Crazy how the time flies; before long it will be time for the kids to start school, and then the hectic part of the year begins. We get spoiled by the lazy summer, and the heat of this particular time of year (here in San Antonio) really makes you want to avoid the outdoors… it’s the time of year when you step out your front door and feel like you’ve stepped in to a broiler. This can be a good thing, especially if you happen to have a hobby like, oh I don’t know: writing. When you find yourself wanting to stay indoors, your excuses for not writing diminish… and when you are near the end of your first draft manuscript, you might often find yourself hunting for reasons to do the other stuff you have to do that’s not writing.
I’m pretty damn close to breaking the 90,000 word count mark; in fact, I may end up doing that tonight. That was my manuscript goal when I first began writing this novel, and now it looks like I’m going to blast past that in order to tell this first story. A while back I pushed the word count goal up to 105,000 words, and then immediately regretted it because that seemed to me at the time to be an overwhelming amount of words… now it looks like it will be right on target. I may not hit 105,000 words exactly with the first draft, but I most certainly will by the time I’m done with revisions.
The big upside here is that I’m ahead of schedule… I wanted to be done with the draft by the end of September, and now it looks like I will be done by mid-August. This is exciting for me because it means I will get to spend more time editing and revising the draft, and that I’ll have ample time to outline the next novel ahead of NaNoWriMo in November. And that right there is another reason to be excited: NaNoWriMo is only three months away, and I had so much fun last year (even though I broke out in the shingles) I can’t wait to do it again this year… hopefully sans shingles.
The foregoing strategy will be to knock out a 50,000 word draft during NaNoWriMo in November that will serve as the basis for the first draft of the second novel in this series. This will hopefully put me well ahead of the game when it comes to writing the third novel… and that brings me to the big debate which is currently raging in my head: publication.
To publish or not to publish, that is the question… One thing I do know for certain: I will not be self-publishing. I have an extraordinary amount of respect for people that self-publish, but that ain’t me, brother. I, along with a buddy, self-published a comic book for a few years and if there’s one thing I took away from that experience it’s this: that kind of DIY I am most certainly not interested in. I’m not a business man, and I already know I suck at representing myself… from a business standpoint anyway. I’m not a marketer, I know nothing about agenting, and despite the fact that I use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — I don’t have the time or will to devote to using that avenue to push my writing. There are experts out there for all of these things, the publishers have them, and that’s the route I’d want to take if I decide that publication is what I want to do.
Can I get published? Sure, why not? I submit the average big box bookstore shelves as evidence, and direct your attention to the abysmal garbage you are likely to find there. My abysmal garbage could be there too… but I reserve my decision to publish until I have the first three books written… so I guess that resolves the debate. Really, the challenge will be getting an agent who will be willing to represent my work since most publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscript submissions from authors without an agent. My plan would be to come to the table with three books already written… I just need to make them the best that I can manage… or not.
Being a hobby writer is nice, primarily because there’s no pressure except for what you put upon yourself. Before I went on vacation I was entertaining the idea of taking on some freelance writing if I could find a few venues that wouldn’t mind paying a little cash money for a bit of writing work, and I’m still interested in doing it but not with as much gusto as before. It comes back to that pressure thing: freelance writing means deadlines, and time away from writing my novels. I have a full time job which eats up a lot of my time, but it also pays for the house and the bills and the groceries and all the rest of that necessity stuff. There’s no way I can give up time from that, so the sacrifice would have to come from my writing time and that’s bullshit because I have very little time to spare as it is.
If I was going to make a living as a writer I should have done it a long time ago… and I wanted to back then, but life gets in the way. Regrets? None; it is what it is. I write because I enjoy writing, because I enjoy telling stories, because I like creating characters and building worlds; I write because I can. I’ve always written, all my life (except for the portion when I still hadn’t learned how); I was blessed with the ability to express myself through writing, and for that I am grateful to everyone who had a hand in making it so. I plan to keep doing it too, regardless of whether or not I try to get published and regardless of the fact that I’ll most likely have my manuscript rejected… I can always write another story. That’s the big advantage of creative expression: there’s always more to come.
BTW: I wrote this posting on my Google Nexus 7 tablet; I got a defective tablet in my first order, and the replacement arrived this past Tuesday. Now I don’t want to turn this blog into a tech review thing… I’d like to keep it focused on my writing experiences (be they good or bad); however, I told an old buddy that I would give my impressions of the tablet once I’ve had a good opportunity to put it through a few flaming hoops. I’ll be writing that up in the near future, and posting it here since I don’t currently publish anywhere else. Consider yourself warned… heh!