels do. And that’s where the idea of writing short stories comes in…

TUNE IN to this episode to find out why I'm writing short stories (and why you should, too). 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode: 

Let's chat about this episode: 

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Indie Author Weekly, I want to share about my recent experience with writing a short story… and why I’ll be doing that on a monthly basis from now on. 

I actually had plans to publish my next romcom, Small Town Stilettos, within the next few weeks. But about a month ago, I realized that I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself to hurry up and edit that book and then publish it. There are other aspects of my business that I also need to focus on, and if I prioritized Small Town Stilettos right now, I’d just be pulled in way too many directions all at once. So I decided that I needed to take a step back and slow down a bit. 

I don’t know about you, but impatience is definitely a weakness of mine. I’ve been able to channel and reframe it into a strength in a lot of ways, because I’m very action-oriented… but I need to remind myself in these situations that it’s not a race, and that I don’t need to hustle every single day to get things done in a rush. So with that in mind, I’ll be working on Small Town Stilettos at a slower pace over the next couple months, and I’ll likely publish it in February or March.  

In the meantime, you can learn more about that book and add it to your To Read list on Goodreads by searching “Small Town Stilettos”... I’ll also drop the link in the show notes of this episode.  

Anyway, when I made that decision, I knew that I still wanted to work on creative writing projects on an ongoing basis. I wanted something smaller that I can complete quickly, without it taking a huge amount of time and energy out of my week, the way that full-length novels do. And that’s where the idea of writing short stories comes in…

TUNE IN to this episode to find out why I'm writing short stories (and why you should, too). 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode: 

Let's chat about this episode: 

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing books, such as my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Get podcast episodes and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. In this episode, I want to share about my recent experience with writing a short story… and why I’ll be doing that on a monthly basis from now on.

I actually had plans to publish my next romcom, Small Town Stilettos, within the next few weeks. But about a month ago, I realized that I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself to hurry up and edit that book and then publish it. There are other aspects of my business that I also need to focus on, and if I prioritized Small Town Stilettos right now, I’d just be pulled in way too many directions all at once. So I decided that I needed to take a step back and slow down a bit.

I don’t know about you, but impatience is definitely a weakness of mine. I’ve been able to channel and reframe it into a strength in a lot of ways, because I’m very action-oriented… but I need to remind myself in these situations that it’s not a race, and that I don’t need to hustle every single day to get things done in a rush. So with that in mind, I’ll be working on Small Town Stilettos at a slower pace over the next couple months, and I’ll likely publish it in February or March. 

In the meantime, you can learn more about that book and add it to your To Read list on Goodreads by searching “Small Town Stilettos”... I’ll also drop the link in the show notes of this episode. 

Anyway, when I made that decision, I knew that I still wanted to work on creative writing projects on an ongoing basis. I wanted something smaller that I can complete quickly, without it taking a huge amount of time and energy out of my week, the way that full-length novels do. And that’s where the idea of writing short stories comes in…

My dad had texted me back in September, telling me about the CBC short story competition, and he encouraged me to write and submit something. I figured, sure, why not. 

At the time, I was also going through one of my worst bouts of nightmare disorder. I ended up turning one of my nightmares into a short story, and it felt very cathartic and empowering to turn it into a piece of creative writing. It was super creepy and it felt easy to write it. The story flowed very smoothly, and it also seemed to temporarily relieve my nightmares, which is incredible. 

It only took me two hours to write and edit it, plus another 20 minutes or so to review the competition guidelines and to submit my story. That’s not bad! 

I got both my dad and my spouse, Mr Science, to read my short story ahead of time. They both had great feedback, and because of the length of the story, it enabled me to get really specific with my questions—I asked questions like, “is it creepy enough? Does it feel too heavy-handed? Was there anything in this story that didn’t work, or a particular area that you think could use improvement?”

When I initially gave it to them to read, I just said, “Will you read this draft and let me know what you think?” Again, because it was such a short story, I felt like this was a great way to get their feedback without specifically trying to direct their attention to any particular area right away. 

For example, if I had specifically asked them “is it creepy enough?” before they even read the story, that might have biased them into specifically reading the story through that lens. By asking that question after the fact, they could tell me right away what their impression was. And they could also reread or skim the story again to read it through that new lens if needed. 

This is a bit trickier to do with traditional beta readers for a full-length novel, because they probably aren’t going to want to reread it multiple times in a row to answer each question. But with a story that’s just 1,500 words long, that’s much more doable. 

With all of this in mind, I’ve decided to start writing creepy thriller short stories, based on my nightmares, and submit them to publications on a monthly basis. One short story each month. If I win a competition, that’s awesome! And if not, then I’ll have a collection of short stories I’ll be able to publish in a little anthology a year or two from now. Win-win. 

And yes, I am definitely still writing full-length novels and continuing with my genre of writing romcoms! However, because I can write short stories much faster and potentially earn an income from them by submitting them to competitions, it just makes sense for that to have a higher priority at this point in my business. I won’t be writing and publishing my novels quite as quickly as I have in the past, and that’s okay! It’s not a race, and the important thing is that the progress continues to happen. 

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you find it easy to write short stories? Have you thought about trying that out, if fitting a novel into your schedule is a challenge right now? 

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it, or to let me know if you have requests for future episode topics. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support. 

And let’s stay in touch: Get podcast and book updates delivered directly to your inbox, plus unlock awesome bonuses such as free chapters of my books, at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.