While taking a break from novel-writing (or more likely, not getting down to the next one), I've returned to short story writing. I used to love it. Short stories are compact, don't take too much time (a novel takes me about a year), and if they're rejected, well, it's not the end of the world.
But I can't regain the enthusiasm I once had. I've just received a nice-sized cheque for stories sold, and I ought to be grateful, but something's missing. Hacking things down in the garden this afternoon, I decided that, for me, the short story is like a one night stand, as opposed to a novel, which is a much deeper relationship. I can only speak for myself, and I'm in no way denigrating the art of the short story; heaven knows, it's getting harder and harder to write saleable short stories. But with a novel, you develop a relationship with your characters over a long period of time; you live with them, think about them, plan for them, look forward to getting back to them. A novel really does become a part of you.
Like the one night stand, the short story engenders a brief period of excitment and satisfaction (sometimes!). The novel is a marriage. And when I'm not writing one, how I miss it!