Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to read this. My name is Mica Scotti Kole, and I write science fiction and fantasy, and I’ve been running Free Writing Events (the free writing contest newsletter and Twitter account @writevent) for almost four years now. I also co-organized and hosted the #Write4Life fundraiser from 2017-2019. And it’s time for me to step back. It may not be permanent, but it probably will be–at least until I can afford to hire someone else to manage Free Writing Events.
I just wanted to explain why I’ve made this decision. Some of you may know that recently I had a book launch. It went well! So many of you stepped up to help me pursue my life goal of making a living through writing, to download the book and give me shout-outs. Your support was everything I love about the Twitter writing community. But the event, the advertising for it, the whole shebang… it drained me, and the end result (income-wise) did not justify the insane time investment. I also stopped enjoying this process long ago, and I’ve been paying an intern to do part of the events work, but it’s expensive and almost as stressful as just doing it myself. (Compiling the events list has taken as much as ten hours a month, though usually it takes 3-5 hours.) I have a Patreon that makes $30 per month, and I am so very thankful for that, but it’s not enough to cover the hourly work (or the intern) and the stress any longer. I will be alerting those patrons, so that they can cancel their ongoing pledges.
The Covid-19 virus has also changed my perspective on things. I’ve realized that I’ve been putting off a dream for years, distracting myself with smaller things, when I could literally die in a month from a virus. That some of my family could die, never having seen me achieve my one real goal in life. Complacency is a special kind of laziness. I was so proud of what I’d built, that I forgot what I’d stopped building. Now I have a log cabin where a castle should be.
(My husband says I’m being too hard on myself. But I’m not exempt from my own standards. It’s castle or nothing.)
Free Writing Events has been a huge part of my life, and I’ve benefited greatly from it. It got my editorial career off the ground, which helped me earn a financial safety net to fall back on in case of my inevitable upcoming failures; and it led me to several contests which I later won, including the prestigious Writers of the Future contest, which changed my life forever. But those were sub-goals in my writer’s life. I am now scaling back the editing and short story writing, and heading full-tilt into self-publishing through my LLC, Elusive Press. It will be a very slow roll. At the time of this writing, I am making $4 per day for what was a year’s worth of work (and at least $4000 of investment). It’s not a failure, though; it’s a start.
Social media is a mad but beautiful beast. Perhaps I will be able to return to it one day, and no longer see it as a chore. I know I could simply cut back, and still do my Twitter theme posts–but it feels false now. My heart isn’t in it, so why am I doing it? In the meantime, #thewriteprompt will take up the mantle. I also have not given up on getting an agent. I will still be pursuing traditional publication in YA–but I have some revising to do. The Sleeping Lotus series sucked up a year. The next series will not.
If you want to wish me well, the best thing you can do is join one of my newsletters, either for general science fiction and fantasy, or for erotic fantasy. Reviews for my erotic fantasy book, The Rose Contract, would also be an unbeatable gift. Please share the book with any friends that you think might like it. It is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Thank you for the good times, everyone. I won’t forget your kindness. The Twitter writing community is beyond compare, and I’ve been honored to be a part of it. If anyone ever wants to say hi, you can shoot me an email at micaskole at gmail. I’ll be around.