I originally planned just to throw up a nice easy post for today since I had the conference all weekend, but now I've changed my mind. The conference spawned at least 3 blog posts ideas, not to mention a post about the actual conference (tentatively scheduled for Wednesday) so I figured I could at least talk about something.
On Friday, Hannah and I had lunch with Elise Matthesen (who is like the most awesome person EVAH! I'm serial. We thought this last year too. She's one of those people that as soon as you hear her talk you want to be her friend/stalk her/be her).
We were discussing how novel writing and short story writing are two different skills and that not every writer possesses them.
She said it angers her when novel writers say "I need to write some short stories to try and break in" and then short story writers state "I need to write novels because there's no money in short stories" (which is when Elizabeth Bear pointed out that there's no money in publishing anywhere).
Anyway, to illustrate the original post, Elise had Patricia C. Wrede tell an amusing anecdote.
Pat announced that she had sold every single novel she has every written (which is CRAZY!) but when asked how many of her short stories she'd sold it was only about 50%.
She was a perfect example of someone who could write novels, but couldn't translate that skill over to short stories.
This isn't the case for everyone. I can write both. Elise just wanted people to stop worrying about trying to "break in" or to write something you weren't suited for just because someone else tells you to. You have to do what's right for you.
So how about you? Can you do only one or the other? Or are you one (like me) who can do both?