The Write Kind of Success

I found this guest blog post of mine from last year, and it prompted me to write to you all.

My writer friend Fiona Skye graciously offered me to write a guest post for her blog on Valentine’s Day last year, and THIS was the result.

At the end of the piece, I recognize that a new work, a spate of creativity I’d never known before is being birthed in me. Four and a half months later it began. When that guest post was written, I had never completed any fiction works. From the first of July last year to the first of March this year, I wrote and completed nineteen (yes, 19!) 30,000 word novellas.

Then I had to take a break. I was restless and my creativity was at a low. I turned it from writing to another project: finding us a place to live out of the city, that wouldn’t cost us anything, so that, instead of working on several novellas at a time, I could ghostwrite just part time and work on my own stuff, finally–something to put my own name on.

I had worked out new digs for us in less than a week. We are now in a ranch caretaking position in SE Arizona, where we trade roughly 11 hours work a week (split between two of us) in exchange for a cute little apartment and our utilities. The only thing we pay for is Internet.

It took me a couple of months to decompress and to even want to write again. I schemed and experimented with other ideas, worrying that maybe I wouldn’t go back to writing. I hadn’t written fiction for more than 30 years–maybe this flurry had just been an anomaly. But it really was about decompressing. This bucolic life has had an amazing effect on me. It not only has taught me many things, but it has completely revitalized my creativity.

I applied for a new ghostwriting contract and, when I didn’t hear for a few days, I completely forgot about it. Somehow, I didn’t receive a notice from Elance, but on a lark I checked in one day to find that I had been awarded a $1350 contract for a new work. I’m reanimated and eager to get to work.

Ideas for my own works are beginning to flow now, and the one thing all of this has taught me is that we really do create our own reality. I’m living mine every day and loving every minute of it.

Ghostwriting: Good or Bad?

Today, Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly and BookLocker.com posted this article: I Want to Hire You to Write My Book (But Only for a Paltry Share of Future Royalties).

After spending the last 9 months ghostwriting fiction, here’s what I’ll tell you. Yes, it is paltry (very), but, although I’ve been a writer and storyteller for years, I’m new at writing fiction. I am now writing my 20th novella. Number 19 is the first one I would ever have been able to say, “Yes. I want to put my name on this one.”

So what does that mean? First, if I were doing this on my own, that means I would have likely thrown away 18 manuscripts before I got to this point. Well, 17–there is one that I would have liked to have kept to rework. However, someone paid me to write them. And they must not have been too bad because several clients rehired me to do more projects.

As it is, I’ve been able to keep a roof over my head for the last 9 months with my ghostwriting. The one thing, however, that became paramount is that I find a way to arrange my circumstances so that I can start working on the things I do want to write and publish for myself. Thus my partner and I found a caretaking job. We are exchanging horse care and ranch security for rent and utilities. Not having to pay those things is a huge relief, and allows us to put that money back for future.

At this point we’ve agreed that we will each do one ghostwriting assignment per month in order to have money to pay our bills and put some away. Then, instead of taking on more ghostwriting, we will write and publish for ourselves, starting with some of the more frivolous genres (which seem to be terribly popular). They can be fun to write, and if you have paid attention to any marketing strategies whatsoever, should sell fairly well. Then when we start getting residuals from them, we can start the kind of writing we really want to do. We know how it works–we have to be putting new stuff on the market every month to keep the money flowing.

More on this subject another day. My next post will be what I’ve learned watching my clients market my books.