I haven't always written short stories. Truth be told, I started out as a novelist.
Now, granted, I was twelve years old at the time, and my work meandered from one action scene to the next with no clear idea on how the story would end (I was a true pantser)—but they were novels. My favorite would have to be Westward, Tally Ho! (65,000 words) about a young English aristocrat searching for his butler's long-lost daughter in the American Old West. It still makes me laugh.
Noveling went on hold in college, and while I occasionally found time to write a short story, I eventually allowed my writing to stagnate. It took me ten years to climb back into the saddle.
In 2008, I wrote When the Skies Fell (145,000 words; post-apocalyptic SF), polished it up, and at the insistence of my supportive wife, queried it with 26 agents. Three requested partials, but there were no takers. I set the manuscript aside and started another one.
I finished Time's Eye (155,000 words; future noir) in 2009 and queried it with 40 agents; I received 2 partial requests, 1 full request, but no takers. "To the back burner, Robin!" I started another.
In 2010, I wrote Waiting for You (110,000 words; YA thriller), queried it 23 times, received 2 partial requests, but there were no takers. You guessed it: I started another.
Last year, Write1Sub1 focused all of my energy on writing and submitting new short stories every week. Progeny languished at 86,000 words for months. But this week, I finished the first draft (145,000 words; a sequel to When the Skies Fell) and will start the revision process next month.
No more sitting on the sidelines. This year, my novels are getting back in the game.
How about yours?