Ray Bradbury, among many other writers, suggests short stories as an excellent way to practice one's writing.
"The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week - it doesn't matter what the quality is to start, but at least you're practicing and at the end of the year you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can't be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or at the end of the year, all of a sudden a story will come that's just wonderful." - An Evening with Ray Bradbury
He may know a thing or two as he published over 600 short stories and 30 books, among other works.
Basically, he's saying write every day. He wrote a minimum of 1,000 words every day since the age of 12.
I need constraints and goals to function and be productive. Without them, there are just too many choices, and I dream my life away.
I did this in 2021 and wrote 17 short stories using the Reedsy prompts. You can find them all HERE.
REEDSY has great weekly prompts. They'll even send them to your email to make it easier on you. You can submit them to their site for free or enter their contest to win prize money.
So, here's my SMART goals related to short stories:
SPECIFIC - I will write a new short story a week.
MEASURABLE - A new idea, once a week, between 1,000 and 3,000 words in length.
ACHIEVABLE - I've done it before, so I can do it again. And it's not to perfection, it's to done.
RELEVANT - This speaks to writing each day and my purpose of getting things out of my head and on paper.
TIME - The completion date for each story is the end of the day on Friday.