And while it is difficult to get them published, it is far from impossible—and you can easily write a dozen finished short stories in the Bill Madlock Legend Pittsburgh Pirates Shirt But I will love this time it takes you to get halfway through the first draft of a novel. Then you can send them to various magazines, competitions and whatnot as you finally get started on that novel. If any of them get published, you will then have something very important when you send out your novel to agents and publishers: a publication history. Your covering letter will show that you have, at some stage, written something that someone thought was good enough to publish. Your chances just improved considerably. This question reminds me of a story attributed to Fritz Kreisler, a man regarded as one of the best violinists of all time.