If you like to read short stories then you could write them for profit. People these days are often times poor, so the short story has come back into fashion.
The appeal of a short story – appeal you need to make sure your short stories have – is that they are just long enough to grab your interest …. but not so long that they will take all day or all week to finish.
You do not need a lot of imagination or writing skills to write a short story either. The best short stories are those that come from your own experiences, either in the recent or distant past. But this does not mean they have to be biographical or stick to the facts. Short stories are always fictional. Simply write down what happened to you. But then you can adapt or embellish your own experiences …. even inject a little fantasy!
They can be found in books as compilations or in magazines. They come in all genres and vary in length from several hundred words to several thousand words. However, women's magazines are some of the most enthusiastic buyers of short stories – with magazines appealing to children running a close second. If you have an interest in writing romantic fiction then you're in with a chance of selling your work to these buyers. There are other genres of course – science-fiction, horror stories, crime / detective stories and historical stories are all possibilities.
Research all the available magazines that cover your topic of interest at a newsagents or library. Very important – do not try to be too different. Short story publishers and their readers enjoy stories that very much follow a formula and are fairly predictable, with the same sort of plots and the same sort of characters. (Just try add a unique twist at the end for extra saleability!)
Do not write a story without checking what is and what is not needed. Most magazine companies who buy short stories will have a sponsor's guide or notes. If you want to have any chance at all you must ask for this and follow these rules to the letter or your story will not sell no matter how good it is.
Once you're pretty sure you've found a niche write your story and send it off to the editor. Unlike a novel there's no need to get approval for your plot first. Good tip. If the publication publishes your story there's every chance they'll want you to write more. So try and choose a story that lends itself to be developed in future. (Do not write a story in which your hero or heroine dies at the end!)