Behold, behold! Well, it’s done. I’m a full time writer as of now, today. Sobbing at my computer right now in that, you know, Roger-Federer-drops-to-the-court-after-winning-a-Grand-Slam kind of sobbing. That insane sense of both victory…and relief. That you DID IT. That you made it. That it’s fucking real. Knowing that tomorrow you get up and start another tournament, another first round, all over again.
But right now. For this minute. You get to cry your fucking eyes out. You get to let go.
This is what I have wanted all my life. There have been so many attempts, so many false starts, yeah even a few delusional times – “I just wrote a book! Time to quit my job cuz this will make me FAMOUS!” So many days jobs, so many long periods with either no energy or no confidence or no ideas or too much shit going on in my life, self-generated or externally imposed, to settle in and put the nose to the grindstone the way I have for the last 2.5 years, solid.
But this time it’s real! I have a fucking INCOME! I have fans, great fans. I have ideas pouring out my ears, my ass, my mouth (my eyes right now 🙂 ). I finally GOT REAL about what it takes.
Persistence in the face of defeat. I’ve been through a lot of defeats, and for a long time in my life, defeat made me curl up in a ball and hide. Then I got into writing erotica, met a group of writers who were hardcore about making $$$, and when my first setback happened in 2013, with Amazon’s Pornpocalypse of Smutblocking, I had role models who showed me an option besides giving up. They got depressed about lost income and then…shrugged and said, well, what’s next? So I learned to be resilient too. I moved to novels. Then novel sales started drying up last fall because of Kindle Unlimited. So I moved “all in” with Lord Bezos, and watched my income swell. I saw that shorts were hot again, because while most people wouldn’t put out .99 for a short story, if they had KU they could just borrow them. Thus Were Born the $tepfucker$, when I saw how well those stories were doing in heterotica. Each “defeat” got easier to handle until they just…didn’t faze me anymore.
Admission of reality into my creative equations. For a long time, I wrote only what I wanted to write. Sometimes I got lucky, like when Vikings were hot, and I started the Colum and Viggo series. Sometimes, like with Rob the Daemon, not so much – the paranormal market wanted shifters, not daemons. But I kept writing what I wanted to write, with no eye on the market.
Finally, I learned how to balance it, albeit in my own stubborn truculent way. Rock stars are hot, fine, let’s do rock star shorts…oops, that turned into a fucking novel 🙂 At this point, it’s not so much about writing “what the market wants” (I will never care a whit about shifters) as it is *not* writing what I know I can’t *make* the market want.
I want to write a series of hot shorts about an uptight repressed English knight and a libertine French knight during the 100 Years War. But I won’t! Because I polled and focus grouped and nobody wants historicals, now at least.
I need to write novels that turn into series – I haven’t had an idea yet that I can sustain for a series of novels. I’m a bit ADD – when I’m done with something, I’m done, let’s move on, what’s next. I am thinking I could sustain a series with action, adventure, espionage…but more on that later 🙂
Maybe part of it is because I’m antisocial. My theory is that social people write novels with a big cast that can rotate through a series. Antisocial people write novels about one or two or four people at most. And when that novel is done, so is their story, especially if you give them a HEA. Why would I want to disrupt their HEA with more problems! 🙂
I learned to LISTEN to the audience. I learned to stop “head hopping” when people complained – I didn’t even know what it was until then! It was just the way I wrote! I made an “instalove” mistake with “Have a Little Faith in Me,” clearly, with what looks like “instalove” between the two mains. Trust me, in the WIP “Would I Lie to You,” there’s of course the Brad Vance Backstory(TM) that make the characters real, but the majority of the book is in the present tense and is about Marc and Jesse’s complicated multilevel relationship.
I developed a motherfucking work ethic that won’t quit. I’m not the least bit worried about not being productive without a “schedule.” A, I love writing. B, I have a trillion ideas. C, I have the knowledge, and the confidence that comes from it, that what I write will be read. D, I’ve been getting up every day many hours before work, and on Saturdays, and Sundays, for 2.5 years to do this. The wonderful wonderful part of this is that now I only have ONE job. I will actually get to REST and ENJOY LIFE sometimes, without worrying about “not working enough.” I know that I have to remain productive because I want this to be IT. The very last time I quit a job. The day I can fucking delete LinkedIn and all that because I’ll never have to worry about going back there again. No matter how many hours a day I do this, it’s never as exhausting as half as long a day working for someone else.
I know the business is Publish or Perish. It’s not just true in academia. Once upon a time I dreamed that success would be a gold platter I could sit on and languish forever, just breaking pieces off to buy more peeled grapes. Not even! Success means more work, because you’re at a new level, and there’s no saying, oh, I’m tired, let me step back down a level. It’s keep it up, or let it all go.
So. Yeah. 🙂 A weekend to rest, recover, and then, Monday morning, fucking HIT IT HARD boys and girls.
TL;DR: FUCK YEAH I’M A FULL TIME WRITER WHOOO!