Why write short stories?

The short answer to this is because all the bad asses of the literary world have: Flannery O’ Conner,  Joyce Carol Oates, Hemingway, Raymond Carver and the list goes on.

But why ask this question? Because I like the short story. I like writing them and I like reading them, but the problem is that they don’t really sell. Sure, don’t write because you want to make money, write because you love the craft. That’s cool. I get that. I’ve been doing that for a very long time. Eventually, I’d like to make some money. Enough money so that I can write more. And read more. Writing while having a job is tough. So during a moment of self-doubt, I decided to google if writing short stories is even worth my time and I came across a great article highlighting a timeline of George Saunders’s writing career. It has nothing to do with writing short stories, but George Saunders writes some pretty fantastic short stories so I figured if he writes them then they must be worth writing, right?

Here is the essay from The New Yorker.

Anyway, it gave me a break from self-doubt and it was enjoyable and that’s what writing and reading should be: Enjoyable, entertaining and if done well enough enlightening, too.

If you haven’t read George Saunders before I recommend starting with CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.


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