The big update since my last post is that I have found a new day job! It’s bittersweet because ultimately I want to be writing and creating full time and I enjoy my “work days” like this, but it’s overall good and needed still. I think I’ll get to that point, or I hope I do, soon, but right now I am not fast enough or making enough money to live on my own and not work a day job.
So the good things are I don’t have to move out of my apartment, I can keep paying rent and stay where I am. The money I’ll make for my book can now go toward savings and debt payoffs instead of using it to pay bills and rent for a few months like I was thinking I’d have to. And I still have 2 weeks before I start. When I was working full time last, 2 weeks would seem unfathomable; I hadn’t even taken a full week off for a good decade or so. But after 2 months of being unemployed, 2 weeks seems like a blink.
The timing is really funny, I was unemployed essentially the exact length of my severance pay. My more-or-less final deadlines for book materials is June 16, the day I start the new job. I basically got a couple months to wrap up my book, who knows how long it would have taken if I’d been working full time still? I probably would have had to push the release back.
The book is in copyediting now, so the only things left are fixing whatever copyediting finds, and doing some smaller things like dedications, acknowledgments, any back of the book material I want to include.
And art. I still have art to do.
I was looking at my contract for the art portion and part of it essentially gauges your “platform,” what you sell and how it’s sold. If you advertise on Facebook or twitter or any of the current media sites, if you promote on your website. I HAVE a Facebook, and a twitter, and a website, but I sure as hell don’t “sell” on it. In fact my last few posts have been about not having a day job or any money and essentially the exact opposite of advertising. Honestly I’m just not good at it. I know as an artist or creator you’re supposed to go out of your comfort zone to promote yourself but I lack that gene. I’m overly honest and detrimentally humble.
I thought maybe during this break I would have no trouble making time each day to take an hour tweeting and communicating and talking shop but that didn’t happen. Because of effort and because of time. I definitely have learned time is very slippery and hard to control. I could do certain things each day but at some point it all would slip out of my hands and suddenly the day’s passed.
Now I have another deadline, two weeks, what can I accomplish in that time? I do have some things to do, like the back of the book stuff, the art. That will take up most of my creative time, but I was hoping to get another project rolling before going back to work. Right now I’m not even sure what it will be. I’m open to work in almost any genre right now. I could continue the YA path i’ve been on the last half decade; I could move back towards comic work. I could do a graphic novel. I could try my YA fantasy series idea, I could try a middle grade book, or a children’s book. I have a list of about 10 projects I could feasibly dive into but I’m not sure where to go just yet. I’m going to meet up with my editor in New York before I go back to work so maybe I’ll get some direction then. I’d kinda like to sit in the quiet and think up a few new ideas still, too.
So my free time will close up a good deal but there’s still a wide open future and hopefully I can sell something new, have some luck with this next book, and before you know it I’ll be back to full-timing it. I’ve thought that almost every year since 2008, though, and it hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. I’m just not there yet.