Having actually finished the notorious episode 8, I’m now in process of figuring out what I’m doing next. Yes, there’s always a next. Thank goodness.
Four Days in May special!
I put this out on twitter/facebook earlier, but I should note here that John Bodin and I are celebrating the last month of the IndyCar season by giving a discount on our collaboration “Four Days in May” over on Smashwords (was $2.99, now $.99). Use coupon code kx45d while checking out to receive the discount.
As we do nearly every Monday, Brigid and I chatted for awhile today, mostly about writing and publishing as a whole. Along the way we discussed what it means to be a success as a writer–and specifically about how long it can take to actually see stories get published and money arise from it, especially when you’re just starting (but really just about anytime … I specifically avoided telling her it doesn’t get any easier … let her figure that out herself, I figure).
This can be a daunting field to get into because it’s not like the usual 9-5 gig, you know? So much of the early years are learning, and today the fact that so many things are changing makes it no less confusing. She is, of course, ahead of most–already selling short stories, and already publishing her own books. But still, you know, it’s a long slog with lots of uncertainty. When you think about it, it’s amazing that anyone ever even tries, isn’t it? I mean, how irrational is it to basically have to plan to work for months and months (or in my case, many years) without any quantifiable success?
As I was talking to her, I went over my own publishing results over the years. It was an interesting exercise. I recently realized that this coming October will be the 20th anniversary of my first published story.
Anyway, for those of you who may have been around in the earliest days of this blog, you’ll know I often wrote about Brigid as she grew up. I don’t write about her nearly as much anymore, mostly because she’s all grown up and living her own life. She’s got her own blog, and she can speak for herself, you know? But today I’m looking back on it and realizing just how much she changed me as a person, and here she is now getting her energy settled on this writing thing.
I admit it makes me feel good to see her working in the field, and certainly I hope she’s “successful” (whatever that means). But I know it’s an emotionally hard field to break into no matter who you are. It’s a field where you rarely feel particularly successful because there’s always a bigger fish, or there’s always a worry that your gains will be swept away as quickly as they arrived. So mostly I feel good that she’s finding out who she’s going to be, and mostly I hope she finds a way to use words to help her understand her life–just as they worked for me.
Maybe this is why I’m still doing this twenty years after my first publication? I don’t know. All I can say for sure is that if I’m not writing, or if writing isn’t going as I want it to (the creating part, not the “selling” part, then I’m cranky. And that when words are flowing, and things are happening on the page, well … it’s really something special. And that’s what I wish for her more than anything else. That feeling that comes from writing something that you know without doubt is yours, and that you know captures something inside your heart that you couldn’t express any other way. Whether anyone else ever reads it or not.