Climbing the Mountain

Well.

Let’s try this again…

My last post was not in March, as this blog would have you believe.

My last post was in August. I gave a general recap of my spring and summer and the (lack of) progress made on Unquickened due to pandemic brain. And then, at some point, my site went down. So did the e-mail attached to this site. Apparently a server crashed, and it took several days for the hosting company to get everything back up. When the site returned, my August post was missing. Because I do not treat this blog or this fiction-writing endeavor the way I should, I did not have a back-up of the post, so I can’t repost it.

So… to recap… Summer was fine, or as “fine” as anything is these days.

Commercial work is going well. I lost a bunch of work in March and then got a bunch of work after things calmed down a bit. September brought the birth of a new grandson, so my youngest daughter and I went to visit my oldest son’s family in South Carolina. Though school was delayed for a week due to the Oregon wildfires, the two high schoolers did eventually start online. We’re now attempting to settle into some sort of weird school routine as fall descends.

As far as pandemic brain goes, it’s still there, but it’s waning. Having commercial work is good for me, because when other people expect things of me, I follow through. It’s still a struggle to focus on my fiction, but my brain is waking up and making new connections, and I have come to some realizations and decisions in the last couple of weeks. So bear with me as I, once again, plow through my thinking of the past few weeks.

The Goal

For some time, I’ve been thinking more about how I can become more independent in regard to income. I would like to be in a position where I am less dependent on other writing projects and more dependent on my own work. Again, I want to say that I do really enjoy commercial writing, and I also like the occasional projects I get helping other people write books.

Buuuuuuuttttttt……..

I want to earn a living from my fiction.

It’s not that I don’t want the commercial work. But I do want to be more independent. I don’t want to have to rely on marketing budgets and global economic forces any more than I must. While I acknowledge that self-publishing my fiction across various platforms and media does mean that I’m relying on those outside forces to some extent, my goal would be to wean myself away from them as much as possible.

It’s not like this is new. This has always been a dream goal. Like, from high school. Or earlier.

As unrealistic as it might be, as impossible as it may seem, I have always wanted to support myself by writing fiction. And I’m increasingly convinced that creative success is less about the quality of the work and more about the quantity of the work and the persistence that goes into producing and promoting it. And I finally acknowledge that not everything I write is complete manure, and the writing that is manure fertilizes the writing that isn’t.

Of course, wanting something and actually achieving it are two completely different things, and the achievement is dependent upon one very important ingredient: doing the work.

Doing the Work

I still struggle with doing the work.

These questions (and others) have been rattling around in my head for months… What should I do with my time? How can I earn an income from fiction? What am I afraid of? Why shouldn’t I promote my fiction?

When my site went down, I guess I decided that I need to decide…

… what to do with my life.

… where to focus my energies.

… what my fears are and why they’re so tough to overcome.

(That last one is probably a post for another day. Or another week. Maybe a series over a whole month.)

Publishing has changed a lot. A lot. Even since the e-book revolution started. Creatives have found all kinds of new and interesting ways to market themselves and create income streams over the years. And the only thing keeping me from participating is… what?

Time?

Fear?

Will?

The tension inside the mental load of a married work-at-home mom who has husband, pets, house, and kids to manage in a tumultuous world when her kids are mostly grown but still need someone to nag them to do things like turn in homework and wear deodorant?

I mean… yes. All of those things.

But I’ve been working on The Taurin Chronicles in earnest since 2009. It’s time to fish or cut bait. I need to finish this damn series.

And this series isn’t going to make a living for me if I don’t 1) start taking it seriously, and 2) start creating other stuff to build an audience and a platform.

Changes

Changes are coming. I’m going to revamp the site and start pursuing some other sources of income that involve my fiction. I’m working with a marketing consultant to help me come up with some plans and ideas. And I’m writing and editing again with the intent of pushing as much content out the door as I can in the coming months.

But all of this is dependent on you, dear readers. I can’t achieve any of these lofty goals without my threes of fans. I know that I have not lived up to my end of this bargain with my lack of productivity over the last many years, but I full intend to rectify that.

And so what I need from you is…

  • Share my work: I know many of you do this already, and I thank you. Please keep sharing. Share this blog, share my Facebook fan page, share my Amazon or Smashwords links, even share the print copies of my book.
  • Follow me: Follow this blog, follow me on Instagram, follow me on Pinterest. (Do not look for me on Twitter; I have no intention of going back there.) And tell other people to follow me. I swear there will be more content there soon.
  • Tell me your thoughts: I am coming up with ideas, concepts, surveys, questions, and other assorted input-required things. I need feedback. Please give me yours, and please pass on my requests to others. You can e-mail me with your ideas or thoughts, or you can just respond when I push out surveys and questions.

The Mountain

This is a strange blog to post, because it is at once climactic and anti-climactic. I don’t have anything much to share except that I’m going to share more, which is anti-climactic.

But in another way, this post represents a mountain. Every single word, choice, decision in this post represents a step up the side of something I have been climbing for too many years to calculate. Deciding that I’m no longer a reluctant author–that I’m just an author–is momentous.

It’s time. I’m taking control of the things I can control–my website, my marketing plans, my writing and editing–and I’m going to push this thing forward.

Stay tuned…

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