(Apologies to blog subscribers who got spammed when I started restoring posts—I did not expect republishing stuff from 2015 to trigger emails. The only way to stop that was to unsubscribe everybody, so you should resubscribe if you want future updates. There’s a widget for that in the right sidebar, which probably moves to the bottom when viewed on a phone.)
Mistakes were made in 2019. The cover hustle is moving back to the walled garden, where the people who take 30% of the sale price aggressively promote the products being sold so we all actually get paid. I don’t yet know if I’ll bother asking The Bad Place to remove the premades posted there, but they can have them for now. [UPDATE: The Bad Place changed their terms from taking 30% for doing nothing to taking 40% for doing nothing, which cured every bit of my reticence to terminate that relationship entirely.]
I’m on good terms with one of my former agents. When we exchanged holiday tidings last month, we talked about books, per usual, because that’s our sole common interest. I whined about being unable to find a specific type of book that I want to read and cannot believe isn’t a whole thriving genre. He asked many questions about what, specifically, I want to read, and when I was done describing it, he said, “Sounds great. Write it.”
So… I’ve accidentally-yet-successfully pitched a series to an agent, but my “retirement” issues are still fully in effect. My personal responsibilities make it impossible to waste time doing work I might get paid for several years from now. (Even if the agent loves it, there’s no guarantee a publisher would be interested. Writing without a contract in hand can usually be filed forever under Unpaid Labor.)
I expected him to say, “That’s too bad. I’m going to put out a call that I’m looking for it so a bunch of other people will write it.” I did not expect him to say, “Let me look into getting you some grant money so you can breathe a little bit.”
There were a couple of secret societies that required a professional referral from Mr. Agent, but the work of the application process otherwise falls on me. Same “work I’m unlikely to ever be paid for” problem, so I’m limiting my applications rather than carpetbombing in the manner recommended by grant-getting gurus who apparently have a great deal of free time. All the grants on my list together (if I won them) wouldn’t constitute a living wage for a year, but the goal is only to breathe a little bit so I can write something.
Point being (finally!), I’m restoring much of the site’s old writing content and prolonging the death throes of my unpaid* writing career on the off chance someone with the power to resurrect it looks me up during the next six months or so.
Don’t get all excited about a new book I remain financially unable to write at this time, but feel free to enjoy the greatest blog hits of the past four years.
*I continue ghostwriting memoirs and merch tie-ins, which pay like writing is a real job. Highly recommend!