I have always loved writing very short stories. I had been doing it for years before I found out that there was a name for the sort of thing I write (flash fiction, apparently).
My flash pieces and ten minute plays are usually inspired by paintings, songs, eavesdropping or news articles. For a long time I berated myself with the idea that my attachment to short pieces meant I didn’t have the stamina to write anything longer and that it was a sign of my inability to concentrate. Of course I now know that this is not true. I’ve written full-length books and plays, proving to myself that I can do it.
I also used to berate myself with the fact that there was nothing I could do with my short pieces. Flash fiction, short stories, ten minute plays – they seemed a much harder sell than novels or longer plays. However, since I started ghostwriting I have discovered that all those short pieces that I’ve been writing since 2006 are very useful portfolio material. They’re complete, they’re punchy and they demonstrate my technical skills.
I suppose the moral of this story is that you should never assume that anything you write is without purpose. You learn from everything you write, you get a sense of how much mileage there is in an idea, you improve your craft (or at least have the opportunity to do so), and you might be writing your own advertising copy unwittingly and a few years in advance.