A book of short stories

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
What do you guys think the purpose of publishing a small book of short stories is? Am I high, or is it a waste of time? I mean, I know it probably is. I have no fantasies of getting rich off such a thing, but what are the reasons we would do this? Is it all ego? Whether we do it ourselves or find an indie, or even a major traditional publisher to do it, these are not the kinds of publications that make writers careers. I have been working on a collection and have been wondering why I'm even proceeding. At first I was just wondering how long it needed to be, then wondering if they all needed to be previously published, and now I don't know why I'd do it at all. I swear, I'm such a neurotic spaz. Help?
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
Do you need to know why? If you are capable & can, then I say go for it. You are a great writer. Many of us, myself included, are neurotic spazzes. Actually, I was made fun of and called spazz when I was a kid. Bullies. Haven't thought of that in a long time. Made it about me. Whoops. I think of the saying "Don't try." It, I think also means. "Do." so... do.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
You don't need a reason. If you're compelled to sit down and write stories, that's all the reason you need.

No, no one will read it, they certainly won't buy it, maybe some critics will give glowing reviews and your friends will say "oh! impressive" but still not buy your book, and.... sorry, I seem to be projecting. 😏

Put together a book. The stories don't have to be previously published. I actually wrote a story on a deadline for my book because the publisher didn't think the book was long enough. That being said, don't worry about length.

And neurotic spazzes make the best writers.
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
Thanks guys. You always know how to make me feel better. I did get one story published in a university pub. It's not out yet, but I'll let ya'll know when it's up. That was after submitting to about 50 places though. I can always keep trying and even keep trying before, after, and during publishing the short story book. I mean, if I can get the confidence in place. You guys seem to be my source for it. Seriously.
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Over 1000 posts
I say the reason for most artistic projects is this: It's as good a way to pass our time as anything else...and maybe somewhere someone else gets something out of it. I say go for it...damn the torpedoes!
 
Firstly, I really don't think you should tie what your writing into "making a career." A writer writes what she/he needs to write. Period. That is, if you're a real writer. I'm not saying to forego thinking about your career, only that if a short story needs to come out of you then why stop it?

And I disagree about the short story form not being able to propel one into greater recognition. Amy Hempel, who I believe writes SSs exclusively, was just long-listed for the Pen Faulkner. Deborah Eisenberg, also writing only in that form I believe, has won great acclaim, including a Macarthur, for her work. A.M. Homes continues to publish books of SSs as does TC Boyle and other well known authors. Whether you like them or not, they are successful and recognized.

I myself have a MS of short fiction ready for publication. I put a lot of sweat and blood into it. Oddly, my fiction pieces seem to fall into the "novelette" length, between 7500--20,000 words. I'm hoping that's one of the reasons I'm finding them hard to place in the lit journals. (I also refuse to PAY to have my work considered but that's another "story.")

Don't forget also--whatever we write with our heart makes us a better writer.
 
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