For some time now I have been concentrating on short fiction. I have decided to focus on my short stories because I cannot embark on another novel at the moment, earning a crust doesn't allow the time necessary for such a big enterprise. A novel takes over a year. In the meantime short fiction is a wonderful discipline. Reducing a fictional world to around 2000 words takes craft, graft and practice. For me ideas are not the issue, I have hundreds, I have some short story ideas that have yet to find their central character, voice and theme and so it can take a year before a story is formed clearly enough in my mind to take it to the page. The novice writer should not underestimate the amount of concentrated thinking that goes into writing.
It is uplifting to get so far in the Bridport Prize. I am reading the anthology now (note to writers, do read the anthologies of the competitions you plan to enter). I am enjoying the wide variety presented in the collection and tempted to have a go at some Flash Fiction for 2017. Recently have I started to enter many more competitions, if you want results you do have to up your rate of entries. I may not be able to write a novel currently but I take great pleasure writing short fiction and I am encouraged by modest signs of progress. I'm not there yet, that would be winning the first prize, but I am enjoying the journey.