Friday, October 05, 2007

Finding balance

When I started freelancing full-time, one of my goals was to write more short stories and to earn a significant portion of my freelance income from writing fiction. Initially, that's what happened.

That hasn't been the case for much of this year, though. I've written less fiction, yet seen my income slowly creep upward. I expect to earn more this year than last, but it appears that fiction will generate both a smaller percentage of my total revenue as well as fewer total dollars than last year.

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. What I've realized is that sitting at a computer has come to dominate my waking hours. Because 99%, or more, of my gross income is derived from things I do while sitting at a computer, and 50% or more of my "social" interaction comes from participation in Yahoo groups and e-mail, I find myself seeking opportunities to get away from the keyboard. So, what suffers? The time I would spend writing short stories.

The vast majority of the fiction I've produced has been written on speculation, while nearly everything else is produced on assignment or to-order. Fiction generates income many months--sometimes years--after creation. The other work generates income a few days to a few weeks after completion.

Right now I'm trying to find balance in my life. I'm trying to find balance between generating income to support myself and producing the kind of material that made me want to be a writer in the first place. I'm also trying to find balance between "alone time" and "social time."

I don't think I have the balance perfect, yet. But I'm getting closer.

Most importantly, I'm pleased with my life. I like what I do, I like my clients, and I like the future as far ahead as I can see it.

So tweaking the balance a little bit is nothing to worry about.

I've met all of this week's deadlines, so maybe tomorrow I'll spend a little more time writing fiction. Today, though, I think I'll turn the computer off and go outside.


Graham Powell said...

I'm still trying to find a balance between "sleep" and "work". My wife just started a new job, so now I get up at 5:15 to help get the kids ready, and I'm often not done with my chores until 8:30.

And then of course I write until midnight. Er, not really.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back on your blog. I enjoy reading about your day, and was a little worried about you not posting since the 20th. I see all is well tho....Sharon

Anonymous said...

Pleased with your life and going outside. Those both sound good. I'm glad you dropped in her for a few minutes, though.

--Jeff Stehman

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Other than the book reviews, I do very little non fiction stuff. But, I am not writing any fiction. The books keep coming and I feel tremendous guilt as well as pressure while the pile continues to grow to get the books reviewed.