Monday, March 30, 2009

Making the writing pay

Three weeks since I last posted? My only excuse is being busy with the paying work. Well, and with actual writing that I hope to get published.

Specifically, I've been working on putting a blurb together for the Nocturne Bites pitch contest. I wrote a story targeted toward this line last year, and one of my goals for this year is to edit it and get it submitted, so this pitch contest is the perfect goad to get me moving. I've been alternating work on polishing the two-paragraph blurb with editing the actual manuscript. I want it ready to go if I'm picked -- and if I'm not, I send it in as slush.

I've also been looking at the Knight Agency's Book in a Nutshell Competition. Back in February, I printed out my mystery, The Christmas Tree Farm Murders and started putting together a revision outline of it, preparatory to doing a modified version of Holly Lisle's one-pass revision (modified because I do the read-through and outline before making any of the decisions she talks about concerning whether the scenes are doing what they're supposed to; I have to have the big picture before me to make those calls). Now my plan is to send off my Nocturne Bites pitch and then focus on this, getting it into shape by the end of April. Again, if I'm not chosen, it's not the end of the world -- I'll send it off for crit and work on my query and synopsis, then go on to the traditional submission to agents.

Yesterday, I added even more to my plate -- I submitted an application for a paying blog gig. They may well look at my blogs and say, "She doesn't seem to stay focused and consistent, so we don't want to use her." I hope they don't. If I'm offered a position, that's paying work -- and as I've said before, I give paying work priority. If that means sitting down and writing a blog post first thing every weekday, then I'll do that. I'll also try to get back to blogging more regularly here -- but I'll focus first on fiction.

I have one of those minds always fascinated by the new and shiny. I want to take on new projects because they're different. For a bit, I was considering trying to do a podcast. I was going to try to account in advance for my tendency to get busy by having a half dozen episodes recorded before ever going live, and I only wanted to publish once every couple of weeks, maybe even only once a month. I had a title and a premise ("The Many Voices of Erin" all about trying to write and get published in multiple genres). However, I have decided both that I don't have time for this sort of project and that it will not advance my career materially enough to be worth the effort. It won't pay, and it probably won't convince anyone -- agent or editors or readers -- to buy more of my work. So I've discarded that idea.

I am moving forward, trying to make choices to get my writing out there, to get paid for it, to get read. Updates to follow.

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