• What was I thinking? Peering from the closet.

    As my commenter mentioned, I love writing but I hate promoting. I can't argue that. As a matter of fact, all I can think of is why? Why did I decide to publish?

    I know at this point I'm supposed to share some profound bit of inspiration, but it's a blank. I haven't the foggiest why I decided to publish. Because it was there? Since writing has been a part of my life as long as I can remember, I can't think of a good reason to publish my book. It took so much time to get everything formatted, the cover challenged me right up to the point when I put it up on Amazon, and still plagues me. Then I had to try to navigate all the 'social sites' which I've never spent a whole lot of time with. And to top it all off, I forged ahead on building this website, which was almost as much fun as doing my taxes for the IRS! The level of cursing was comparable.

    It might be more rewarding if I had the burning need to finally see my name in print as author, but in truth, even that doesn't explain it. I never thought I would be published so it never occurred to me. I can't write trendy works or those that can be spun out in a month or two, one after another, trying to add a scene here and there to get my word count up. Getting the numbers up is never an issue, getting it down is always the cross I bear. And I dwell, and re-write, and move, cut, paste, delete; I research, re-word, re-write, I read other similar styles, I research some more, study the areas, the time periods, think of the attitudes and viewpoints, and I re-write some more, I have it edited when I can afford it, and then I re-write it. And every now and then, I produce something and say Wow! that came out great.

    It's the wordsmithing as much as the story. I want to tell a story but I want it flow, to create images, to move into a person's thoughts as they contemplate it. But since I am never certain I can quite get it right, I was just as happy writing in the closet. And no matter how much I contemplate trying to go with a more popular genre just to get my foot in the door, when ever I make the attempt, I don't get very far. I can't find the stories in me to meet the trends. Heck, I don't even know what the trends are half the time.

    It's not easy being the odd man out. I don't watch TV, I don't read popular magazines, I don't even go to movies, so I spend a lot of time of the fringe. I build things, all kinds of things, like turning a full-sized Pullman Passenger car into a library. My pets all demand my attention and since they are always my biggest fans, I have to bow to their desires too. I can get through at least one book a week, sometimes more. But the only way I could figure out trends is to give up my writing or my job. I doubt my writing will sustain me.

    I would like others to read my work, I think. I know it's not for everyone, however. I can live with that since we all have our likes and dislikes, but I don't want anyone to feel that I did a lousy job with my writing--that I didn't care about my readers. And I worry over that, since I have no ability to judge my own work. Nor do I know if the subject matter would even interest anyone.

    After all, my stories are about reality. They're about lives from another angle, another side of the coin that people usually have preconceived notions on; or have never considered; or perhaps never even believed happened in the real world. Not gay living; or single motherhood; or I beat drugs and became a world class speaker. I may have mentioned, I'm not that trendy. They are about everyday people stumbling into situations that they cannot figure out how they managed to get into. Sometimes they're heart breaking, sometimes painful, sometimes funny, and even occasionally outrageous, but they're mostly based on reality; sometime even on actual events. And throughout is a thread of hope and strength, that we can often get through some of the worst life can hand us and still discover there is more good than bad in the world.

    So why did I do it? Will I find an audience when I don't even know if such an thing exists? And will become so pre-occupied trying to find that elusive creature that we call an audience or promoting my work that the time I spend writing dwindles. If only I could be content with a first run, an edit and proof read, and bang on with the production, I might have a reason for this publishing stuff. But I can't, I can't give up the craft for the volume. I can't move to popular genres and their current style without preserving my right to make it 'right' but that's not and easy or quick thing to produce. And often, by the time I'm done exploring all the tangents, my work goes beyond the simple, quick read .

    Maybe it's just tiredness from getting through all the tedious stuff. I hope so. I hope I might find a way to 'find' my audience, to promote my work perhaps, and gain some confidence in sharing my efforts. At least, unlike some others I have known who get discouraged when their work doesn't get much attention, I cannot be discouraged from writing. It will always be a part of me and I will always work at it, try to develop it--find that magical moment when I read something I've wrote and say, "Damn, that's good!" Even from the closet, my love of writing won't be dampened.


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