Finding balance: Writing projects of my own

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, May 22, 2014 At 11:48 AM

You may have wondered what I meant when I referenced my own writing projects that I need to make time for.  I actually have quite a few of my own projects, most of which have the potential to generate a small but steady income stream, so a healthy balance between freelancing and my own projects is definitely desirable.

For example, I want to:

  • Continue to work on my fiction: I have a standalone novel, my NaNo '13 novel, of which I am still trying to finish a first draft -- plus my Ruby Ransome series, which has a couple of novels and short stories at various points in the writing process and a whole bunch of ones that have yet to be written.
  • Update my blogs and websites: Several of my blogs need to be updated, and my main website desperately needs an overhaul, as it is well over five years old now.  My plan is to attack the easier, faster jobs first -- the blogs that need to be updated, either with new templates or updated sidebars or both -- and then deal with my website.  I have to decide how to address the website to include both my fiction and freelancing now -- I am tired of the current site, though, and I don't think it suits me very well anymore, so I am pretty sure I am going to redo almost everything.
  • Update my ads on my blogs.  The ads on my blogs do reasonably well when I blog frequently, but I think they could probably do better if I optimized them a bit better.  I don't even know what ads are on some of my sites, or whether some of my sites have ads.  It's time to reassess and have more of a plan with my ads, as I'm getting enough clicks that I think I need one.
  • Move my doll stringing ebook to a self-publishing platform: I have a very short ebook with instructions for restringing vintage dolls, which I wrote almost ten years ago with doll collectors more than self-publishing in mind.  It sells fairly steadily, though, and so I want to try the ebook on Smashwords and perhaps a couple other self-publishing platforms to see if that will benefit my sales numbers at all.  (The website where that ebook is sold, DollStringing.com, also needs to be overhauled -- that's one of the bigger jobs, too, as I have a sales system in place that complicates the overhaul somewhat.)
  • Write and self-publish a couple of other nonfiction ebooks: I've been meaning for some time now to expand my doll stringing ebook, since I get a lot of questions on specific jobs that the general instructions in my first ebook don't cover.  I also have wanted for a while now to try writing an ebook to accompany my 1920s wedding site (which also needs to be overhauled, by the way), with ideas and tips for planning a 20s-themed wedding.  That site is by far my most popular, so I think an ebook would do well there.
  • Experiment a little with self-publishing some fiction.   I have a few short stories that I want to try self-publishing, most of which are set in my Ruby Ransome universe and will be used primarily for marketing the series.  I want to use them to experiment with the various self-publishing platforms before I try publishing an entire novel, much like I want to try to use my existing short doll stringing ebook to experiment with self-publishing a nonfiction title.
I think that's it for the moment, but as you can see, it's a lot.  The trick is finding time to pursue all of these projects.  Ideally, I would like to carve my writing time into three different categories, and make sure that every day includes some time set aside to work on something from each: 1) freelancing, 2) fiction, and 3) blogs/nonfiction/entrepreneurial stuff.

What projects does everyone else have?  Do you have any active projects of your own in the pipelines, or is it only client work?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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