Sunday, 24 November 2013

Where Next?

Apologies to anyone who reads this one, because this gets a little whiny. It's just that there's a vague feeling that things might be coming to an end for me at the moment. It is, I suppose, one of the inevitabilities of the freelance writer/editor. That there will be moments when the work isn't lined up neatly. This time last year, when my father had his first health worries, I had a nice big series of novels to write, a non-fiction thing coming up, and I was thinking about getting into creative writing lecturing.

Now, when he's gone and I feel like I can't afford to slip up, I'm coming to the end of the series of novels (I don't know whether or not there will be another. I hope I'm making the client money by being her, but I can't be sure). The non-fiction thing will also come to an end in a few months. And as far as I can see, merely having written more novels than entire English departments matters far less than the fact that my PhD is in the wrong thing (and it is in the wrong thing. I knew that at the time. I would have loved to have done one in creative writing, but by that point, I was already committed).

I have vague plans for the next little while, but they feel flawed too: a first draft of an urban fantasy novel is in the bag, even though I told myself after the last two bombed that I wouldn't write urban fantasy anymore and I don't know if I want to write things without an edge of humour to them. I've started work on a book about writing and the kind of lessons you learn in close to fifty novels as a ghost writer, but would anyone really want to read it? A first vague attempt at a page or two of script writing, which I enjoyed, but it's not something where I have the connections that I do for novels.

Oh, and various attempts to line up future gigs, but whether anything will come of them, I don't know. The fact is that people want cheap, while I need to make a living. This is what I do full time. It's all I do full time. I suspect it's all I can do. I'm not ghost writing and editing because they're all I've ever wanted to do. I'm doing them because I got to the point, being told that I was underqualified for academia while being overqualified for everything else, where they were really the only options left. I've worked hard for three years now at this, and now I need to work out where it goes next.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Freelance writer is a tough gig. I follow two others who do it full time, and I admire all of you for taking on something so challenging.
Deep breath and don't let discouragement overwhelm you.