Clinically Story Obsessed

Sometimes I get completely and totally obsessed with short stories—yes, the most impractical of fictions. Not just reading them (though put me in a room with a good selection of literary journals *ah, periodicals room at Butler Library, how I miss you* and you might have to drag me from it) but wanting to write them. Wanting to write so many! The ideas keep coming. I know I’m nothing in the face of those ideas, I will never get to all of them, I will probably forget most of them, but it doesn’t matter in these breathless moments. I just like thinking up their voices, their people, their tastes, their shapes. I will go to the website of a literary journal, read the excerpts, want a copy, think of slipping out to my most favorite bookstore in the universe to see what new issues they have in stock, wondering if they have in stock some of the journals my stories are in, wondering if I could possibly write more stories, just more and more stories to try to publish in these journals I love, and what if I did nothing else but write stories, like a story a week, is that possible? is that physically or mentally possible? I mean it takes me months to write just one story, months, and can I change that? can I do better? because I love them so much, I just, I, oh, and then, then, then I take a pause. A good long breath. I can hardly contain myself. Is this some kind of writer psychosis?

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  1. Perversely, I never want to write short stories so much as when I’m embroiled in a novel. I wish I could do both at the same time, but I don’t seem to be able to.

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