First, I have to do a little dance ’round the office boogie because I just found out that MerchantCircle has made some kind of deal with Ask.com and Bloglines isn’t going away. I will spare you from the sonnet of love I would like to write to Bloglines, oh thy beautiful feed reader with fantastic notifiers and the ability to save posts FOR LATER, but oh my holy lord, I am so happy it’s not possible to describe right now. I hate all the other feed readers and haven’t really read blogs consistently since October when Bloglines announced they were shutting down. We shall stick to a Happy Happy Joy Joy! and move on.
In other news, someone finally told me about a typo in Forsaken By Shadow (thank you Rachel), so today I got around to fixing that and adding in metadata to all my assorted files and got the new versions uploaded. No idea whether that will improve my searchability, but it was a small enough thing to to, so I figured I might as well try.
So I’ve been really honest that I’ve struggled with the Green-Eyed Monster this year as some of my compatriots have had astounding successes as I continue to plug away at my multiple jobs like some kind of psychotic Energizer Bunny. In the face of people making in a month what I make in 3 across 3 jobs, making half what I make in a year, or just being Joe Konrath and breathing (I do not, btw, have any expectations of Joe’s success, but his is often thrown out there), it’s often frustrating and difficult to put aside. Their road is not mine. They have multiple titles out, and they don’t have the demands on their time that prevent me from doing the same at the same rate. Or they’ve simply been at it longer. It’s often really hard to keep my eyes on my own paper, as Myra McEntire’s agent Holly Root is apt to say.
But I got to thinking about things today. I want to make a living at writing. That’s always been my end game. And I have continued with the multiple jobs, despite the toll on my sanity, because the online teaching is, I believe, going to be my gateway for being able to ultimately do that. Online classes, while a massive pain in the ass to create and refine, are really quite easy to teach once the class is set up. It is the only reason I have managed to pull off what I have the last three years. The multiple job thing would actually be not too hard if I hadn’t constantly been in class writing mode for almost all of that time (that would be the sanity-taxing part).
My university is bursting at the seams, boasting record enrollments both university-wide and in my department. We have over 500 psych majors, almost double the number we had just a few short years ago. And there is not the classroom space or the faculty to handle them. Distance learning is pushing hard for an entirely online psych major, so that’s going to be first up on the new department chair’s plate once he/she is hired. So it is just a matter of time before they create a full-time online position. As I have the most online teaching experience in the department and am actually the ONLY faculty member who PREFERS to teach online, it would seem that I am a shoe-in for such a job. This would serve three purposes: 1) it would keep me in a position with benefits, always worth their weight in gold, 2) it would get me out of my massive, time-suck of an evil day job, and 3) it would allow me to save $700 a month in day care costs when we have a kid.
What does all this have to do with writing? Well I got to thinking that in order for me to take this hypothetical job (which would pay slightly more than my pre-promotion salary), I would need my writing to replace the income I currently earn teaching half-time. My goal, therefore, is to be making about $15k a year off my writing. That’s only $1250 a month. Even if I continue to sell at my current rate and don’t experience a multiplicative surge at having multiple titles out, if I get out another 4 titles in the next 2 years before I have a kid, I will meet my goal. And given that, other than Devil’s Eye, all those planned titles are full length novels that will take advantage of the $2.99 price point rather than being 99 cents or $1.99, it seems even MORE likely that I will be able to make that goal in the next 2 years. Which makes me feel like I’m a lot more on track than I’ve felt all year.
I don’t HAVE to make $10k a month for my writing to be a success and allow me to get out of the heinous Evil Day Job (though, of course, that would be awesome). I don’t have to have the amazing, crazy numbers to meet my own goals. And THAT’S what I need to remember when these other folks’ successes pop into my line of sight. I’m on track for me, on my timeline, no one else’s. And that’s okay.