Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why It Pays To Write The Short Stuff

…and I’m not just talking about the “mailbox money” I’m earning from writing for “the Trues.”

1. Keeps your writing muscles exercised.

2. Allows you to more easily grasp an entire story arc since the writing process is truncated.

3. Can actually increase your productivity. Writing 10 pages in a day is MUCH easier when you can type THE END at, er, THE END.

4. Is a great distraction from working on your novel-length story. Meaning, when you’re stalled on the WIP, you can get a fresh perspective from writing something different without totally switching gears for a long period of time.

5. Rinse, lather, repeat. When you write a bunch of these in succession, you start to get the rhythm of what a story—of any length—really boils down to.

6. Psychological success. In between waiting for hell to freeze over while your manuscript claws its way to the top of the slush, it’s nice to get a little positive reinforcement. (Item 6 is also known as the You Love Me, You Really Love Me factor).

7. Keeps you legal. While waiting for “the call,” having income to report on your tax return keeps the IRS from laughing hysterically at your deductions.

8. Makes you a hit at cocktail parties. Okay, so they’d be more impressed if you introduced yourself as J.K. Rowling. Still…some people are fascinated to hear you write for “those magazines.”

9. Makes you a hit at cocktail parties, part 2. Hey, these stories are true, right? Try telling people all those lurid tales really happened to someone “you know.”

10. Hey, sometimes in life, there are only NINE.

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