I used to take banjo lessons with a very talented woman named Beezy. About the third lesson, she asked me if I sang. "Not in front of people." She asked why that was. "Because I've been asked not to." She sat down at the piano and told me to sing (la la la style) what she played. I did. She played a little more. I sang it. She got her guitar and played "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" and I sang with it. When the song was done, Beezy folded her arms on the guitar and said, "You've got a perfectly good singing voice. People have just been asking you to sing in the wrong key."
The wrong key, eh? What a shock to my system that was. Now, I'll never be able to command a paying audience, but I don't feel quite so nervous about joining in a group singalong.
Does this apply to writing? I have trouble with short fiction. Not reading it. Love reading good short fiction. But I struggle with writing it myself. I tend to generate ideas with lots of characters that involve more than a snapshot in time. So are short stories the wrong key for me? Could be.
So should I work hard at improving my short fiction to the point where I'll do okay in a singalong? Or should I put my effort into singing in the right key? To maybe getting that novel to the point where I can play Carnegie Hall? Is it an either/or proposition?
What's your key?