Had a lot of problems finding a place to work today in the city where we stay temporarily (in a borrowed house), and I was almost ready to throw in the towel and not do any work for the rest of the month we stay here and just burn more of my credit.
The house is small so there is no room to work in, just a big living room where Jay and Char stays most of the time and two bedrooms without work tables of any kind. The library is half an hour’s walk away and very noisy, probably because it is often visited by schools during day. So not good if you don’t have office space in the Big City any more, as is the case for me.
But I got home and got some work done on a website for a newbie crime author (my first interesting job in a long time), while Char and Jay was out with the carriage. So far so good.
I was thinking again about a product – just a little one, with not so much passion but still interesting – that I could develop for my webdesign company (perhaps a video course) which would save me time, at least in the long run, when I earn money. And save the need to have an office so much, at least in theory.
And then it hit me: If I could have, say, 5K USD extra in income regularly per month, as royalties, from a series of video courses in webdesign in, say, 10 years’ time – would I be happy?
Or would I be happier if I had published some damn novels after all? Something which I thought I gave up on in 2015? And have given up on in shorter forms since, like this spring when I tried it again?
Would I be happier?
I’m afraid the answer is … yes. It would feel more ‘me’ to do something creative, even if it isn’t helping people that much. Something expressive …
And okay, I guess, because helping people is what I do every day and, when it comes to writing, this blog is also part of that part of my life. Which I want: Purpose. Be helpful. Etc.
So this can is almost open again and all sorts of questions pop up – all sorts of doubts. Can I do this? Should I do this? Am I doing it for the right reasons – writing, I mean? Just like drawing this particular ‘hobby’ has been polluted often enough, I’ve found out by ambitions fostered in childhood and unrealistic expectations of what it could bring in to pay the rent.
So what could I do this time to make it work, if I really want to go that path – or try it one more time? Instead of investing some time I don’t have yet into making some kind of asset that earns royalties for my webdesign business?
This took a lot of hours to think through but something still felt different about it this time. When I felt spent for this day, thinking about the possibilities of this path once again – the creative path for earning more money – I had an idea.
What if I did a new blog, but primarily with a story, and then posted all sorts of other articles on that blog to attract attention? Articles about a topic related to the story I’m telling and mostly excerpts from elsewhere around the net? I could become a news portal for the latest Medieval books, reviews of books (fiction and non-fiction), news stories and what not and do a story about, say, Joan of Arc in The Hundred Years’ War.
If I recall correctly other authors, such as one John Locke, have used this strategy or a variation of it – to sell lots of ebooks, albeit through the now traditional system of Amazon.
But what if you did not need to sell the digital text itself in a container is if it was still an old-fashioned paper book? What if you earned money on other things – like affiliate income from books reviewed? Ads for courses about Medieval stuff? Donations? Print-on-demand paper versions of the story? Or … ?
So take out the old-fashioned book as a sales object, which it is mostly in our imagination now in this digital age, and then use it (and the accompanying reading material sifted from around the net) as the main attraction. Then monetise that audience in various other ways, as noted above and as done on many blogs about non-fiction topics anyway? What if the same could be done for fiction – what is essentially a fiction story – without the actual need to ‘sell the story itself’?
Worth a thought or two.
Even if this flunks again and feels to big right now and even if I don’t know where to get the time, the very thought of the project excites me deeply.
Not because I might be able to build a set of income streams from more passion, but actually because I feel there is a very deep and pure passion in this idea I have for a story and for the blog itself.
I was thinking about a story about someone looking into past lives and trying to find out if her memories about those are for real. Then the overall theme of the blog could be that and even bigger, like ‘Why are we here?’ And there could be all sorts of material posted, not just about reincarnation books and research but anything remotely interesting and relevant for this matter?
How about an article about strange new quantum mechanics phenomena which seem to fit into a more esoteric world view and might answer some of the main question?
I’m not looking for some new very loose and superficial blog about how quantum mechanics ‘prove life after death’ or stupid shit like that. I would be very selective about any and all articles and look for stuff that fit into a larger story and answered, at least parts of, the larger question: ‘Why are we here?’
I would also question if it is even a relevant question, like my main character would? For what if we are just star dust and become star dust again when we are dead? What if there are no answers but the ones we provide?
Clearly I’m on the track of an important idea of a project, and it deserves serious attention – even after years of failings in the past with writing fiction and earning money from writing fiction.
As said, not just because of the money, but because there is heart in this idea. It is something I might very well do anyway, even if I weren’t paid. I think I would.
Now as always, we need to look for the time to do it. But I suppose that finding the heart in this idea is the first step. That tends to motivate more to look for new ways to carve out time from a filled calendar.