Slow and Steady

My novel is motoring along, and I’m well into draft three. While I am writing, I am researching a variety of items for the novel, as well as how to make the change to a full-time career in writing.

But what type of writing career do I want?

One option is to work for an organization or as a freelance writer. I don’t have any formal education and I don’t have the opportunity to get the credentials I need. So working for an organization at this point may not be possible. But working as a freelance writer might be. Some articles online suggest guest blogging, and submitting articles to online newsletters and journals. This sounds like a great option. But I need to determine what to write about and who to submit them to. What is my area of expertise? And do I really want to write articles? It’s not something I thought about doing.

I enjoy writing fiction the most. A career writing novels, short stories and poems may suit me best. One of my friends told me about some short story contests. I haven’t written a short story in a long time but it piqued my interest. Not for the prize money (although that would be a nice bonus) but for the opportunity to build my portfolio and get my name out in the community. And a lot of the research I have done so far recommends having work published already before publishing a novel. It helps if you already have your name out in the community.

But how am I going to fit writing short stories into my already full schedule without sacrificing family time, novel writing time or personal time?

Option 1: I finish writing my novel. I write some short stories and enter some contests. I get some of those published before publishing my novel. The downside is that it will take longer than I want it to. But the upside is that I won’t burn myself out.

Option 2: I put my novel on hold. I participate in NaNoWriMo, coming up in November, and write short stories. Then I enter some contests in the New Year. When I have a few stories out there I finish working on my novel and publish it. The downside to this option is that it will take even longer and I could lose momentum with my novel.

Option three: I split my weekends between my various writing projects. Saturday mornings I work on my novel. Sunday mornings I write my blog posts and work on short stories. It won’t take quite as long to do (maybe just a few months more) but I won’t lose momentum with my novel and I’ll still be able to work on my other projects. The downside is that my attention will be split on multiple projects.

It’s something I’m going to have to think more about. I have a nasty habit of committing to far too many projects. Focusing on one project at a time may be the wiser move and the best option in the long run. After all, slow and steady wins the race.

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