So, I finally feel like I've achieved a balance with writing fiction and writing content. It's only been a week or so, but it's happening.
Using the pomodoro method (surprise surprise), I'm giving fiction 50% of my work time. I do 4 pomodoros of fiction, followed by a 25 minute break, then 4 pomodoros of content writing/editing, followed by a break.
I pick up each day from wherever I left off. Sometimes that means diving into a short story or this blog post, or sometimes I'll be telling people how to modify a 4x4, the best places to stay in Vegas, or what chiropractic really means.
I'm being disciplined about it, which is key in the experimental stage. I've got a content deadline to meet, so I'm having to write particularly fast when it's the "content turn," but that might be no bad thing.
After writing web content for about 2 years, I worried that it would somehow damage my creative writing. I'll have to leave it to you to decide whether that is true or not, but the signs are good right now.
As a content writer, you need to be able to write well, on cue, on topics you've never thought about before. Often, these are topics that you wouldn't spend much time thinking about otherwise.
As a fiction writer, I need to be able to write well, on cue, on topics I've never thought about before. Hmmm. Not so different after all.
Other benefits of writing and editing a load of web content every week.
I've been calling writing 'work,' without my tongue in my cheek, for a few years. Now this work is getting scheduled rather than shoved around. Deadlines are getting stricter. And these blog posts are helping me stay on track, so thanks for reading.
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It would be nice to post about how I revolutionised my writing process and was able to achieve a perfect work/passion balance with no adverse side effects.
On the one hand, I'm tempted to portray the 'everything went well and NOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO' version of this story.
The truth, however, is that prioritising my fiction (currently non-paying) was scary and I didn't keep it up. Mounting pressure from deadlines for paying work and the compelling need to exchange money for goods and services got to me. I cracked.
I'm Dean Clayton Edwards, author of dark fiction stories, novellas and novels.