Will the Force be with me?

I’ve been contemplating writing a work of fiction for a long time. Why haven’t I tried getting it off the ground? Well, quite frankly, the idea scares the hell out of me. It’s more of my comfort zone to write non-fiction articles. I know how to do that, I know how to research them, and what it takes to put them together. Creating a story and characters from scratch? Well, that’s a task that just seems so daunting, I have thought however, if I were to do it, what genre would be most familiar and interesting to me? What would provide fertile ground and familiar themes that  i could jump into? The answer it seems, is Star Wars.

Now, I’m not the type of fan of Star Wars that is a collector, or a cosplayer, or video game player. I have however, been a reader of several of the novels, both those that are the movie tie-in’s, and those that explore other aspects of the SW universe, but relate to the movies in one way or another. I have also received encouragement from an actual SW author: Daniel Jose Older.

Older wrote the novel “Last Shot,” a Han Solo/Lando Calrissian piece that explores their relationship during the times after the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” movie. It was quite a good book, and I thought his approach was interesting. But, on top of all this, I learned to my surprise, that for a decade he was a NYC paramedic.

I contacted him via Twitter, and eventually brought up my thoughts on possibly pursuing a novel. I related my fears, and my past writing experiences. He understood completely, and offered this advice: “Just do it. You might surprise yourself.”

With that in mind, I’ve started flushing out some ideas. Let’s see where it takes me.

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You don’t have to thank me. You have to pay me.

“You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”Jim Rohn
There was a recent article that I came across on Facebook, via Freelancers Union, that quoted a Huffington Post editor as saying that he doesn’t pay his writers because:

“When somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real, we know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of.”

I call bullshit. While it’s very noble to volunteer your writing skills, when it becomes your primary source of income then getting paid is an essentially part of your craft. As some of the comments pointed out, does this editor get paid for his services? Most likely, which brands him a hypocrite. It’s hard enough for freelance writers to et paid for their services at at reasonable rate, and on time, without having editors like this making it even tougher on us.

Yes, when I first started writing, I did a lot of it for free, in order to establish a portfolio of work. However, once I made the decision to make a go as a freelancer for a career, that changed. I may not have gotten paid a lot sometimes, but at least I did get paid. Now that I’m planning on resuming freelancing again once I’m recuperated fully, you can bet that I’ll be demanding pay for what I write. I don’t want to stay on SSD forever, as much as it has helped tremendously.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
Here’s to the restart of my writing career, and here’s the link to the article in question