Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Hello, LinkedIn. Let's Be Friends.

Remember when I talked about this being the year where I said 'yes' a lot more? Well, I've noticed that without the right tools, I haven't had the chance to say yes to anything yet, because no one's asking the question.

I've had a LinkedIn profile for a couple of years, but I've never really found a way to utilize it as a freelance writer. I find it much easier to use other social media platforms to discover clients and publications that I am interested in working with. But I've made this a year of radical change, so I went back to my LinkedIn profile and realized that I've been doing it all wrong.

The one piece of advice from career experts talking about LinkedIn is that your profile shouldn't look like your resume. Mine totally does, so I'm making the point to fix it. I started with the headline, which once I changed it to better describe my wide range of freelancing skills (without being too jack-of-all-trades, of course), I noticed that it just looked better. It fit my personality. It was right.

Now I just have to put the work in on each of the sections. I still feel like the whole thing is one giant humble brag. I have to get over that attitude and be confident when I tell people I have accomplishments. And like in the world of independent publishing, if something isn't doing the job--change it. That's what I intend to do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wrestling with Longshots

Writing in 2017 has been interesting, but much of it feels the same. I'm still splitting my time between edits, revisions, writing fresh drafts and working on scripts (again). But what it feels like is working, working, working with no way off of the hamster wheel. This feeling keeps gnawing at me that I need to do some big, grand gesture in order to move my career along. I get this feeling every few months, but I have yet to figure out exactly what needs to be done.

I think this feeling is what's throwing me back into script writing. I still have a desire to submit something to Amazon Studios, but silly, always prepared me starting looking at the fine print again. The deal they offer isn't quite what it seems. It's a buyout--which means if they like it and they want it, they can not only block you out of any future script revisions or rewrites (which I expected), but they can also strip your name from the project. So, aside from money, what's in it for me? It puts me in a situation of bragging about getting something made, only to see that I can't prove to anyone I did it.

It's not just script writing either. I've come to the decision that I need to move beyond self publishing. I'm not giving it up entirely (I still have the third installment for Kindle Worlds to release), but I think the next new project that goes out into the world should be presented from a more traditional source. The publishing world isn't the same as it was twenty years ago. You have to have your feet planted in both sides of publishing to maximize visibility and income. Plus, you have to come up with a scheme for a weekly check. Some do podcasts, some sell useless How to Write courses, some super bloggers earn enough from advertising--I do freelancing right now, but there are so many options I feel like I'm not exploring hard enough (except for selling courses--most of them are worthless).

What does this all mean? It means I'm still going to practice drawing, even though I'd rather be writing comics than drawing them. It means I may throw myself into some other creative form if given the chance. It means I have to do what I do best--get creative to find the space I want to occupy. It'll probably cause a few brain freezes along the way (like the one I'm having right now), but maybe I'll be led in the right direction.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Hello, 2017

I didn't mean to disappear for the last couple months. I sat myself down every week to write a blog post, but everything I wrote didn't seem right. I just didn't have much to say. A new year has started. I wanted to title this post The Year of Yes, but Shonda Rhimes apparently got to that phrase first. I have to admit, I still don't have much to say, but I'm working on that--behind the scenes, as usual.

What I have tried to do is to challenge myself. I don't do resolutions, but because I love photography so much, I've decided to do a photo a day for a year. My downfall might be that I chose to use an instant camera, so I may have to switch back to digital at some point.

Anyway, I'll figure that one out. Here's one of the first  shots I took for the year (complete with a little experimentation in color flash filters). Hopefully, I'll get much more creative as the days go by. Otherwise, I'll run out of interesting subjects quickly.

What creative projects have you kicked off in the new year? 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

You Know That Whole NaNo Thing? Yeah, About That...

Writing a 50k in 30 days. That was such a cute idea, wasn't it? Unfortunately, this has been an off year for me with less than 3000 words written and we're beyond the halfway point of the month. But it's not all bad.

One of the reasons my NaNo novel is stuck in park is because the annual freelancer's dry spell hasn't quite settled in just yet. We'll give that one a small shout of glee. The other reason? Another story idea has come up. Poof! Right out of thin air, and I can't stop thinking about it. It is another that goes into the literary fiction category, and I'm intrigued by it. I'm going to respect my current NaNo project and not start on it until December, but I really can't wait. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Anyone else inching closer to the NaNoWriMo finish line?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Quite a Long Day...

I'm not going to lie--this is a tense day. But don't all important elections have that gross hangover feeling? It doesn't matter who you voted for. I tried to stay out of publicly expressing my political opinions and I don't plan to continue talking politics publicly after this for two reasons:

1. To get the full picture of why someone supports a candidate, a proposition or a party the way they do, you should probably be looking them in the eye to discuss it. Social media is the worst place to do this because you can start a reasonable conversation that spirals into insults you'd never say to someone's face. But what's worse is that social media allows you to block and ignore different points of view. Like money, sex and religion, politics is personal. But all sides should be heard and respected for the fact that someone feels deeply about it.

However, if you decide to put your opinion into terms that only work to demean the other side just because you think you can, I do have the right to not acknowledge it. Put it in a respectful manner, and you're opinion will be respected. 

2. I am writer, so I may be able to state my opinions a bit more eloquently at times, but that doesn't mean I should take every opportunity to do so. Writing is a hard enough road to take without dismissing a large group of people just because we disagree on, well, pretty much everything when in comes to government players.

It's not about just being kind to people (though that's important). I have no issue admitting that not talking about politics is directly related to the idea that I don't want to offend a potential reader because that impacts my dismally small bottom line. So far what I write is for entertainment only and will be for the foreseeable future. I may someday release work that challenges these ideas, but if I do I'll understand the consequences.

Have I ever given readers an idea of how I think on political terms? Probably. I do occasionally like creative or entertaining posts with a political spin. I am a mass of statistics that pollsters will tell you comes to an obvious conclusion of how I think and how I feel about politics. And maybe they are correct. I think fairness is something to strive for on all levels. I believe everyone has the right to do what makes them happy, as long as it's not directly hurting anyone else. I believe we had a good thing going and now there's a sense of dread and chaos. But we all did what we thought was best for each of us. That's what we're supposed to do, even if we aren't happy with the outcome.

The only thing that's making this day redeemable for all of us are people that have made the point to tell us to continue loving and respecting each other no matter what. Because seriously, if I loved and respected you yesterday, it's going to be the same today.

And if that doesn't do it for you, go hug a puppy or something. That makes everyone feel better.