I woke up this morning to see that the beautiful, wealthy people at the top of the American publishing scene are telling me publishing is doing well! Whew. That’s a load off. And here, I can’t actually remember the last time I purchased a hardcopy genre novel. I suspect it was before Wee Dave was born, for a couple of reasons. First, disposable income. Second, I don’t remember a whole lot of the last four years.
Ok, the truly entertaining part of John Sargent’s (CEO of Macmillan) comments wasn’t thanking President Trump for trying to block the publication of Michael Wolff’s magnificent work of fiction Fire & Fury. (I still think the POTUS’ mobilization of the DOJ – aside from being apparently juvenile – was mostly trolling his political and cultural opponents.) Oh, no. That’s what followed, where he pulled off his gleaming helmet, wiped his noble brow, and assured us he believes “free speech … is the greatest value” in publishing. Such a paladin. I’m so glad powerful businessmen are there to defend our rights. I just wish they’d do it consistently, since that’s what they claim to be for.
More curiously, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy went on to say they’re finding the current climate making publishing a variety of viewpoints “very challenging,” echoing late publisher Peter Mayer’s words, “our job is to challenge readers, and to challenge ourselves.”
Keep in mind, these are the same people who insisted ebooks weren’t more than a niche product. Who colluded to force Amazon to accept the prices the publishers wanted to set for their products, in violation of federal law, as well as of basic economics. Who have tossed seven and eight figure contracts at politicians for books that have rather failed to perform.
Oddly, I thought a publisher’s job was to make and sell books people want to read, make money, and keep doing those things. I’m of the apparently strange opinion that people should challenge themselves. Oh, well.
Speaking of challenging myself, I’ve been working my exercise routine for a solid couple months, now. I restarted Starting Strength as soon after the move as practicable. I’m taking it conservatively, and only making five pound jumps between sessions. I’m showing notable improvement, both in strength and body composition. The latter is nice, as more of my clothes are fitting better, which is to say, at all. But I’m really pleased with the strength gains. I’m sufficiently gamer-y to like leveling up on a regular basis, and improving one’s numbers is almost always a good thing (provided it’s genuine improvement). I’ve actually embarked on a mass gaining regimen, eating a shockingly (to me) high number of calories per day in order to put on more muscle. And I’m okay with this, which is really nice. (Incidentally, my waist size keeps going down while I’m doing this.)
Cool, Dave, but why does your lifting (bro) have anything to do with writing, I hear you saying. I’m glad you asked! I’ve been wanting to make significant body composition shifts for a while (lose fat, gain muscle) and, for a lot of reasons, haven’t been helping myself. One of them is, basically, I forget to eat, and that’s bad when you want to lose weight. Another is sleep. I’m punting to parenting small children on that. Though I don’t help myself sometimes (but I like it when the house is quiet late, late at night *whine*).
What did help most was a complete shift in focus. This is likely pretty basic, but I’m working on the fundamentals here. And most of my metrics are telling me things that I shouldn’t be listening to, so I’m working on figuring out things to which I should be paying attention.
Anyway, shift of focus. I’m not writing every day. I can’t, though the kids are starting to entertain themselves enough for me to make inroads on that. Which means my wordcount is generally rubbish. And I find it difficult to call myself a writer when I largely Just. Don’t. Write. Well, aside from these posts.
So I’m shifting focus. I’m hoping (frankly, expecting) that by setting very different goals, the metrics I also want to improve will do so. Honestly, I have no idea what that looks like, yet. Single parenting is kicking my arse, and just keeping up with my work-outs is proving a challenge. I owe Sarah a short in … shoot, like three days. Damn. And then LibertyCon is happening in two weeks, plus a couple of days. I’m looking forward to that. The break will be nice. Mrs. Dave returns to us between those two occurrences, to which we are ALL looking forward. And then there’s a family reunion I’ll be missing part of for LC, Mrs. Dave ships out, again, Mom and Pop Dave come to visit. I’m still weighing the 50-mile GoRuck challenge, and there are other trips to plan with just me and the littles. So there’s a LOT going on, and I’m certifiable (but you knew that). Just changing how I define success may be a key, if not the key to getting my head around this endeavor. I dunno. I’ll see you on the other side of that tunnel.