Spyscribbler asked what we've been doing recently, and my post got a little long so I'm putting it here instead.
I've been writing recently. A lot. Nothing commercial, but I have readers, and fans, and immediate reader feedback. Sometimes I need that. Contracts and royalty checks are great, but a big chunk of my Writer Self needs to connect with the readers, to hear exactly what they think about each chapter of a story, to be able to respond to their comments and have them respond back and have a conversation. It's fun seeing people speculate about what's coming next, or what something means, or how the characters will work something out.
Art is communication and every now and then I really need that communication to be a dialogue rather than just me posting billboards and then going home to wait for my royalty statement. Reviews are great, but they're still few and far between.
I need to connect with my readers, right now, not months later when a review comes out. I love reviews, mind you, but twenty or thirty comments today get me bouncing and remind me why I'm writing and who I'm writing for. This is why I'll probably never give up writing and posting fanfic -- I get something from it that my commercial fiction doesn't give me, and might never.
In the last five days I've posted about 9600 words, in five chapters, and I have three more chapters ready to go, another 6700 words. I started writing on the 12th, and have been posting a chapter a day since the 15th. In that time I've gotten 129 reader comments. That kind of immediate feedback is awesome, and it's probably one of the reasons I've been this productive recently. "Publishing" chapters as you write, even with some padding as a safety zone, is stressful, but the adrenaline is great and channels right back into the writing.
I don't get that from my commercial publications. The thrill of getting an acceptance, or seeing a story published, or getting a royalty statement (I actually get more excited by the statement than the check -- I want to see how many people read my stories) are wonderful and I'm not planning on turning away from them any time soon. But there's something just as cool in the high of immediate interaction with readers; this is why a number of published writers (most of whom are a lot more published than I am) write fanfic as well, for that right now back-and-forthing, the immediate appreciation and dialogue and an actively engaged community.
I want both. So for right now, I'm dividing my efforts, and the lack of money on one side of the line doesn't bother me. Money's all fine but other returns are just as important, and for that I write fanfic, and probably always will.