This is gonna be a long post. I apologize in advance. Just the way it worked out.
After I knocked off for the day yesterday, I went to work. (grin)
I spent about two hours updating the rest of those 2013 – 2015 posts over at the big blog. So I knocked that off my To Do list. Then I moved them from Uncategorized (didn’t go to MailChimp the first time around) to Pro Writers and scheduled them to post in the future. I’m good now through February 2017.
Writer Bonnie Edwards commented on yesterday’s post. I especially enjoyed the quote by James Blaylock, but she talked about some other stuff too that always entertains me.
What I didn’t say in my response was that one of the posts I revisited, revised and moved yesterday had to do (in part) with the kind of comical folks she mentioned in her comment.
I thought you might get a chuckle from it, so I’ve used part of it as the topic below.
The chore fell to me this morning to clean and replenish the three hummingbird feeders we have hanging in the yard. That happens about every other day this time of year. (grin)
One particularly annoying woodpecker hangs upside down from them to help the hummers drain them. At night, the bats take care of the rest.
Also wrote and rewrote the topic for today. Even though it’s a cross-post from the other site, I rewrote and revised it enough that I’m counting the nonfiction words on the day.
In fact, I rewrote it the first time yesterday (rewrite is not a bad word in nonfiction) for the other site, then rewrote it twice this morning.
Now the other post (which will come out in February) reads the same as this one, albeit with a bit more over there. So I cross-posted it eventually from here back over to there. Twice. (grin)
Again, it’s already been a good day and I haven’t started writing yet. I love days like this.
I decided a couple days ago I’m going to try to maintain a 4000 word per day average through the rest of this novel. Should be fun to watch.
Topic: “Oh, I Don’t Write for Money,” (he said, one forearm draped dramatically over his forehead as a glass of wine and a cheese stick balanced precariously in his other hand.)
First, a disclaimer — I am aware there are folks out there who are not writers and don’t care to be. That’s fine. What follows is about those who are or claim to be writers.
Over all the years when I was goofy enough to believe I was making a difference presenting in writers’ conferences and sitting on panels (there’s a waste of time you’ll never get back) in genre conventions, I must have heard it at least a thousand times: “Oh, I’m not into writing for money.”
And every single time, for me, that begged the question, “Then why in the world are you here?” I mean seriously, if you don’t write for money, why are you spending money on the latest conference, convention, or seminar?
Okay, some folks love learning strictly for the sake of learning. Got it.
But what about the other five or six out of a bajillion?
Now don’t get angry. Coming from a (former) writing instructor, “Why do you write?” is a completely valid question. But really, it’s strictly rhetorical.
The fact is, writers who say they don’t write for money belong in one of four groups:
Group One consists of hobby writers.
They really don’t write for money. They also don’t invest much of their own time and money in learning how to write. When they do invest money in their writing, it’s for a good and specific reason.
These are the ones the other family members turn to when someone has to write a eulogy. Perhaps they write to leave a legacy—perhaps a memoir or a family history—so descendants will have a record.
Perhaps they pay a proofreader or copyeditor to clean up the writing a bit, and they might even attend a writing workshop or two. That’s perfectly understandable. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a hobby writer.
Group Two are the same folks, but they harbor a secret desire to be professional writers.
They really don’t write for money either. And they hedge their bets by not investing much of their own time and money in learning how to write. If they don’t learn, they have no reason to write seriously and they will never risk failure.
However, they’re so overcome by the fear of failure that they will never seriously consider themselves writers, nor expect others to consider them writers.
That’s okay too if they can’t overcome the fear, but I hope they find something they love to do and do that instead.
Group Three consists of those who are not writers, will never be writers, and know it. They are who this topic is really all about.
They say that they don’t write for money in a tone that indicates they’re bragging. They believe themselves above scrabbling for the filthy lucre, and generally — if they actually write at all — they’re in pursuit of writing The Great American Novel.
They have an elevated calling, you see, and they’re above the whole sordid mess in which we mere mortals are entangled.
However, for some reason they believe others see them as writers (Pssst! No, we don’t.) and they attach some elevated importance to that as well. They would fit right into the Brit TV show Keeping Up Appearances, and any one of them could play the role of Hyacinth. And they’re precisely as annoying.
Those in this group spend sometimes vast amounts of money on appearing to be a writer. But learning and honing the craft doesn’t matter. Appearance — what others believe about them — is everything.
Shrug. Stretch. Yawn. Okay. Whatever.
Those in Group Four are writers, or at least aspirants who have a real shot at being writers.
Those say (usually humbly) that they don’t write for money either. But they invest time and money wisely in learning and honing the craft. (Like those in Group Two, they’re also hedging their bets, but only out of fear of rejection.) We can lump them in with those in Group Five.
Everyone else belongs in Group Five. They are writers. They never utter “I don’t write for money” unless they’re being sarcastic.
These folks have learned what those in Group Three will never learn: If you want to write, write. It’s that simple.
Neither do they think nonstop of all the money they’re going to make. That isn’t what it’s about. They just write.
As one personal example, I seriously doubt I’ll ever make a solid living with my writing. But I also seriously expect my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will rake in cash by the barrel load. And that’s fine. But I get all the fun of telling the stories and putting them out there. (grin)
Let’s pause here for a moment so you can do a quick self-assessment if you want to. Nobody’s judging. Whether and why you belong in any of the first four groups is strictly up to you to decide.
Okay, all done?
Good. Now, here’s what you do.
If you belong in Group One, Two or Three, you can go home now.
Stop reading this and go find something fun to do.
Why? Because I see no reason to take you seriously, or at all, as a writer. And frankly, if you’re in Group One or Two, you don’t expect me to. In fact, you’re probably laughing along with the rest of us.
If you’re in Group Three and you’re still reading — well, sorry.
I realize you expect the rest of us to not only realize you’re a writer but admire your tenacity, etc. Here you go. Let’s see if I can hit the high spots:
- You expect the rest of us to grovel and beg for an autographed copy of your recent release.
- You authored your book (but not for filthy lucre) and are selling for some exorbitant amount because it’s Just That Good.
- Oh, and because you paid some subsidy publisher a few thousand dollars to like it enough to publish it.
That about right?
You’re also probably madder than eight wildcats in an oil drum right now. But really, just chill and go find something you actually enjoy doing. Seriously.
Now, if you’re in Group Four or Five (Bonnie), hey, this entire post celebrates you. I’m pulling for you, I’m proud of you and I’m glad you’re one of us.
Keep learning, keep writing, and keep making wise investments in your education.
But don’t tell people you aren’t writing for money. Just keep having fun making stuff up.
A good post with a good gem or two over on Dean’s site today on Novel Challenge Day Six. He talks about failing to success.
Rolled out right at 3:30 after 7 hours of sleep. Seven hours seems to be working into my norm. I’d prefer 6, but I guess I have to do what the body prefers. (grin)
Moved to the outside desk about 4:15, worked on the topic above, etc. All of that took until 5:45, then filled the hummingbird feeders.
That consumed about twenty mminutes this morning. Then I took care of a few other things, Facebook, email etc.
So 6:50, still at the outside desk, finally to the novel. Since I have to read back a bit anyway, I’m gonna (finally) create a reverse outline.
7:30, the reverse outline is up to date. Taking a short break to prepare to head out to the Hovel.
8 a.m., in the Hovel and to the novel. Despite a few short breaks to share some almonds with a few baby squirrels about 20 feet from the door of the hovel, I added 1200 words to the novel in the past hour and a half. At 9:30, a brief break.
9:50, back to the novel. After adding another 1200 words, another break at 10:50. I’ll go to the house and check on the babies. Man I wish all my novels would run this fast. (grin)
11:20, back to the novel. After another 700 words, I’m taking a break at 11:50 to take care of something I just remembered. Gotta cut some cardboard and cover the tires on my trailer. If I don’t do it now, I might forget. Back in a bit.
Well, that took only about 15 minutes. But I took the knife back to the house and decided to check email etc. while I was there. Anyway…
12:20, back to the novel. 1:40, Well, I decided to go through and change a lot of the spelling of some of the bad guys’ dialogue to heavy dialect using truncated words and phonetic spellings. Labor intensive, that.
So a little over an hour gone on that, and now to the house to grab a sandwich or something and check on the babies.
2:30, back to the novel.
Calling it a day a little after 3.
Fiction Words: 4249
Nonfiction Words: 1850 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 6099
Writing of Haley’s Story (working title, action-adventure novel)
Day 1…… 1005 words. Total words to date…… 1005 words
Day 2…… 4551 words. Total words to date…… 5566 words
Day 3…… 4776 words. Total words to date…… 10342 words
Day 4…… 5336 words. Total words to date…… 15678 words
Day 5…… 4698 words. Total words to date…… 20376 words
Day 6…… 4238 words. Total words to date…… 24614 words
Day 7…… 4249 words. Total words to date…… 28863 words
Total fiction words for the month……… 84776
Total fiction words for the year………… 514928
Total nonfiction words for the month… 19170
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 185850
Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 700778