Someone asked me this question over New Year’s dinner, questioning the motivation for doing something that wasn’t making any money. In the past, “you have to be more practical than creative” tape would have triggered, leaving me feeling hopeless and stupid. Instead, I responded with the known fact that in this day and age of an almost over-saturated market a writer needs more than 2 books to start their name recognition process. Also, I wanted to finish something I started. But there are many more reasons than that.
At first they were just reflections of me or people I knew. Some more well-defined than others. Now there are living and breathing entities in the realms of their books. They’ve also seen time on Facebook where I was part of an event that had authors come as their characters. It was fun playing Jo in a different situation than telling her story. Even threw in a few others.
I’ve thought about giving Jo, from Stars of Heros, and Mel, from my YA Fantasy, their own logins here so they could write as themselves. Problem is at least half a dozen more would want one as well. I’d been spending more time here creating posts than writing my stories! I think I’ll stick with my original plan of doing character interviews and developing a wiki section with their biographies, series timeline, and explanations of various other things. Don’t know exactly when that will happen as a lot of the information might act as spoilers for upcoming novels.
I want to know what happens! While I have a timeline and synopsis for all the books in both the core and Origin Worlds part of SOH, most of them aren’t completely outlined. My outlines aren’t like ones we did in school with sentences on separate levels, but whole paragraphs and maybe even whole scenes. Yes, it would be so much easier if I could just jot down what happens in brief sentences and come back to it when I am ready. My brain doesn’t work that way. It always wants to take an idea and run with it until the very end.
Writing, reading, and gaming… I have to be careful with all three. The more immersive the environment, the more likely I am to get lost in it. Reality and time literally slip away. As I told Joe Compton of Go Indie Now during an interview I did on Friday, which will air later, I don’t use music as inspiration for my writing, I use it to keep me aware of my surroundings.
Huge Investment of Time, Effort, and Energy
In Shifting Perspective: Healing a Heart and Soul, I said that I had written over 300,000 words on the Stars of Heros series. It’s more like 412,000. I can’t even begin to count the hours that went into them. What about the websites and their related expenses? Or the blog entries? Time, money, and effort went into creating those too.
I learned my lesson about perceived time vs actual in college. We had to create this short tape to play in class. One or three minutes of audio, that’s it. The project took me something like four hours. It’s the same thing with websites. Sure they appear complete to the end user, but does the end user think about the time and effort that went into them? No. They come up instantly, so it only took an hour to create, right? Um, using a drag and drop templating system with very little content, maybe. Otherwise, probably not.
Writing is an even bigger investment. Not only does it take time to develop ideas, create characters, and build words, energy and emotions are expended to give them life. Every time I lay a word down, I’m leaving a piece of myself behind. Those pieces create a puzzle that eventually need its time, even if it’s only a brief moment, in the spotlight.
The People Factor
I’ve discovered the wonderful world of indie writers and their supporters. There are a few in it who I know would seriously kick my ass if I quit on myself and my dream. They’ve already helped me refocus several times and given me wonderful feedback and advice that has made my WIP my best work yet.
That quote comes from the post celebrating my sixth anniversary of Right the Writer before I shut it down in December and moved everything here. The move probably could have been done better, but it is a great example of the people factor. I created the site to express my thoughts and opinions. Readers came to it expecting to read new posts whenever they were available. The fact that I moved RTW with little warning might have surprised a few. Then doing a domain redirect that looked good but didn’t take the subpages into account probably caused some frustration.
Needless to say, the move influenced my readers. Lack of action can do the same thing.
Human beings live in their own bubbles of consciousness and perception while interacting in a group reality. Unless someone reacts to what we say or do, we don’t know how or what our actions made them feel. Yet even without that feedback we still had an influence on them just by being in the same space as them. How many smiles given to people having bad days prevented them from turning into something worse? We may never have the exact statistics for such a simple act. That doesn’t diminish its effect though.
For me, the people factor isn’t only about the ones that come into contact with me and my stories, but also the ones who have yet to discover them. They can’t, if I don’t write.