This was written a few days ago – I have a bunch of these, I’m going to start posting them from time to time.
So, I’m changing my post frequency – for obvious reasons. I’m going to once a week.
Also, I’m employed – sort of. I’m part owner of a company, and I do get paid for it. This is a very, very recent development. It is taking up a lot of my time.
The truth is I can’t keep this blog going at a post a day while starting a new business and launching three books in less than two months, one of which isn’t quite finished yet, and I mean the first draft.
So, new posts will be on Friday from now on.
Okay, no… that’s not really what this post is about. One of the writing groups I belong to had the question “Is becoming a bestselling author a dream or a goal for you?”. My answer was neither (which is a bit unfair, since the group is specifically about becoming a bestselling author)…
My answer was that I wanted to sell a few copies of a lot of books. Sure, having a book become a bestseller would be amazing and incredibly validating, but I’m good with writing a lot of books and having people who like them buy them even if not that many people know about them. That’s my ultimate goal, to have people like my stories enough that they buy all of my books, even when I have dozens on the market.
Is that goal realistic? If I work at it I could probably do six to eight books a year. That means it will take around three years to twenty books (give or take a few months). At twenty books I should be able to earn a decent living, if not an extravagant one.
So, long-term, I want to earn my living from that process.
In the meantime, I have work I do day to day, as well as the work I do for writing and marketing. Sometimes that work takes up a lot of time.
Things happened in my life. Good things, but they kept me very, very busy. I haven’t been able to write at all, something had to give, and it was writing for a little bit. Now things have calmed down a tiny bit – not a lot, just a tiny bit. Writing is coming back.
I no longer have chapters of A Long Walk to fall back on, and the rest of my stuff isn’t edited to that point. I have continuity errors still for example. So, that means I will have to write new stuff every day. Wow, that’s a lot to take on right now.
Okay, I will do it anyway.
I just spent a whole bunch of time fixing a server issue and my brain is completely fried. It’s a very different part of my brain than the part that is focused on writing. It meant I didn’t write, but I was completely and totally productive (I did write a bit in the morning).
The more astute of you might have noticed a lack of posts for a few days. I was very, very ill, and my home was without internet (I wasn’t there, Irina was taking care of me). This interfered with my posting schedule quite a bit.
I’m mostly better and back on the Interwebs. So, with any luck, I can keep updates coming.
I wrote a post about depression not too long ago. It was something very personal to me, but there’s a lot I left out. I guess I wanted to make it look as good as I could, I don’t know. What I do know is this: Sometimes I fall down.
I don’t do the exercise I’m supposed to. I chicken out on the cold blast of water during my shower. I miss a day of journal writing. I don’t do my dishes before I go to bed. That compounds, and I end up not doing what I need to for days, or weeks, or months. It doesn’t take much for the spiral to start. I miss my journal entry one morning, then it’s not a requirement, it’s a thing I can choose not to do.
Today I’m picking myself up, putting my life back together, fixing what I let break. It’s hard, especially because I feel like I failed as I do it… which makes it even harder to do.
This latest one didn’t last that long, but it still stung this morning as I tried to do push-ups and discovered that I can’t do quite as many as I could a short time ago.
As bad as this feeling is, there’s a worse part. It’s a trend in my life, and it’s the part of me isolating myself that I didn’t talk about last time. I don’t just isolate myself by letting people drift out of my life. I let people down sometimes when they count on me, then I don’t talk to them because I can’t face them. Sometimes I haven’t even let the person down, I’ve just isolated myself because I don’t want to let people see my weakness, my failures.
I’ve done this with more friends than I haven’t over the years.
I’m writing this for a reason, I could say that I’m doing it to help other people, people who might be feeling like I am, but that altruistic image would be a lie. I’m doing this for me.
I’m doing it because admitting it publicly is terrifying, it’s deeply personal, it’s vulnerable. I’m putting it out there for the world because that means I can’t hide it, I can’t pretend it’s not real. Trust me, I want to, to stay with the public image I try to project, the guy who always picks himself up, who overcomes adversity easily, the fun guy, the easy going guy.
I’m also doing it to apologize. I can’t find all the people who I’ve let down over the years, there are too many and they are too scattered, so I’m doing it shotgun style – put it out there on the Internet and hope that most of them find it eventually (even though I know they won’t). So, if you are part of that group of people, the people I let down, the people I hid from, dropped, lied to, I’m sorry. I know that you deserved better from me.
I’m working on being better, I’m working on knowing that I can be weak, that I can fall down, and that I can get help.
One thing that’s important right now. Irina, thank you! You have shown me that I can be weak and get help without being judged, without having to give up who I am.
I think I’m a decent writer, that I have ideas worth exploring.
Black Mirror is usually the ideas I wish I’d explored.
I sometimes start down that road, but I also kind of like my adventure stories, my zombies and demons, but man, this show is just so incredibly bleak. It speaks to a part of me that’s probably not even all the emotionally healthy… I love the show.
Seasons 1 and 2 were among the greatest television ever made. Season 3 isn’t as good, and so far neither is 4. Both are better than almost everything else out there.
I think that what Black Mirror gets that so many other things don’t is how isolated we are these days. It’s rather an intense feeling of isolation, a kind of dark exploration of exactly what technology is doing to us.
Also, it’s on Netflix
This is a bit of an odd thought, but this blog is many, many novels worth of writing.
I don’t know exactly how many, but there is a full novel here, well, almost. There will be another one after this one, by the way, I will be putting up Jenny Dark Book 1: Demon Hunting 101 in chapters.
The problem is it’s not even written yet, let alone edited. Whatever, I have a month and a half to get it ready.
Anyway, that’s not the point here. The point is that I have four hundred and forty-nine posts on this site. Some are short, some are long. I don’t know the average length, but given that I have a bunch of fiction on here and that fiction has, typically, over a thousand words per post – well, I think the average post is probably in the five hundred word range.
That’s a massive amount of text. Probably a couple of hundred thousand words or more.
I am actually thinking about going back through it all. Some of it is stuff I really like, but I don’t even remember it all. Almost four hundred and fifty posts.
I actually feel like it’s a major accomplishment. Some of them are even meaningful, useful things. Sure, some are just “Oops, didn’t post on time”, but that’s a very small number. Some are talking about depression, many are talking about story craft, character development, etc.
Tomorrow is a chapter from A Long Walk. It’s a short one, but it’s leading up to the grand finale.