The Professional and the Muse

February 20, 2006

Yesterday I was an amatur. Paid nothing at all for the words I produced. Today in one fell swoop I am a professional! I am WRITER WOMAN!
I did some ghost writing. It didn’t pay much, but it wasn’t hard and didn’t take too long. It didn’t disrupt my morning and now I get to wait for a previously unexpected check to come in the mail.
I don’t know if I want to do more of this yet, though the tiny check I’m expecting is more than I have ever been paid for my writing before. My New Years Goal was to be paid for my writing. I have done that now.
What I really want to be paid for is my fiction. I want to be a novelist. So I am plugging away, putting a miniscule 500 words a day, at least, into my YA novel. 500 words a dey is not much, but 500 words a day is more than I have ever required of myself before. In the past I wrote only when inspiration struck and now I’m demanding constant inspiration. My Muse is working overtime.
So . . . the dilema is this: Do I focus on my creative efforts, having faith that someday they will be fruitful, to the exclusion of all other writing?
or . . . Do I ghost write periodically for a quick buck, knowing that my words will no longer be mine at all? When you read them on a website somewhere, you won’t know I wrote them. They will have someone else’s name attached to them.
or . . . Do I take a middle ground allowing the grunt work of ghost writing to support the higher demands of creativity?

The money four little 600 word articles made for me today is one third of the fees for a creative writing course I’ll be taking next month.

I hear the Jeopardy Theme music palying in my head.

Decisions, decisions, decisions . . .


2 Responses to “The Professional and the Muse”

  1. iainyoung Says:

    Go for it. That’s my advice anyway. If you have aspirations to become a writer, you have to be prepared to suffer a little for your art. I’m doing something similar now. That’s why I started blogging; I wanted to find my niche, and I’m still looking. I am not really sure what my style is. 500 words a day may not seem a lot, but you have to think of it as a start, and you can progress from there. Build it up, write more when you have the inspiration. If you are stuck for something to write then write anything: you never know when you can use something in the future. And if money is the issue then keep up the ghost writing, and use it as a training exercise which you get paid for. You may even get some inspiration from it.

    Good luck, and if you have the inclination, you should get your hands on “Living to Tell the Tale” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s memoirs). It tells his tale of how he became a writer, and tells where he got much of his inspiration. I don’t get any comission from that plug.

  2. Artsy Momma Chic Says:

    I say keep working on your fiction(because I will come getcha if ya don’t and leave me hanging!) and either keep ghost writing or write and sell the articles yourself, that way you have something to put in your resume. You could set aside a few days to work on articles and a few days for your fiction that way separating them in your brain. Have non-fiction days and fiction days. Or if the day thing doesn’t work do one in the morning and one in the evening. I think you can fit both in there and still be happy. You definatly need to finish your YA work cause it’s fantastic!! And I want an autographed copy on day!

    PLease pardon any typos, as I’ve gotton up and down about 20 times while writing this to run after the little people that have invaded my house!


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