I hate it when it’s time to get resourceful. For all my innovation in writing, my interest in the new and the different, I crave security at a very deep level. Frankly, it’s a joke that someone with my need for security should be in a profession where the money comes slow and irregularly when it comes at all.
Lately a series of very bad expenses – all new appliances except for the stove which is limping (and I do mean limping, unfortunately) along and might hold another year if we’re lucky, a series of car repairs, tuition for both kids an idiot cat who swallowed a bunch of thread and other sundry emergencies – have driven a knife deep into my bank account. This combines with the fact that payments that used to be almost instant in publishing are often now eight months late to bring us to a no good, very bad, rotten type of financial situation.
Of course the problem with this is that anxiety brings my writing to a grinding halt, and that in turn grinds the payments to an even slower schedule because I deliver late.
To put things bluntly, we need to make up the about 12k in unexpected expenses (yeah, the tuition was expected, but the rest wasn’t) that have buffeted us since around December or things are going to go south very fast and get extremely unpleasant to the point that writing time will become iffy (as in, if we need to move).
In this type of situation, normally, I get a day job. Except... I haven’t needed to do that in more than ten years, so my marketable skills are limited. Also I’m signed for six books due this year. This combination means in this market getting a job at all will be... uh... interesting and that if I get a job I won’t be able to write.
This leaves me two options, which – while both cut into my writing by making more writing – are actually doable and in several ways preferable.
One is a storyteller’s bowl. I set up a site and start putting up a novel, then set a value per chapter – since my chapters are short, probably a relatively low value – and once that value is reached in donations, I put up the next chapter. The only problem with this is finishing the novel before I put it up. I don’t think that would happen, which means people would essentially be donating for an e-arc – an unedited/unpolished novel. I was thinking – for those of you in the diner – of putting up my regency Witchfinder novel with the Scarlet Pimpernel character. It is outlined, and I know I can finish it, and well... I will write for money. (I could also do a science fiction, mind you...)
The other is a subscription. For – say – $10 a year, I commit to two short stories a month, 60% of those to be set in either the world (and probably past history) of DST and shifters. (Probably more than 60%, but I can promise 60%. ) There would be the occasional three short story month/novellete/story by a “guest author” as a bonus.
I am tempted to try both of them. They would take less time away from contracts than an honest job and if they bring in what I need, it would reduce anxiety enough to allow me to work.
What do you guys think the chances of either/both/neither of these succeeding are? I confess that they’re all too “risky” to my mind and that I hate having to get creative in this way. However, it seems that I DO have to try. Ideas? Suggestions? Rotten tomatoes?
Crossposted at According To Hoyt and Classical Values.