1linewed, thoughts

#1LineWed – Theme: Attempt

I finished the big edit of Throne in the Dark yesterday and sent the final act off to my critique partner. The manuscript still needs work, as always, but it’s so much closer now, and this is perhaps the most eager I’ve ever been to get a book out into the world.

Today’s #1linewed comes from book two, Summoned to the Wilds, and the vampire mini-arc that was original to the series when it was just a standalone. I’m pretty happy with expanding on this world and taking it into three books instead of squashing it into one. It’s letting me explore the bigger ideas and themes I originally compacted into simpler thoughts and had to kind of reduce to one-off jokes in the original outline. Vampires eat people, so they’re evil, right? Well, what if they only eat evil people? A sorta Dexter situation? Then they’re not evil, right? Except if they also used to be evil and they still work with other evil creatures, maybe it doesn’t matter? So, there’s a little more complexity than the original joke of:

“You kill people! That’s bad!”

“But we only kill bad people, so it’s…morally not so bad, right?”

“Okay, I guess, yeah.”

Moving on…

I think that’s a joke anyway.

In more general news, I have either a bunch of mosquito bites or a patch of poison ivy/oak/sumac/something on my face. It’s not a big deal–I don’t have big reactions to poisonous plants like a lot of people except for grass nowadays which is very weird! So, I guess, this could actually just be one of my weird grass reactions. Maybe I’m a water Pokemon? I probably think I’m a vaporeon, but I’m actually a magikarp. Fuck. But in general the allergies to the out of doors I’ve developed in the last two-ish years are also out of control which is a bummer.

And speaking of “attempt,” I’m also looking at my trajectory for self publishing and wondering if I can succeed. I know I can produce the work, I have nine books planned out and on schedule, another five just sort of floating in future ether, and six existing, and I know that work will be quality (gods, that literally gives me stomach pains to write out, but I have to start embracing the idea that I don’t suck), but I don’t know if they will ever sell in the kind of quantity I’ll need to make a living. I’m lucky that I have a spouse who supports me so I can do this fulltime to see if it will work, but maybe it just never will. Self publishing is about hard work and research and effort and sometimes it feels like it’s only 10% about the writing at all, but luck also definitely plays a part. Sometimes books blow up, and that’s great, but it’s not the norm.

Weirdly, though, I’m not as depressed about this thought as I usually am when I have it. Maybe it’s just acceptance. It’s just holding out my hands and going, “okay, this is how heavy this is, and I’ll be capable of carrying this weight until I’m not.” And that doesn’t feel as soul-crushing as failure in general.

I used to be afraid of running ads for my books because I was afraid of wasting money. The good news is, since I’ve started, I’ve actually made a profit! The bad news is, that profit fucking sucks. But in the end, I’m an author. It’s the thing I always wanted to be, and I’m that. Hell, I’m a professional author: I make money writing stupid, little stories that come to me when I’m washing dishes and showering (omg I am a water-type Pokemon, aren’t I?) And it might not be forever, but who can say that they actually got to be the thing they wanted to be when they were a little kid? There aren’t a lot of astronauts or veterinarians or movie stars out there, that’s for sure. Suck it, everybody else’s dreams! Now, if only mine weren’t a be-careful-what-you-wish-for scenario.

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