Purposely writing that first so I don’t forget it. Worthy title anyway. I will fix a word count box like I used to do. So that even if I don’t update this daily, I’ll at least get the words down. I like keeping track of how stories progress, even for myself. It’s like if I see the word count written down, and the amount I do daily, it just helps my motivation. I figure others might feel the same. I’ve been told occasionally that it does. I also get motivation from others. Am I the only one? Lemme know down below.
So I started writing this book June 27, 2021. We’re 7 weeks and 3 days into the book. For actual days of writing though, that’d be more like 5 weeks and some days? Because I only write on the weekDAYS, and it’s for about 1 hours in the morning, if I get that long. Which would be about 38 hours of writing time. And that too is give or take because I know a few days I tried to write, but mostly got distracted or zoned out. Tired, worn down, that was usually the cause as it can be when I’m in that state. If I’m getting distracted, that is generally why.
Worn down, exhausted, didn’t sleep, just not all there mentally. Which is why I don’t get horribly off kilter with self on those days. We can only push ourselves so far. Does it bug me when I don’t have good writing days? When I start attacking self? 100%. I’m not even gonna deny it. Our brains aren’t meant to function at high 24/7. Life, relationships, work, our body, our mind – everything has an ebb and flow. Nothing that remains on high is going to do well after a time. Not even machines can go go go go.
Sorry Energizer Bunny. Even you need a repair eventually. Or, bath?
So yeah, I do admit that there are days I wanna hang up the hat. There are days I wanna stop. Days when those numbers aren’t coming that I wanna pull my hair out. That’s also perfectly natural and human. Even of robots. None of us are built to always be up and on. At the end of the day I know I will end up getting the numbers, and I will finish the book so I just don’t push myself to the brink. I do work hard. I do push myself hard, but on the days I only get a number or two of words, or none when I should, I know eventually they’ll come back.
Anyone who followed me writing that last book a bit ago – Discovery & Deception, they’ll have seen that truth. That . . . was a struggle. A challenge. An overall pain in the behind. I wasn’t prepared for the mental and emotional toll it would take, and it did. And the words suffered. And I pushed through the muddy slog of writing. Annnnd eventually finished it.
My goal these days is to be transparent. With my work, with the stuff I deal with, with what it’s like to be an independent. Many think those of us who work in this field don’t nearly put in the work or quality that traditionally published do. That the instant they see “indie” or “self-published,” they’ll bounce. As I told my partner the other day, those who don’t put the effort and time in? They are the ones who give the rest of us in the community a bad name.
But there are those of us who treat our work like a business. So as I told my partner the other day, if I cut corners like even some traditional publishers may to meet deadlines that they have to (totally understandable), or cut corners just to “publish a book,” like many indies may? I would be able to publish way faster. I would also be doing a disservice to readers. I think long and hard about my reader’s experience as much as my own. Do I like how this reads? Does this convey how I see it in my head the best way it can to the reader? So that what I see, they can see as much as any of us can do that? Am I giving them the best experience? The best quality? Or am I just trying to “publish a book,” again?
When I sold Avon, it was important to go that extra step. Do that tiny little extra detail that others may not even notice, but that gave them the best quality experience with working with me, and buying from me. I ensured I enjoyed my work and that it was fun for me, but also that they enjoyed buying from me.
It’s just something that I’ve always done. There are ways that I could make far more money doing this, and essentially treating my customers as just that – customers. Money bags. Things to throw money my way. I could write – just to make a lot of money. Am I financially stable? No. So I get needing money. I get doing things just to feed your family. I’m not looking down on people who do that stuff.
I’m also not saying their quality is subpar and mine is excellent. Most of the time I lean toward my own work isn’t good until years down the line when I’m all heyyyyy this isn’t that bad, actually. Tastes change. Views do. Opinions. Everything. Each reader determines quality for themselves and only themselves. Not a writer, not a publisher, not an editor, not a partner, not anybody but a reader of that story. One reader may love it. One may hate it. Does it mean it’s a bad or good story? Yes and Yes. It means that one reader deemed it great. One deemed it not great. Each of us determines what each story is for ourselves. Because we are all intelligent enough to know what we like and know what we hate, and all of it is valid. Even writers are readers. I might hate something with a passion, but I’m not the be all end all judge. Just like if I absolutely loved something? Someone else will hate it. Even my partner and I have opposing tastes as much as similar.
I’m just saying that for me, I’m not comfortable doing things just to earn money. I would eventually hate looking at myself in the mirror, and it would pour into my work. My work wouldn’t come from a healthy mind, people would pick up on that, feel it, experience it. They woludn’t know why they didn’t like my work, just something felt off.
I would be creating a world I don’t like. So it would disgust me to add to that.
I want work that makes people feel good to read. That’s not fast food. That’s not contributing to people feeling they’re nothing but numbers, objects, that they’re not seen. We have all contributed to create a world that people are felt so unseen they will do drastic things TO be seen. To fit in. To become part of a community. They aren’t seeing themselves in books when they read as much. It’s just more of a quick fix. I can’t write or put books out that are like that. I pour my heart and soul into the book, and the quality of the work that hits shelves. Does it mean perfect? You show me the perfect book and I will show you someone who thinks it isn’t. No, my work isn’t “perfect.” Nor am I. It is the best quality I can put out right now. Years from now if I grabbed a book from the past? I promise you I’d find things to fix, make it better.
Doesn’t means I will half-ass my work, ever. It does mean anyone who ever deals with me also won’t be allowed to if they ask for my guidance. I will not sugarcoat advice. I am that way with myself too. I am tough on myself. I push myself to get better with each story. I demand it [of self].
I want to read stories that help me to become someone else for a time, forget about reality, and actually jar me to finish because I was so enthralled with the story. So that’s what I try to write. Does it mean tons of time spent alone in front of a computer, or books learning about psychology, philosophy, marketing, design, and so much more so that I do? Yes. Does it mean headaches and eye strain and wrist pain? Yes.
And is all that worth it when I receive that rare letter that says straight out – your books got me through a lot of bad times.
It may not fill the bank right now. I may not be rolling in millions, but one day if I at least reach financial freedom and won’t have to worry over that constant broken leaking washing machine because I can just buy a new one. Or the dishwasher that doesn’t even work, then I will have all the riches I could ever need. Anything else would just be icing on the cake. I grew up poor, I have worked to overcome many obstacles in the mind just to get past that stuff and heal it. I am not even close to making as much as many think I do. I am improving and my sales reflecting that.
And that’s okay. I am on a journey. This isn’t a quick fix. This doesn’t have an end goal until I stop breathing. I’m learning to have faith more these days. Even if it doesn’t fit into anyone’s definition. I’m used to living on the outskirts of society and don’t think I’ve ever fit in. But I won’t cut corners to make a buck. I won’t cut corners and screw my readers over. And if and when I’m meant to be making more, it’ll happen and I will be as grateful then as I am now when I even see a dollar or two in sales per month. Many have zero sales per month. Many have no sales ever.
Gratitude is a big deal in my world these days. I am grateful for my readers. I’m grateful for you reading this now. I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my best friends. I am grateful to have the most amazing partner one could ever hope to come across. I am grateful that I chose love over closing doors on the past like most advise. I am grateful that I even have a chance to publish my work online. I’m grateful to those who’ve been with me since the beginning, and I’m grateful for those who haven’t yet found me.
Just don’t ask me to repeat that on the days I don’t get sleep and I’m crashing hard in my mental space. Because those are the days the world could burn and I’d just sit back and watch it happen.
Oh. Sorry. I had to had that for those who have a silly belief I live in a world with nothing but unicorns and rainbows. I make an active choice to be happy. It is a choice not to spread my bad day onto yours. I will be open about it, but I will not dump it all on your lap and expect you to deal with it all the time. Not healthy, not kind. I prefer being kind. Some days it’s hard. Some days it doesn’t come. But one thing I won’t do is allow this world to create more meanness inside of me. There’s enough. I’ve experienced enough of that.
As have you.
Which is probably why my stories generally reflect characters overcoming obstacles. Getting up after they fall down. Get up when they’re continually knocked down, and try. They try.
Today’s numbers for Sofrir & Pheirgr of Atalantius Omega III.
Started the book – June 27, 2021
Words at last post – ? words
Current word count as of today – 38,664 words