For a long time, I never thought of myself as much of a short-story writer. I had maybe a handful of short stories to go with the fifteen or so novellas and novels I'd written. I just figured that short stories weren't a form that I naturally thought in, or that I was comfortable with.
But now, in about three weeks or so, I'll have written five short stories, two of them from ideas I abandoned a long time ago because I wasn't sure how to spin them out into novel-length. Which just goes to show a few things:
1. Don't define yourself by what you think you can or can't do, or what you think you're naturally suited for. You just might surprise yourself, especially if you try.
2. In the new world of publishing (as Dean Wesley Smith calls it), the length of what we write doesn't have to be defined by the needs of the publishing industry. The size of an ebook isn't subject to the same cost-effectiveness considerations that paper books are (the bigger the book, the more expensive it is to print and the more space it takes up, while with a book that's too small, readers aren't willing to pay enough to cover the production expenses), and print-on-demand allows for printing one or two at a time of odd lengths of books (though there are limits to how short and maybe how long POD books can be, as a practical matter). Ideas that once seemed impossible to write to a marketable length can now be dug up from the depths of the hard drive or the file cabinet, dusted off, and given life in the length that's right for them.
So instead of calling myself a short-story writer or a novel writer, I'm a writer of my ideas, and I write them as short or as long as they need to be.
In other news, if you're on Goodreads, come say howdy at my Goodreads author profile.