Saturday, April 23, 2011

Writing for fun, but no profit

By Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

Earlier this week I read a novelette by one of my favorite authors.  Me.

Does it come as a surprise to find out that I'm my own biggest fan?  Not as a narcissist thing, it's just, I write the kinds of fiction I love to read.  And I happened across a story I wrote over 20 years ago, something I thought needed a lot of polish, and discovered that despite the relatively minor writing flaws, I still LOVED the characters.

It's been a stressful month getting ready for the upcoming Malice Domestic conference, and doing lots of things that circle around writing, but aren't actually writing.  (Mostly promotion.) That's why I took a break and read that story.

Lightbulb_idea Yesterday morning, I woke up very early with an idea for a companion story to my novelette from years ago.  I wrote down the barest of ideas and thought that would be the end of it.  But as I went through my day (dentist and bad-haircut appointments, laundry, and so forth), that idea kept nagging at me.  I should have sat at the laptop and worked on my current project.  The paying one.  But instead, I used my word quota for the day working on a story that will probably never see print--or a reader other than myself.  It's not even in my genre.

NO-PROFIT I had fun--but there'll definitely be no profit.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing cozy mysteries, and I would dearly love to jump back into my 5th Jeff Resnick novel (started more than five years ago), but novels are great big stories, and this one--not so much.

This is fun.  A lot of fun.

I'm going to work on it in between doing other stuff for the next week or so--just for fun, but after the conference, I must jump back into the paying project (which is behind schedule, although I reread the work I'd done so far, and it's coming along nicely).

What are you doing when you should be doing something else?