Although I'm not against trying new things in writing, I have to admit that I'm a little apprehensive about spending so much time only writing short stories. Recently, I've come to appreciate them a lot more; I used to hate writing them and never really sought them out to read. Still, my writing is usually on one of two extremes - either a novel-length project, or an extremely short, mostly descriptive piece, less than 1000 words. Writing something in between, something that has a full plot but can still fit into around 5000 words, is hard.
I think it's mostly because I almost never have a full plot planned out before I start a novel. Even when I have a basic idea, most of it falls into place as I'm writing - after the first 5-10 thousand words, I start to make connections and brainstorm ideas that will add to the plotline of the book. You can't exactly do that with a short story - or rather, you can, but you have to make those connections after the first few hundred words.
It's probably good to challenge myself - I'll never be able to improve my skill with short stories if I don't write them. Between now and November, I'll probably be able to write around five or six stories, and it'll be interesting to see how they turn out. If anyone's interested, I'd be willing to post excerpts here on the blog or links to my inkpop.com account if I decide to upload any of the stories.
Wish me luck!