You need to write!
When you are working on a book, you can work on another book. You don’t have to be completely dedicated to just one book. You can let your muse play. That includes smaller stories. Don’t ignore the possibilities of short stories. They could be a great outlet for your muse and that great American novel.
Short stories are typically maximum 7000 word pieces that allow you to work on something different for awhile and release the pent up energy of other story ideas that haunt you while you work on that novel. They can be complete stories in compact form. Very entertaining and relished by thousands.
There are so many print and online magazines looking for short stories. They are perfect sizes to fit within their publications. Publish them on your own site. Many authors do that to draw in more traffic and give more dimension to your writing presence. If you have other novels out, publish them in the back of your books to give your readers more of you so they can want even more of you. Who knows! You might have the foundation of a bestselling novel from one of your short stories.
You don’t have to be only a writer of novels. You don’t have to limit yourself to short stories either. You can focus on one over the other, but don’t ignore the power of the short story. Plus, by writing these little pieces, you get your name out there so when you publish your novel you’re name is already familiar to many readers. Think of short stories as appetizers. They give the reader a taste of your talent which usually leads to them moving on to larger courses.