Sunday, June 20, 2010

All Work and No Play...

Yikes, it's been nearly two months since my last post. Between finishing up the semester of teaching, getting grades in, sneaking in a quick vacation (3 days is all), and getting to work on a freelance book editing project, I've sort of lost track of time. Hopefully, I haven't forgotten how to write.
Not much has happened on the writing front since my last post. I managed to write one flash fiction piece for an anthology, and tried my hand at sports journalism—that's it. The flash piece came out fine, I suppose, and the sports article came out good {I think), but I definitely learned that I'm not cut out for journalism. News publications expect quick turn around times and a lot of articles. I'm a bit too deliberate and slow in my writing, it turns out, and with all my other commitments, I just couldn't keep up. For what it's worth, here's the link to the one article I wrote: RON ARTEST THE ONLY PLAYER SACRAMENTO KINGS FANS CAN ROOT FOR IN FINALS? It's a bit dated now and geared towards Kings fans, so take it or leave it.
That's it on the writing front. No new bites from agents on Dreamwielder, the agent for This Book is Sh*t! hasn't had any luck either, and I've done nothing for the last month except do editing work on someone else's book. It's sort of depressing really, and it's gotten me thinking about how I make money (it's not with my own writing, let me tell you! [at least, not yet]). Teaching is my bread and butter during the school year, and I supplement that with freelance writing and editing work, and some random handyman gigs here and there. Then, in the summer, it's whatever I can scrape up. None of it pays well and I'm usually scraping by one paycheck or invoice to the next, but the bigger problem is that teaching writing and doing writing/editing work for other people sort of burns out my writing fuse. I love writing, but after spending ten hours on the computer copy editing, I certainly don't want to spend another few hours working on my own stuff.

I see how easily it is for so many writers to slowly fizzle out. First it's, “Oh jeez, I haven't written in a week,” then before you know it a month has passed, then two, then three, and all of a sudden you haven't written in a year or more because you've gotten so bogged down with lesson planning and grading and copy editing and writing soulless web copy for someone's website.
Don't take this to mean I'm letting myself get caught in that trap. I'm merely saying how easy it is to fall into. I do have half a mind, however, to ease up on the freelance work and resort to some sort of menial labor to make ends meet. The teaching isn't bad as long as that's the only mentally strenuous task I have besides working on my own writing. The editing and copy writing, though, is too close to my own work I want to be doing. I'm not adverse to working hard, but when the work I do for a living makes the writing I do on my own feel like work, then I've got a problem.
Wow. It seems much clearer now that I've gotten it all down on paper. I bid you good day, copy writing and editing.
Ditches, lawns, and unpainted walls, watch yourself: I'm on my way!
-Garrett Calcaterra

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