New Opportunity

It was lovely while it lasted, really. But, it looks like the steady paycheck is gone and I’m back to picking up gigs wherever I can find them. The job lasts a few more months, but we’ve already been warned the hours will be reduced.

Too bad. It was a great job. The kind where I could fit the job around my life and not the kind where I had to fit my life around the job. That’s a very rare kind of job.

On the up side, it will give me more time to write. I was good and didn’t pick up the remote (much) yesterday and managed to untangle a bunch of things plot wise. always an exciting day. I figured out I needed to raise the stakes for my MC more. The trouble was trying to make it believable and not cliched. I think I’ve almost got it figured out. Almost.

I hope this is an opportunity to stop dreaming and start doing. I know. Trite. Also, ripping off the Shonda Rhimes speech that’s making the rounds right now, but she makes a good point. I like to say “Don’t think so much. Just do.” Which may not always be right, but is usually good advice.

With the plot almost unwound, I’m off to the ending. I need to figure out how to stop the story. Or where it ends. Or whatever it does. An absolute weak spot with me. But, with all the free time I’m about to have, I’ll have all the time I need, I hope.

Not “Partly” Today

Monday, Monday. Another day another dollar. But not for me. I was asked not to come in today. That means I’m off the whole week. That’s kind of fun, until I get the paycheck.

In any event, I’ve come to realize two things. First, I should probably try to monetize this blog. Or, alternatively, make some money with my writing. That would probably mean picking up some freelancing and I don’t see that happening. I don’t seem to have the will to hustle these days. Which is probably why I’m finding it so hard to work on my WIP.

Second, I need to come up with an editorial calendar for this blog. That sounds a little crazy. I mean, it’s just a blog. But, I find myself rambling on within a post as well as being all over the place with topics. Lack of focus, lack of a niche, and so on. Admittedly, I should probably sit down and edit the posts but to me, that seems to defeat the purpose. A blog, in my opinion, is a casual sort of thing.

That said, with the sudden day off, I’m going to try to get back to the WIP. I haven’t worked on it in, mmm, a few months? Maybe? I’m not sure. It’s fine. I needed some time off to work on other things in my brain, untangle some plot stuff and character stuff. The usual.

It’s found time! So, today, I guess, I’m not “partly writing.” I’m “writing.” Though, I probably shouldn’t put that in quotes. It doesn’t seem as committed. As long as I don’t touch the remote, it’s all good.

Progress

I Googled myself yesterday.

Well, not myself, but the blog. And, this daily blogging thing seems to be working. Sort of. Putting in the blog address gets the top result (obviously). Then the next several. And that’s good.

The problem is that I’m nowhere to be seen in terms of other search results. Which I guess I should expect at this point. I have no followers and no unique visits to this blog. (I don’t count myself.) Since I’m not a celebrity or even remotely famous, I don’t come with instant search results and fans and such.

Which means I have to promote this blog.

I’ve started to. I’ve done some Twitter stuff. With no results. But, I’m pretty sure that takes time. Along with getting people to really notice your blog. I could use the promote feature (or sharing, or whatever it’s called) on Word Press, but I don’t think this blog is ready for that. Yet.

And I haven’t shared it on Facebook. Yet.

But eventually, I will probably have to.

I remember when I was ghost blogging, it was about six months before the blog started doing anything in terms of search results. Ultimately, it helped the client so it was worth the effort. But six months seems like an awful long time.

Sigh.

Daily blogging for now, I guess.

How to End?

It’s all about the practice at this point. About not breaking my streak. Keeping it up and writing every day (except weekends).

Which is all well fine and good and all, but doesn’t get me anywhere. Doesn’t get me any closer to writing the book. to finishing the WIP… OK, more like starting it.

That’s not totally true. It’s started, but not finished (as WIP’s tend to be). I have a great idea and a great character (or two) but no ending. No finish. No clue, really.

I don’t generally like happy endings. Not that I prefer endings like Hamlet where everyone is basically dead in the end. I just don’t like the ones with the neat happy endings where everyone gets what they want/need/deserve and people ride off into the sunset, blah, blah, blah.

Boring. And not real. Life doesn’t ever seem to end like that. And even if it does, what happens after everyone rides off into the sunset? What’s going on in the dark when the horse is put away? Does everyone look at each other and say “Now what?”

That’s what I want to know about. That’s (sort of) what I want to write about. What happens when it’s not a happy ending (or, you thought it was and turns out it wasn’t).

But I have a hard time knowing what that looks like. I have no idea why. Perhaps because I’m not at the end of my story yet. But, I can’t wait around forever to die, then write the story (which, come to think of it, could make for a hell of a story).

I can’t even figure out how to end the blog post!

What to do, what to do. Such is the writer’s life.

I’d Rather Be…

I’m not going to lie. This is getting harder and harder to do with each passing day. Coming up with blog topics and trying to sound interesting without whining. Not so simple right now and I’ve been doing the blogging thing for about a week.

But, I know I’m supposed to do it everyday. Even if it doesn’t improve my search engine rankings, at least it’s a good habit to get in to.

Part of the problem is that this isn’t what I want to write about. What I want to write, what I should be writing, is my novel. The third one, actually. The first two are what used to be called “under the bed” novels. The ones you write that never get published for whatever reasons. The ones you write that, in my case, are so awful, you never want them to see the light of day.

They’re not under the bed, though, they’re on the hard drive. I don’t know what they are called in that case. “Hidden file” novels? And they are truly awful. For various reasons. But, at least I recognized how awful they are. And have been trying to improve.

I’m working on the third one, but I’m stuck. I know who the main character is, and I sort of know the supporting characters. I have some idea of the plot, but not how it ends. I never know how it ends. It’s a weakness of mine as a writer. That, and titles. I always did horribly on those questions on tests. “The best title for this passage would be…” Always wrong. Every time.

That’s been the greatest challenge for me. I think I’ve got an interesting character, but no story to tell. And an interesting person does not make a novel. Conflict makes a novel. Since I’m not a big fan of conflict, it seems to make sense that I have a hard time creating it for others. Even if they aren’t real. But, I have to do something awful to them if I ever want to get this novel done.

Blog posts don’t seem to have nearly as much conflict in them. Which makes it kind of ironic that I find them so difficult to write. But, it has to be done. And it’s better than not writing at all.

Helping Others

At one point, I was a freelance writer. I gave it up because I hated having to chase down payment. Or just not get paid. Good times, those days. Not that this is much different, really.

The best gig I had during those times (because it paid) was as a ghostwriter for a blog. That’s how I learned about SEO and how to improve search rankings, and so on and so on. I wasn’t half bad at it actually.

It was easier than this, though. Sort of. It was on a topic I knew nothing about and the point of the blog was to educate people – or, at least, be informative. Since I knew nothing, I would do my research and turn that into a blog post. The big topics would get broken down into smaller topics and multi-part series.

The key word company suggested daily blog posting of 300-400 word articles, and they were the ones that came-up with the general ideas. It was all well fine and good until I ran out of suggested topics and key words. Then, I was stumped. Absolutely lost. And the client was impossible to get a hold of, so I couldn’t ask for suggestions or ideas even a wish list.

Eventually, I had to give up that gig, but at least I got paid.

I’m not going to lie. It would make things easier if I were working with a key word company right now (or analytic company or marketing company or whatever). And, I suppose I could contact one and pay for their ideas and go that route. But that seem a little disingenuous to me. What right do I have to say I’m a writer if I can’t come up with ideas for my own blog?

Of course, one could argue it was disingenuous for me to ghostwrite that other blog. And, I suppose it is. But, some of us aren’t as good at writing as we’d like to be or need to be to make a successful blog. I think of it as helping others.

Hopefully, by making myself do this everyday, I’ll help myself.

 

Going All In

End of the day and finally some quiet time to write.

It was just one of those days. It started with me making coffee and wondering why it looked so darn light while it dripped into the pot. I had forgotten to add the coffee to the filter. It only went downhill from there.

If that’s how Monday’s going to start…

A bunch of ideas floated around my head for today’s post. I’ll probably get to them all later.

On Facebook I saw a friend (if you can call some of the people any one is connected with “friend.” “Someone I sort of once knew” is probably more accurate) also started a blog. Unlike me, this person is all in, in a very public way. Sharing it on Facebook with all us “friends,” shouting it to the world (not into the void).

It’s impressive.

Not the blog. There’s only one post thus far. It has the potential to be fabulous. Or not. I don’t know yet. I’m impressed by the willingness to be so open and exposed. Using your own name as the web address, sharing your personal opinions on whatever. (Maybe it’s the start of a lifestyle blog that’s going to be spun off into a lifestyle empire.)

Anyway, I’m impressed by the willingness to share so brazenly. I’m still not sure what I’m willing to share. Which I’m thinking is a bad trait for a writer. Obviously, I’m sharing some. I’m here, (and now on Twitter! That takes some learning), and eventually, I’ll share more. I’m sure. Maybe.

It’s the nature of the Internet. To share and share and share some more. Without over sharing, of course. Which makes me wonder, what exactly defines over sharing? When is it “too much”? Is there even that line any more? Is “personal” no longer really “personal”? Is it all just out there for everyone to read/see? Is “private” really “public” at all times?

Who knows anymore.