Friday, December 5, 2014

Flame Off, Flame On

Phew. So, what happened? I'll write a little on the matter for the benefit of those interested.

Right when I was burning the brightest, I flamed out. It was a culmination of a lot of things, I think. Debt, months of pressure, uncertain living conditions... A bunch of stuff. I just caved, and completely shut off the writing side of myself for a good while. And I did this, of course, while I was in the middle of rising. Admittedly July was worse than June, but even so. I was selling an amount of stories a month that amounted to ridiculous (for me). Something tantalizingly close to what I could live off.

I've let down readers and commissioners, and I've also let down myself. I tried to do too much, for too long. Writing became a chore instead of something I loved. Not because I was writing too much, at all, but because of the pressure I was under with real life. It -had- to succeed. And in a lot of respects, it did. But I couldn't quite carry the weight personally.

So, here we are. I have an education to see to for the next year and a half at least. I have a steady living for that time too, at least. I've found the passion for writing I had, but this time, I won't be writing to live, I'll be writing because I love doing it. And when or if I should ever get to live off writing, I won't be starting from nothing.

There won't be weekly stories, at least not for now. It's something I'll re-evaluate every now and again. The next time will likely be after this semester's exams in January. But, for now, my focus is a healthy balance, catching up on commissioned work, and releasing a modest 1 story a month. I should like to release more eventually, but commissioned work will come first.

I stumbled and fell, but rose and dusted myself off again. Hopefully I've taken a few lessons with me from this incident.

1) Commissions will be shut down. I will finish the current work, and will from then on, for the foreseeable future, not take on further work. Perhaps in the future, short work will be a possibility.

2) I will be focusing more on writing series, likely to the near-exclusion of stand-alone work. I'll write a more in-depth blog post on this topic in the near future.

3) Fighting for my financial life is not conducive to a good writing environment. My finances are taken care of for a year and a half, for now, but what the future brings is, of course, hard to tell. In any case, I will supplement with temp work and the like in future rather than madly try to stay purely a writer.

4) Rather than 1 story a week, as said above, I will instead commit to a minimum of 1 story a month. This is likely also something I'll write a separate blog post about.

5) I let my back log of stories dissipate, and didn't have enough writing time to build it back up again. For writing to be sustainable for me, this can't happen. This is the main reason for point 1, and a big contributing reason for 4. I'll write more about this in the same blog post that point 4 will be expanded on.

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