Opportunities

As a writer, bringing in money can be a concern – especially when starting out. There are hundreds of opportunities to be found; each has pros and cons. The best case scenario is to be supported by the craft, but in the beginning it takes time.

Most of us have supportive spouses who try to understand our crazy tendencies to write in spite of what else could be done. Watch TV? No, thanks, I can get another chapter out instead. Weed the garden? I can still see the things I planted, give it another week until I get this drafted. Those examples aren’t always realistic, but we do have to steal time in our schedule to finish our projects wherever we can. We juggle jobs and families and chores in the hope that we can share our creative talents.

Jobs are difficult. They provide security, but also take most of our energy. Few can push on after a full day, and a part-time option doesn’t pay the bills. The indulgent spouse may offer an opportunity to stay at home for awhile, especially to save on child-care.

Even when we do manage some success, publish that novel or several short stories (or both), it can still be a long time between paychecks. Some of us cover it with freelancing, or using other talents to fill the gaps. I’ve been looking at several options lately, and while it surprises me to figure out how many options there are, I struggle to decide what the best option is.

For now, I’m attempting Helium, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep other things in mind.

New Year’s Resolution

… or something like that …

This year I’m going to complete another novel, science fiction this time. I may take part in NaNo again, but I’m going to decide that at a later date. I love the competition and the friendly cheerleading to get to the goal, but I also know I need to focus on a specific goal and not just a wordcount. However, NaNoWriMo rules state it must be a new project, so I figure I’ll worry about that next September or October.

Until then, Audrey calls!

To my other writing goals for the year, I think I may try more songwriting. I will definitely be writing a few more short stories. I’d like to be one of those writers who sends out several submissions a week, but I’m not sure how fast I can write, edit, and polish them – especially with a novel on my hands.

I think the novel is the more important focus for my long-term goals, so the short stories might be the part to slide. Several of my current short stories could be expanded into novels; it’s difficult to make the choices sometimes.

I’ll be flexible and I’ll keep writing. that much I know!

Holiday Cards

I wait for them in the mail, but don’t usually get as many as I send. I’m trying to update my list, so if I haven’t heard from someone in several years (at least 3) I usually figure they’re not into the card thing. If there hasn’t been other contact, it’s time to take them off the list.

But I did find one useful thing about holiday letters for people I haven’t been in touch with the best: they get updates on me they don’t always hear through the friend grapevine. Sure, everyone manages to share the pregnancy and the relocation, but somehow the upcoming novel dropped off the radar.

If only I could tell them all in person. Maybe next book!

Endless Possibilities

My husband had the helpful suggestion I ought to write scripts last night. His suggestion is all about the money he thinks I’d receive from the slight change in focus.

I reminded him I’ve never written a script. I think I wrote a play-style piece, once, when I was in fifth grade. That doesn’t count. I think it’d be a different thing entirely than the novels I’m slowly churning out.

But every time someone talks about a different medium, I am curious to try it. There’s something about a new challenge that makes it more interesting.

The suggestion came amidst a conversation about famous Iowans, Ashton Kutcher and Shawn Johnson were on a replay of a wrestling match on the Big Ten Network. I don’t think I need to write screenplays to be a famous Iowan, though. I’m sure novels could get me there, with time and patience and maybe a little luck.

Editing Joy

Every time I write something, different things run through my mind. The story is the first part of the focus, but sentence structure intrudes most of the time at a secondary level.

The big things are sometimes the easiest to figure out, but some of them slip through the cracks. It was the final edit of my novel to be published where I found a mistake about who was in class with whom. (While I hope that was the last error, we shall see when it’s printed and everyone else gets to read it.)

In my current novel project I’m identifying all the places where the protagonists interacted with others and making sure it’s all consistent with their personalities. Later I’ll tweak my verbs and check for overall readability.

It may not sound like much fun, but digging into the story to bring it out more is enjoyable. It also means my characters get to live on in my head while longer!