Short fiction: to post or submit?

This is a question for writers. When you write a piece of short fiction, do you prefer to put it on your website for your readers right away, or submit it to various publications? I can think of valid arguments for each practice.

Posting it on your website caters to your readers directly, gives them something to chew on between novels, and can even serve to attract new readers.

Submitting to publications can actually earn some money, gives you something to put on your resumé, and once your short story has been published, you can always put it up on your website anyway. And being published elsewhere can introduce your work to people who otherwise would have found it.

Complicating things for me is that my short fiction tends to be different from my novels. My long fiction tends to have a speculative element, usually very strong. My short fiction tends to be darker and more literary. I'm not too sure why; perhaps because I prefer darkness in small doses? 

So what do you prefer to do, and why?

Haiku, Cows, and Twitter

Joe Fafard, the eminent Canadian sculptor, back in the days when his primary medium was clay, had a daily routine in his workshop. Every day he started out by picking up a lump of clay and crafting a little cow. It was not the same cow every day, but every day it was a cow. He became famous for those cows, as well as a great many other things, because he is a very talented man.

Click on picture to view Fafard's portfolio at Mayberry Fine Art.   

Click on picture to view Fafard's portfolio at Mayberry Fine Art.


Now, I am a writer and not a sculptor, and a writer who is very bad at sticking to routines, and the extent of my talent is definitely open to debate. But it struck me that this was a transferable idea. Instead of crafting cows, I could get my creative juices flowing by writing a daily haiku. They are so condensed, every syllable counts and should carry its weight of emotion, imagery, and ideas. If that isn't a way to get me thinking about my craft without overwhelming me with the weight of a longer work, what is?

Well, a Twitter post is, that's what. Not just any tweet. A pithy, well-crafted one that shines like a little jewel. A beautiful or witty or funny or thoughtful or provocative tweet that comes in short of 140 characters so that insane people can retweet it. And if I can't come up with a good one, there's no obligation to actually inflict it on the world. The purpose is to get my mind flowing through creative channels with as little pressure as possible, to just have fun with words and ideas. To start my productive day out with something joyful.

So I am going to try to make a point of writing a daily haiku or tweet, something that demands some craft and at which I am allowed to fail. What about you? Are you a writer, poet, journaller? A sculptor, painter, composer? A carpenter, knitter, needleworker? What kind of creative warm-up exercises do you do, or can you imagine doing? Share your ideas in the comments; I'd love to hear from you.