We already know that many people break into the novel market WITHOUT writing short stories. So they're not necessary for starting a writing career, although they might have helped some folks. ... But some people just love short stories, so the question is can you make a living writing them?Read the whole thing. Brown gets pretty in-depth with his calculations, going so far as to estimate a necesary gross annual income ($30,000), how much you'd have to write per week at ten cents a word to earn it (8,000 words) and the annual number of story openings in pro-paying markets (approximately 2,000). It's an illuminating exercise to go through, but if you've ever sold a short (or even if you've only tried), you probably know Brown's conclusion: It's awfully hard to earn more than the price of a venti Frappuccino by selling the short stuff. Brown's suggestion? "Re-purpose the wordage to novels!" I'd say that's a good goal -- but only if you've achieved some storytelling competency first. It's a lot easier to fail under the ten-thousand-word mark.
The answer is yes, you CAN do it -- you go into television and get hired to write scripts for TV series (grin).
But what about doing it in print? Well, let's try some conservative math.
(Picture: CC 2008 by basheertome; Hat Tip: S.D. Smith)