I’ve been quiet on here, but that’s because of some indecision and then concrete action towards my direction when it comes to blogging and writing.
At first I was going to write a series of writerly advice when it comes to self-publishing, getting covers, the nuts-and-bolts, that sort of thing… but after planning four months of topics with a schedule, I decided I’m just not going to be a conventional blogger. Not right now, at least.
As much as I have some knowledge here and there that could help writers new to the avenue of self-publishing or finishing their books, most of what I know is collected over the past 4-5 years of research I’ve done from resources that exist in ways anyone can find. There are so many amazing, inspiring, and ass-kicking bloggers actively focused on writing advice as well as self-publishing that yet another one… is simply not necessary.
I’m not out to create a blog in which I can sell a few non-fiction writing advice books or manage a writer’s community. That path has crossed my mind more than once, but when it comes down to it, I have finite time and energy.
My talent is in writing fiction, in the strange and bewildering; from the deepest internal complexities of an individual soul to the vast ever-expanding universe of eternity… As much as I love reading non-fiction, my personal foundation doesn’t rest in essays, textbooks, self-help, exploration of subjects, articles, or blogposts.
And how ungrateful would it be for me to cast aside this understanding to chase after something else simply for fear of not appearing pragmatic to others.
One of the books I’m currently reading is So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love and I’ve tried to start reading it in the past, but it never hit home for me until this time around. Passion has always been something I identify with, something I feel and sense, but in many ways, passion is also a term that I use to describe an otherwise inexplicable purpose. It isn’t a muse, it isn’t an emotion (though emotions can be affected by the sensation), and it can take the form of a whim or determination. Passion is a way that I perceive my will in the temporal world.
Anyways, so I’ve been reading that book and the topic is certainly on my mind between – as Newport puts it – the Passion Mindset and the Craftsman Mindset. How he differentiates the two mindset is framed in two simple questions;
- What can the world offer me? (Passion Mindset).
- What can I offer the world? (Craftsman Mindset).
The second question is the dominant reason why I started looking at writing as a potential career in my early 20s. I stopped trying to figure out what interested me because it was cool or garners easy admiration for doing, but instead figured out what I was already capable of that could actually become my “Great Work” given time and focus.
In this past year, I’ve found the creative and technical process of publishing my books, with full commitment, is almost as thrilling and challenging to me as the process of writing them. I didn’t expect quite the attachment I’d grow to have, even despite obstacles thrown in my way throughout.
The experiences I had in publishing my short story (I, the One) and my novella (Reptilian Wanderer) this year… it has made me hungry for more. While it was important for me to reach this point of mindset through my experiences, it is just as important for me to continue on.
Of course I’m scared. There’s so much that could go wrong and so many more obstacles to come (how could there not be? Life is an obstacle course in itself!), but I’m enjoying myself and my work. I’m experiencing pleasure in the ups and downs, the discipline and the contemplation, in the cycle of creation between imagining, processing, writing, revising, polishing, networking, communicating, bringing to life an entire product and most of all – seeing people notice, consider and/or enjoy.
You know what the oddest part is? I feel weird saying “my readers”, like I possess or own them in some fashion. I dance around the term, calling them “the readers” or simply “readers”. The vulnerability of a community legitimately building around my publications is something I didn’t think about beforehand with how I’ve actually found the experience to be like. It’s amazing though, how much of an effect it actually has. I understand a bit more about authors who say their readers are everything to them and seem to hold such favorable connections to an otherwise nebulous shifting group of consumers.
I understand a little more each day: when I see a new review, or read comments/blogs about what someone thought about my last book or they share my work with someone new on social media. I experience deep and abiding gratitude, as well as joy that they were able to find resonance in my work. Word-of-mouth (including unsolicited reviews), right now, seems to be the only legitimate promotion out there and I am so thankful every time it happens… I’ve started to worry I’m saying “thank you” too much, lol, maybe I should be a bit more detached and distant? But this reminds me that I am human, this vulnerability and giddiness towards resonance being organically spread. It’s perfect for the present moment and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, thank you.