Second, I already posted about DBA Lehane's latest contest (you have to scroll down a bit). I also have an idea for an entry in that contest, so if any of you are interested in reading that, you may want to join his writing group so you can do so. I'll have that done before the deadline of the 30th, but I'm not making any tighter guesses on what date I'll finish it.
Much as I enjoy posting here, and reading all your blogs, I'm still posting a bit sluggishly, and reading and commenting on your blogs only occasionally. Why? I'm trying to "clear the decks" for action. That is, I have plans for what I'd like to do, and I'm busy struggling with all the tasks that have accumulated, and been put off, over the past number of years.
When I have less to do looming over my head, I'll have more time for writing. I intend to seriously pursue a full time writing career. The first step is to make sure I'll have time to write without being distracted by "that computer problem I noticed back in 2006 isn't going away, in fact it seems to be getting worse." In addition, I need to develop and improve my writing. No matter what you may think of my writing ability, writing is a skill which can always be improved.
I also need to develop a source of income that won't get in the way of writing more than necessary, one that I can step back from as I get more opportunities to write. One task I mean to finish, then keep up with, is looking over everything I've written so far, editing it wherever I see opportunity for improvement, making a catalogue of it, and tracking those novels and stories I've never finished.
It seems a useful discipline to work through the process of finishing, or of revising, those projects that are stalled. Only if I discover something that truly is beyond salvage will I set it aside unfinished. Then, I plan to keep up with new ideas: I know one writer who has a rule that she finishes everything she starts in a year by the end of that year. I may not adopt exactly that rule; I need to work out what will work best for me, first. But I do plan to adopt a similar rule.
I'll be keeping this blog for now, but over time I will be developing my own web site. I'll post a link to that once I have it up, and I'll be posting some of my new material there. Eventually, I will shift my blog to a WordPress (probably) blog hosted on my own site. Again, when I have a link, I'll post it here, and I'll leave this blog in place, so anyone following an uncorrected link can still find me.
I still need to plan my web site in detail, and I still need to work out the ways I hope to begin bringing in a little income by writing. Don't worry - even if I were to open up a subscription only web site (which I am not considering, by the way) most if not all of my readers here are also friends - I'd just send you free subscriptions and wait for paying strangers to sign up.
My options to begin with are limited to, first, taking on freelance writing work. I do plan to do that, but since none of that is likely to be very creative, it isn't my favourite choice. Editing work is a little more attractive to me, although I'd really rather have more time to devote to my own writing. (Yes, I know we can't always get the things we want. On the other hand, I am very conscious of the fact that the more time I can spend writing, the better I will come to be at it. And I think every real writer craves the chance to develop their potential as fully as possible.)
I will be doing (very limited) affiliate selling. I won't recommend anything just to make money from it. I won't pretend it is better than it is. In other words, I doubt I'll be the greatest salesman on the Internet. And I am at least considering the possibility of accepting advertising. I would be interested to know what my readers think of that idea.
As you may have guessed, my tendencies tend strongly towards the non-commercial - while I like the idea of getting paid for doing nothing more than drawing readers, I hate the idea my writing might lure readers into being exposed to an ad for some junk I'd never wish on my worst enemy. Of course, I could limit ads to, say, small publishers - but then I'd feel unjustified in charging them much and making it harder for them to pay their authors.
Finally, I am toying with an idea I haven't seen attempted yet. I wonder if there are businesses out there who would pay a fiction writer to write stories just to attract readers? It would gain them extra traffic, and goodwill from the readers who enjoyed the fiction. Or they could offer mini e-books with a few stories as a reward for loyal customers. What do you think? Is there any chance of finding even a tiny, niche market for such an idea? And, of course, it has the same problems as accepting ads on my own site. I'm considering all these possibilities because, in the end, I am the one who has to arrive at a mix I can feel comfortable with.