Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Projects, progress, and purpose...

I have been thinking a lot lately about the things that I could be writing and the things that I should be writing. Maybe these are the same and maybe they are not? I don't know. At any rate, it is month end and also quarter end so it happens to be the time when I look at my royalties. I know that in the end, sales and royalties are not necessarily indicators of the worth of my writing. I mean, really, if it were, those super crappy best sellers about angsty teen vampires or abusive May-December romance would not the tripe that they are and Homer would be in paperback at every newsstand. But since writing is my job and this is the metric I have, there it goes into play. When I negotiate with a website to produce content for a series, those sales and then the landing rate for other articles are how I am evaluated. 

I switched blogs despite having a solid following and some really amazing readers, some of whom turned into amazing friends despite the distance of hundreds, sometimes thousands, and even continents of distance away. I switched because I wanted to remind myself that the blog is for me. It is not about metrics. It is about putting words to the thoughts and then putting them down. Maybe they click with someone and maybe they don't but it gives me the space to write things and keep my wheels turning so I am working with a well maintained machine when it comes time to write on contract work.

Speaking of that lucrative contract work, I have been putting it off because I sold one book and then I have been working on turning some other ideas into another one. When I say lucrative, you should know that is tongue in cheek. My husband and I have a running joke with an old friend about his sister-in-law's freelance writing and mine. It brings in hundreds of dollars, hundreds. Think about that for a second. I am not an A-list pulp fiction writer buying a second home. I am just me and happy with one real Benjamin (my husband, by the way). When I think about the time I am spending working on potential projects it can be a bit frustrating because I think about the quicker return on work when writing for smaller publications. There is a big downside to it and it means crafting their voice and using their SEO criteria. My voice is muted. It is there but it is not exactly the same. Not that writing for sale, even if I am going to click publish or upload an eBook, is without some voice and audience considerations.It is just that it is about the volume of my voice in the final product and given that I am an author, frankly I like the sound of my own voice. That is how we work.

So I am getting back to regular blogging and I am putting few limitations on it right now so that I can get my machine humming again. It will put me in a better position for deciding what project I am going to pull out, put on, and run with. I have some ideas and they need a little cultivation right now. We had a difficult summer with some stresses that I allowed to eat into my writing and knitting time and that means that I was turning down my own voice. Putting limits on somethings and some people will give me the space I need right now to find my balance again. I think I will then figure out what I want to write and how to do it.

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