Thursday, 4 October 2018

The real reality of writing

I have so many posts planned, posts on the etiquette of requesting reviews from bloggers, Halloween posts, top sci-fi books posts, coffee chats with authors, posts on writing spaces, but the truth is I'm not out of ideas, I'm out of time to write them.

It's a great problem to have, really, considering that a few years ago I had no idea what to write about. Even my newsletters, which I used to send 2 or 3 times a year at most, are now being sent out twice a month. And I'm having to cut topics out.

There is so much work to be done as an indie author. It's just me who does it all. I'm not complaining, I love doing the writing and editing, I love talking with editors and cover designers, I love booking promos and packing the car for pop culture conventions.

But it's a lot of work. A lot.

I went to Oz Comic Con on the weekend, and I had a stall in Artist Alley. It was such a fun event, I met a lot of returning fans and I made a lot of new fans. There was a panel that I never got to see, but it was on the reality of self-publishing. Aside from the obvious - the writing, the editing, the cover design and production - the big reality check is that we often become machines and we don't get to do anything else. Whether by choice or because its addictive, or due to a fear of failure, there are many sacrifices that creative people who strive to succeed make. 

Author photo from Oz Comic Con Sydney 2018

I miss going to the beach and spending all day just reading a book. Now I schedule time to read a book and I usually eat into that scheduling time. 

I don't spend as much time playing music as I'd like. My poor piano and guitars are neglected. I used to rehearse every week with my band, and yes, I had dreams of being a rock star.
Band photo from approx '91/92
I also don't spend as much time in the garden or renovating the house as I need to now that I'm older and more connected with my lovely home. Both garden and house can get out of control if left unchecked. But really, who cares!?!

I don't see my family or friends or spend a lot of time doing anything other than writing. It's a self-imposed isolation because those words do not write themselves.

I love what I do and this is what I choose to do. I could stop at any time, I could slow down to any pace. But I won't. It's impossible to quench the fire in the belly, impossible to slot a lifelong passion into an hour here or there. This need to continue on my path was  highlighted when my old band members stopped by the stand at Oz Comic Con. I got to see some old band photos from when I was 21, and it made me realize how important it is to do the things that will create memories later on. Nobody will ever care that I painted a wall or trimmed a garden, but they will care that I wrote a beautiful song or an awesome book. And if they don't, well I care that I wrote a song or a book.

And so I will continue writing and editing and going to cons to meet readers. I'll get around to writing more blog posts, but in the meantime, I have a book to finish and promotion to arrange.

Follow your dreams, people. They can break our hearts when they don't come true, but they will always remain in our hearts and minds.

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