A Short Story a Week vs a Novel Every 5 Years

Would you rather write one short story every week, or a novel every 5 years? It’s an interesting question, and largely depends on the problem you’re solving for. I think I’d rather have a novel every 5 years. Here’s why.

My WIP is a serious attempt at making art. I’m more interested in making something goo,d or at least something that I’m happy with, than making money. To do that I’m willing to put in as much time as necessary to carefully craft it.

I write for a living, mostly non-fiction. If I were making a living with fiction, writing a short story per week would make financial sense. I could constantly be querying, putting things up on my blog and other sites, self-publishing anthologies.

The whole reason I’m working on writing a novel is to give myself a creative reprieve from the constant grind of hack work. It’s not that writing for money can’t be creatively fulfilling. Having to do things fast doesn’t mean that I don’t try to make every piece as good as it can be given the resource limitations I have to work within. There is something satisfying, though, about having a side project that is about making art for art’s sake, with no other pressures.

The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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