Saturday, February 11, 2012

Freelancer’s Survival Guide | Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Freelancer's Survival Guide
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Freelancer’s Survival Guide | Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

'via Blog this'

This book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is available as both tree book and ebook.  It began as a series of blog posts on her website and those posts are still there.  I found my way there after reading the chapter on Discipline in the little book edited by Scott Nicholson, Write Good or Die which is a collection of essays by indie, freelance and self-pub authors on what they know about what worked for them.

I got my free ebook copy of Write Good or Die during Scott Nicholson's promo early this month.  I read several essays in it today but it was Kristine's that I was highlighting something on every screen and it was only Kristine's whose webpage link at the end I followed.

And then spent an hour exploring her site.

I've bookmarked the page on her blog that serves as table of contents for the posts that became this book.  I'm hoping I'll get as much out of the rest of the chapters as I got out of Discipline.

Write Good or Die
Edited by Scott Nicholson
One of the points she made that zinged for me was:

Discipline is not about forcing yourself to improve. It’s about wanting to get better.

But the one that zinged and now haunts me is:

Rather than “discipline” myself to overcome the temptation, I remove the temptation entirely.

This last accompanied her admission that to remove the temptation of email, games and other distractions often found on computers she had to remove the programs entirely off her writing computer.

Now it was just a couple months ago towards the end of NaNoWriMo that I wrote a post here making a snarky comment that maybe I needed to set up a separate desktop for writing that had no admin privileges and use a nanny program to block that desktop from use of the web, games and any other application that wasn't directly related to the writing task for that day.

I was at least half joking as the greater part of me continued to believe that if I could not be more disciplined than that I didn't deserve to succeed because I must not want it bad enough.  At the very least it made me childish and undependable to need such drastic measures to force me to do what I say is so very important to me.

But if a successful novelist with dozens of titles under several pen names has to go to such extremes as this and more (she had her husband hide her free reading books from her) then maybe I needn't see it as some kind of failure if I need to take similar measures.

I can't afford to have a separate computer for writing so my concept of a separate desktop is the most viable one I can come up with at the moment.  Other than reverting to writing rough drafts with pencil and paper.  Which is how I did it before my first computer even once I had a typewriter.

My phobia of making mistakes in ink forced that on me.  I still remember my first encounter with a word processor.  My very first session on my Dad's Apple (green type on black screen) garnered me over 1000 words in the same amount of time I'd typically get 100 to 500 using pencil and paper.  I immediately began to see it as my writing salvation pinning all my hopes of success at my craft on having my own. A few months later I used student loan money to buy my Tandy 1000 EX which could do a little more than the Apple but was still not multi-media and you could only have one application loaded on the machine at once.

It should have been a big warning sign though when I discovered myself constantly fiddling with the color scheme for fonts, background and menus.  I wish I had realized I needed to nip that trend in the bud then and there for by the time we got our first multi-media Windows 95 a few years later my habit of distracting myself with whatever was at hand on the screen was hardwired and handing me a 'writing machine' with a hundred thousand distractions at my fingertips like Windows 95 was like inviting a vaudeville act, a circus and an army of hucksters into my office while demanding double productivity.

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