Jul 13, 2011

the Right to Write

July already? Crikey.

The past month or so has been both wonderfully and painfully busy - been networking like it was free (it mostly is) and writing/editing as if it generated oxygen. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I managed to hold down a full time job, help take care of the house, take road trips to Portland and Montana, and, I'm pretty sure I might have slept once or twice. Tired but still creatively motivated.

More and more, the reality of this new adventure is rearing its delicious head up into my horizon - in fact, it feels as if I've already passed into the golden fields, having crossed its border sometime during the dark night now fading behind me. Somehow, I became a writer and didn't even notice.

Seems like every week or so, I get another idea for a story or a book or more, and I'm still less than a book away from finishing the current 6-book series. I'm not complaining, though - clearly, it's better to have more stories than you have time to write than to have no stories and all the time. A lot of them are staying on the back burner for now: the harder science fiction - especially the ones who would do with a fully-developed schedule of tech research, for example - will have to wait until I can dedicate more time to it. On the front burners, there are already plenty of projects I'm pushing through. Still don't understand why I don't feel more stressed out about it.  Too busy enjoying doing it, I guess.

One of the parts I'm actually enjoying the most is the mingling with peers. It's so strange to think that as recently as two years ago, all these great people working in publishing - comic books, fiction, sci fi, films, what-have-you - are now people I interact with on an almost daily basis. It's kind of dreamy. I swoon.

Seriously, though, the downside to that is that I still presently have a day job - one that is decidedly NOT being an author. And every day, I'm unfortunately reminded of the distinctions between these two worlds. Some days, it feels like I'm Bruce Willis in Twelve Monkeys, uncertain of which reality is "now". It can be both frustrating and disorienting.

For example, one of the most positive elements in self-publishing is the idea of recognizing the motivations and logic behind every decision I make. Each element of work or marketing or design, each step of the way has a reason behind it, and if I don't like something, well, then I just go ahead and change it. But in the corporate world, I'm comparatively unpowered in such aspects. "Don't ask why, we just ask 'how high?'" It's strangely dehumanizing. And the strangest bit of all is how I managed to not notice that sooner. Sure, I knew I didn't like it, but I didn't exactly realize why.

And speaking of the big Y, I've been reading a lot of wonderful blog posts recently by other authors that talk about why they write, or why they self-publish, or why they write and self-publish, etc. It has been really satisfying to see so many who've come into this process for so many of the same reasons I have. It's a wonderful community of writers, and thank god for the internet to bring all our tiny islands together.

One other update - I attended my daughter's school last month at the invitation of her teacher, to sit and talk to the class about being an author, writing, and all of that. It was one of those pivotal and mind-altering moments, to be perfectly honest. The children really got excited about the idea that all these movies and video games and comic books; these myths, even the history we learn about - all of these things come from the craft of storytelling. It's all just one person telling a story to someone else, or writing it down so that it may be later read and shared. The kids were really engaged, and I hope I helped them get a little more enthused about reading. The teacher was very happy with it; and on a side note, I still have trouble calling my daughter's teachers by their first names, even when they're younger than I am. That's just weird.

Well, speaking as I was in regards to the day job - and the writing, for that matter - I have more things to do today than spend my time blogging. Thanks for reading along today, it was nice having you here.

And, as always, if you enjoyed this, feel free to jump over to amazon and check my books out. I remain a pretty big fan of the stories there, and I hope you will, too. Sorry for sounding like I'm pimping myself out, but I am grateful for every single one of you that picked or will pick up one of my books and enjoy the stories written therein.  If you do, I'd love to hear what you think of them.

Until then, be well, my friends. Enjoy the day.

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