In my previous blog post, I asked “What’s different this time?” I’ve made plans before, vowed to work hard, promised to finish this book or that within so many days or weeks. Why should anyone believe me this time around, when my attempts to restart my career have flopped like a floppy thing up until now?
Well…I’m not going to be concentrating on restarting my career, funnily enough. I’m going to be blunt here. Yes, I do need money to live. I know; shocker, right? And I’d quite like to earn a living wage from writing alone.
There are, however, things I’m not willing to do while trying to reach that destination. Sometimes my reasons are laziness, and sometimes my reasons are born of moral objections. Street teams are a no-no. Using Twitter as a place to bang on and on about my latest release, also a no-no. I’m too poor (aw, violins) to pay for advertising and as I’ve said before in a now-deleted blog post, the ones who can afford advertising are the ones who don’t need it, because obviously they’re making enough money from writing to pay for advertising so they obviously don’t need it, because…and so on and so on. Ad infinitum.
The received wisdom among writers is that you must promo, promo, promo and I can’t think of anything worse. It puts me off as a reader, so how could I, with my writer hat on, commit the very sin of which I’m complaining? I despise promo that goes beyond “Hey, here’s my book.” Just letting people know it’s out there. If that means I fade into obscurity forever, then…that is something I shall have to accept.
The only thing I have control over is how much I write. Of course, if making more money became a natural consequence of that, I’d be well pleased. It seems logical to conclude that more books out there means a better chance of making money. So that’s what I’m aiming for:
- Writing more.
- Enjoying writing more.
Way back in the olden days of my teen years, I wrote purely for the joy of it. No, I didn’t plan my career because teens think they’re immortal and their thirties and forties are centuries in the future, right? And the bottom line is…I have a bottom line. I have bills to pay. My time is valuable. So while I’m saying “Money isn’t what I’m going to be thinking of right now,” that’s probably not strictly true. I realise that I might not become a zillionaire overnight in my coming six-month endeavour, but I know for sure I definitely won’t if I carry on the way I am now.
The main thing that’s different about me now as opposed to me then is I’m in a position to put my books out there. I have an Amazon account, I have the ability to contact publishers, I flatter myself that I have connections. I’m no longer thinking “Agents, editors, publishers.” I’m thinking “Finish this book then publish it yourself.” If what I write makes me money, I’d quite like that money soonest, rather than waiting years for traditional publishing to get its arse in gear.
That may be something I look to in the future; traditional publishing is by no means off my menu. But for now, it’s all about two things: consistency (writing as often as possible) and having fun. Okay, three things. Getting my work out there so it stands a chance of making the next six months financially viable and not a complete waste of my time. For the past few years, I haven’t been writing. That’s the main problem here. You have to write books to be able to publish them. I’m not willing to go crazy, whoring my books and desperately attempting to “brand” myself as an author. I am, however, willing to produce the things that make us writers — books.
If, on the 31st March, there isn’t an improvement in my writing career — you know, I’d like it to be off life support and breathing unaided and paying a few bills — well, then there will be time for a serious rethink. Possible plug pullage. It may well be the case that I’m far from rich in monetary terms, but rich in having fun, so who the hell knows how it’ll be in six months’ time?
Until then, well…write, write, write, every spare minute.
Think positive thoughts.