A Walk on the Wild Side

photo credit: RNML_gazettes via photopin (license)

photo credit: RNML_gazettes via photopin (license)

I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Sorry about that. I’ve been really busy. With the Dawn of Dae finally out in the wilds, I’m finally slowing my pace down a little bit. Not much, mind you. I’m hard at work getting Unawakened ready for its January 26, 2016 release date. Sometimes I don’t think scheduling through well enough.

It’ll be a working Christmas for me this year, but I don’t mind. I really do enjoy what I do… most of the time, that is.

I talk more about other writers than I do myself, so I thought I’d take a few minutes out of my day to catch you up on me. November was insane. I went to World Fantasy Con, which is a convention for authors, publishers, editors, and so on. It was held in Saratoga Springs, and it was a lot of fun. I got to meet a bunch of fantastic authors and other professionals in the field. Despite appearances, us authors do sometimes enjoy being social creatures–especially when we’re with people who understand our special brand of craziness.

One of the challenges I often face as a writer is trying to put myself in the readers’ shoes. What do book lovers really want in a book? In a blog? From me in general? When I think of myself as a reader, the answer is everything!!!! I love knowing everything I can about my favorite writers.

Not to the creepy level, mind you, but I enjoy knowing things. For example, does my current favorite author like horses, too? I like seeing what basic things we have in common. While it has zero bearing for me on the books, it does make it feel like I have some sort of connection with them.

That probably makes me human.

So, I’m going to step out of my comfort zone for a while. Real Me is pretty chatty and open about just about everything, but I’ve kept New Me a bit more restrained. Ironically, it isn’t because I’ve changed that part of myself. It’s more because I just want to write. So, that’s been what I’ve been doing. Real Me has also fallen off the edge of the world, too. I’ve just been losing myself in my books, working hard to prepare titles for publication.

Writing a book is really hard. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably rolling your eyes a little. I mean, yeah. Everyone says it. Writing is hard.

I’ve spent the past week or two really questioning why I put myself through the rough process of publication. It’s a pretty tough gig. There are no guarantees when publishing a book. Will I find readers who like what I write? If I were drawing answers out of a hat or shaking a Magic Ball, I’d probably pull a no each and every time. But, I don’t let it stop me.

Usually, that is. The past two weeks have been really rough. To prepare a book for publication, there’s a lot that goes on. There’s the obvious ‘write the book’ part of things. Then there’s the edit the book part of things–and the editing the book part is tough. I’m not, by nature, a perfectionist. As an author, I need to be. I’m learning to be, but it hasn’t been an easy road.

But, I’m getting there–at least according to some of my fans, who have been there from the beginning. Each book is cleaner, tells a better story, and has better characters. That sort of thing keeps me holding on when I am asking myself why I put myself through the stress of publishing a book.

Publishing a book is a bit like exploring a jungle, alone, while being chased by an anaconda. A very hungry anaconda who hasn’t had anything to eat in weeks. A very hungry and angry anaconda, because I stepped on its tail while hacking at the foliage with a dull machete.

I considered hanging up my writing hat several times recently. I love writing, but I’ve been really wondering why I put myself through so much. Deadlines can’t be missed, things have to be prepared and followed up, and I spend a lot of time not writing.

When I released the Dawn of Dae, I spent a staggering amount of time preparing some advertising promotions to help get the book in front of potential readers. Some of my plans fell through, and one of them was my primary traffic source. So, instead of the strong launch I had been hoping (and planning) on, I did a pretty good imitation of a goldfish flopping around in a drying puddle.

Rolling with the punches gets hard when there are a lot of punches coming all at the same time. That’s been the last fourteen days for me. But, instead of quitting, I’m shaking my head to get the stars out of my eyes, spitting out the blood and broken teeth, and diving back into the fray.

Writing is hard, but I guess I’m just not ready to quit quite yet. I have stories to tell, and I want to share those stories with you. The lack of financial security makes it a tough journey, but so long as I keep making enough to keep writing the next book, I will. I keep telling myself that to counter the little demons on my shoulders whispering some bullshit about hanging up the whip and quitting.

I think I’ll be hunting down a few new books to read this weekend to remind myself why I love books so much. Reading is a pretty good cure all for me. It lets me step out of my own head for a while and forget about all of the struggles involved with publishing a book. The scramble back up into the saddle sucks after a fall, but I’ve got a pretty hard head.

The wild side is a bumpy ride, but worth it in the end, flopped launches and all. At least, I think I like to think it’s worth it… which is enough for me.

Happy reading, book lovers.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: