I need a place to ramble today, and I don’t want to start up 750words again. It started to feel too much like a chore, but also it started to feel like taking writing energy away from stuff I could write for money. Because I’m finally starting to write for money.

This is what I’m thinking about today. Yesterday, I signed a contract to publish the hockey novella with Dreamspinner. Now, I was, at the same time, working on something for a Dreamspinner open call. But I don’t think that’s necessary anymore. I use the open calls as a starting point, an in, a prompt, a deadline. But I’m looking at some of them, and some of them pay $25 once. For something that will probably take me more than an hour to write. That will definitely take me more than an hour to write.

There is a lot of worth in spreading stories around and publishing with a bunch of different places. Because I don’t know who’s going to be best. I know that I didn’t love the Torquere editing process because it seemed to me that I needed more. It was very cursory. It wasn’t horrible, but I had a harder, deeper edit for a thousand word personal essay.

I don’t know how much money I’m going to make. I do know that there are a lot of publishers out there who are similar and people think different things about all of them. I definitely know that publishing something where I get royalties is worth so much more than a flat fee. I’m not writing for flat fees. This is what I’ve decided.

And the more I write long, the longer I’ll be able to write. The hockey novella will be over 20k by the time I finish the edit. So that’s my goal now. My foot’s in the door. I don’t have to worry about the little stuff. Focus on the big stuff. Didn’t I say when I started this? If I can write a novella a month, and publish it somewhere–because there are a lot of somewheres out there–I can build my way to a good living.

$25 once is only $25. But 40% keeps building and paying, even after I’ve published the next thing. When the next Torquere book comes out in May, sales for the one that came out in April will spike. Because people will come for Messes, but see Diamond in the suggestions and just throw them both in their cart. If they love those books, they’ll go looking for another. Every sale from a reader is money for me instead of every sale to a publisher. That’s the wrong way round.

All of this is building up to writing what can be called a novel, anyway. My road trip story: I want it to be over 20k. I have an idea for a baseball thing that I could send anywhere.

I took a break from writing to look at some other publishers, and I discovered Crimson Frost was looking for editors. So I sent an email, on a Sunday afternoon, and I just signed a contract for the job. It’s 10% of every book, which is fantastic. And it’s even more of a reason to focus on writing the long stuff.