Thinky-Thoughts

Pomegranate I took the whole weekend off from the internet, and I feel cleaned-out and more at peace. I needed to do some thinking about my career, and it’s hard to do if I’m flitting around on social media all the time. I cleaned, I read, I moved a bunch of books from the “Favourites” shelves back into General Fiction to make room for more of the reference texts–Norton Criticals, dictionaries, fairytales from different cultures, medical manuals, the Victoriana shelves. Since I’m not writing Bannon & Clare any longer, the last can probably be moved too, but I don’t have the time today.

…what? No, of course I wasn’t thinking of quitting writing. I was thinking about what to write next, what direction to go in, and if a part-time job would be a good idea. The idea of a paycheck that arrives when it’s supposed to is very attractive, but really, what am I fit for? Writing, maybe teaching writing, I dunno. Maybe I should sign on at Starbucks. I like coffee. Except the idea of dealing with that amount of people, either behind or before the counter, makes introvert me want to curl up in a hole somewhere.

That’s the problem with writing as a career: I’ve become used to setting my own schedule, being with my own thoughts, and once I have the luxury of spending great swathes of time in solitude, it’s hard to go back.

I’ve thought of offering online workshops before. It seems a good way to capitalize on my experience AND do so around my writing schedule. But then I look at the initial startup costs and all that, and the math just doesn’t work out. It especially doesn’t now that I’m taking the hit to write Steelflower 2. Which is another struggle–I’m past the new shiny and into the long slog of the book, and feeling the pinch. These are also the times I wish I had another adult in the house to share some of the parenting workload–and not so incidentally, bring me coffee occasionally–but the idea of piling the emotional work of a relationship on top of everything else makes me shudder.

Oh well. Time to do what I’ve always done when this feeling shows up: buckle myself down, work harder, and keep an eye on online job applications. You never know. I could end up being hirable.

Okay. *wipes away tears of laughter* Yeah, that was sort of a joke. Time to go write.

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  • I’m thinking that Starbucks and you might not be a good fit, Lili. Given your tendency not to suffer fools gladly, I think your tenure there would be the way one historian described life in the early Middle Ages: “nasty, brutal, and short.”
    Something that would fit your talents and still allow a lot of freedom is freelance editing. I know this, because I’m employed by three different editing services already. If you can get a gig editing a novel, for instance, the pay is pretty good. If you’d like to know more,contact me via email and I’ll tell you what I know.

  • You cannot have proper thinky-thoughts with the internet blaring. I think I’m going to start going dark on Fridays/weekends again, it’s a nice brain reset.

    I frequently ponder if I should take another part time job, but besides having to deal with humans, I realized there’s the minimum wage aspect–at least in Canada, after all the taxes, EI, and pension things are taken out, I’d be left with very little money for the time I’m taken out of the office. And then there’s the added stress of dealing with people, which for me is worse than the stress of unpredictable pay.

    I still think we need to do workshops. When I have my massive to-do list tackled, Imma poke around a bit and see the most cost-effective way of doing it (it helps, too, that I’m taking online courses at the moment and can better visualize how to do an online workshop). IT CAN BE DONE.

  • I would certainly be interested in a Saintcrow Workshop. *throws money* But as for the job thingy, well…I’m currently working as a composition instructor for 101 and 102 and geez louise the headaches I get from reading half-assed essays is enough to make me lose hope for the human race. However, once all of the headachey things are out of the way, I do find that the paycheck is nice and that I have time to write my own words. Not much time, I must admit, but somewhat more than I had as a graduate student.

  • I was offering freelance editing through my site, but since I didn’t go out trolling for clients, there tended to be dry spells.

    I’m thinking the mass amounts of caffeination at Starbucks would offset the “suffering fools,” I’d be vibrating too fast for them to matter much to me…

  • A fellow writer on FB had some great ideas on how to use WP to power the workshop thing. I’m still in the cogitating mode.

    I’m running up against that too–the time I would spend in transit and out of the office, not working, would outweigh whatever small material gains there are to be had. It’s seductive to think about a steady paycheck and possibly benefits, though. EXTREMELY seductive.

  • It can’t be worse than being a submissions/slush reader for a small press, can it? 😛

  • It’s always hard to think what to do next and what brings the future. I hope you can balance everything and choose which thing suits better for your life.

    These days I’m seen a lot of writers talking gains and saying about how keeping a name in the industry is difficult and not steady. In Brazil, it’s even harder to be a full time writer — more nacional books have been getting to best-sellers lists, what helps more to be print, but 90% of our market is represented by translated books yet — so is easy for me to picture the difficulties for anyone in this craft.

    Again, I hope you can manage your options and be able to follow your heart!

  • For my Patreon serial, I put it up on a locked WP site that patrons can log into and read (then I’d collect ten or so chapters and post them through Patreon in bulk). It wasn’t a perfect solution but I didn’t want to devote more time into smoothing it out–I can’t remember the plugin name, but it was something with assigning user groups access to certain things. So I think it absolutely could be done easily.

    It’s always the benefits part that starts to sway me.