Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Update: July 14, 2013

Yes, it's been a long time. I often find that, as with journaling, when I have things to write about, I lack the time to write it.

I have been away from the novel for about 7 months, and it's driving me nuts, actually. Because that's what I want to be writing.

But, as it stands, I am lucky to have a little steady freelance work, which has been taking up most of my time for . . . reasons I won't go into other than to say there's a high learning curve on related things. And any time that's leftover has been mostly spent on finding more freelance work. My goal is to get a few good clients on a regular basis that I can do reliably, write well, and that will provide a consistent income to cover my bills. As it stands now I have two steady clients (as well as a number of others who need things done periodically, but not on a regular basis), and I think I'd be fine with three or four. So I've been getting into a routine where I've been writing a draft for client A on Monday, updating social networks for client B on Tuesday, and so forth.

My most recent addition has been some blog articles for here, as well as another, unrelated blog I do under another nom-de-plume, and I've been getting those into my schedule as well.

Annoyingly, my schedule is subject to change without notice, since the pain from my injuries is unpredictable and often requires me to just lie down with my feet up (it's mostly lower-back, but other things as well). For anyone interested: yes, I've done pain management. I've done bio-feedback (the specialist said it wasn't helping). I've done acupuncture (same thing, and I was very disappointed about that, as I truly believe that thousands of years of history means it works . . . just not, it seems, for me). I've had shots and blocks and all kinds of torturous therapy, and I finally just got sick of it and now just take the stupid pain pills. Honestly, if I were rich and could afford massages and pampering and not having to do cleaning and other things I really shouldn't be doing, I could aggravate those injuries less and be in pain less of the time. As things stand, I don't anticipate feeling much better, and this is it, so I just have to work around it.

But I haven't lost sight of the goal: my novel. Everything I'm trying to accomplish is in service to getting to a place where I can work on and, more importantly, finish that. In the meantime, for reasons I explained in a previous article about my issues with going back and forth between clients' work and my own when the former is unpredictable, I've decided to at least try to work in some blog time. So I will shortly be posting the first in a series of articles about why I think fan-created fiction – ″fanfic″ – is worth your time and consideration, and what all writers, especially newbies, can learn or be reminded of from it.

I had intended to write an article about how reading the third book in The Hunger Games series helped me change the way I approach the ending to my novel, but I need to either reread it, or else find a detailed enough recap for me to be reminded of the details I wanted to point to. But I hope you enjoy these, and I'll get to that eventually!

Addendum, July 20, 2013:

This post was intended to go up last Thursday or Friday, but I got disconnected from the 'net by some sort of technical issue that, apparently, was only fixed by a full reformat. Yes, I edited and updated it last Sunday, before finally taking that drastic measure when my inability to connect dragged on and I realized that, since I could stream from other devices on my Wifi, it was probably my main PC that was the problem.

For anyone who doesn't already know this, reformatting should be a roughly once-a-year project for those of us using Windows (I'm sure it can't hurt Macs, either!), and is the only SURE way to get rid of whatever ails your PC, specifically viruses and malware, but it cures a great many other ills as well. It's a great deal easier to do than it used to be (and because this is a new computer of only about 2 years old – yes, I've delayed doing it for year: guilty as charged! I never claimed I was perfect! – I had never done a reformat this easily! On the former PC (that ran XP), I had to get down to, “reformat c:/” in a command prompt, but this Windows 7 PC is a lot less terrifying, so I recommend setting aside a weekend once a year to avoid all the trouble.

Recommended reading: has a series about computer security for normal people; check it out!