Monday, May 15, 2023

Refocusing My Writing Life

I mentioned in my last post that I'm not freelancing right now.

Essentially, last year I lost a couple of clients, not through any fault of my own but due to business changes, until I was down to just one writing platform.  At the time I didn't have the time to look for other clients to replace the lost ones, due to my horse being sick.

Well, said writing platform and I parted ways about a month ago, after we disagreed over payment terms.  There's another platform I used to write for on occasion, but for various reasons I've elected not to write for them anymore either, due to payment not being guaranteed.

What it boils down to is that it's difficult making sure you get paid enough as a freelancer, and while it's important not to be a pushover, sometimes standing up for yourself makes you unpopular.  But hey, I'm unpopular but also paid in full, which is what counts.

I'm not terribly concerned about the break in income right now, as I do have some other ventures that will bring in some income, such as focusing on my doll repair and sales business, Against Doll Odds.  I also have a nonfiction ebook in the works that should bring in some income over time, and hopefully my fiction eventually will, too.

Interestingly, one side effect of not freelancing right now is that I'm itching to write more often than I normally would be.  When I was freelancing I had less urge to work on my own writing projects, but right now I find myself frequently wanting to write something, anything.

Hopefully this just means I'll be able to get more done!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Writer Talk: What Do You Do When You Get Another Idea?

Most writers get story ideas all the time.  Sometimes one is so powerful that it's hard to stay focused on the current project and not get distracted by the urge to start another.

So what do you do when that happens?

I usually find that trying to ignore it 1) makes the urge to write something else worse, and 2) means a potentially lost story idea, so I usually try to at least write down my idea.  Sometimes that means a few quick notes, sometimes that's a basic outline, and sometimes it's writing the intro or a scene.

In fact, Ruby started out as a middle-of-the-night idea that I hurriedly wrote down one night.  One of my best-ever short stories was also a late night idea, that I sat up writing until about 2am.

A couple of days ago, I got a story idea that just wouldn't quit.  I opened up Plottr and started sketching out an outline, and before I knew it, I had a pretty fully fledged basic outline and character sheets for the main characters.

I'm not done outlining it or writing up the character sheets yet, but the question is, what do I do now?  Do I start working on the novel?  I think it would be a fairly simple one, so possibly a quick write.  Or do I finish my draft of Ruby, and then write this?

I'm aware of the value of getting caught up in the excitement of a new project.  It's good motivation and can be good to follow it.  At the same time, there's also something to be said by sticking with something and not running off after every story idea that comes to mind.

I haven't decided yet what I'll do, but I'm aware that it might not be a bad idea to have other books available than just my Vampire Noir series, especially if I'm self-publishing.  The bigger your network of books, the more opportunity you have for sales, especially repeat sales from existing readers.  Having a few standalone books available when I publish Ruby might be helpful for anyone who wants to read more of my books while they're waiting for the next installment in the Vampire Noir series.

Plus there's the nonfiction ebook I'm working on currently, a specialized piece that's more related to my doll business than my fiction writing.

I definitely have a lot of irons in the fire right now.  I'm not freelancing right now (more on that later), but maybe it's good timing, since I have a lot else I want to accomplish!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Best Laid Plans

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commissions from sales made through these links.

After all that work to get Scrivener and Plottr on the Surface Go 3 I bought as a travel computer, I didn't end up working on my novel too much.  That's not to say I didn't work on anything, though: I ended up working on revising a doll stringing ebook I've had for sale for many years, but that desperately needed to be updated.

Despite that, I'm still planning on getting back to work soon on the current draft of my first Ruby Ransome novel.  To avoid working on too many projects at once, though, I'll probably finish work on the ebook first, then get back to work again on Ruby.

As an aside, I'm pretty happy with the little Surface Go.  It was relatively easy to travel with, fit well on the airplane tray tables, charged quickly, and had plenty of battery for my needs.  I carried it everywhere on the trip and its small size and light weight made that pretty easy.  The keyboard is admittedly a little small but not so small I can't type on it.  Sometimes small keyboards actually are better for me, since I can type quickly when my fingers don't have as far to reach.

I had gotten a bump-proof case for the Surface, which incidentally required a Microsoft brand keyboard as the other brand was too large to fit well with the case.  That made me feel more secure about carrying the computer places.  I do need to decide if I want any other accessories for the Surface Go, such as a pen or a USB hub (the Surface Go doesn't have any regular USB ports, only USB-C).

It's possible I'll continue using the Surface Go as an exclusive travel machine or even as an "upstairs computer," which would mean I may end up doing most of my novel writing on it.  I do want to be sure I don't neglect my regular laptop, though, as it's not good for it to be plugged in all the time, either.

Stay tuned for further updates!


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