Thursday, October 23, 2014
Do, or Do Not
Good news for me: the logjam that’s been blocking my writing muscle finally loosened up, and I’m back to working on a book. I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to jinx it. This particular WIP wasn’t high up on my list, but I know it’s the one. Why? Because my mind has starting supplying me with solutions to the problems that caused me to trunk it in the first place. For instance, I knew there had to be a confrontation between the good guy and the bad guy, but the good guy was physically outclassed. He’d have to outthink his opponent. Earlier this week I figured out how he does it. Now I’ve got ideas for scenes I can use to set up the climactic fight scene while also building the relationship between the characters and furthering the story. Damn, I’m good.
Best of all, an abused animal now gets to take on-screen revenge on the bad guy. That’ll make Savanna happy. Wins all around!
This book is part of our shared universe, so it’ll have to be self-published. That’s not a problem any more. I’ve already practiced formatting, though I didn’t upload. I’m saving that step for the porn. We’ve got two members in the group who do covers, so that’s, um, covered too.
Now all I have to do is type the porn draft into the laptop, format it, come up with a blurb that’s not too dirty, commission a cover, and upload. I’ve kind of been dragging my feet on these small but vital tasks. Procrastinating, in other words. That’s the one thing I’m really good at.
Trouble is, procrastination doesn’t put food on the table or bucks in my wallet. I’m going to have to put off the putting off, get the butt in gear, and actually do something.
This goes back to my mini-lecture of some weeks back, on how to go about getting a million dollars. What I said then still holds true: you have to work. Whether it’s for a paycheck or for your own benefit, eighty hours a week or forty or two, you have to work. It’s better to work smart than work hard, but “work” is still the operative verb in that sentence. Wishing and whining won’t cut it. Action is the only thing that will.
You have to create your product. You have to advertise it. You have to do market research, connect with your customers, find new customers and keep former ones interested. You have to stay alert for trends and changes in the market. If you’re not so good at one of these steps, you’d better find and hire somebody who is. Businesses won’t grow on their own. They have to be nurtured and maintained. To keep them going, you can’t just sit behind a desk and give orders. You have to do.
When you’re a writer, most of this is on you. You can hire an agent to market for you (recommended if you’re aiming for Big 5 publishing), and I suppose you could hire someone to do your promo for you (you think Stephen King ever stops by his own web site?), but most of the other stuff, especially creation of the product, is all in your lap, bunky. No writee, no money. It’s as simple as that.
I know what I need to do to translate my words into money. And I do do these things eventually. I’m still not the best at promo. I need to rectify that. I also need to knock off the put-offery and just sit down and do stuff. Like writing the stories, for starters.
I don’t know what’s holding me back. Maybe I’ve got a subconscious fear of success or something. Maybe I’m just plain lazy. Should I be calling Dr. Phil?
I don’t have much faith in Dr. Phil. Yoda said it better anyway. There is no try. Try is for procrastinators, lazy asses and losers. Do, or do not.
Because doing things is the only way things get done. When things get done and done right, you benefit from it. Your life gets better and you’re happier. You get to buy that car you want, and keep up the rent on your apartment—or even buy a house!—and food shows up on your plate on a regular basis and it ain’t just Ramen noodles, either. I like it when I can eat regular meals, and I enjoy having a car. And the rent is always due. This is what’s known as motivation.
I’m doing the right things, just not often enough. I’m working on fixing that. Starting with me getting back to finishing the draft of that book. I can work on self-pubbing the porn while my deathless prose cools off. I’m going to have at least one new story on the market before October’s over, see if I don’t.
Here’s what I want you folks to do: hold me to that. If I don’t have a draft finished or something up on Amazon by the end of the month, come here and yell at me. Make me feel like a lazy slug so I’ll get angry and do something other than watch TV. In return … well, I really can’t offer anything except something new for you to read. Best I can do. If you want cupcakes, go motivate a baker.
Hmmm … November’s coming up. National Write a Novel in a Month month. Do I dare … ? I’d better think about that one. Really, really hard.