Thursday, July 13, 2006
Last year, before I got published, that was all that mattered to me--getting published. I had my ideas and I wanted to carve my own little niche into literary cyberspace, it didn't matter how big or small. I didn't care or worry about not being liked or getting bad reviews. After all, no matter how bad your writing is, or what you write, there is always some small following to get your back, and I could appreciate this for what it was. I was happy with it. To be and to have, this was my only goal.
Fast forward a few months, and I've signed my first contract and I'm facing the release date for Crossing Borders. As a new writer about to be shoved out of the nest and into the relative unknown of the publishing world, I caved into something I had not even anticipated rearing its ugly head--fear. Fear of being alone in cyberspace with my little book, not being a part of something bigger, not having my voice heard. I realized suddenly I was on my own, standing on a precarious high wire of a situation, and I did not have a safety net.
What did I do in reaction? I tried to create a safety net. I put my trust in something insubstantial, stretched myself too thin, and fell into the promotions blackhole. All these things for something that can't be guaranteed in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, I am all about promotion, shameless self-promotion or otherwise. But I believe now I have learned the hard way not to sell your soul for the sake of getting your feet wet. In the end, you just end up with no soul and soggy feet.
Everything is fleeting. Each book is only that. One book. The one after it will be either better or worse than the last. It's the same with safety nets. Each one you create is only good for so many falls and then it weakens and breaks down and you have to replace it. My point is this: when it comes down to it I am responsible for my own writing and my own writing success. If I am accountable to anyone it is to myself and my readers. It's them I should be worried about pleasing anyway--in addition to myself of course. When there is no longer any joy in writing, in seeing the finished product and being able to be proud of it, then why do it?
Last night while I was burning a mediation candle, it occurred to me that the writers with books that I actively look for, those who I really enjoy reading, the ones who I pick up their ebooks as soon as they come out do not put themselves through what I've been doing the last few weeks. I have to actually go out and search for their work. And I do it because I want to hear more from them. They enjoy writing, and so I enjoy reading their work.
When I sit back and think about it, there is no greater compliment I can give a writer than that. I'm not saying I will ever be so good as that, but in the end that's what I want for myself. To be like those who write because they love to write. Because it's what they do. For them, it's not a contest of sales and politics and driving yourself insane trying to book that next promotion to stay one step ahead, but instead they're taking it all in stride and enjoying the process for what it is. With that said, it's time to get my goals back on track.
I'm staring at the end of Wicked Temptation, and breathing a bit easier for it. I've also got the code up for the new joint email newsletter I'm sharing with fellow paranormal authors Tempest Knight and Cassandra Curtis. If you have time, drop by our new group blog and hang out with us for a spell: Midnight Moon Cafe
On another note, I've spent way too much time searching for Caress of a Psychopath at Lulu.com. It's been a while since I read any angsty, cannibalistic vampire psycho stories. I need to broaden my horizons.
Well, I'm outta here for now. It's 5 AM. If I get to bed soon I might actually get a little sleep before the sun comes up.