Unattainable goals: short story writing and pie crusts
"The great Irish short story writer Frank O'Connor thought it a pure form, 'motivated by its own necessities rather than by our convenience'. I am not sure whether the novel is written for our convenience, but it is probably written for our satisfaction. That is what readers complain about with short stories, that they are not 'satisfying'. They are the cats of literary form; beautiful, but a little too self-contained for some readers' taste. Short stories are, however, satisfying to write, because they are such achieved things. They become themselves even as you write them: they end once they have attained their natural state."
(Anne Enright, The Guardian)