It’s Writing Time, Dammit
Here we go again…
There’s a danger in knowing too little. There’s also a danger of knowing too much. And then, there’s just the straight-up danger of going into a situation so confused you’re not sure which way is forward (or up, for that matter).
Let me start at the beginning.
I’m about to write a new book (the first book in a proposed series, in fact), and I’ve managed to damn near paralyze myself by considering all my options.
All my many, many, way-too-many options.
It was easier when I was writing The Joined World trilogy because I didn’t really know what I was doing, publishing-wise. I knew how to write, but I didn’t know about the marketing end of it.
And, as it turns out, the marketing end is pretty important if you want to — oh, I don’t know — let people who you don’t know that you wrote a book.
(Turns out, if they don’t know that, they can’t pay you to read it, and since my ultimate goal is to make enough money to do this full-time, that’s a bit of a deal breaker.)
So, I decided to do my due diligence and learn about that end of the business. I wanted to educate myself when I had another book to put out there. I took courses. I watched YouTube videos. I took more courses. I read books about the process. Then, there were more courses.
Like on any other topic, there are good (and great) sources of information, there are misleading sources, and then there are “pay me $x and I’ll guarantee your success” sources. While I’ve never fallen for Option No. 3 on that list, it can be hard to tell the difference between the first two at times.
The latest thing I’m tripping over as I’m about to get started is the “Write to Market” school of thought when it comes to writing. This isn’t the “Harry Potter did well, so I’ll write my own boy wizard story” bugaboo. I don’t want to chase the market. It is, as it has been explained to me, finding a genre/category that has readers in it in which you would want to write but hasn’t been oversaturated.
Seems like a sound theory — if you’re deciding between two genres, and one doesn’t have any readers or interest, it’s just as easy to write in the other.
It is possible to go down a rabbit hole in researching this, however, and start spinning your wheels.
Very possible. Trust me.
I have an idea for the series, of course, but I also decided that I would give discovery writing a try with this one — instead of starting with an outline in advance, I’m going in with some ideas and see where the story takes me. It’s a new process for me, but it sounds like it could be fun. I wrote a novella about one of the characters who is going to figure prominently in the new series with this method, and it was very cool. The characters went to places I wouldn’t have thought of if I had been outlining.
It’s weird to be surprised by your own brain, but I dug the process enough to want to do a full novel using this method. Still, it’s a note of uncertainty in a chorus of, well, uncertainty.
I think the correct answer to this situation is “Shut up and write.” It’s what I’d tell someone if they came to me for advice. I’d sugarcoat it a little better than that, of course, but it’s the correct advice.
It’s interesting that this is timing out also to be the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) — a month-long event in the authoring world where people try to pump out a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. I’ve always wanted to try that, but I really don’t need that kind of pressure in my life right now. Still, there’s a lot of encouragement out there right now for writers who want to up their word count.
Seeing how my output for the last month has been, save for these blog posts, zero, it shouldn’t be that hard to top.
One of the things I have been doing is getting a newsletter up and running. If you’re interested, you can go to the newsletter page, sign up (it’s free), and get updates, plus the aforementioned novella, another novella and some flash fiction stories. I’ll also be sending out a newsletter with updates, things at least I think are interesting and other things. That’s not a sales pitch, by the way. Also, no spam. Never spam. It’s bad.
All right, enough stalling. Time to move. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.