A Brief Perspective on Why I Write (and read) Short Stories

As a writer, I can say that I prefer writing and reading short stories because I live a busy life and I don’t always have the time or the inclination to sit down and read a novel. I mostly read newspaper, magazine, and blog articles, or social media posts. When I read a book, for the most part, it’s nonfiction. As a child, I did read more fiction because I had the time (though not always the inclination) to read books. But my books of choice were usually nonfiction. (Though I did read every Hardy Boys novel in my grade school library.) However, I very much enjoyed (and still do) books on astronomy, biology, history, geography, oceanography, and such.

As an adult, I do most of my fiction “reading” through audiobooks. But when I do take the time to visually read what some would call literature, my preference is for short stories; mostly flash fiction. I prefer short stories in general and flash fiction in particular because reading them does not take up much of my time. So I write short stories for people who want to read something other than articles and social media posts but just don’t have the time, desire, or the attention span to read something longer.

Much of what I write is stuff (Yes, I said stuff.) that I want to read but can’t seem to find to my liking. I also write what I think others may want to read without making it overly esoteric. My stories do have messages, and my messages are designed to appeal to the average person, but if a reader doesn’t get the message but enjoys the story anyway, my job is done. I don’t write stories that will make people think too hard. That’s why I decided to write my Pop and Son stories.

Pop and his son are a couple of average people living average lives with average concerns. Their discussions and adventures, to me, reflect a slice of average life that I believe appeals to the average person. There are no profound ponderings the reader will have to expound upon as if they were in a college English class. What Pop and his son talk about are insightful snippets of common sense, common courtesy, and fair play, with a bit of humor and fun thrown in. And that’s all I want my readers to get out of reading my stories.