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. 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? I had many unfinished manuscripts, knew the order of scenes, but wat r werds? I literally couldn’t spell properly for months. My facebook chat logs were an embarrassment. You’d think I never graduated primary school. 

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.

Day 3 of writing

I have done no writing. But at least I thought about my story lol. I have also been taken over by feelings of disappointment because I feel like I should be more successful financial wise. I’ve been writing for years, my skill level is decent, but I have no marketing skills what so ever. Maybe I should go into erotica, I’ve got an idea for a story. That’s a sure fire way to get some cash right? Hahahaha.

I have this scenario in my head that I put out one story and it’s more successful than all my other books combined. That would be hilarious.

Your opinion on if I should try KDP Select?

I’m thinking of enrolling my next few books into the KDP Select. I hadn’t enrolled any in the program before because I was worried about restricting myself. But for someone that finds marketing somewhat alien, maybe I should just put it exclusively on Amazon for 3 months.

What are your opinions? Is KDP Select worth it?

 

 

The writer and the internet person in your home; a manifesto

I am not yet good enough or well know enough (and won’t be for a while) to have people come knocking on my door. Or realistically emerging in my living room through the means of the internet. Well known and prolific writers are however experiencing this. The internet has allowed some people who don’t have a sense of boundaries to step over the front gate and open the door into your abode.

In one article by Joanne Harris she describes how some people do not realise what they can realistically expect from their favourite storyteller. Expecting authors to write books to order, not taking into account that these people live in the real world. They have to find time to earn an income if they do not get enough from their writing, which is most authors by the way! They also have to manage that money along with their time. They are human after all. But at the same time she realises the value of readers.

With all that being said, Harris created a manifesto in which she states what her writing is about. It is advice I’m going to take because it frees me from the confines of my own mind and feelings. This is how she interacts with her writing and readers. It is also how I want to base my writing career to.

  • 1. I promise to be honest, unafraid and true; but most of all, to be true to myself – because trying to be true to anyone else is not only impossible, but the sign of a fearful writer.
  • 2. I promise not to sell out – not even if you ask me to.
  • 3. You may not always like what I write, but know that it has always been the best I could make it at the time.
  • 4. Know too that sometimes I will challenge you and pull you out of your comfort zone, because this is how we learn and grow. I can’t promise you’ll always feel safe or at ease – but we’ll be uneasy together.
  • 5. I promise to follow my story wherever it leads me, even to the darkest of places
  • 6. I will not limit my audience to just one group or demographic. Stories are for everyone, and everyone is welcome here.
  • 7. I will include people of all kinds in my stories, because people are infinitely fascinating and diverse.
  • 8. I promise that I will never flinch from trying something different and new – even if the things I try are not always successful.
  • 9. I will never let anyone else decide what I should write, or how – not the market, my publishers, my agent, or even you, the reader. And though you sometimes try to tell me otherwise, I don’t think you really want me to.
  • 10. I promise not to be aloof whenever you reach out to me – be that on social media or outside, in the real world. But remember that I’m human too – and some days I’m impatient, or tired, or sometimes I just run out of time.
  • 11. I promise never to forget what I owe my readers. Without you, I’m just words on a page. Together, we make a dialogue.
  • 12. But ultimately, you have the choice whether or not to follow me. I will open the door for you. But I will never blame you if you choose not to walk through it.

 

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 🙂

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 🙂 I still can’t believe it. And not only that but the place is only a 10-15 minute walk from home 🙂

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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 🙂

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 😦 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.  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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

 

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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;
• I just want people to appreciate my work.
• I won’t be able to get my name out into the world if I don’t offer my work for cheap/free.
• I’m competing against other people in my field who are selling their work for cheap/free.
• People in the artistic field can’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 won’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 you’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 they’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 you’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.