In my effort to procrastinate, this let to that advice from John Scalzi. So the advice he gave was Write Short To Write Long.
I tried to find where he's said that before, but didn't have any luck.
Right now (heh. I almost misspelled that in a very subconscious way), I'm taking a break from the final polish on my novel by banging out some short stories. The plan is that most of shorts will go up, self-publishing style to create that "critical mass" where if a reader enjoys one short, he can find a few others while he's still in a buying mood.
Sort of like offer another fudgey chocolate chip cookie while a friend is still holding a cold glass of milk. How can he say no?
Ironically, these shorts are taking longer than expected. Each one has to have a new concept even if it shares the same characters. And the villain has to be different in each one.
At some point, I hit a stride in a novel. The characters seem fleshed out and the villain's vision is clear. From that point, the rest of the first draft is writing the fallout of all that. The rewrites patch holes in the continuity and certain events get a new focus or spin so that drama and character growth happen more consistently.
So not only does Mr. Scalzi's advice leave me non-plussed for now, it seems that I'm writing long for short.
Not my most productive month so far. :P