Perhaps instead of saying most people haven't started their projects, I should have said they haven't finished
their projects, because that's the real issue. (Although some people also haven't started their projects.) I think my point still stands— people spend a lot of time on long stories that never get completed, when they could spend a little time writing something shorter to hone their skills.
@Oh So into Cats: So basically in the past year you've written 225,000 words worth of unfinished projects, most of which you scrapped. While I admire your tenacity, and any writing is certainly good practice, what you just told me is that you've been writing for a year and have no completed projects. That really isn't something to brag about. 225,000 words is the equivalent of two genre novels; it's three young adult novels. It seems to me that even if you're not delaying your projects by not writing, you're delaying them by constantly restarting. It's another form of procrastination, and it's a bad habit you need to get out of. This year, make it your goal to finish something. (Also, I don't see what being shy has to do with writing short stories.)
@ Major Tom: I think it's kind of fascinating how you assume if you write short stories, you have to pump out loads of them. No one says you have to "churn out" short stories; even one can be a really excellent writing project. Look at it as an exercise, something to stretch your mind between writing your novel. You can explore a genre or a theme you wouldn't want to devote an entire novel to— break out of your comfort zone. They don't take much time, you can finish one in a week, you practice writing... what's the downside to trying?
@ General thread: Basically, if you've spent years on a longer project without finishing it, I suggest trying to finish a shorter story, just to see if you can. What have you got to lose?