This week of writing has been good. I’m doing more short stories, which I enjoy, and it is easier than re-wrapping my brain around a longer story.
However it’s not necessarily the kind of progress I need to make. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t be able to maintain a professional level of writing-time until my youngest is in school full time, which happens this fall. My older daughter will always have special needs, so those demands on my time won’t change.
I’ve been a bit surprised at how opportunity seems to be knocking more frequently lately. In some cases I’m ready and eager for the opportunity, but sometimes the next opportunity comes along and I haven’t finished with the first one yet. I find myself having to make decisions about which to accept and which to pass. When something shiny and new captures my attention, it can be very difficult to concentrate on and finish the old stuff.
Last year, I had two stories published in anthologies. The transition in my mind from aspiring author to published author was profound.
Now, I need to figure out how to proceed from here. There are new mistakes to make. For example, I have a note to myself on my links page mentioning that I might answer a call for submissions from something that looked interesting…and then I forgot to actually add the link. I need to have a place where I can easily list the various opportunities I’m considering. I need to keep track of multiple deadlines, guidelines, and e-mail addresses and websites of the publishers and editors to whom I am submitting. I might make a spreadsheet that I keep in my dropbox, or I might create a private page on this blog. I haven’t decided yet.
This is a change from where I thought I’d be. When I began my writing career I thought I would finish a novel or few, then seek an agent and traditional publishing. However the opportunities I’m answering are for shorter works. For now, that fits my needs better. I can gain name recognition, and I can mature as a writer, improving my skills with practice. I haven’t abandoned the novels, but they are not at the forefront of my mind at the moment. They might not be able to be until this fall.
Was there any change or opportunity you found in your writing career that you decided to just go with?
The great thing about short fiction is that you can get a lot of works done in a short time. The BAD thing about short fiction is that you can get a lot of works done in a short time, and then you have to deal with placing them. It ten times as easy to get distracted.
How true! My favorite aspect of short fiction is that I can take one idea from start to finish in less than an hour.
It might not be the progress that you need, but it is progress, and that’s never a bad thing. As you say, you’re limited until your daughter goes to school, but still, you have time to prepare for the kind of career that you want when the time becomes available, and it sounds like you’re getting your arms around that.
I feel guilty when I think about how some people hold down a full time job and still find time for writing. But being a Mom is 24/7.
i am poised to make this avocation – gasp – a business and a career….!
Pardon me while I take a few deep breaths to stave off panic…..
For me, because my children are school-free, the change came early last year, when my youngest became less emotionally dependent on my companionship and help with most of her daily activities, at about 7.5. Since then, I get more and more time to write. My oldest is almost 11.5, and he’s the type who looks ahead and thinks things through…he is suddenly not so very far from being independent, even if he continues to live with us….
So, in smallish ways, at first, I am declaring myself, and taking steps to set myself up to have an actual writing income…..
It’s scary….but you’ve got till the fall, so maybe you could just make a list of things to explore, and add to them as time goes by….there might be a few you could start in some way before she starts in the fall….
I will be here, rooting you on! =D
I will cheer for you too!
Although as a child I dreamed of being a celebrity author doing book tours and spending summers in Italy as I wrote my novel, I realize as an adult that most authors have to keep their day job. Still, I want this career, and I hope to eventually build a body of work that readers will enjoy and want to buy.
You are a published author. Keep saying this, it’s so awesome. You seem so self aware, as in you know what you can handle, and while it’s not what you envisioned, it is a different version of it! Good luck to you in all of this.