I’m sure I’m not alone in having a lot happening at the moment – December seems to be an ultra crazy month for most people. But, aside from Christmas, there are three biggish things in my life right now, and I’m here to tell you about them.
Starting in January, I will be teaching a class! With actual students!!
The class is Social Media for Creatives: How to Build & Maintain an Online Platform for you & your work, and the initial run will be two hours a week for ten weeks but, if it goes well, I might get to run the class again.
Women Aloud NI 2018
Women Aloud have just announced their programme for International Women’s Day 2018, and I’m taking part. As well as reading at events in Belfast and Dublin, I’ve been put in charge of coordinating this year’s cross-border in-train recital.
The novel I rewrote during NaNoWriMo last month now has a new title, and I have two sequels planned as well.
Those of you who follow me on Patreon will be able to see the details I have already released there but, for everyone else, I have added a specific page here on my website where you can keep up to date with how things are going. (Spoiler alert: they’re going well so far. I am so excited!)
In my previous blog post, I said that I’d been turned down for funding by the Arts Council. Since then, I requested feedback on my application and, what they essentially said was, I’ve got a good history of artistic practice and made contributions to the local arts community but I didn’t really sell my current project.
Not believing in myself has been a problem in the past, and it’s something I’m actively trying to overcome. There are a lot of opportunities that I haven’t taken advantage of, thinking I’m not good enough or established enough yet. I tell myself I’ll go after them later, when I’ve got some publication, award, or official recognition.
I know being “established” and “successful” are subjective goals at best, whereas trying to gain specific certifications can be arbitrary. Well, no more. I’m done minimizing all the hard work I’ve done so far and no longer standing in my own way.
One of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but not felt worthy of yet is setting up a Patreon account – a place where people can support me for as little as $1 per month.
I’m not expecting anyone to donate, and I won’t be offended if people don’t want to give me their money, but the option is now there for if you do wish to help. I figure, there’s no harm putting myself out there. If it doesn’t take off, no harm no foul.
Click here to read more.
As I’m sure many of you reading this blog will know, I used to offer a range of writing-related services as a business. That business started in 2013 and, as of last month, has now ended.
It took me a long time to see it, but I was overstretching myself, and my mental health was paying the price.
Going forward, I’m feeling confident that I have a clear idea of where I’m headed and how to get there.
I’m still self-employed and that still consists of client work, but it is exclusively for writers and writing based organisations, now. The work is going to be carried out under the simple business banner of ‘Ellie Rose McKee, Author’ because, this time around, I’m not going to lose focus of the main strand of my career, which is writing for myself.
My main client at the minute is the John O’Connor Writing School, and I’ve just accepted the post of Project Support Officer with Women Aloud NI.
So, even though Ellie Rose Writing Services is no more, this is not a sad blog post for me to write. I was updating my CV just before writing this, looking over the testimonials I have received, and I’m damn proud of myself and everything I’ve achieved.
Onward and upward, as they say!
It’s four years since I became an author, self-publishing my first ever book, and three years since I set up a business around my writing, going after it as a full-time profession. There have been various stages in that process, of course, and now I find that I’m on to a new phase once more.
Back in February, I blogged about how I was moving in with my fiance. What I didn’t say, however, is that he’s unable to work, and the move meant I was becoming his official carer. The change has meant that we’ve become closer in a lot of ways, which is obviously great, but I also had to reassess my entire work-life balance, leaving me back down to only part-time paid hours.
Do I regret it? No. I don’t even think it’s made me any less productive. If anything, I have a better handle on time management now, meaning I get more done in less time. Mostly, though, I get the privilege of taking care of the person who means most to me in the whole world. I get to have my cake and eat it, my dream job and the love of my life. That’s way more than I could have ever wished for, back when I was an unemployed university dropout, playing around with Kindle formatting for the first time.
To those that think it’ll never happen to them? Take heart. All things are possible. *
*Disclaimer: it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses getting here. Life can be hard, but it’s worth it if you work at it. I don’t want to be accused of coming across as false.
I don’t usually set myself a new year’s resolution, per se. What I usually do is set myself a series of projects throughout the year, with the main project for said year launching in January.
Last year, it was the launch of this website and blog, and this year? I’ve decided on a fresh focus for my business.
So, this website is going to remain about my poetry, reading, writing, and general life; whereas my client work has now got it’s own separate homepage, under the new name of Ellie Rose Writing Services.
You can see that new website here: www.ellierosewritingservices.co.uk
Previously, I wrote about how being a full time writer is very much about being an entrepreneur, but not the same kind of business person as found in other industries. I said that, when I started out, I had to do a lot on a trial-and-error basis, because I couldn’t find a lot of advice specific to what I was doing. There are an abundance of books on writing, and an immeasurable amount of books on business, but not many on the business of writing. Well, I’ve since found a series of books by Joanna Penn.
I’ve read them, and am happy to recommend:
Book One: How To Market A Book
Book Two: How To Make A Living With Your Writing (currently free on Kindle!)
Book Three: Business for Authors
Related Article: The ‘Business’ of Writing, by Rachel McGrath.
When I decided to go full time self-employed, I completed the Exploring Enterprise Program run by Prince’s Trust, and following that I attended various business seminars and meetings. A lot of the things talked about at these events applied to me, but a lot didn’t, as well.
Setting myself up as a freelance writer has not followed the standard business model (if there even is such a thing) and because of that there’s a lot I’ve had to find out for myself, by simply going out there and doing it.
Many mentors I’ve come across did not have advice directly applicable to my field, and there’s a wealth of guidance all over the internet to do with the actual writing process (not all good, mind you), but I found very little information to do with the background work to having your writing as a business, and even less about the balance between that background work and the actual writing. In light of that, I’m filling that ‘gap in the market’ and writing this post about it.
Being a writer, or artist, photographer, or designer, is different from running a warehouse, or a restaurant. You’re not only emotionally attached to your work but, in a very real sense, you are your work, and that complicates things.
Often I find that what’s best for my writing career in the long run is not what’s best for me business wise, and I have to find a way to reconcile those two things.
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