It costs little to nothing to write a good story. That’s a fact. We think it, we write it…bang zoom…it’s out there. We do it out of a love of storytelling and the satisfaction of taking a vague idea and giving it life. That’s the point of it all.
However, when we take those finished stories and shop them around, money enters the scene. We pay for office supplies (we do anyway but still), postage, mailing materials, etc, to put our babies in the hands of literary agents and prospective publishers. It’s how the Traditional Publishing Game is played and there’s no way around it that I have found and I’ve been taking bites out of this particular elephant for a long time.
Self-Publishing incurs many of the same costs with the added joy of having to shop around for a good cover designer, editor, and if you are so inclined someone to assist in promoting your work to the masses. This particular batch of trail mix has an exceeding amount of nuts in it and though you can keep the costs down by doing them yourself, eventually a realization sets in after that first great cover reveal that going back to using the “free” services isn’t an attractive option.
I’ll admit here that I’ve had some Writer’s Anxiety of late concerning Lights and Shadows. I sit down, stare at the manuscript in Scrivener for several minutes, and then practically dive out of my desk chair. There’s nothing wrong with the story itself. It’s as solid as the day I first did the outline. So then why? I’ve pinpointed my particular dose of anxiety with the cost of a new book cover and a dearth of funds available to purchase said cover. I’ve since solved that particular issue due to revising my writing budget, but I find it interesting that I would be delayed by something that most wouldn’t consider part of the creative process. Sadly, when we move our pastime into the realm of income producer, new considerations come into play.
Every so often while I’m writing, a stray thought pops into my head and I have to stop and ponder its significance. Most stray thoughts drift out whence they came and some stick around long enough to get written down. I guess that’s how it works.
Today’s random thought involves retooling Lights and Shadows so that I can fold it into The Parallax Universe as the lead book in a new series that will pick up where The Parallax Trilogy ends. Of course, that means changing a bunch of stuff (timeline, some characters, etc) to line it all up with the events I’m currently leading up to. That also means a delay of sorts since Parallax: Genesis and Darkfall haven’t been written yet. Lights and Shadows was originally intended to be a spinoff set within the same story universe but about seven years into the story future.
Yes, I know that since it’s my story, I can do whatever I want with it. Yes, I know that retooling L&S has the potential to put it on hold in favor of the Parallax Sequels. Yes, I know that delays may push the release date way past the end of September and despite the hordes of voracious villagers assembling with pitchforks and torches, I would rather delay a release in favor of a better end result.
My inner voice tells me to consider very carefully before committing to an action like this because internal consistency is very important.
I know it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma for the past few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing stories. Love em, love em, love em… I like to think of each story as a potential pilot for a new series.
On my computer, I have an Excel Spreadsheet that outlines the writing projects that I want to work on. It’s not easy for me to work on a schedule so when my inner rebel starts acting up, creativity tends to lag. I’m not making excuses, merely telling it like it is.
During a relatively sleepless night this past evening, I took advantage of the time to do a little self-analysis and I came to the conclusion that I have a bad habit of creating routines that aren’t sustainable over the long term. Lights and Shadows is moving along at a snail’s pace and while I have faith in its potential, I feel the pull of the Parallax Sequels.
In retrospect, I believe that I didn’t take enough time off between projects and because I made a personal commitment to Lights and Shadows, I’ve been feeling a little stuck. Down Time is important whether we realize it or not and while finishing by September is certainly attainable, creating new story worlds and characters for each and every individual story from scratch gets a little tedious after a time. However, the process is as it is and no amount of complaining on my part will change that. It feels good to vent a little though…hehe.