Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!
I feel like I vague-blog a lot about my "projects." I've always felt conflicted about "leaning in" to a high-powered job because I've never wanted my career to interfere with all the side-work I do for myself. But I'm starting to wonder if I'm spreading myself too thin. I have too many ideas; too many things I want to work on, and never enough time. Here's a list of what I've been up to lately:
That's a hefty load and I'm wondering how sustainable it is to attempt all of these projects even if I enjoy them. Writing the blog itself is a major time commitment, but I like the discipline of daily writing (well, four times a week plus a Friday link-roundup). The slush reading is also fun and helpful for my writing, so that's also something I'm not willing to give up. I've reigned back the science editing to just my long-term clients, because my time is really worth more to me than the money right now, but I don't want to give that up completely in case I do eventually start a full-time business.
You might notice that I've marked a few items on that list with asterisks. That's to indicate which projects I think have any chance to make money (with more asterisks indicating greater earning potential). The science editing already does make me a little money. I also used to sell paintings when I was younger. I started painting again recently and I think I've still have the knack for it, so I may try selling those on Etsy or at a local bar or something to see if there's any interest.
But one thing I haven't talked about at all on this blog is my Organic Chemistry Primer (**). For a while, I've thought there's a need for a very simple, "electron-pushing" guide to prepare pre-med students for organic chemistry. Just a slim book you'd read the week or day before you take your first orgo class. College courses do a terrible job of explaining the most basic concepts behind organic chemistry, because there's such a large volume of mechanisms to learn. Professors tend to rush ahead and leave students totally confused and struggling to understand what's going on.
So I've started writing a very simple, "how-to" kind of book on organic chemistry based on all the things professors should be teaching their students in the first week of class, but don't because of time constraints. My idea is to sell this book as a kindle-single, fairly inexpensively, and then market it on pre-med forums. Originally, I was going to go through all the trouble of preparing a book proposal and attempt the traditional publishing route, but then I thought, why bother? Why not just get it out there now?
Ideally, I'm looking for a source of income that will help support me so I can spend more time writing and improving my fiction (which I know, will probably never be a full-time job). Maybe my organic primer book could help me do that? Or at least be an additional source of income that shouldn't require too much time once I've finished it. Again, that's the ideal case. I have no idea how much time it would realistically take to market and promote it.
Even though I prefer working on my novel every morning during my daily writing session, I think I'm going to have to switch that time over to finishing my Organic Chemistry Primer. That's the logical order, right? Start on the items that have a chance to make money first, then move on to less commercial projects.
So here's my goal: I want to finish my Organic Chemistry book during the remaining days of October instead of working on my novel. The Primer isn't meant to be long, so I think I can do it. Then I'll be free to work on my novel during NaNoWriMo, when I intend to finish the first draft. Then in December, I'll edit and hopefully publish the Organic Chemistry Primer on Amazon, followed by editing my novel in the subsequent months.
There. It's out there. That's my promise to myself. That's what I'll aim for.
Am I crazy?