Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Naming of a Thing


If you look at my updated profile, you’ll see that I’ve had a change of career.  After handing in my resignation last month, I am now a full-time writer.  It’s funny, because I think I always was a full time writer… I was just dabbling at 40 hour a week career doing something else.  As much as I liked what I did for a living (my clients were amazingly awesome and the work with web configurations was way more fun than I would have thought going in), I came home itching to write.  The itch was strong enough that I still took on freelance assignments, even though it meant I was essentially working 7 days a week.

I was skyping with one of my longtime writing buddies right before I made the big jump.  The funny thing – he’s known me, in all of my online venues as well as through private conversations, for years.  He never knew I’d been ghost writing.  I’d never mentioned it.  Weird, right?  Why wouldn’t I talk about my writing with another writer?

In my head, I’ve always kept ghost writing and writing web content separate from fiction.  This blog and most of my online writing (with my name on it, that is) has centered on fiction.  It didn’t occur to me that anyone would ever be interested in the fact that I’ve been making money as a writer for quite a long time – since 2006.

It’s the naming of the thing.  I can call myself a writer, because I am.  Before I ever got paid a dime for my writing I would have categorized myself as an aspiring writer, but a writer, nonetheless.  I’ve never called myself an author.  Technically, maybe I could.  I have one short story published… doesn’t quite count for me – I’ll consider myself an author the day I sign my first deal for novel length fiction.  It’s my own barometer.  I don’t think anyone else has to subscribe to my labeling system.  But that little internal thing is likely the reason I haven’t much mentioned my freelance writing on this blog.  This blog has always been my venue to discuss fiction.

These first few weeks of business have been largely set up.  I completed a few assignments last week and am working my way through my business plan now - along with deciding on a new name - the naming of the thing.  I know a lot of freelancers just use their own name – Suzy Freelancer, professional writer.  I kind of toyed with that, but I’m not sure how to answer the phone.  I almost feel like an idiot, answering with my name.  Plus, it still keeps the whole thing somewhat separate.  This is my writing business – the bottom line is that it is a business.  This is my fiction writing – the bottom line being that it’s mine. 

The business writing is very much NOT mine.  You can market yourself any way you want but, if you’re writing for businesses or other entities, you’re speaking for them, your words are theirs, and they need to be carefully constructed to portray their specific message.   
This blog has been largely inactive for more than a year now… and the postings were scattered before that.  I thought about what I wanted to do here because, logically, this blog will not be an asset to the business.  On the other hand, it’s my fiction writing home.  So it stays.  Because it’s been an asset to me.

I’m working out a schedule for blogging time.  I know I’ll also have to clean out the links on the sidebar.  I just hate doing that.  Every link represents a person who was at some point very connected to the blog, my writing, and my journey.  I’m going to build a different blog for the business, attached to the website I’m working on.  Not sure if I want to cross link or not – I guess it depends on whether the readership I build back up here would be interested in the type of writing posts I’d be creating there.

For now, this stays my fiction writing home… along with weird little anecdotes about my kids, who you all know are far more amusing than me. 

6 comments:

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Congrats on making the leap, Merry. :)

Merry Monteleone said...

Thanks so much, Sharon!

You've been a great inspiration!

Stephen Parrish said...

Add my congrats as well. And envy.

Even though blogging seems to have turned into a "last one out turn off the lights" kind of activity, I'm returning to it. Because it's the only social media platform on which I feel authentic.

My blog is my online home, my magazine is my online office. Think of it that way when you set up your freelance website: home and office.

I regret having cleaned out my sidebar links. Back in the day, that was how we navigated around and met each other. I'm going to put them back. You won't catch me turning off any lights.

Peter Dudley said...

Dream being realized. Awesomesauce.

Merry Monteleone said...

Thank you, Stephen!

And yeah, I know what you mean about the sidebar... I still haven't done it and I need to... half of the links don't even work anymore... sigh...

Merry Monteleone said...

Thanks, Pete!

How have you been doing?