It’s happened before, of course. Three-quarters of the way into a book, it suddenly appears to me as a huge, lifeless pile of words. The ending is not credible. The characters won’t talk to me. I should probably give up even trying to write.
The difference is, in earlier times there were constraints that forced me to go on and finish the book anyway. I usually had a contract. A delivery date. An editor who was expecting a book bearing at least a passing resemblance to the synopsis she’d signed off on.
Not to mention a nice chunk of money to be paid on delivery of the completed manuscript, and a mortgage payment that the bank was going to expect to see no matter how I felt about the matter.
Writing indie has meant flying free of all these constraints, and for the most part I’ve loved it. I’ve been writing faster and more happily than I did back when every word had to be filtered through an editor’s belief about what readers would like.
Two weeks ago I wrote about being derailed and muscling the train back onto the tracks. Then I got sick again, and stopped writing again. And now I’m looking at the manuscript that’s been just lying there limply for nearly five weeks, and I’m seeing a huge lifeless pile of words. I look at my synopsis – my map of how to get to the end – and all I can see is a heap of rocks lying across the road. And the old motivators aren’t there any more. I haven’t promised this book to anyone, nobody’s going to be peeved with me if I throw it away, there’s no guaranteed financial reward for finishing, and thank goodness the mortgage is paid off.
Freedom. If I really believe this project is hopeless, there’s absolutely nothing to stop me from dumping this book and starting a new project? Except – as soon as I think that, the voices of despair switch from “This is a terrible book” to “You don’t have any good ideas.” So evidently they will not be satisfied with anything less than my total defeat. Well, good. At least I know where I am now. I’m not looking at a dispassionate critique of this partial book; I’m looking at the personal demons that want me to stop doing anything at all.
Time to start moving rocks.
Apparently, pirates are sailing back over the pop-culture horizon this fall. Pirate Halloween costumes are very popular. Scholarly and popular books about pirates are reappearing.
So, should you whip out a book about pirates? Read more
Before we get to the cover reveal, here’s a head’s up. If you were publishing your print books through Createspace, be prepared to move over to the KDP platform or find some other service for your print needs. I’ve used the KDP system when it was still in beta and it’s actually a bit easier to use than the Createspace interface was. The problem now is there’s this little question they ask without giving you any real explanation about what they mean or what the impact of answering “yes” will be. Read more
The European Union has approved new copyright laws on digital content. They are to protect content providers from piracy and abuse of copyrighted material.
Sounds great, except…
Ah, September. We’re closing in on the end of the year, with less than four months to go. Are you on track with your yearly goals? What are your revised goals for the last tax quarter of the year?
Third-quarter estimated tax payments are due into the IRS by September 17th. (Yes, technically September is fourth quarter, by tax year. I understand it’s the end of the third quarter by mathematical ratios. The IRS doesn’t care about that; third quarter for taxes and accounting ends on August 31.)
For those of you who are or want to become full-time authors, and even those of you who don’t, now is a good time to put down your author hat, pick up your business manager hat, and answer a few questions for yourself. Read more
There’s been rumors flying about this for some time, now, but the email I got from Createspace earlier this week cemented the reality – that particular publish-on-demand model is done and gone in just a few weeks. There’s nothing on the Createspace website yet, but I’m not sure that has been updated in months if not years. So where does this leave the newly fledged publish-on-demand marketplace? That remains to be seen. It does not, however, leave Indie Authors like myself high and dry. I have all my print books through them, but the email they sent is reassuring. Read more
Okay, coffee. Hello, Darkness, etc. Littles are still out, but I expect that to reverse itself in the not terribly distant future. The days crawl, yet tempus still fuggits in a manner with which I am not entirely comfortable. *sips*
And I see that this morning’s post has engendered some spirited discussion about the role of gatekeepers, and how they roll. Groovy. Game on.
Amazon is not coming for your intellectual property. Amazon doesn’t hate conservatives, though some employees at the ‘Zon no doubt do. They also don’t hate progressives, though I know for a fact they’ll hire people who aren’t impressed with neo-Marxist failed ideologies or their adherents. Dread Bezos is a businessman, and one who has created an empire. Pragmatism is practically his schtick. That and kickin’ customer service.