Updates: Staying Motivated
So what’s the word in author land? I don’t do these too often, but I thought I’d post a little update on how things are going with writing, both on the artistic and on the business side. From a financial standpoint, this summer has been anything but a success. Through the Viscera only sold a handful of copies and sales have fallen off for my other works as well. Even my free titles, The Artificer’s Apprentice, and The Spirit of Caledonia are not getting as many downloads as they used to. Sometimes I feel like a guy trying to sell buckets of water in a rain storm. Ever see one of those? Yeah, me neither. But I think you get the point.
I’ve gotten a few nice reviews, but a few bad ones as well and some days, it’s hard to keep the ink flowing quite honestly, knowing that my books have yet to resonate with much of an audience. And yet I keep writing. Because I think what I’ve come to realize is that it’s okay to not succeed at something in the way you’d hoped. In fact, it’s possible to find other reasons to keep doing what you love besides outside approval and peer recognition and material gain.
So these days I’m trying to focus less on sales, clicks, page views, and all these wonderful little trackers the internet allows for me to see how many ways I am “not succeeding” in my writing career and I’m just writing for my friends, my family, and ultimately because I believe it’s a calling from God, based on my unique gifts and the desires he has placed in my heart. I keep writing because I still get excited when I dot the end of a sentence on a chapter. I keep writing because I love to hold that finished book in my hand and flip breezily through the pages. I keep writing because I have these stories in my head and they’re not complete until they make it on paper. And when they do, they’re always different—and better—than when they were just inside my head.
Ultimately, I’m actually thankful for the lack of success. It’s helped motivate me to improve and get better and it’s afforded me a sort of carefree approach to my writing. An approach which lends itself to writing at a slower pace if I need to because, quite frankly no one is waiting in line outside the bookstore or banging down my door for me to write the next novel. I enjoy not having to write for a given length for a magazine or for a given deadline from a publisher. I can write just to see what comes out on the page and for the sheer pleasure of creating.
The long and the short of it, though, is that I don’t think I’ll be releasing book 3 of The Chronotrace Sequence this year. I’m still working on it, but other things like my health and family need to take precedence (turns out sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day isn’t all that great for your back). I also plan to focus more on my actual manuscripts and less on this website and social media. I enjoy writing for the website (social media, not so much), but I need to focus more on writing. I’ll still be popping in from time to time, but it might be only once a week or even once a month. I’m not sure. The one exception to that is if you leave me a comment or a message, I’ll still respond to those because I love hearing from anyone interested in my work or what I’ve shared online.
Thanks for stopping by and wading through these ramblings.