While writing and publishing my short stories, I thought I knew myself as a writer. I was wrong.
Writing this novel - I have many unfinished, unworthy drafts not fit for literary consumption - I learn more and more about my thoughts, my beliefs and ethics. What my true motives are as well as my desires.
Writing the short story seems now to be a short visit to my house, but then the visitor leaves, whether in a pleasant mood or foul.
With a novel, that guest has moved in. To stay for good... and for the time being, will see all my dirty laundry.
This is difficult for many people to take. Whatever personality type we are, most of us do not want to be an expose'. We many do not want others to know those secret parts of us. And yet, writing this novel has been and continues to be exciting because I have stretched writing muscles I didn't think I had, and the short story writing has given me tools to build this novel.
But know that writing is not a selfless art. It is a selfish, self-serving creative act that, when you get back to brass tacks, helps itself.
I'm not complaining. Short stories have helped me to write this novel. But this novel will help me to write better short stories. And that's what it basically boils down to, don't you think?