Coffee heat rising

Conundrum of the Day: To Drive or Not to Drive?

So today’s conundrum — it’s huge, hyuuuge, I tellya! — is whether to dork around with scanning and uploading checks to the credit union or just to schlep them up there.

I need to pick up some groceries, too. The credit union is way over on the west side and the grocery stores where I would look for quality produce are way to the east or down to the south. And…few things do I hate more than driving around in Phoenix’s noxious traffic.

However…the other day I discovered a Fry’s (Kroger’s, for those in more civilized venues) over on West Peoria, conveniently on the way (more or less) to the credit union. The neighborhood is sketchy. But probably only a little more so than mine. It doesn’t look, at a glance, like the parking lot is too dangerous to walk across — and now that I no longer carry a purse slung over my shoulder, there’s relatively less risk of mugging.

So much do I dislike the scan/scan/crop/crop/upload/upload hoo-hah (x however many checks you have to deposit) that really…sometimes I’d actually rather drive all the way up to the CU and just fork the money over to a teller.

This is do-able when I have to go to a Costco, too — a decent Costco resides on that side of town, only about six or eight miles from the credit union. (Yeah…jolly, eh?) It’s also relatively safer than the one closest to where I live — although you’ll see a fake crippled vet sitting in a lawn chair holding up his sign at one of the entrances to the parking lot, you never run into anyone in the lot actively accosting you to panhandle.

Don’t need to make a Costco run, though. All that’s really needed is just enough produce to tide me over until next month’s Costco junket. Which, we might add, I would like to put off as long as possible.

Meanwhile, I need to meet people.

Do I want to meet people? Not especially. I’m happy enough here in my cave. Indeed, I’d be just as happy if the cave were in the side of a slab of southern Utah sandstone. But…I suppose, for one’s mental health, one needs to meet people.

Also, conveniently, I’ve discovered that folks who crave to be published writers will pay The Copyeditor’s Desk’s going rate of 4 cents a word, just to get me to read their golden copy and advise.

For the current client, what I’m doing, really, is instructing: essentially teaching the guy creative writing techniques at about the university sophomore of junior level. This is pretty easy for me…because of course it’s what I spent 15 years doing at the Great Desert University. It crossed my mind, as I was contemplating that project, that I could actually offer to teach people creative writing, along with editing their copy. And that would be worth paying 4 cents a word for.

Or more. Whatever the market would bear.

The problem is, I’d need to find folks who crave so much to give their golden words to the dark and the waiting sky that they’re willing to pay for the privilege.

Well, here in Amazon’s Self-Publishing Dystopia, the woodwork is crawling with writer’s groups, some small and some large. This weekend one meets downtown, at a coffeeshop associated with the Episcopal Cathedral — and one can (usually) park for free in the Cathedral’s lot.

To engage oneself with this group, one has to send in 1500 of one’s golden words for members to read and critique, and then print out a half-dozen copies for the purpose.

Do I want to do this?

Hm. The cave beckons (don’t leave me, humann!)

Well, I could send them the current chapter of Ella’s story, which no, I have not updated since I sank into the current slough of despond. It’s actually about 1800 words, if you count the blurb at the top. Close enough, I reckon.

How much explaining do I want to do, though? Do I seriously want to tell a passel of wannabe writers that I consider publishing stuff on Amazon to be a colossal waste of time and effort, and that I publish my stuff for free at my website, where it probably garners more readers than books on Amazon get? Do I really want to tell them that if you want to succeed as a writer you have to succeed as a marketer, and that if I wanted to spend my time marketing, I’d be making a decent living selling ad space for magazines, peddling cars for Toyota, or hawking refrigerators and stoves?

Not. so. much.

Well, I really don’t know. As you can see by the length of this squib, I’m having quite enough trouble bestirring myself to get off my duff and drive to a credit union & a grocery store.


2 thoughts on “Conundrum of the Day: To Drive or Not to Drive?”

  1. The idea of teaching creative writing, either tutoring individuals or facilitating small classes or workshops, isn’t a bad one if people are willing and able to pay for it. And, of course, if you have the time and energy to deal with the budding literati.

    I’ve whiled away many an hour in various online critique groups offering up my critiques and suggestions for improvement. I like to think I’m good at it—at least, the people I critique frequently come back for more. Sadly, without much in the way of credentials, I don’t really see a way to turn this into a paying gig. Alas.

    I’m excited to hear about this potential new income stream for the Copyeditor’s Desk, and look forward to further developments.

    • Yeah. But America is overrun with such courses — especially in community colleges, where you earn less than minimum wage to teach them on an adjunct basis. Why would anyone HIRE you, at a living wage, to teach them what they can learn at the local junior college for a couple hundred bucks?

      As for me personally: I have an MA and a Ph.D. in English literature. That’s wayyy different from an MFA in creative writing — and those same woods are equally full of unemployed MFAs. Even though I have a substantial track record in publishing (with real publishers, not with Amazon), why would even a person who was gullible enough to pay an individual many times more for the same attention they could get from adjunct faculty at a junior college decide to hire me? I just don’t see it happening.

      There are people out there who bill themselves as “book coaches” — you see them hustling on Facebook and Twaddle. But it appears that they’re advising as much on marketing as on writing and production. And that’s a good thing: the only way you can make money on Amazon is to build and maintain a very strong marketing program.

      But again: if I wanted to be a marketer, I’d be selling cars, large appliances, or real estate. Preferably commercial real estate…

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