Now that my computer’s fully up and running again, I’ve caught up on listening to the writing podcasts I enjoy: I Should Be Writing, Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing, and Writing Excuses. They got me thinking.
Lately, I’ve been reading a bunch of indy-writers’ blogs, as well as J A Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, and some other big names. As I posted about over the weekend, partly because of all this reading, I’ve been getting a bit of the gold-rush fever that a lot of indies seem to be caught up in. Must. Get. Book. Out. Now! Opportunity will be missed forever if it isn’t done RIGHT NOW! I’m sure you’ve encountered the mindset. I’ve commented on some of those indy blogs, saying those dudes and dudettes need to slow down and think of the long game, but at the same time here I am getting caught up in the fever too.
While listening to these podcasts yesterday and this morning, though, I realized how stupid I was being.
For Pete’s sake, I’ve written three short stories and 29,000 words of a novel and I’m putting together grand publishing schemes and starting to think I’m the cat’s meow that everyone’s going to buy. And thinking that I’ve somehow got stature to give advice. Where the hell did THAT come from?? I need to be taking and seeking advise, not giving it, at this point. When it comes to writing and publishing anyway. Business stuff…I think I’ve got some credentials to give advise there, at least theoretically. 🙂
This rushing mindset has affected my writing. I’ve gotten all of 2,000 words done in Masters over the last week and a half, and all of 300 words toward another short story that I have been unable to finish: BAD! Why the block? Well partly it has to do with changing computers, sick kids, getting a little sick myself, and general fatigue. But I think it also has to do with excessively focusing on the Gold Rush as opposed to just writing and learning the craft.
Listening to these podcasts with professional writers, I asked myself what my goal in this whole thing is. Well obviously, finishing what I’ve started with Masters is up there, then having people like what I’ve written and making a little money off it. But really, if I’m going to do this thing, I want to be PROFESSIONAL. Not in the sense of doing it for pay, but in the sense of acting and having a professional mindset, demeanor, work ethic, and attitude. Frankly, though I told Aaron Niz on his blog that the only validation that matters is if people buy your stuff, that’s not entirely true, is it? Not if I want to be a professional. Because there’s also my standing in the professional community to consider. Being able to look others in the eye and consider them my peers, and have that consideration returned in kind.
Frankly, I think a lot of indy types are eager and enthusiastic, but also a bit arrogant, in how they present themselves sometimes. I think maybe I’ve started to go down that route, and I don’t like that thought. So in addition to my writing goals that I set last month, I’m adding the following:
- I’m taking my two short stories down from Kindle and PubIt. I mostly intended putting them up as a learning process anyway, and I’ve achieved that. So for now I’m taking them down from sales until I have a full package ready to go.
- I’m going to attend a conference or convention later in the year, to hob nob with professionals and learn.
- I’m not going to put anything else up on the ebook stores until the end of the year, at the earliest. That will give me time to really evaluate my products and make sure I’m ready.
- I’m going to continue to submit short stories to publications.
- When I finish my novels, I’ll edit them and get them all good, then decide whether to send them to NY or put them up for sale myself.
Long story short: NO MORE RUSHING!
That is all.