|one day we will invent an emotion that we cannot express via lol-cat. This is when the universe will end.|
I think the thing I keep coming back to with writing is, well, how very much I suck at it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Last thing you guys want to hear me say, last thing I should say three days before I self pub another book. But...well, it's true. It totally is. Today was the best damn day I've had on Amazon so far...and it was, by the rules of the road, pretty goddamn pathetic, if you hold it up to anybody else's standards.
In my head, down deep inside, I do think I'm a good writer. Maybe not the best, maybe not professional best-seller material. But I do think I'm good. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing at all. But the evidence I see? Stack of rejection letters eight miles long, The Incident last April (I still cry over that) the, um, less than steller way The Great Publishing Experiment has gone (You guys are great, you guys are awesome, I heart you guys forever and I expected nothing more than what you've given) and I kind of realize that what my heart says? Is not what the reality is.
I think the thing that made me decide to self publish was realizing that the big boys didn't want me anyway, and never would. Ever. That's...amazingly freeing, knowing that you've got absolutely nothing to lose. And that's the dead honest truth. I do have nothing to lose by self-publishing. I am a non-entity, a cypher. A sucky writer. However much I trash Hubbard and the Gor novels they are writing gods compared to what I put out. And before you say "HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT, CW!" I want to point out one small, not incidental fact:
They are published. I am not. And this is never, ever, ever, ever EVER going to change.
I read things that tell me I've thrown everything away by self-publishing my stuff, and oh God does it hurt. It makes me want to scream or cry or throw things or do all of that all at once, together...right up until I realize that in the long run it never really mattered. It doesn't matter how clean I keep my career. I never had a career to keep clean in the first place. Which means I can try whatever I want, fail however hard it is I'm going to fail. I had nothing to lose. It was never going to be a reality, so why not knuckle down and start doing the heavy lifting? It's just as effective as giving up, and what was I going to do with that writing time anyway? Play Minecraft? (Not that Minecraft isn't cool. I Just need something to do after a creeper explosion blasts through into Lava and I not only die, I lose my diamond armor, sword, enchanted pickaxe and full stack of Emeralds. Why do creepers explode? Because FUCK YOU, that's why!)
And I denigrate the Self-Publishing Experiment, but in reality? What I wanted to see was not how many copies of Book X or Book Y I could sell right off the bat. I wanted to see if I could grow an audience. Build something that will make selling my "real" work (AKA full sized novels) worth it. And I am seeing growth. I am seeing something that could turn into something else, something really, really cool. Do I have any idea what the hell I'm doing? Fuck no. But one thing I do know is, next month is gonna tell me how much of a prayer I do have. If it does really well, I'll know it's time to start getting excited. If it does what pretty much everything else has done...eh, we're having fun anyway, right? And the point of this is not to make six million dollars and sell six million copies and get the movie deal and the TV interviews and the soundtrack of my dreams. It's to get to nerd out with you guys over how awesome that story is that incidentally also is mine (But we'll forget about that part).
So you know what, guys? I could be wrong. Maybe I don't suck. Maybe you guys aren't just here because I rip into bad authors. Maybe I can write on, say, a Twilight quality level. Maybe you wonderful, crazy, insane people actually like reading the things that I write.
So I'll make you a deal.
I succeed? And let's define success as I sell 100 copies of one book, in one day. Meaning 100 of you buy, for real money, a copy of a single book. Like, 100 Starbleached or 100 Silver Bullet copies in one twenty-four hour period. I do this? I will get a tattoo.
Given what I've seen? I think my skin is safe, forever. (not that i don't love you guys. I do. I totally do. I just...think I kind of know you lot pretty damn well) But you can prove me wrong. Go ahead, kids. I dare you.
100 books=CW gets a tattoo.