Archive for the ‘Paying Writing Work’ Category


It’s been a while

I haven’t blogged in quite a long time, but I’m still writing, still busy–busier than ever, in fact. I’m still writing short fiction every day, but my focus has shifted from submitting to self-publishing. Under names you probably wouldn’t recognize, I self-publish erotic romance and similar genres.

I used to be wholly against self-publishing. I thought that was what failed writers did to feel better. I cringe writing that now, but I’m being honest. If you couldn’t get published (probably because you weren’t good enough to), you self-published. My thinking on this has evolved quite a bit, obviously. 🙂

It began as an experiment well over a year ago, just to see what it was like and see if I could make a few bucks here or there. It wasn’t under my name, so if something tanked, who cared? I put the first story up not expecting much. Maybe I could buy a dollar burger or a pack of gum or something. I made several hundred dollars in my first month, and I’ve never looked back.

Self-publishing has become almost my entire income in the last few months. I no longer write for the two clients I worked for during all of 2012 for various reasons. Both those associations ended at almost the same time, which would have been a very bad thing a couple of years ago. It would have left me scrambling for new clients, popping Advil for stress headaches, and hoping to squeak by until I found work. Thanks to self-publishing, I was able to shrug it off and then see it as an opportunity.

Instead of spending time finding new clients to fill the gaps, I decided to give myself a trial-period for full-time self-publishing. I planned to take the time I would have spent looking for new clients and writing for them and invest that time in myself and my own career instead. I’m making enough each month to be able to try this, which still amazes me. If my income isn’t where I want it to be by the end of June or so, I told myself, I’ll contact some potential clients and go back to writing marketing copy.  I fully expect not to have to do that.

I’m extremely lucky in that it would be okay if I went back to marketing and sales writing–I like the work, as repetitive as it can be at times, it’s just that writing fiction is more fun, has been my dream for years and actually pays better in the end. The hours spent writing a story, creating the ebook formats and publishing it don’t pay once like articles and web copy I write for other people does. I keep getting paid for the fiction as long as it’s for sale.

Since my goal is to keep increasing my income, the stories that I plan to self-publish have to be my  focus for a while. Horror, science fiction and fantasy stories aren’t in my publishing empire (ha) quite yet. My plan is to take each story, send it to the best markets that are appropriate, and if it doesn’t sell, decide whether to self-publish it or give it another look. I suppose that decision will depend on a number of factors: the story, how I feel about it, its theme. I won’t know until I get there.

It’s an exciting time! My participation in W1S1 in 2011 primed my short fiction pump and made it possible for me to write and built a catalog fairly quickly. So that experiment really set the stage for my success now, and I couldn’t be more grateful.




And Tuesday’s Not Too Bad, Either

Had a minor groan-worthy moment today when a client pushed a huge project back from this week to next. These things happen, but I’d planned to spend a lot of time working on that and didn’t make other arrangements, and we like to eat. 🙂 I’ve kept him waiting before, so I can’t be too put out. And he’s such a nice guy. Minor blip.

I had another acceptance today. A flash I wrote in 2004 but never sent out was accepted at Philly Flash Inferno, an interesting and quirky 7-deadly-sins-themed ezine. My little story was rejected last month at the first place I tried, which was the only place that seemed likely to take it, and then I couldn’t figure out where else to send it. It was destined for a dark and desolate place. Now it will be inflicted on others. Yay!

I also wanted to comment on Write 1 Sub 1. I’ve always written. I still have so much old stuff I want to revise and get out there, it probaby defies belief. Submitting has been my downfall for the last few years, and W1S1 has pushed me out of that rut and back into action. Something else it’s done is forge a real sense of community. When rejections are reported, we commiserate. When questions are asked, advice flows freely. We offer each other encouragement, pats on the back and the occasional kick in the behind. And every time someone reports a success, I feel almost as excited as if it were mine. Absolute Write is a place like this, but W1S1, being a smaller group, offers that even more closer-knit “we’re in this together” vibe that I really enjoy.

Today, Suzanne, a writer’s who’s participating, reported a story sale to Asimov’s Science Fiction, and anyone around me might have sworn that it was my success, I was so pleased. And I’m no less pleased when someone places a Twitter-fic, a poem, a flash, or a story anywhere else. It’s great to share in such a group dynamic.


Friday, March Madness Update

When you work from home as a freelancer, TGIF loses its luster a bit. I’m still glad it’s Friday, though, because I think I’m going to actually not do any work over the weekend and pick back up on Monday. Not that I worked all that hard this week. I took it pretty easy, because I think I needed to.

So yesterday was one of “those” days. I stopped thinking about knots and instead spent time making a nice dinner. Eggplant parmesan, garlic bread, salad and even peach cobbler with ice cream. Ate entirely too much while, of all things, watching TV. I don’t watch much TV. I record a few shows I like–Modern Family, Raising Hope, Ricky Gervais–and watch them when I don’t feel like doing anything else. My daughter and I shoveled food in and enjoyed a few of those last night.

That must have done the trick, because I felt more “back” today. I still didn’t unknot anything–didn’t try–but I made some notes on one of the stories I’d intended to write this week and even produced one new very short-short odd little thing.

Then I got a rejection. Yesterday, that probably would have driven me bugnuts. But today, I could handle it. I immediately resubmitted it somewhere else, and then submitted 4 more pieces to 3 different markets right afterward, in determined and heated revolt. This is Sparta!

March Madness: I haven’t finished submitting this week (I don’t think) but so far I’m at 15 submissions for March to 7 different markets. That puts me at 17 pieces out there, but also means I’m waiting to hear back from only 9 places. I can’t seem to nudge that up, as every time I’m ready to I hear back from one or five in a single week. The rejection today was the only one this week.

I sent one new short-thing today, but the rest were resubs except one poem that had never been submitted before. All my subs this week went to markets I’d never tried before, which is a bit exciting in itself. I’m off to get some writing done right now, and I think tomorrow might just be a knot-untying day.