I’m An Idiot

So I’ve meant to write posts– it just hasn’t been happening. It’s a mixture of laziness, summer classes being a little more work than I expected, and I’ve been spending a lot of time doing stuff for myself. I’ve decided that I’m going to write a post every other day or so, but nothing too long, kinda just to keep up the momentum, kind of deal. I kind of need to get into a routine anyway, and I’d like blog posts to be a part of that again.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about today. A little while ago I posted a Desolace update. I was pretty happy with my progress up until that point, even though after I finished the chapter I was working on, I knew I needed to go back and change the ending and have something else happen first.

Except that I put it off for so long that now I’ve forgotten exactly what I was I wanted to do instead…

Usually I write it down in the instance that I know I can’t get to it right away, but this time I didn’t. So I’m an idiot, and will probably be spending the next couple days, or maybe even weeks, trying to remember what it was…

Ugh. My own damn fault.

~Erynn

Early Spring Cleaning

I decided a couple of days ago that I’ve got too much shit and that I need to get rid of stuff. I don’t know what exactly I’m going to get rid of just yet, just that I’ve got a lot of useless junk that I’m never going to use. And all that stuff is taking up space.

I decided that I’d start with some of my old YA books and some video games that I don’t play anymore (or intend to play ever again). The hope is that I’ll be able to sell some of them for some much needed $$$, but who knows if that’ll end up happening. I might just need to donate them somewhere if I want to get rid of them. After that, I’ve got some old toys and collector’s items that I might be able to sell off at some point, so that seems like the next step to take.

Once those are all gone, I’ve got boxes of random shit everywhere that I need to sort through. I’ll either need to find a practical use for or decide whether to throw them out or donate them somewhere. I’ve got some stuff that I know I’d use if they surfaced and were put somewhere that I could access, and then there’s plenty of other stuff that I’ll probably never use and there’s no point having. The problem is that there’s so much of it.

I wish I could just spend a whole day sorting through stuff to get it over with, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time for that right now. Even during the short break I get from university next week, I’ve got shit that I need to keep on top of every day. Preparing for mid-terms, reinforcing my Japanese, writing, drawing, etc, so I simply won’t have the chance to take a whole day off just to clean and stuff. So instead, I’m just gonna spend a bit of time every day doing what I can, sorting through a box here and there, setting some things aside, whatever I do have the time for. That way I’m making a little bit of progress at a time, and it’ll get done sooner rather than later.

Yay!

~Erynn

Dealing With Low Paying Clients

Alright, so I haven’t actually been a freelancer all that long, but because I freelance for a living, I established early on what my rate would start at. Since then it’s risen substantially, of course, but getting through the struggle of not knowing what to charge was key to my eventual success.

Over the last year I think I’ve been pretty lucky with finding clients. One of the first people I worked with paid me more than half of the amount I used to purchase my new computer (the money didn’t actually go toward the computer, but that’s to give you an idea of what I was working with), and though sometimes I’ve had trouble finding people willing to pay me an amount I could live off of, overall, I haven’t had that many bad experiences… but boy, one or two of them is more than enough for me to say okay, I’ve had enough.

There are a lot of people who undervalue writing. Lots of people think that because pretty much everyone can write, they can get away with paying next to nothing to have their stories written, as well as treating you like shit because they’re giving you the “privilege of their business”. Seriously? I’ve had people contact me about doing work at my normal rate (This was a long time ago, so it’s a lot lower than I charge now– and it was next to nothing). Sure, not a problem. Except, it’s in a genre that I don’t usually write in. And they want the writing to be good enough that they can get the attention of a traditional publishing house. And they want me to give them all of my time– literally. If I’m not writing their stuff, they want to be on the phone talking about it or something ridiculous (I don’t handle phone calls all that well). I can understand the desire to get to know the person that you’ve hired to write for you, but it’s a little out of line to pay someone next to nothing and demand that they write you the next Twilight (gross) and give you all your time. You really can’t be so conceited as to expect someone to write you a novel for a couple hundred bucks at the most, when you want it to make you millions, can you? Nope. It happens all the time.

I don’t think I could tell you about how many job postings I’ve seen of people looking for writers to write long, elaborate stories at a rate of a fraction of a penny per word. Early on in my freelancing career I established what my rate would be, and I can tell you now that I haven’t ever been afraid to tell someone that there’s no way I’ll write them a novel at $0.002 per word. Of course, early on I made a couple exceptions out of desperation– and I’m still paying for it now.

There’s a project I took on in late November of 2014 that comes out to be paying about $0.006 per word. Pretty awful, I do say, but it’s not as bad as the example above (and that wasn’t even an exaggeration– I have seen jobs paying that low). The only reason I ended up taking it was because I was in need of rent money for December and the guy was willing to pay about half of the total projected cost up front. It really helped me at the time (and for that I’m extremely grateful), but for now I’m kind of stuck finishing it because I’m not the kind of person to dip out, especially after someone’s helped me like that.

Things have improved a lot over the last few months, though. I don’t see myself ever needing to take a job below $0.05 per word because I’ve got lucky with a steady flow of level-headed people who understand the value of writing.

It’s unfortunate, but the only real advice I can give to people in a position like this is to value yourself, your time, and your work. I can totally understand those of you just trying to make ends meet (as I’ve been there), but there are too many people who undermine their own abilities and give people the impression that they can buy excellent works of fiction for less than the cost of a new computer. (Seriously, do you people know what some publishers pay their authors as advances alone? Some people need to do some research.)

Sorry, this turned out to be a bit of a rant. Love you guys. ❤ If you have any questions regarding getting clients/ managing your rate, I’d love to chat. I’m not really a professional, but I think I’ve managed to find my own way around the freelancing world and can still offer some pointers.

~Erynn

Merry Christmas!

I know it’s a day late, but a day late is better than never at all. So happy holidays all, hope you all had a good one.

Mine was pretty typical; met up with family for dinner and today my boyfriend and I are going out shopping for boxing day… hoping to score some new stuff. Nothing too exciting.

This is the last semi-BS post to ever be posted on this blog. That’s something exiting, isn’t it? Though lately I’ve been upkeeping the every Friday morning schedule, my posts haven’t really been anything productive. Haven’t been about writing, reading, or anything else that I’ve really permitted myself to talk about on this blog. So, sorry about that, guys! Things’ll be a bit different around here come January, but most definitely in a good way. I can say that I’m looking forward to actually talking about reading and writing again, and I’ve also got some pretty great posts lined up for the new year.

So, as the final BS post to ever be posted, I’m just gonna say that comes to mind. Why the hell not?

The first thing that comes to mind is that a week or so I completely reorganized how my email works. I did it sort of because it was messy as fuck, and sort of because I was hoping to boost productivity. And boost productivity it did!

My main problem before was that because of how frequently I got new emails, I was always checking my email on my phone and not really getting anything significant done. With the changes I made, I’ve pretty much stopped checking my phone for email unless I’m expecting something important or quite literally have nothing else to do. I no longer get notifications on my phone, I no longer check my email inbox 20 times a day, and I no longer have an inbox filled with 5000 emails to keep me distracted and stressed. I realize that this might be something that you guys are interested in, so I’ll be sure to make a post about it in January.

Let’s see… what else is there?

I’ve been sleeping a LOT lately. Damn these winter months. Not only am I at my busiest, I’m also the least productive that I’ve been all year. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later… but I suspect things will be back to normal pretty soon!

Anyway, hope you all had a great holiday and I’ll talk to you again in the new year!

~Erynn

Hello Everyone :)

I’ve started writing my blog posts at night before or after dinner during a small space of time where I don’t usually feel like doing anything. So by using this bit of “spare” time (in which I normally stare at my computer screen for about twenty minutes), I am now able to return to a regular blogging schedule. Lucky me, and lucky you. Haven’t you missed me? 🙂

Before I made the switch (which happened about two days ago), I was writing blog posts whenever I felt like it, about whatever I wanted to write about. They, to me, felt authentic. The posts were about something I wanted to share, and always about something I felt I knew enough about to discuss. Very rarely did I ever have to do “research” for a blog post- and I hope this doesn’t change.

It’s still pretty much the same, because the posts I’m writing are still about whatever is on my mind and not some pre-determined topic, but I guess having it published a quarter of a day later makes it feel a bit different. The topic is no longer fresh in my mind, I’m not actually AWAKE when it goes live, and, well… I don’t know. It’s different, but I guess whatever works, eh? I’d rather stick to this system than to abandon my blog for another few weeks. I’m moving on Mon/Tues, and my Grad ceremony is this Thurs evening. @__@

You’re awesome, everyone, and I thank you for reading my blog. Please let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions for content or the systems I’ve been using. I would love to hear your thoughts.

~Erynn

The Apocalypse

For the last five days I’ve been running around town with a machine gun, shooting the ever living shit out of all zombies in my path. They’re everywhere, and more keep coming.

My allies have turned against me and plan to leave me in this forsaken place.

On the plus side, my zombie kill count is 17. At least I’ve got that going for me.

The world has come to an end.

 

On a more serious note, the teachers here in British Columbia are on strike so school was let out a week early. I’m moving out on July 1st, and I can never seem to get enough sleep. Perhaps the world has come to an end…

I’ve packed up my library- most of my library- and am ready to go. There’s still probably about 150 books I’m leaving behind because I don’t have enough room. I’m kind of sad about that, but I guess at least I can leave most of that trashy YA that I read when I was 13 behind and built up my collections of other genres. Like, you know, fantasy, because that’s important.

Speaking of fantasy, one strange thing that I noticed while packing up all of the books is that I own a ridiculous amount of fantasy I’ve yet to read. Yeah, I know I merged my collection of books with my mother’s, but holy crap! About half of the books from the unread sector of my boxes are fantasy. I didn’t even know I had that much. I’m quite thankful for that actually, because that means I don’t need to go on a long-ass search for more books when I can just read all of the series I somehow already own.

In the writing world, Erynn is busy. I’ve been clinking away at Taichiren’s as often as possible and am looking to force myself to write a minimum of 500 words toward that novel every day. On top of that, though, I’ve got my work writing. I think I might have a little more work than I need at the moment, but with determination and more time, I’ll be all good.

One thing I’ve been paying a lot of attention to while writing for work is that I’ve improved a lot. My sentence structure seems to be a lot better than it was 6 months ago, my word choices are better, and I’m learning to avoid unnecessary words while writing, instead of eliminating them when editing. This would be things such as adverbs, ‘very’, ‘that’, etc.

Sorry for the slow updates guys, once I’m all settled again you’ll hear more from me. 🙂

~Erynn