This blog has been quieter than usual lately and I thought I should let you know what I’ve been doing.
I’m going to prattle on for quite a while; you might want to get comfortable (or head off to Tumblr).
It’s good to do a bit of soul searching now and then, to look at what you have achieved, where your career is headed, and to decide if you are on the right track.
My goals and dreams have changed a lot since I started self-publishing in 2011. I haven’t been a big success, but I’ve been able to tick off little career milestones along the way. Some months my sales are wonderful, some months they are terrible – generally a function of how long it is since I released or promoted something. Overall, the good months more than outweigh the bad and I’ve been scratching out a living for a while now.
But the sales maw, as all writers know, is insatiable. So I’ve been noodling ways to take my career to the next level.
I feel like I’ve got a good handle on the publishing/marketing side of things, but I’m still serving my apprenticeship as a writer – especially as a writer of fiction. Non-fiction comes naturally to me. I find it quicker and easier and (much) less of a brain-melting puzzle. Whereas, fiction is much more of a challenge – probably why I find it ultimately more satisfying.
My goals tend to focus on aspects of the craft, rather than some notional sales number. There is always something particular I want to achieve (that’s a euphemism for “work on”) with each book, aside from the general desire to make it better than the last one – and I think that’s something most writers do.
But, perhaps partly because of the above, I wasn’t necessarily selecting my projects with my “career” hat on. I gave an interview to Simon Whistler at Rocking Self-Publishing last September, during the launch of Digital 2 (disclosure: he subsequently became my narrator for the audio edition).
Simon asked why I wrote all over the map: short stories, science fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and asked if that was something I would recommend to others.