Monday, June 15, 2015

Full-time Writer

It comes as a bit of a surprise, but I'm having more trouble finding a new day job than I had thought I would. The feedback I've received thus far suggests that I have TOO MUCH experience. They're afraid that if they hire me, I'll be bored.

Well, here's what I have to say about that:

OF COURSE I'LL BE BORED. IT'S A BORING JOB!

And the job hunt continues.

So, not being able to find a day job means that writing is now my full-time job, which is terrifying for a couple of reasons:

1. My Amazon ranking is so low, I'm pretty sure they had to add on space in their basement in order to accommodate it. It's my fault, I know, because I'm truly terrible at marketing. I still can't bring myself to tell people I even wrote a book, forget trying to convince someone to buy it. (Don't like to read? Effigy makes a great doorstop!)

2. I've been stuck on Second Nature for so long. I think I may have made a mess of it, and I'm no longer convinced I'm smart enough to write the book I set out to write.

So that's the situation. I need to figure out how to better market my book (and really, I should have just left 'better' out of that last sentence), and finish writing the second one. I need to do better; I need to be better. I don't know how, exactly, to accomplish these things, but I have plenty of time to work it out because I can't get a job. (Not that I'm bitter about this at all.)

To help me with the writing side of things, I made the decision to sign up for the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo. I haven't done the summer session before—but the November NaNoWriMo generally gets me motivated to make it past the 50k mark, any way, shape, or form—so I thought this might be worth a try. I need to find a way out of these damn doldrums I've been stuck in ever since I moved here. (Not that I'm being overly dramatic about this at all.)



I did some math the other day (see how screwed up things are right now? I did math. On purpose.) to help me figure out what my Camp NaNo word count goal should be. (In the Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, the word count is flexible.) I worked out that my average chapter word count is nearly 7000 words. I estimated that I have approximately 12 chapters left to write. So when one does this math:

7000 x 12

It comes out to a whoooooooole lot of words. 84,000 of them, to be exact. (Or it might be. I'm the one who did the math, after all.)

Which means that— in addition to never doing math again—I decided to keep the NaNo goal at 50k. Just seemed the thing to do.

Second Nature is just a monster of a novel. (It'll make a better door stop than Effigy when it's done.) And I'm all right with that. Just so long as I can figure out how to write it.

Maybe it's a good thing I can't find a job.


So that's what's going on with me. How are things with you? Anyone else out there headed to Camp NaNoWriMo next month?

62 comments:

  1. I so feel your pain. "You don't want this job. You'll be bored!" really can't be countered with "Yes, but starving is more boring." Have you checked out the promo boards on Facebook?

    List of all book promo sites on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ListofALLbookpromotions/permalink/438344202982499/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know those promo boards exist. Time to go check them out! Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I meant to say: get that beautiful cover out there and you should garner some interest. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a full time writer too, without a full time income lol. But don't blame yourself too much for low sales and rankings. Even the best of book marketers have seen a slump in the past 18 months, as the market becomes even more crowded. Just write to recapture the joy of it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sorry you're over qualified. Maybe aim for a management position?
    Hope Camp NaNo gets you back into the swing of things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem with management positions is that they're at minimum 40 hours a week, but are generally more like 50 or 60 (at least at the places where I've managed in the past). I don't want to do that. Plus, if I had a management position, I'd have to write haiku about myself...

      Delete
    2. Those hours aren't great, but remember...

      If you're management,
      You can order employees
      To write you haiku.

      Delete
    3. No, no—I have to get them to do all of the work so that I can spend every shift composing haiku.

      Delete
  5. Oh boy, I hear you on the marketing thing. If I could I'd hire someone to all mine for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are there people who do that? As soon as I get a job, I'm hiring one!

      Delete
  6. I participated in Camp NaNo once or twice awhile back. It was a good experience but it didn't have the same oomph to me that November NaNo does. Or maybe it was just that I didn't have the same oomph. Sigh.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering if I'll find the same thing to be true.

      Delete
  7. Wow, Second Nature is a beast! You write big novels. But I just had a similar funk and dividing my task into even smaller ones really helped. Don't worry about the day-job thing. I struggled too, which is why my brother took pity on me and now I do all his research data for him. Maybe being a full-tine writer is just what you need. I know this sounds impossible, but try not to freak out. Stay calm and think of a way to approach your writing. Wishing you the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try not to freak out? What is this 'not freaking out' of which you speak? :)

      Delete
  8. Being a full time writer is a scary thing. May Camp NaNo prompt you to take advantage of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a scary thing! I haven't even been doing it that long, and I'm terrified!

      Delete
  9. Hey, full time writer! Sounds like a plan. I'm just writing like I usually do. It's a busy summer for me with some major family events going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure a plan that makes me nervous is better than no plan at all. Enjoy your summer. Mine definitely won't be so busy.

      Delete
  10. Good luck with Camp NaNo! As for marketing, yeah, it's rotten. I still haven't figured out how to properly do so. It drives me bonkers sometimes. (So much, it seems, I have to retype the word 5 times to spell it correctly!)

    RYC: Even if you just donate to Realms Faire, it's free marketing! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll make sure to donate to Realms Faire then. Thanks!

      Delete
  11. Oh, marketing's easy. Just modify your cover to say "James Patterson & M.J. Fifield" and your sales will skyrocket. (Note: so will your legal costs.)

    Best of luck, both with your writing and with finding a job that won't completely bore you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As for marketing, I'm begging for authors for my Unicorn Bell week (June 29-July 3). Want to help a girl out? Good luck on the day job hunt. I'm sure the perfect job will appear eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you've already been kind enough to host me two or three times, but if you have openings, I'll be happy to help you out. :)

      Delete
  13. Enjoy having the time to write full time while you can! I would love to have even two weeks where I could do that…. I'm sure the right job will show up just when you need it - after you finish that behemoth of a book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I would enjoy it, but having no day job makes me nervous. This is the longest I've been unemployed since high school.

      Delete
  14. I feel you on the marketing. I did actually tell my mom about my Path of Angels series, but mostly because it's an ebook and she doesn't do that so she can't read it. She laughed at me a little when I said it was because it had adult content and parental figures therefore aren't allowed to read the series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I reluctantly gave my parents a copy of my book—with the plea to not actually read it. I should have given them your reason—that's perfect!

      Delete
  15. I feel your pain on the writing front.

    Come over and do my Sea Monkey author interview. I missed you when you released. So do it now and say it's marketing instead of the fun, crazy time it will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like fun...I'll have to start studying for the SAT portion. :)

      Delete
  16. Good luck with NaNo and the job hunt. Where in Florida did you move to? I'm up in New Port Richey. There's a liquor store up by me hiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm on the East Coast side of things. I'm guessing three hours would be a bit much for a commute, but maybe I could find a local liquor store. :)

      Delete
  17. I hope NaNo helps with the writing. I'm sure you can figure out a way to work Second Nature. You are good enough. I know it. Okay, cheerleader hat off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the cheerleading. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  18. I'm there alongside you in the basement - Amazon likes to taunt me with my rankings. I honestly don't know why sane people choose to publish books!! As for the word count goal, 50k seems much more manageable than 84k - here's hoping the words will flow and you'll get to the end of those chapters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, 50k seems MUCH more doable now. :)

      Delete
  19. I suppose the real question is, "How necessary is the job?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some in my camp who think the answer to that question is, "It isn't." I just can't bring myself to be one of them. Yet.

      Delete
  20. I guess a boring job is better than no job at all. However, your obvious passion is for the written word. I do so hope you get more recognition. It must be most frustrating.

    All the best,

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really just want a part time job with no real responsibility. When my shift ends, I just want to be able to punch out and go home and not worry about the day job again until my next shift. Boring jobs fit this description well.

      But yes, my passion is writing, and I'm certain that once I do find that part time job, I'll be rather upset that I can't write full time anymore.

      Because I'm weird like that.

      Delete
  21. I feel you so bad. My own marketing of Flicker is beyond pitiful. Plus, it's not really a novel so....:/ Personally, I've been focusing on building up awareness of *me* as an author so when my current WIP is ready to be launched I won't be a complete stranger. We'll see how that goes.

    And I'm also stuck in a boring job, but I do need the money. I've been treating it as a framing exercise - what can I get out of it? - and found a few things, so that helps the day go by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At my last job, I got a paycheck, so that was a nice perk. :)

      Delete
  22. Marketing must be the pits. I think secretly it's one of the reasons I haven't hit Publish yet! Can't think of anything uglier than promoting yourself. Still, I guess you have to sell your books somehow.
    I must try Camp NaNo. The day i tried to sign up the system wouldn't respond then I forgot about it.

    I hope you get a job if you want one. And all the best for finishing your second novel. Go you!

    Denise :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Denise. If you end up signing up for Camp NaNo, let me know!

      Delete
  23. I think marketing will get easier once you get your third book out. So I'm totally looking forward to Second Nature and whatever book 3 is called! ;) (I totally suck at marketing so I have no help to offer. If it's any consolation, you're higher ranked than I am.)

    Have fun with Camp NaNo. I wish you the best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The third book? But I can't even manage to finish the second book! (The third book is called Full Circle, BTW)

      But yes, I think marketing will be easier—or at least more varied—once I have more books out in the world.

      Delete
  24. Ugh, I HATE that comment from job rejections. Yes, obviously I'll be bored, but don't you think I knew that when I applied??? Maybe I WANT to be bored. or maybe I NEED THE MONEY. sigh. good luck with the job hunt...

    You should talk to Quanie Miller! Do you read her blog? It's awesome and she's hilarious and smart AND she just started her own business helping writers market themselves. For real. http://www.quanietalkswriting.com/ is her blog, and her business is http://www.yourvisioninink.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I have a good 20 years of retail experience (Yes, I am that old). You don' t think I know a boring job when I apply for it?

      And I have not read Quanie's blog, but it sounds like I should start. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Delete
  25. Math? I'm so sorry!

    I've thought about doing Camp NaNo, but I get so much busier at work during the summer that I just don't know if I can make the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right?!?!?!?!?!

      And work has been the reason I've never attempted Camp NaNo before. But as I'm currently unemployed, I thought I'd have time this year.

      Delete
  26. Too much experience? Wow, job employers are weird. I have the exact opposite problem: none of 'em want to hire me because I'm too inexperienced. (I was even declined an interview for a dish-washing job because of this. It was like...what?!)

    Anyway, sorry to hear you're so stuck on Second Nature. One of my projects is a mess right now, too, and it's beyond frustrating. Hope Camp NaNoWriMo ends up being the inspiration you need!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really, a dish-washing job hiring person said that? That is so bizarre!!

      But yeah, it's not the first time I've heard "Too much experience" but it still irks me. I think it's code for "we don't want to pay you that much money."

      Delete
  27. I feel like that's my problem with Champion's Destiny - I've been at it so long that it's totally messed up. I thought I had a way out of the issues, but it still feels stuck to the floor like glue (extra-special door stop).

    And, I have heard of having too much experience . . . which is crazy.
    I hope you find a job soon!And that your writing takes off with NaNoWriMo. I need a NaNo that goes from June 25th through July 25th . . . too many time constraints otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I think I have a way out, it hasn't worked out. May we both find our way, and soon!

      Delete
  28. Hey, I'm being serious... but you really should write a comedy memoir (like Bridget Jones... or so... )

    I love your posts and they alllllllways crack me up :)

    Good luck with the CampNanoNano... (too many letters for me...) and thanks, as always, for the smiles :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Good luck with Camp NaNo! And they say the best way to market your book is to write another book. Sometimes to get a job you have to underplay your experience. That way they won't think you're overqualified and likely to leave them soon after being hired.

    ReplyDelete
  30. went back and caught up on you, hope florida is growing on you. i lived in west palm beach as a teen - you do realize that naming your pup gator girl made you destined to move there... she's adorable! btw
    i'm still enjoying effigy, it's my go to read every time i get a chance - i like to think i'm savoring it so that by the time i'm done, second nature will be ready! so good luck with camp nano - i wrote BBF at camp 2 years ago - it's a great motivator indeed.
    ps - thanks for signing up for my book stuff! will send arc soon =) i better hurry before you land a day job!

    ReplyDelete
  31. It's the wrong time of year to be looking for a job as cheap teen help is plentiful; come fall, when they all go back to school, you'll have better luck.

    And if you ever want a reviewer for Effigy, send me a copy. I get about 200 hits per day on my reviews blog. Not huge, but . . . ::shrug::

    ReplyDelete
  32. Writing is not a simple, you are so blessed to become a great writer. Keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  33. nice information... thanks

    ReplyDelete