Why do we accept the assignments we do?
Sometimes, it’s simple: we love everything about the project and can’t wait to write. Other times, there’s a great opportunity such as writing a character we’ve always wanted, or working with an editor we respect and admire.
Then there are the jobs where the money is too good to turn down. Or some aspect of the project fits our needs at a particular time.
There are projects we take on because we need to keep working and it fits the schedule and brings in some cash.
Since August, I’ve done some of All of the Above. But now I’m taking on an assignment for an entirely new reason: Deb liked the concept.
Having recently delivered the Bataan Death March project, and pleasing the editor, her boss got in touch and asked if I would take on a project, replacing the previous writer. It’s a book for 4-6 graders being packaged for the World Book Encyclopedia people and is part of a series on Early People of the world. The particular early people were the arctic and subarctic people who settled the upper portions of North America. While definitely not my main area of interest, I wound up accepting the assignment because Deb seemed enthused to read the finished product plus it paid fairly well and fit a hole in my schedule.
We call this a win-win scenario and I’m already knee-deep in research materials with a small stack of books by the desk. From a format standpoint it’s interesting because it has to be written as a series of two-page spreads, each spread a different topic and no spread going much over 400 words. The outline was already done by my predecessor and approved by World Book as was the sample first chapter so I have a fairly rigid template to work from which makes it both easier and more challenging to complete.
And with luck, the very next project will be one I have actively lobbied for and am awaiting final word.