(This is the first post in a series about how arthritis affects writers, and what we can do about it. TL;DR version: I’m doing a writing fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation and you should donate here if you want to read my next book sooner.)
One night, after a few glasses of wine, I signed up to ride my bike 70 miles a day for 3 days to support the Arthritis Foundation.
70 miles a day — for 3 days.
(I’d really better start training.)
The intimidating distance aside, I’m really excited about this fundraiser. Why?
As a writer, arthritis research is important to me because if I lose the use of my hands, I use my livelihood. And it’s not just a thing to worry about when I get old — more than 52 million adults (1 in 5) and 300,000 children are living with some form of arthritis in the United States.
I’ve dealt with repetitive strain injury in my left wrist since I was in high school. At times, it’s been so bad I couldn’t type — a terrifying feeling for someone who makes a living with her words.
I’ve worked on ways to reduce the strain of my job through dictation and strength training.
I’ve cut out certain activities that exacerbate it (playing bass guitar, waiting tables, knitting as much as I used to).
But I’m well aware that if I don’t manage it now it could become debilitating.
The Arthritis Foundation does amazing work toward finding a cure for arthritis, as well as supporting and providing treatment access to adults and kids who are living with it. As a writer and a cyclist (and a human), their work is super important to me. That’s why I’m doing this fundraising ride, even though I’m terrified of fundraising and am super intimidated by the distance.
Here’s where writing comes in.
(And where you come in.)
Since I launched Negative Return, I’ve gotten a few emails that go something like, “I loved this book! When’s the next one coming out?”
My response is always a polite, “I hope this fall,” to the soundtrack of silent screaming inside my head because I wish I could write faster and had more time.
In particular, my hangup is the first draft. I love editing, but getting that first draft written is really tough for me — so I tend to procrastinate, wasting time noodling and plotting and re-plotting rather than just banging the damn thing out.
So I’ve decided to combine my fundraising efforts with the one thing people seem to want from me these days: another Durga System novella, stat.
Here’s the deal:
My fundraising goal is to raise $1,500 for the Arthritis Foundation by August 15.
My novella goal is to write 30k words.
I vow to you: For every dollar I raise, I’ll write 20 words.
That means for a $75 donation, you can purchase about 1500 words — or roughly a scene at my normal pace. For a mere $10 donation, you can purchase a snappy dialogue exchange, or maybe even a short-n-scrappy fight!
(Feel free to leave a comment on my donation page specifying what kind of thing you want me to write with the words you bought, and I’ll do my best to accommodate. 😉
If I reach my fundraising goal by August 15, I’ll have a completed first draft of the novella, and you, dear reader, will be that much closer to reading it.
To sweeten the deal, three lucky donors will win signed print copies of all three of my current published books! (Winners chosen at random after August 15).
I’ll also have a special Crew of Honor section in the next novella and on this site to thank donors.
How about it? Ready to crack the whip on my writing schedule, and do some good in the fight against arthritis?
And thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re supporting incredibly important work.
And sci-fi gangsters.
Which are also important.