Tag Archives: inspiration

Seven (7) in (in) Five (5)


Seven in five.

September, 2016 to February, 2017.

That’s my timeline.

“For what?” you’re wondering.

I have seven books in the works and my plan is to have them all written and published by February, 2017.

“Seven books in five months? Are you nuts?” you might be asking.

Yes, it does seem daunting. A novel length book is a minimum of 50,000 words. Multiply that by 7 and you get 350,000 words. That’s a decent amount of words.

Unless you’re a writer. On average I write 5,000-15,000 words a week, not including Facebook posts, emails, blog posts or messages. That’s 20-60k words a month, mainly about stuff I really don’t care about. In five months, that’s 100k to 300k words.

But the good news is that I don’t have to actually write that many words. Three of the books are at various stages of completion (two over 50 percent completed). Two of the books are going to be more novella length (less than 50k but more than 25k). I guesstimate having to write around 235k words between now and late January, early February. Which is more than doable.

Well, don’t overwork yourself. Don’t burn out. Pace yourself. This has been the advice from many. I appreciate the words, I know they are meant to be helpful.

But hush already. LOL This is how I want to make my living. I don’t want to write for mills and impossible clients anymore. I don’t want to spend my days writing about stuff I don’t much care about. I can deal with doing it for a few hours a week, but not all day, every day. Not anymore. I’m starting to view my work with the same disdain reserved for “traditional” work gigs. And I can’t allow that to happen.

So, I’m diving in and getting these books written. This is what I want to do with my life, it’s how I want to make a living. Are the next few months going to be easy? Nope. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Perhaps. I can always change my schedule if I need to, but I’m going to try like hell not to do that. I’ve been saying “I’ll do it later” to my career for more years than I even want to think about. I’m staring at 50. If not now, when? If not me, who?

So, wish me luck. Ask me how things are going. Say prayers, light candles, think good thoughts as I dive into my career, the career I’ve always wanted, for what feels like the first time. I’m excited. Let’s do this!

 

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It Could Be Worse


So, today has been a struggle writing-wise for me today. I’ve just not been “into it”, and have only accomplished a fraction of what I needed to get done today.

But that’s okay, cuz ya know, sometimes it happens. Sometimes the words just won’t flow. The ideas are stuck…just out of the reach of your fingertips. It’s frustrating, but sometimes it’s part of this life. Not every word you write will be brilliant. Sometimes the things you write will be utter rubbish.

But no matter how bad a writing day you’re having, someone else is having a worse day. And for the really unfortunate, some of the greatest writing guffaws actually make it to print. So, in honor of a lousy writing day, and in the hopes of a better one tomorrow, I offer you “When Headlines Go Wrong” aka “Hey, things could be worse, this could have been YOUR headline.

And because I want to retain my “Snarky” attitude, I’ve included comments. Cuz, that’s how I roll.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter (Wait…how does THAT work? Was a seance involved?)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says  (Other than the plane crashing, I can’t imagine what else could have gone wrong…)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers  (Wow…I guess a ticket just doesn’t cut it any more…)

Miners Refuse to Work after Death (So much for RIP…)
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant (And what happens if they fail…or succeed?)
War Dims Hope for Peace (Yeah, that’s usually how it works…)
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile  (Nothing like a good dose of stating the obvious!)
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures (Uh huh…)
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide (Nah, it was the Masque of the Red Death)
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges (Next time, try cement!)
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge (I got nothing for this other than *groan*)
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group (Big Macs for everyone!)
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft (Well, they shouldn’t have pulled his finger!)
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks (Yeah, but they’re quick, crafty and hard to kill…)
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half  (Well, that’s one way to decrease the dropout rate…)
Chainsaw Massacre all over again! (Wait — it happened before?)
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors (Next – legislation requiring all hospital ceilings be at least 7’1″.)
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead (So, did that increase or decrease the occupancy?)

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Why Content Writing?


I’ve been asked this question a lot lately. Why do I want to make a writing career out of writing “fluffy” articles about “How To Recycle a Modem” and “How To Cash a Jury-Duty Check.”

My response: “Why not?”

But, Quillie, you could be writing feature articles in big name magazines. You could be interviewing and writing about politicians, famous people, successful business magnates. You could write a best-selling novel…a Tony-winning play, an Emmy or Oscar-winning script…but instead you write, “What Determines If You Qualify For Rapid Refund”!

Why, Quillie, why?

My response: Because I want to, that’s why.

But…but…you could be making WAY more money than you are now! You could have bragging rights about where you’ve been published! You could be a success!

My response: Been there, did that. Got the t-shirt. Donated it to Goodwill. And I am a success, thank-you-very-much.

I’ve been around the freelance writing block more than once. I know the stores. I know the homes and the churches. I also know where the scary man with the van and the bag of candy is parked, the corners where the winos that just want my money slink out of, and where the smooth-talking Pimp likes to pick up the unsuspecting and naive, making big promises to make them a star if they’re nice to him for just a little while…

Yes, I know the business. Sometimes, I think I know it all too well.

So, why do I choose to write content when I could be writing 1,243,675 other things? What it really boils down to is this: I write content for two reasons. I enjoy it and it’s easy.

Yeah, I said it. It’s easy. Lemme say it again:

E-A-S-Y.

Now before you accuse me of taking the path of least resistance, let me make one thing perfectly clear: You’re right. I AM taking the path of least resistance. For once, I’m not killing myself to accomplish a monumental task. I’ve done hard. I  was good at hard.

But hard is, well, hard, and after a while, you get tired.

Hard work is hard work. Hard work makes you tired. Exhaustion from hard work can make you resentful…

Resentment of hard work can make you walk away from a career you loved…

For five years.

So, why did I make the leap from traditional freelancing to content writing?

Because I could. What the hard work taught me was how to optimize my time and turn my interests and talents into marketable areas. It taught me how to research quickly and effectively, write fast, and ask the right questions the first time. In other words, hard work taught me how to work smart.

I mean, jeez, people, of course I know I could be writing for national magazines and/or newspapers. Of course I could write a novel or a screenplay.

But I don’t want to. That’s not where my heart is right now.

For now, I enjoy answering the easy questions. If someone wants to know how their social security benefits are calculated, I am more than happy to answer that question. If a small business owner is struggling to choose the proper organizational structure, I’m thrilled to explain his options.

Because what is easy for me to explain might be causing others to lose sleep while looking for that information. And I get a great sense of inner satisfaction knowing that I provided information to someone seeking an answer.

It ain’t about the Pulitzer, Emmy, Oscar or Tony for me. It’s not about being able to say, “I’ve got a feature in “——-” this month.”

It never was. Not to say one day it won’t be, but for now…

Life is easy, and I’m glad for that.

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Motivation


A fellow writer wrote about her inspirations and motivations for writing here. At the end of her post, she posed the question:

“What motivates and inspires you and how/where do you find the time?”

I was going to respond to her comment with what motivates me, but decided that I would write about it here instead.

So, here it is, the things that motivate and inspire The Classic Quill to write:

MOTIVATIONS

“Your services will be disconnected if we do not receive your payment by….”

“Add $xx.xx to this amount if not paid by…”

“Mom — I need $xx.xx by xx/xx so I can go to/do ____”

“Mom — I’m HUUUNNGRY!”

“It’s going to cost HOW MUCH to fix the car?!?”

“Ooh…Staples is having a sale!”

As the list indicates, my main motivations are money, especially to have more money than I need to spend.  Some months work out better than others, but being able to make money doing something I love is something in which I take great pride.

Now…onto the inspiration…

INSPIRATIONS

Other writers

Hearing my daughter tell others what I do for a living.

Telling people what I do for a living and seeing their reaction. The reactions range from shock to curiosity to skepticism.

Writing fuels my desire to educate, inform and explain things to people.

Seeing my by-line on an article is always neat. I get especially stoked when I see it on a website or in a publication for the first time.

Having newer writers approach me and ask for advice on how to get started.

There ya go. Consider this “Why I Write — The Redeux.”

Now I am off to do something that will fulfill things on both my lists…but before I go, I’m going to pass the question along to you: What motivates/inspires you to write?

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