Monday, December 17, 2012

My Free Time

OK, so this blog isn't about what I do at work during the day or even my PT job - though they may give me inspiration to write.  This blog is about me as an author, but since it'll come up on page 1 of a Google search I thought I'd clarify some of my recent posts.

My volunteer work takes up some time, and if you don't want to scroll around to find out - I foster kittens for an animal rescue group, take them to adoption events, and will take care of them till they're adopted.  There's no expiration date so they can stick around until they find their family.  There's a limit to how many I have in my house so it's not out of control as long as I'm on top of it. 

To some, this seems a waste of time because I'm not helping people in some way.  I used to do volunteer work with children, both at my daughter's school, and when I worked at a large corporation that formed a partnership with a middle school to mentor pre-teens. 

When I chose to volunteer my time to assist animals, it's due in part to my beliefs that they need help and that there's a combination of factors involving other people that put these animals in this position.  A short list would be abuse, abandonment, and lack of spay/neuter.

And to some people, these hours I spend helping animals isn't good enough.  I can accept that - universal adoration is not my goal in life.  There will be no pleasing some people, and I am not helping animals to try to please those that will never be satisfied.  I like the baby cats.  And my own cats.  And my dogs.  And my daughter too.  Some of them may like me outside of meal times.  Win-Win.

So back to the more objectionable part of my life.  I write.  I don't watch that much television any more.  I don't travel because of the animals.  I no longer play an MMO.  And I never got the thing about dancing drunkenly in the street while talking loudly, except to commend the individuals for choosing not to drive.  (those who know the city I live in might get this - at one time, the Rand McNally "Places Rated Almanac"  listed it as having the most taverns per capita in the U.S., 1 for every 218 residents)

When there's an event like National Novel Writing Month, it gives me a goal.  50,000 words in 30 days.  Quantity, not quality.   Not even first draft ready.

After the event is over, I mold those words.  For 2011 and 2012, I wrote some fan fiction to push my word count to a greater number after working on my original novel.  I post it for free on the internet.  I make no attempt at selling it because someone else created those characters.  It's my comfort food writing, and some people like reading it.

However, I can take the original characters and turn those into publishable work.  That's going to take months, but in the end my investment could lead to some income.  It will become latent or passive income because once it's published, it's a finished product.  I don't need to make monthly updates.  The royalties are direct deposited into my account.  So writing is a third job for me, and I'd like it to replace my second job one day.  Replace my primary job?  Let's wait on that.  I'm going to need to have a backlist of books first.  That's years at the rate I'm chugging along at.

Liking the idea of a goal, the third job of writing may one day produce a list of titles that will generate noticeable income allowing me to be more particular regarding my other work.  The ability to choose is important to me.

My ability to choose also goes into writing.  I write about topics I want because chasing trends and following formulaic plots doesn't seem that interesting.  There's no guarantee that writing something that's like what's been written before will equal actual dollars.  If I did that, I'd be in ReWrite X, maybe with an agent now, who would query publishers on my behalf or a possible publication date in 2014, rather than having The End of the World Sucks out there as an indie published piece.  It's making money today, shaking with this mama gave it.

Considering writing to be a third job is putting me and my family (I die, and the rights go to my estate) before the needs of others.  When I go to my other jobs, I believe that is the same situation.  I work hourly to get paid.  When I write, it's a self-employment opportunity, and the hours invested are not translated into a livable wage.

I really don't get why people need to be so vocal about what they expect others to do when I'm not too sure what they're doing regarding making the world a better place other than giving others grief.

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