Free Writing

The question was: is it okay to provide writing services for no compensation.  It seems to me a question of framing: some folks call writing for free “marketing.”  If you assign a (reasonable) value to your “marketing” you should be able to deduct the cost of producing the “free” writing from your taxes… so you do get paid, indirectly, under the current tax code (caveat: I’m not a tax person so verify this before attempting! And who knows what the tax code will look like next year!).  Second, any experience – whether good or bad – is priceless.  You may be writing for no monetary compensation but the skills you are sharpening will be enriched, so you still come out ahead.  Also, as PeterDMallett pointed out, you never know when that piece you provided gratís might get picked up by someone else who wants to pay for it.  Which brings me back around to marketing.  You won’t be read if you don’t get your words out there.   Maya Angelou may know why the caged bird sings, but we know the bird is singing to market itself, and who heard of a bird charging its listeners?  Market thyself early and often, like a bird, and the world will notice.  Later, when the world knows the uniqueness of your song, you can set up a tent and charge admission.

Anyone expecting to read about literal ‘free writing’ as in psychic writing will be disappointed by the preceding; I will take on psychic writing in the future.  I have foreseen it.


Every writer has their own Kryptonite – a weakness that derails all productivity when it comes to writing.

I’ve discovered my Kryptonite is music from my childhood – apparently I am in a demographic that is attractive to folks who want me to buy their products. These people advertise using music from my way back when, which I overhear in the course of my morning routine. This “earworm” gets into my subconscious so perfidiously that the only way to exorcise it is to locate the song and listen to it all the way through. Since I usually can’t remember the artist, or name of the tune, this involves lengthy searches. These lengthy searches often turn up other tunes I haven’t heard in thirty years, so I have to listen to them too. Google and YouTube are also helpfully suggesting other tunes I may be interested in, and since I’m enthralled by my Kryptonite, I have to listen to them too. Next thing I know, the day is gone and it’s time to start the evening routine. Astute armchair psychologists will likely recognize the hyper-focus associated with ADD, and perhaps they are right. I do hyperfocus. When I’m writing, it is a wonderful place to be, completely submerged in the moment of creation, living inside the story, unaware of anything going on around me, until I come up for air (or more coffee/tea). But I can’t be there and gleaning the interweb for long-lost music at the same time. That’s why I’m blogging and not writing at this moment: I’m fighting the urge to hunt for yet another obscure bit of music. Simple, you say: just keep the TV and radio turned off. I try, but I don’t live alone, and even when I’m not in the room the tentacles of timeless tunes still reach my ears. I know, try earplugs, or enforce a blanket silence in the house. My eyes betray me too. In the early mornings, steaming cup in my hand, I browse Twitter to catch up with the night’s developments as I wait for the child to dress. (If I don’t, I’ll fall asleep again, and the child will let me sleep until lunch and thus avoid going to school – not acceptable!) Today I was reading on Twitter that a rare George Harrison demo of “It Don’t Come Easy” exists. Although the song was recorded by Ringo, it was written by George. A helpful link to the song was posted by my fellow Twit, in honor of the anniversary of the passing of Mr. Harrison, and I’m feeling the tug of musical gravity. It would be fascinating to compare the demo version with the final version… arrrgh! I need a nanny to watch over me and make sure I keep on task. In the absence of a nanny, I’m hoping the draw of the blog will overcome the siren song pulling me towards the rocks… must… be… strong… you know it don’t come easy…

No Mo NaNoWriMo Fo Me

Okay – I tried it.  Tried to write a 50,000 novel in 30 days.  If I didn’t have to take a week off to entertain family for Thanksgiving, I might have made it.  It was my first time to try, and I should have pushed harder the first two weeks.  Trying to write half a novel in five days just won’t cut it.  The thought of having to type 10K words a day just to make the deadline froze my creativity in it’s tracks.  So I’m giving up on NaNoWriMo, but not the novel.  She’s looking good, actually, but will be taking her own sweet time.

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished… as long as not writing is the objective.  And so far, that’s been the case.  I’m percolating about the novel but not ready to pour.  In the meantime I’m having a jolly time creating the blog, so… let’s change photos and tweak here and there!

And He said “Write” and there was… a scribble

In the beginning, there was the word, which in this case was “In.”

Why am I starting this blog?  Because a writer doesn’t have better things to do than blog, and scoop the cat’s litter box, and clean the microwave.

Isn’t it obvious? I’m avoiding writing, which is what I’m supposed to be doing.  But I hope to begin logging specific progress on the new novel.  To that end, I finally settled on a title (or at least I think I did…) and designed a cover around it.

I have a feeling this is a temporary blog entry.  Don’t anyone get attached to it!