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What's Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday: Officially A Professional

I know it’s been a long time coming, but I finally have big news to share. I’m officially a professional freelance writer.

As you all know, writing fiction is my passion. Unfortunately, as of yet, my fiction writing has only earned me enough to buy a new fountain pen for my collection. While it’s a nice pen, I’ve been looking for a way to make my writing pay me a living wage. While I’m not quite there yet, I just took a major step to achieving my dreams of being a full-time writer.

About a month ago, a friend from my writer’s group told me he works as a freelance writer for a company that covers automotive news. Knowing my passion for motorcycles, he offered to set me up with the editor of their motorcycle division. After a string of e-mails and writing a few sample articles for him, I’m officially the new freelance news writer for rideapart.com covering one of my favorite topics. Motorcycles.

rideapart
My new employer

While it’s not quite enough for me to quit my job at the hotel, it’s a huge step in that direction. I’m hoping in time that I can find other freelance work. I’ve tried in the past, but unfortunately, it’s the same old catch-22. Everyone wants you to have prior experience, but nobody will take a chance on you so you can get that experience. Now that I’ll be getting that experience, hopefully soon I’ll be able to land more clients so that I can finally work from home full time. With that in mind, I’m currently in the process of updating my website to make it look more professional.

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Here’s a sample of what it will look like when it’s done

For fans of my fiction, not to worry. I’m still working on that. Or, I suppose I should say, I’m finally working on it again. It’s no secret that, due to my struggles with anxiety and depression, I haven’t been writing much at all. Now, I finally feel like I’m ready to begin again. The only question is this. Do I dust off one of my old manuscripts which I haven’t touched in years? Or do I start something completely different.

Part of me is worried that after all this time, I won’t have the same voice, but I’m hoping that can be fixed during the editing process. Another part of me hates to just abandon those stories because I feel like they have a lot of potential. Besides, I put a lot of work into them, especially the one that’s about halfway finished.

Nevertheless, I am writing again and that’s the important thing. Keep an eye out for a new installment of my series on this blog “The Mongers” as well as the long-awaited sequel to my debut short story “Blood Moon” entitled “Daughters of the Flame”.

Also, if you’re at all interested in motorcycles, look for my articles on rideapart.com. Hopefully my first one will be up there soon.

That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll have  a treat for you on Friday.

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Random Ramblings What's Up Wednesday Writing

What’s Up Wednesday: Checking Myself Into Rehab

First off, let me explain. No, I haven’t fallen victim to drink or drugs. It’s not that kind of rehab I need. It’s something much, much worse for a writer.

The truth is, for the last couple of years, I haven’t been writing. This isn’t something easy for someone who claims to be a writer to admit. In fact, I’ve been lying about it because if I’m not writing, I’m just a fraud. Which, since I’ve resorted to lying about it, I guess I am anyway.

Sure, I’ve scribbled a few lines here and there. I’ve even written a few pieces of flash that weren’t worth showing to the world, but for the most part, I having written anything worthwhile.

I could blame this on any number of things. My struggles with anxiety and depression, twenty-four hours a day access to entertainment via Netflix, Hulu, etc., the fact that I lost one of my best friends over the summer, (Although that’s unfair to him. My troubles started long before his passing and he was never anything but encouraging.) or just sheer laziness.

All of these are true to some extent, but after much soul searching, I’ve come to realize that they’re all just an excuse. I thought long and hard about those glory days when I could hardly stop my fingers from moving across the keyboard. What’s missing from the equation?

The answer? Reading. Looking at the past few years, I hate to admit it, but I’ve only read a handful of books. I, the kid who used to always carry around a battered old paperback. The one who used to get in trouble in math class for reading during the lesson (but not too much because whenever the teacher would try to surprise me with a question, I always knew the answer.) The guy who, when he didn’t have a new book to read and couldn’t get to the library, would re-read one of his favorites until the cover fell off and it started bleeding pages. The one who often had several books in strategic places around the house, all of which I was reading at the same time.

I’ve always been a big believer in this. I don’t know how I got so far off track.

Once upon a time, I even filmed a YouTube video on the importance of reading for writers. Looking back, I think I was mostly talking to myself. Especially looking at the view count.

Truth be told, I think the biggest reason I stopped reading was the advent of unlimited entertainment at my fingertips. When I was younger and the internet was in its infancy, if I got bored, I would pick up a book. Or, barring that, I would make up a story to entertain myself. It wasn’t long before I started writing them down. Especially once smart phones came out, I became a screen addict.

So what’s the solution? I think that’s obvious. I need to become the voracious reader I used to be. Instead of taking my phone with me to the bathroom, I need to take a book. I need to make sure I always have my kindle in my man purse.

In case I find myself with only my phone, I need to make sure I always have a book on there just in case.

Now I’m not saying I’m going to follow the advice of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and kill my television. I still enjoy watching some TV and I believe there is value in visual entertainment. What I am going to do though, is stop turning it on unless there’s something I actually want to watch.

To this end, I think I’m going to start posting weekly on what books I’m reading. I might even give soft reviews, but don’t expect me to just shred someone else’s work. I’m a big believer in karma and I rarely just don’t like a book. Currently I’m reading Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. I’m on the last story, A Good Marriage, so I’m already deciding on what’s next.

Here’s hoping that a couple of weeks of solid reading will start the words flowing again. In the meantime, I’m going to be moving my office to a more remote part of the house so I’m ready to go when my muse returns.

I’ll see you next week with an update and possibly a tour of my new (albeit temporary) writing space. I’ll explain more then.