I haven't written on this blog because there has been no new 'news'. Very soon, however, there WILL be NEWS about Banquo's Son's next adventure. Before that happens, I have some thoughts about the logistics of writing as an occupation to generate a living income.
In my immediate past life, I wrote in the gaps between my 'real job' as an English teacher. In 2014, I was a student again thanks to a generous teaching award which allowed me to go to university full time on my teacher's salary. This year, as a result of the NEWS above, I am not going back into the classroom but will finish my degree (a paper per semester) and WRITE BOOKS - at least two with major research and drafting of another.
Therein lies the thing I'm having difficulty getting my head around/used to: spending my working/writing time on something that will not yield income for at least two years - if at all. Yet, I need to do the work now because
a) like my vegetable garden(*) where I need to plant for there to be plants to eat in the coming months, I have to actually write something for there to be a book to consider publishing
b) if I don't get the stories written, I think my head will explode (or my husband and children take up nagging me to 'just write the damn thing!' again).
As a self-confessed impatient procrastinator, I'm feeling uncomfortable in this position. I hate waiting for things. I'm much better with deadlines and commitments but the truth of my situation is this:
I need to produce the goods first before the potential publishers of these books will make a commitment to them.
However, such is the fickle/uncertain world of publishing (esp in New Zealand) there are no guarantees that a project I spend two years on will be produce a bumper harvest like my awesome crop radishes or fizzle away to nothing (like my pathetic capsicum plants and dying lemon tree).
Many of us have written novels, plays and stories that don't get to see the light of day. I call these my unborn babies. Some of us get these works almost to the contract stage only to have them falter at the last minute. It's so discouraging but we keep going.
So, like the seeds and seedlings I plant in the best soil I can cultivate, I jot down plot outlines, do the research, talk to my agent and my editor(s) and hope that pushing myself to go into my library (with coffee, chocolate, lap top and cat) to bang out words, will, in a few years time, produce an outcome where the world gets to see the results.
I have got to have faith in myself and the hope that today's effort will reap a bountiful harvest in future.
(*) the overwrought gardening metaphor is because I now have TIME to grow vegetables. In fact, the husband has noticed that the garden, the housework, the repairs, and all manner of little jobs, are getting done whereas the times spent with my butt on the writing chair are few and far between. I fear I am going to run out of things to distract me from the call of my characters who are currently lurking down the other end of the house.