Picking the Good Ideas for a Novel – How Do You Know?

I just got back from the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta. Here’s Sonali Dev and Grace Draven, after accepting their awards for best Contemporary Romance and Best Fantasy Romance, respectively. Two of my favorite people, among so many wonderful people at that convention. I had a wonderful time!

“Where do you get your ideas?”

This is a question authors get all the time. And we have a pretty stock answer for it, which is absolutely true, that getting ideas isn’t the hard part. Most authors have tons of ideas stockpiled.

Ideas are everywhere. GOOD ideas? Maybe not so much.

That’s our topic at the SFF Seven this week: how do we know which are the GOOD ideas. Come on over to read more

Investing in the Writing Business


The house is officially all decorated now. Lovely to see it all fixed up.

I remember one of my very first jobs, I was required to wear a uniform. Just white blouses and blue navy skirts or slacks. Not a huge deal, but these were clothes I didn’t have, so I had to go out and buy them. I needed money, which is why I got the job, which meant I didn’t have money to spend. Then I found out, because of where I was in the hiring/pay cycle, that I wouldn’t get paid for about six weeks.

I was young. I was naive. But I was frankly shocked.

Before that, I’d mainly done babysitting, and that sort of thing, where you do the work and bam! people hand you money. I’d had that idea firmly lodged in my noggin that money followed work.

Which it does. Eventually.

I’ve been thinking about work lately, because I’m suffering the effects of overwork. I’ve come to realize part of it is that I’ve been working a second job for a really long time now. And it’s really only recently that this second job has started to pay. It’s like I’ve been working this part-time job for 15 years and they’re just now working me into the payroll system.

Writing is the part time job you have for years before anyone pays you.

People who start new businesses hit this, too. “They” say not to plan on making money for the first several years. That’s why so many businesses fail in the first year, because many people don’t adequately plan for this.

Being a writer means investing in growing your craft over time and also starting up a small business: you.

What this means to me is that, moving forward, I want to remember that I’m running a business. I’ll be working various “jobs” with income that fluctuates wildly. It will take a lot of balancing and managing to wean myself from my lovely salaried job and move into the self-employed world. Good thing I love spreadsheets.

And hey – at least there’s no uniform to buy!