97. The Writing Life

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Beth in her blog made a post about the publishing business. Writing is one of those jobs in which you have no guarantees. You write in hopes that someone sees your writing and hopefully likes it enough to pay you for it. The money isn't why we do this, but some need the money in order to pay the bills and make a living. I've been writing in one form for another since my pre-teens. Writing is just in my blood. I write everything. I write nonfiction and fiction. I've written fan fiction. I've even taken part in interactive fiction, sometimes called role playing. I just love to write and I love doing it in its many forms.

Some might look at my having written fan fiction or my role playing and say that writing is just a hobby for me. I don't see this as such, but I know I'm far away from calling this a career. I write every day, in my blog, in my personal journal, articles that appear on various sites. Some for pay and some for free. I do it because I love writing, and some of my for free work has landed me paying jobs. In order to get something in which will pay you money, sometimes you have to give just a little. Some say writing for free is bad and writer's shouldn't do it. I don't see it as a bad thing. Most of my for free writing takes me little or no time to write, and it is mostly in the form of reviews and news pieces. I seem to be able to buzz out a nonfiction in little or no time at all. Fiction is much harder for me to do that with.

Fiction might be where I first started writing, but nonfiction is where I first started to make money. I guess at times that is where I try to focus on my attention. I know once my fiction starts to sell, I'll have to balance the both better. I started writing professionally back in 2000, and I sold a few articles, had a weekly column, and even had my first book contract by sometime in 2002. I was on a high during that time because I thought I was going to have it made. The book contract was for a fairly large deal, and if it did well, I'd do well. It was for a new publisher and they wanted me to write a series of nonfiction children's books covering the states. Each state would have a book, and it would appeal to schools with its information.

I began researching, calling states and requesting information. I still find stuff to this day, and I use some of the information to make decisions on places to put my stories setting wise. I had a contract, and I thought by sometime in 2003 my books would start coming out. Well, it didn't work that way. The publisher bit off a bit more than they could chew and went bankrupt about six months following the contract. I haven't heard from the publisher since. The experience left me a bit burned, and I took an extended hiatus from writing because of it. I started writing again, hoping to break in professionally, in November 2004. I know I have a long way to go, but I'll get there.

I'm writing more than I have ever before. Yes, the majority of it is nonfiction. I'm hoping to change that. Evolution is having Evolunacy next month, and I might join in and try to write 10,000 words in my fiction alone. I'm pondering that. See if I'll jump in or not.


Beth Ciotta said...

Gina, the first portion of your post, where you relay 'why you write' was very inspiring. Obviously it is in your blood. You can't NOT write.

The second portion, where you talk about the bankrupt publisher was sad indeed. Sad because the concept was actually a very interesting one. I'm sorry it didn't work out. For you, and for all those who would have benefited from reading your words.

Don't be discouraged. As cliched as it sounds, things happen for a reason. When the time is right... well, you get the picture. :)

Jill said...

What Beth said. Seriously, don't ever give up.

Silma said...

Writing is something you do. Most of the time you can't think in terms of money. Like anything in entertainment, it's unstable. What sells today, won't sell tomorrow, and viceversa. But if you think too much about it, it'll drive you crazy. Just write for the pleasure that brings you. And now that no matter how small the fan-base can be, it's one of the things you have to live for.

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