Friday, August 29, 2014

"You'll never know if you don't go."

I see time flies when one is busy, based on the length since my last post. Life is busy this time of year, especially this year.

1. Kids have been getting ready to head back to school. This has been at the top of my list. Like many parents around the world, I can't wait!

2. I decided that I didn't like worrying about whether book sales would cover expenses or not. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to make ends meet only on ebook royalties, and the summer-fall time periods are the worst for sales historically, so it's not going to get better any time soon. Two years ago was a boom, but things have been sliding since then. With my kids both in school, I have my days free. And in order to write what I want and relax and not feel the pressure to produce, produce, PRODUCE to "make it" as a writer, I need another source of income. I am not a fast writer, and even with my days mostly free, I've learned that, at my best, I top out at 2,000 words a day or am burned out. I've said many times in the past that I write slowly to give my brain time to digest the story. If I write any faster, the story suffers terribly and the writing becomes mechanical rather than expressive. I don't like rewriting. And I write for my pleasure first. I don't like turning it into a business. If others enjoy what I have to say, that's a bonus.

I'm not stiffing those who put out a novel a month, but I do loathe the "you must do this" scenario that many of them preach. There is no right way to write, except what keeps the writer interested and also pleases the readers. Those are the only two rules I adhere to in writing. In essence, #1. Write for the love of writing, and #2. Make it interesting to others. Don't write to the market. You'll never catch up. I am always struggling to pull myself from that inkling of wanting to imitate what other writers have done to mimic their sales, and then I have self-doubts, depression, and a lack of interest. That only makes matters worse. In other words, be yourself. I've had to cut myself off from some forums, ignore threads, and stop reading certain blogs. Whatever it takes to regain my focus.

I guess that's all the roundabout way of saying, I got a job, hired in the interview, which I had the same day I emailed my resume in. Nothing pumps up the ego faster than having someone validate your credentials after more than twenty years of always having to take sh*t jobs to slowly build up to the good jobs. Self-employment for the last ten years has helped me learn many skills in addition to those I had learned in other workplaces, and it's opened my eyes to a different perspective about working for others. I look forward to starting next Tuesday in a job that is a perfect fit for my personality and schedule. I applied because it was part-time and the pay was good. I learned that the setting and few people I'd interact with are just what I like. I'm counting my blessings every day and counting down to the kids starting school so I can start on a new endeavor. I loved my last office job (until someone pretty much stole it from me while I was on maternity leave with my first child). This one looks to have a lot of the same qualities that I liked about that. I can't wait to see if I'm right! I've never been so excited to go to work for someone else. I even have ideas from previous jobs that I think could help this small organization.

So, that has been going on this week--a few new clothes since I gave away my old, outdated wardrobe that I no longer fit right anyway and getting kids ready for school and general new job stuff.

3. I've also had some issues with my Surface Pro 2. Ugh! I won't even begin to try to explain. Let's just say that this machine and Windows 8.1 (okay, Windows isn't so much of a surprise for flaws) have me inclined to lean towards adopting my Macbook as my primary computer, or investing in an iPad once a few bills are paid. The whole trouble took a couple of days of hunting around the hard drive, researching online, and finally reinstalling everything. And it still has issues. *headdesk*

One good thing to come of it is that not having it available made me more eager to write. I'd been having trouble transitioning to the WIP. That changed when I couldn't write because of the attention to issues with my SP2.

Just like doing something else at a new job, the distraction took my mind off writing. For me, that time to focus entirely on something else actually helps my writing. Working at a job for a few hours a day will do that. By the time I get to sit down and write afterwards, I should be more than ready to focus on it. There's another reason for seeking an outside job--something to take my conscious mind off the story for a while every day.

4. Now, I can't wait to get into the WIP. I picked up where I left off a month ago and am loving it again. It was slow progress to get back into it until the computer issues. I'll reveal the WIP after I reach 30,000 words on it (my make or break point in a story). I've already revealed it to those on my email list. ;)

And since I'll have a second source of income, I don't feel the blocking sense that I have to write. I feel free to write as I want to rather than have to. Nothing is more liberating to the creativity for me. I can't write as a business. I gave it a shot and it's been nothing but stress. I have to write for personal enjoyment.


  1. Glad you got a job so quickly, it is definitely a rush. (I had my offer before I got back to the hotel after my interview, loved it. And six years later, still love my job.)

    I don't like the "belt out as fast as you can" either. There is too many communities that talk about "stories per week" or even stories/day. I'd rather take 3-6 months to write something, do the best I can, and then move forward. Plus, I'm slow because I'm also programming.

    But, I'd rather to it "right" than "fast".

    1. Thanks. I'm glad I'm not the only one :)

      The job market is so tight in ND right now that there aren't enough workers to fill positions. It's a job seekers market. Still, I can't believe what a good fit this is and how it all worked out, and the timing was perfect.

    2. Yeah, and one of my coworkers just moved to a town near Fargo but he still works her (his wife got a job in ND).

      I'm a strong believer that if you are suppose to be somewhere, everything opens up to make it happen.