Work to write and vice versa

There are some people in life who call themselves writers, though not many of them seem to produce anything. Everyone seems to have a book in them, but really they are just romanticising the idea of being a writer. Being a writer seems to be something special, I mean it is, but most people do not know how hard it is to earn that title. And I’m not talking about the actual writing.

From an early age, I like creating stories. It comes naturally to me. I don’t know how, and when looking at both sides of my family, no one else does either.ย I seem to have sprouted out of nowhere (I’m so totally my parents’ child though). I grew up an only child and also turned out to be a loner too. So in combination with having a somewhat decent writing ability as well, I guess I gravitated towards expressing my stories in words and not another artform.

The ultimate end goal of me self-publishing my words is to create a steady income stream that allows me to write full time. Until then, it’s hospitality work and eustress that pushes me to write around the edges of my life. This means that I forgo other things such as socialising and enjoying my time off with whatever normal people do with their time.

I think I am very fortunate that my hobby of writing is pretty much free or low cost in terms of materials needed to produce anything. But that doesn’t mean its easy. A year ago I was unstoppable in terms of writing. I could produce one to two thousand words a day and then bam! I hit burnout and everything stopped. I had all this free time, tones of irritability and a bucket of frustration at myself. I was doing so well, what happened?ย I had many unfinished manuscripts, knew the order of scenes, but wat r werds?ย I literally couldn’t spell properly for months. My facebook chat logs were an embarrassment. You’d think I never graduated primary school.ย 

My brain and body were tied together and while the body was capable, the brain was done. No words from me. Good thing I had a job to occupy my time and give me money or I’d be screwed. I’m not a freelancer because I don’t really want to work with people and I want to spend all my time writing for myself. I’m not going to push out a ton of stories by writing other people’s ones. Do it yourself. Make time or fail.

Feet or Fins is now on Amazon

Feet or Fins is now on Amazon

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I bit the bullet and uploaded my novel on Amazon. In the past I’ve kinda had issues with Amazon because of its business tactics, but I’m not selling enough through Smashwords. So here I am.

And I’ve already got a sale ๐Ÿ™‚

I found the process of uploading surprisingly easy actually. No repeated rejections from meat grinder here. In terms of formating, I just used my smashwords version with the license section cut out and it was accepted the first go.

So now that I’ve got my book out on multiple sites I believe that I’ll be getting more sales ๐Ÿ™‚ At the moment Feet or Fins is not available as a physical book, which is something I’m going to do in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Quest for the monies, ITIN and my creative stuff.

It’s been about 2-3 weeks since my last post. I haven’t posted anything because there hasn’t been much happening until recently. These are the things that have happened.

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I got a new job ๐Ÿ™‚

YAY!!!!

It had been so long since my last job and after months of looking, unsuccessful interviews and job trials I finally snagged one. In the weeks and months before I had become to be a little depressed about it. But I submitted my resume online, got an interview hours later and I got the job that very day ๐Ÿ™‚ I still can’t believe it. And not only that but the place is only a 10-15 minute walk from home ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m expecting my first pay check next week. But seeing as I’ve been forced to live frugally in recent months I won’t be spending it. It’s going all into savings. Can i get a shout out for financial responsibility?

 

I’m almost finished my first book ๐Ÿ™‚

It feels like it’s taken forever, but Feet or Fins is almost finished. I’ve got a few people reading over my latest version and they are going to tell me what they think about it. I’m getting excited because it’ll soon be over and I can fully move onto my other books.

But I still need to get an ITIN from the US as my first application was rejected ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I know what I did wrong so I think it should be right the second time round. Trying to find the number for Australia’s treaty article number was an absolute bitch.

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I went through page after page, document after document and website link after link to the point of wanting to throw a massive adult-sized tantrum in public (I was using a library computer at the time). It was when in frustration I was like ‘How ’bout I just Google it?’

Bingo!

I got a lot of responses, some useless because they were dealing with other countries and not mine. But then I came across a blog called Mummy K and to date I think she is the only one that lists the number – 1982. I swear this better be the answer because when I went to find the number in the actual IRS document I came up blank.ย  But this link list’s Australia’s and USA’s tax treaty. The article number seems to be the year that the treaty was written. I swear this better be the answer coz I don’t want to spend anymore time on this difficult quest.

 

I’ve got other works in progress

Some weeks ago I was stupid and split soup over my laptop’s computer. It destroyed half of my keys so I sent it to be repaired. It took about two weeks before I was told that it’d cost $400 and I was, ‘Noooo, I’ll just buy a cheap usb keyboard instead.’ And I’m using it right now ๐Ÿ™‚

During the time between using the library computer during the day and being at home at night with no laptop (I don’t have a tv) I had all this time where I had nothing to do. The first couple of nights where tough (realising that I so sound like a drug addict, but not meaning to), I felt like I was having withdrawals. But then I began to fill my time with re-reading some of my old books that are on my bookshelf and then my mind began getting creative again. I ended up adding things to three previous stories that had been on the back burner and it made them so much better by the way. And I came up with a new young adult/teen story ๐Ÿ™‚

This was when I realised that not having my laptop was kind of a good thing. I was forced to not go on facebook and other websites which showed me how much time I was wasting online. It made me wonder how much I could achieve if only I didn’t have the internet . . or if I could control myself better.

It made me realise that I should change my habits so that I can both fit more writing in and have my mind work more creatively.

 

What’s next?

Currently Feet or Fins is stationary in terms of work until I get the opinions of others back. I also need to get my ITIN, followed by creating a cover image. I have an image picked out on iStockphoto.com and I’m planning on having a go at designing the cover myself. If I find out I can’t do a good job on it then I might look for someone to do it.

I’m about half-way through my next book, which is the first of a trilogy. Once I’ve finished the first book I’m planning on writing out the rough plan for the next two. At the moment I’ve only got vague ideas of the plot/story, but the details will come to me as I’m thinking about it. I’m going to be editing them together so that when I publishing them there won’t be too much time between release dates and to make sure I have all the details worked out perfectly.

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But since I got a job, I will be make my writing fit around my work. Currently I think that increasing my savings and income at the moment is more important ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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The Text Prize $10,000

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I’m so going to enter my book in this competition ๐Ÿ™‚

Recently the Australian publishing house Text Publishing has been holding this competition called The Text Prize. It’s for stories that are orientated to children and young adults. It opens on the 3rd of March and closes on the 4th of April. But it also has a few rules and is only open to Australian and New Zealand residents. Bad news to you if you don’t qualify, but good news to me because I do. The winner gets $10,000 and published ๐Ÿ™‚

If you don’t put a price on it someone else will

If you don't put a price on it someone else will

(image sourced from ‘Writers Write’ on Facebook)

Never underrate your work, no matter what industry you are in. Also never give it away for free.

You live in a capitalist world where everything has a price and if you don’t put one on your work then someone else will. And that same someone will try to undervalue your work for their gain.

You may be thinking;
โ€ข I just want people to appreciate my work.
โ€ข I wonโ€™t be able to get my name out into the world if I donโ€™t offer my work for cheap/free.
โ€ข Iโ€™m competing against other people in my field who are selling their work for cheap/free.
โ€ข People in the artistic field canโ€™t pick their prices because their work is a want, not a need.

Well guess what, if you undervalue your work then so do others. If you think your 10,000 word piece of writing is only worth 99 cents, then so will other people. If you think that large painting you do is worth only $10 then people will only pay $10 dollars for it. It wonโ€™t matter if you put a thousand hours of solid work behind it and spent many times more on supplies. If you think that all that time and effort you put into it is not worth much then you are underrating your work. You are telling people that this thing youโ€™ve laboured over is cheap then so do others.

If you went into a book store and had to choose between a $4 and a $20 book and rate the quality of each, you are going to assume that the $20 book is better, simply because someone else decided that it was worth more economically. Never mind that the authors might have spent the same amount of time on their stories, the more value someone puts on something the more valuable it is.

If you create a reputation of creating work for very little money or free, then people will expect you to continue doing that. Why would they pay more for the same quality when theyโ€™ve already experienced it for less? You will make your artistic side hobby remain an artistic side hobby. It will never give you any potential monetary reward because youโ€™ve designed it like that. You will never become notable for your work because it is stuck in the realm of the cheap and low quality.

But if you do want to give your work away for free then only do it for charity, because that is different.