Ever since the Huffington Post invited me to spend my precious unpaid time writing for them, no guarantee of publication, my life has been thrown into a tailspin.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing, just a frenetic one. And if I sound resentful, I’m not really. I knew there’d be no cash when I signed on. I don’t mean to side with the U.S. District judge who ruled against a $105M class action suit brought by bloggers against the Huffington Post after it was bought by AOL for $315M. Of course writers should be paid for their writing.
I’m not currently paying myself anything for my work on nothinginmoderation.ca but as soon as someone offers to buy me out, I will. In the meantime until I can be a content chooser, I’ll be a content beggar.
The tailspin is by no means money-induced, it’s possibility-induced. Before Huffpo, my odds of publication were low. Aside from own blog where chances were quite high, the big world of public words barely seemed to sniff in my direction. Now the odds are over 50:50.
But here’s the thing. I could write something every day and send it in to Huffpo - although I am conscious of avoiding the cloying scent of a desperate eager beaver. Everywhere I look I see ideas. I grab whatever passes as a writing utensil - pen, highlighter, eyeliner, lip gloss stick, from my bag and scribble on torn scraps, I later search my purse, pockets, and desk for.
My brain, thankfully not loosing the elasticity my skin has, can generate the ideas. It just can’t recall them. My notebooks, ranging from tiny to little, in varied colours and sizes, are rarely where me and my ideas are.
When I first started blogging weekly I thought it would be hard to come up with ideas related to the process of writing. I stressed out on behalf of folks who had to generate cogent, thought-provoking material daily. But ideas, like my dad likes to say, are a dime a dozen. The challenge is transforming them into something well put.
Then there’s the fact that blogging was only a tiny part of my writing mission. What about the memoir? What about the novel?
What novel you might ask? The one I keep forgetting to mention. The one whose first draft is 520 pages. I’m pushing and poking it around before I find a professional I can pay to do that.
Now I’m wondering when I’ll find time for Sarah. The little attention she has received of late worries me. My newfound publication odds are pushing her aside.
I’m a self-admitted genre slut. I want to write it all. What will suffer? Spotting and banging out blog posts before the news is stale, barely leaves time to consider these important questions, never mind attend to my characters who need stroking, new outfits, or personality quirks.
Sometimes while I’m scanning my scraps or googling stats I see Sarah out of the corner of my eye giving me the finger. I’ll admit she is a bit of a surly bitch, but not without good reason. And she’s right to feel neglected.
You know what? There’s no such thing as writing for nothing. If you put your heart in you’re always getting something out.