Websites are made up of programming, design, and content. Even pre-built platforms like WordPress have to be tweaked in order for the site to reflect the uniqueness of a brand and the functionality that the website’s owner desires. In tweaking the new Stars of Heros site, I came across a startling statistic. In order to complete the series, I have to write 22 to 25 books and even that number could change. Well, maybe not have to, since only 10 to 12 of them are really needed to lay the foundation that hopefully others authors can expand upon should the series take off.
This is a far cry from the one single horse story I wanted to do.
Why the range of numbers in even the must have books? Well, there is one book, In The Name of Freedom, that right now has three very big and complicated story lines in it. I might have to split that one up into three. If that happens, one of the secondary books would become a primary and I’d have to develop another primary. Hence 10 becomes 12. Then there is another of the 12 secondary books that could really be a trilogy.
That’s the thing about writing, even if you are writing single book, even with a plan, an outline, and pre-determined structure, ideas and concepts ebb and flow, so really a book isn’t complete until it’s published. And even then it can be revised. Spirit is a great example of this. Besides throwing out 90 percent of the original manuscript, the title used to belong on a different novel. The story itself is no longer just a tale of horses and fighting against the odds to fulfill a dream, but has become this tapestry of ideas that weave together to form a character driven adventure that borrows from many different genres.
Spirit is almost ready to return from it’s line / content edit and review. According to a recent email exchange with the publisher, I may see the manuscript by the end of the week. If I don’t, fine. I have plenty of other things to do. If I do, well, then I can and will do whatever is necessary to fix the flaws that were discovered, either by me or the editor.
I’m both nervous and excited. Nervous, in the fact that I probably have a lot of work to do, especially on the chapters that were rushed to completion. Excited because it means I’m taking the next step to being a published author.
Published author . . . Series website . . . Time and effort in making a dream a reality. For what? To answer this, I have to a moment and step back and not listen to the sarcastic and accusatory tone behind it. Because if I don’t, the question and its answer could easily turn into something very negative, very fast.
When I first started this journey, I had the innocence of a child. The misconceived notion that if I publish, I’l instantly become rich and famous. Now that I’ve read the statistics, watch the trends, and lived life while developing myself and my stories, I have to stop myself from going the other way of why the hell am I wasting my time and not concentrating on making money with something that more practical and guaranteed to work. Because that’s just it, paid or unpaid everything in life is work. Some things just have more instantaneous benefits than others. That instant gratification, though, may not turn into long-term satisfaction and fulfillment.
Of course I want Spirit and the rest of the series to succeed for many reasons. Moderate success and I’ll have a secondary income. Enormous success and I won’t have to worry about my computer strangling all the life and creativity out of me. Either way, the effort I put into the series will have value that can be measured by everyone. But let’s just say for a second Spirit bombs. I’ll probably try with one or two more books. But what if they go south as well? Will everything I’ve done be a waste of time and effort? For people who only measure life in dollars, cents, and bottom lines, yes. For the rest of us who try and live life not only for the moment, but the whole experience, no. I will have in my possession something that no one can take away from me. The satisfaction, completeness, and confidence that comes with finishing something that I started.