I am declaring 2007 the year of non-fiction writing. 2005 and 2006 saw me attempting novel writing with limited success. While I still harbor the writer's dream of publishing a story I made up and wrote all on my own, I'm returning to my roots and my first love, which is non-fiction.
Every writer's book will tell you to write what you known AND to read what you write about. I read non-fiction. I'm an absolute fiend for history, biography, and memoir. I throw in the occasional novel (usually on a friends recommendation) but if you stranded me on a desert island with my choice of books, almost all would be non-fiction.
I approach writing like a puzzle. You have all the different pieces and first you find the corner pieces--which are the main points of your article, and then you start testing different pieces to see if they fit together (sometimes trying to mash two pieces together that clearly are not meant to be joined, just like in a real puzzle). It's long, often boring and most always frustrating, yet when you have the finished puzzle (article), you take pictures and show it to as many friends as possible as testament to your great skill and perseverance. To switch metaphors, writing is like exercising. I hate the actual act of doing both, but love myself for having completed the task after the fact.
I''m starting off to a slow year, work wise. This is intentional as I'm waiting for the grand unveiling of my new website (soon...very soon) before I start to aggressively court new business. The site will be a departure from my current site (www.denaharris.com) which screams "CAT WRITER!" The idea is to attract more corporate work, which pays better and also interests me because it's something new and I have the attention span of a gnat and get bored if I'm not constantly challenged.
As I've done for the past several years, I've raised my income goal for the year to be a 10-12% increase over year prior. Blair pointed out that I had a few steady gigs (I'm sooo hip, as you can tell by my choice of words) last year that I"ve let go but that really boosted my income, but I'm not worried. That's the fun of freelancing. You never know what unexpected project will pop out and surprise you. The For the Love of Cats book, column writing for Banfield veterinary magazine, writing for web sites...none of that was planned. I love not knowing what I'll fill my time with this year... what new projects will come up that will add to my resume or make me rip my hair out in frustration, wishing I'd never taken it on. It's all part of the writing adventure.
Here's a toast to the unknown adventures awaiting each of us in the New Year.