Well maybe a few.
There should be more.
Four days off from work and my brain should be full of words, of ideas for the plot, of things to research to help bring the story into place, of a single voice of a single character. I should be ramping up the obsession with Boone and his world.
But I am not.
I made a choice to do some work-for-hire projects. It was a decision based completely on the money factor. You know, that great big reason that so many of else claim not to write for but hey sometimes money validates things faster than anything else. Which means until the 1st of July I am consumed with only ESL projects. And I mean CONSUMED because the deadline is insane and I have the day job as well but I said yes. And I said yes because of the money. Yes, I said the dirty word. Money.
I struggle with the idea of writing “just for the money” and yet I continue to do it. I work a day job for the money why should I feel so out of whack sometimes about writing for money instead of purely for story?
Insecurity I am sure is at the base of it.
For some reason I still can’t accept the odd path to being a writer that I have taken.
It would be easier on me if I could.
Money is important, we all want to make money on our writing. I think when people say they don’t write for the money, they are simply talking about personal writing. I also think that many times the person is trying to sound noble, because I can’t imagine many people not wanting to earn money.
And I swear that all of the angst about writing is part of the process. I don’t know, I keep thinking that I can train my brain to not go to the “bad place”. Sometimes I succeed, but mostly NOT!
I don’t know what it is with me. Sigh. I know that I never feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing when I write for hire and yet I don’t ever know that I am supposed to do anything else. I know that doesn’t make any sort of sense. I’m just really having a crisis of writing faith, again, I guess.
I wish I could train my brain not to go to the “bad place” too.
Maybe it is the fact that work for hire is not your project, so it feels foreign. Focus on what you know-writing. Imagine in your head your inner critic, ask her to work on something else while you’re doing your work for hire. Maybe she’ll be helpful and spark something on your personal project writing? I know it sounds psycho, but separate those feelings into separate entities and treat them like a workforce and you’re their manager. Don’t let them push you around.
Yes, I am sure you have a lot of that right – it’s not my project so it IS foreign. Plus when I agreed to do it, there was one concept and now the concept is changed and it is much more challenging. And not much time to do it.
I will have a serious heart-to-heart with my inner critic at bedtime.
I’m not sure what you’re asking.
Maybe part of my problem is that I haven’t sold a book in years. Haven’t written a new one in years. And so any validation of myself as a writer has faded away. So doing the work-for-hire stuff makes me feel a little bit better for a little while.
Writing and finishing and selling another book would make me feel better for longer but I don’t know. I always suppose that I have a bigger fear of success than I do of failure so maybe doing work-for-hire stuff is self-sabotage.
I meant that, although I enjoyed writing long before I got paid for it and I’d continue to do so if I never got paid again, the fact that I got paid for something I love to do still blows me away. I mean, HUH??? For years I never believed it would happen. I thought, what kind of ego must I have to think anyone would pay money to read something I wrote? Yet I also felt that if I tried hard enough, and WORKED hard enough, maybe I could do it. So, yeah, I felt validated when it finally happened.
I guess maybe I’ve been doing some version of this for so long that I can’t remember what it was like 20 years ago when I sat on the stoop in the garage and wrote what ending up being a book that sold just to the German market (meaning it did nothing for my career here) while my 1st husband working on the car and the kids played in the front yard.
It’s a different path from those writers who start off deciding to write a novel and only write novels and yes, write for years never knowing if they will ever sell something they have written.
I’m not saying any of this very well which probably explains a lot about me.
I like getting paid for writing, whatever writing I do. I guess maybe I’m afraid that the only writing I will ever be paid for again is this sort of work-for-hire stuff.
Crud – never mind. I’ll go back to phoenics and patterns and trying to tell a story in 200 words – oh yeah.
Edited to add – and it is not that I am not grateful for all I have done, because I am. I feel that I should have done more, been father along, and the fact that I am not is my own fault and no one else’s.
I always suppose that I have a bigger fear of success than I do of failure so maybe doing work-for-hire stuff is self-sabotage.
I understand this, too. Halfway through my editorial revisions with Before/After, I hit a point where I honestly wanted to say “forget it.” I was afraid to move forward and, at the time, I wondered how many authors says screw the advance and really DO back out. I bet there are many of them out there you just never hear about.
It’s a scary step.
It would be interesting to know if there are writers who back out.
I don’t know.
I bet there are. I can’t be the only one who considered it. Like those authors who get a request for a full from their dream agency–and never send it.
You know, I just remembered I sorta have one of those stories. A NF book and the reason I have the agent I have today. But the agent stopped sending the book around and I continued. Then I got a request for more from a publisher on a book I didn’t have any more of and at the time, was in the middle of melt-down so I couldn’t do it.
And now so much time has gone by that I would have to start from scratch with it.
Talk about lousy timing. Jeez.
AND–if doing writing-for-hire would get me out of this job of mine, I would do it in a second. Money may be a dirty word, lol, but it’s still money, and it’s still writing!!! (((HUGS)))
Yes, that is what I keep thinking too. My day job is nothing like yours. Not life threatening unless you can really die of absolute boredom. But I sit alone (but can’t write), don’t talk to anyone most of the day (the place is a ghosttown and I have no interaction with real people anymore) and it is so damn hard to get up at 5am.
So I think if I were 20 years younger I would just quit and take my chances that I could find more work-for-hire stuff when I needed it. But at almost 50 I am not that brave.
Thanks for the hugs. I am going to try to remember that it is money and it is writing.
And you and I are around the same age. Neither of us are in the position to take such an enormous chance. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I’d gotten serious about my writing YEARS ago. Ah, well.