Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Off the Deep End

So here we are again. And by “we” I mean me and all the characters that live in my head. It’s November and for the first time in four years I’m back doing NaNo.

Yup, that’s right kids. The time for fiction has returned!

What’s that you ask? Have I gone off the deep end? Let’s just get all the questions out of the way now so we can push on unfettered:

“Um, are you crazy?”
“Didn’t you just start a business with a partner?”
“Aren’t you already working as a writer?”
“How do you plan to find the time?”
“Won’t you miss showering?”
“Won’t you miss your friends?”
“You won’t try to sell this thing you think will be a manuscript, will you?”
“Um, are you crazy?”

For those not in the know on the NaNo skinny (and why any and all of those questions up there are totally valid points)…

The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during just the month of November.

Sounds scary right? Well trust me, it is every bit as scary as it sounds. But I’m doing it anyway because fuck it. If I’m going to be a writer then I’m going to be the type of writer I want to be.

That I’ve always wanted to be.

But, there are so many reasons I gave up on the whole idea of being a freelance writer after 3 years. I had to have a long sit-down with myself to figure it all out. Which wasn’t too challenging considering I broke my wrist at the beginning of October. I had more than enough time to ruminate on life and career while I sat around doing nothing.

And, boy, do I ever mean nothing.

I was in a ton of pain, could not type, and I could barely move my left arm at all. Hell, I’m still in a temporary cast right now!

Last month was really a wakeup call in so many ways – personal and professional. I discovered many things that I never would have thought about before the moment when I incapacitated myself.

The biggies:

- Freelancing is not for me after all. Hey, I tried. Honestly I threw everything at the wall on that one and really wanted it to work out because it would’ve been nice to make a steady paycheck as a “real” writer. Alas, no matter what I did or what wall I tossed it at so little stuck that I just couldn’t justify wasting perfectly good shit like that anymore.

- I’m way to narcissistic to be a ghostwriter. Yeah, I really do need to see my own name, in print, on the cover of some amazing book that I wrote. I was good at ghostwriting but part of what I discovered is that my ego needs to release work into the world and, when people read it, they’ll know I wrote it.

- My words are worth more to me than the frustration of working like a dog for peanuts. I can make that writing fiction and have more fun in the craft again. I did make some money as a freelancer, that’s true, which of course was nice because I worked my ass off for it. I just couldn’t ever feel what I was writing.

- Freelance ghostwriting is essentially all marketing all the time. Sure, marketing is super important no matter what field you’re in, but I was always writing with a spin in mind – be it for a product or service – everything I wrote as a freelancer had the end goal of bringing in a sale. Hey, I’m all for that because I have shit to sell too. Which is why I’m glad I took a few years to really learn the concepts so I can now market my books instead of someone else’s product or service I have no vested interest in.

- I was reminded of something I’ve been saying since I worked in retail (circa 1996-ish.) I hate people. Most people are crazy, only out for themselves and pay no mind to your schedule, your business needs or anything else that matters in your life because they’re too busy worrying about all that same stuff for themselves. Just like me. It was time to get out.

Bottom line was that I missed writing from the imagination and not the wallet, I’m glad I learned better ways to sell my books though, and I’m using NaNo as the catalyst toward getting at least four out next year.

Yup. Four.

My goal is to get the heroine from my second book into a series and have her solving crimes all over this great nation for the next year.

Which reminds me…

Side perk of fiction I don’t get as a freelancer? A trip to Colorado can be a write off. Or a trip anywhere for that matter. Score.

By the way, I’m totally using this as word count today.

Just kidding.

No I’m not.

Or am I?

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Linda Myers said...

Good to have made these decisions!

Rob-bear said...

Some important learnings you have discovered. Sorry to hear about your wrist. That, for a witer, should be deemed "cruel and unusual punishment"!

Good discovering by you, Jenn! Freelancing is an express ticket to poverty. I learned that for myself.

So now, I blog, slip something on to Facebook, or prepare my sermons (since I only preach from time to time). Those three keep me as busy as I want to be. And those are all pretty relaxing.

Best wishes for this November's writing.

Blessings and Bear hugs, too

Launna said...

Jenn I'm looking forward to seeing what you write this month... it's too bad the free lancing didn't work out but good that you are getting out of it... no one should be used for their talent...

Britney Montgomery said...

Kudos to you and good luck on your novel this month. I'm just starting out with my blogging and wanted to try the challenge where you blog a post a day every day for a month. I sat down to write out my 7 posts and thought, shoot I have to do this EVERY WEEK? Lol needless to say, I'm not ready, maybe next year...

Suldog said...

I'm going around visiting bunches of blog buddies and I find many haven't blogged in quite some time. In your case, I hope it means your time is taken up by the next novel. Hope all is well and you have a Very Merry Christmas!

Rosebud Collection said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..
Sending you love and blessings..always in my thoughts, even if I am not around much..