Hi all, I've been away for quite a long time, but I do have a few reasons. I mean, not good reasons, but reasons nevertheless. Since I've been gone:
* I wrote about 8,000 words of a novel during NaNoWriMo. So, I was quite the loser, but I did write more fiction during that month than I did in the rest of the year combined. So, I was perfectly pleased with it. That novel is now about 12,000 words and I actually showed it to a living human. I'm still working on it steadily, and I hope to have it completed entirely by the beginning of the summer.
*I spent part of December in the hospital. That makes three hospitalizations during 2011. Up until last year, I had only been in the hospital to pop out various kids, so it was kind of shocking. I even spent Christmas in the hospital. They were unfestive there, but I did get some killer drugs, so it was merry in a life-threatening kind of way.
*I wrote and published a Kindle book. I started it last year and really got serious about it at the beginning of the year. It has been published for about four days now, and it has made exactly one sale. Promising start. I think.
*My dear, beloved Mac died. He was my best ally and like one of my offspring. Except, he made money for me instead of costing me money. I got a new Mac that doesn't look much like my old friend. It's silver. Why????
*I had a truly disastrous trip out of town for Thanksgiving. It was seriously the worst trip you can imagine and several people who I never thought I'd need to cut out of my life are completely and permanently cut out. Through the disastrousness, though, I learned a bit about myself. If someone messes with one of the offspring, I found out that I am capable of shanking them in the face, and I am not above shanking the elderly. I suppose that's unfortunate in some ways, but it's who I am.
*I started smoking again. I can usually quit for a few years at a time, and I hadn't smoked regularly this time for three years. I thought I had it beat and had reached the occasional-social-smoker phase. I was utterly wrong. I am now trying to beat this, but the events in November pushed me into it. It's up to me to get out of it.
*I redesigned my business website. I put together a complete site that doesn't just rely on samples pasted here and there. Based on what I see others making for articles and copywriting, I really should be making more than I do. We'll see if the new site helps make that happen.
In 2012, I'm going to have to find a lot more private clients. The 2011 Google insurgency collapsed almost every content mill out there and lowered my residual income by about 2/3. It's been icky. About 85 percent of my work last years was for mills because I'm quick at it and make a good hourly income doing that. I got lazy about finding new clients and now have less than a handful. I still have enough mill work to keep me going, but if just one more fails, that's pretty much it.
I had forgotten how difficult the marketing aspect of freelance writing really is. Craigslist is totally useless, and most of the sites that put together writing gigs are scraping the bottom of the barrel right now. I may actually consider going out and getting a corporate writing job if things online don't get a little better. Things are more precarious now than I have seen them in the 10 years that I've been working online. We'll see how 2012 treats freelancers.