No, I'm not quitting.
But I'm not sure how to approach short stories anymore. Not the writing of them, but the sharing of them with readers.
I took a good, long look over my records the other day. I've had seven stories published, as per contract, for which I was never paid. Granted, the total lost pay lands just over $100...
But I signed contracts, right?
Seven stories (an unlucky number?) under contract were never published. Combined, these "stolen" stories and orphans represent about 10% of my published/accepted work. Wait--10% is a pretty big chunk, right?
Several markets have closed in the past six months to a year. I know short stories are not profitable for publishers. Are they profitable for authors? Not really--not in terms of dollars and cents. Even my biggest paydays, two "professional" sales, averaged only a few dollars per hour spent honing those tales. I can schelp lumber for customers at the local Home Depot for much more and get a workout to boot. Money isn't why I write, of course.*
It sours me on shorts a little. 10%. 10%
I'm in "novel" mode now, and that's okay. Thanks to a long weekend away from home and a Phillip K. Dick novel, I now have another novel idea and I'm itching to write.
But I cut my teeth on short stories. I love them, so I won't be saying goodbye.
At least I don't think so...
What the h#ll does "cutting one's teeth" mean, anyway?
*I do it for the free pizza.