Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


The Freelance Leap: Heinlein’s Rules

September 13, 2013 by Richard Wright in Journal, The Freelance Leap

In exactly two weeks I’ll be taking a year away from dayjobbery and seeing how close I can get to generating a full time freelance writing career. I’ve the luxury of preparation time, trying to figure out how to make it work and putting some things in place that will pay off down the line (maybe), and in a fortnight I’ll take the leap, put everything into practice, and see if I’m right about any of it. You can browse previous entries here.


Friday 13th. Lucky for me, for once.

If you’ve been following along with the sort-of-countdown each week in the opening paragraph, you’ll have noticed a jump.

That is because I have miscalculated. I had previously worked out that my last active dayjobbery would be Thursday 3rd October. Officially, this is still the case. However, this week I discovered that I’m due several days of leave that I hadn’t anticipated. Which means the start of the Freelance Leap is a week sooner than I had thought.

When I read the email telling me this at work, I laughed out loud for what may have been (for any colleagues in the vicinity) an uncomfortably long time.

So that’s my early xmas present, an extra week added to the freelance year at no cost to me. For those counting, my last acts of dayjobbery for the forseeable future will occur on Friday September 27th. A fortnight from today, basically. There’s a lot more to wrap up than I thought there would be. Paperwork, and little things, and project handovers, and more. It’s all very distracting, now that the change is within sight. Churlish to complain though.

So, yay! Two weeks to go!

Also, what the hell? Two weeks to go?

Cue random, inexplicable acts of panic,

To navigate the random acts of panic, I shall spend the week concentrating on the basics. I’ll make sure Heinlein’s Rules, the only writing rules I’ve ever found to be consistently useful, are in full operation.

  1. I must write.
  2. I must finish what I start.
  3. I must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. I must put the story on the market.
  5. I must keep the story on the market until it sells.

This isn’t just something to keep me on track for the next couple of weeks, of course. It’s bigger than that. It’s the shorthand version of how I need to operate for the next year, to make the best of this opportunity. It needs a little tweaking – step 4 is actually I must publish what I write in those cases where I plan to release stuff myself. Generally though, if I can stick to this then I’ll know at the end of the year that I gave it my best shot, and couldn’t have asked for more from myself.

 This week:

  • You can now pre-order Craven Place for the Nook and the Kobo (and hopefully within a few days, on iBooks too). Your card won’t be charged until the book is available on the 4th October. The ability to set up pre-orders is a new thing for self-publishers, and hopefully means that the next time I release a book three months in advance on the Kindle, I can at least put up pre-order pages for other readers at the same time. Another example of how the mechanics of publishing are slowly starting to shift to include independent publishing as part of the norm instead of something strange and deviant (not that I’ve ever objected to being a strange deviant, of course).

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