Excerpt from an email with a friend

I haven’t posted anything here for a while and I really should have. Good Intentions released on Audible last week and I didn’t properly promote or advertise it. You can also pick up In the Shadow of Angels on Audible, and, of course, both are also available on Amazon. Don’t want to spend any money? Contact me and maybe I’ll throw you one for free.

That’s the end of my shameless promotion. That is, in a nutshell, my problem with this whole writing thing. I enjoy writing, but I’ve found that I loathe the amount of promotion necessary to generate any sales. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to change that about myself. I’ve never been the type to jump up and yell, “Look at me!” I had always hoped that the first person who read the story would do that for me, but if it was that easy, everyone would be a successful writer.

In a recent email exchange with an online friend (whom I first met when he filled out my contact form. Try it out, I answer them all), my response to one of his questions perfectly captured my current state of mind about the whole writing as a career thing:

Nothing is selling, but I’ve come to the marvelous realization that I don’t really care anymore. I can’t tell you how much I regret ever publishing that first book. As I’m sure I detailed before, In the Shadow of Angels was certainly not something I would have shopped to a publishing house. My stated goal was to use it to feel my way through the self-publication process before releasing Through the Eyes of Mister Bearsley. Unfortunately, all I learned from the self-publishing process is that I do not have the time, resources or patience to properly promote a book -which is crucial for sales. What I’m left with is my humble story lost in an endless sea of mediocre, self-published stories. That, and also the realization that I’ll probably never find a larger audience. Of course, that is what I had more or less anticipated all along (and been told by everyone who wasn’t a family member or close friend), but I’ve now got actual data to back that up. What was once my dream: ‘I could totally write a best seller, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet’ has been replaced by cold reality. In pursuing my impossible dream, I’ve completely destroyed it. It’s like I finally caught the carrot on the end of the stick only to discover that it was made of smoke; I didn’t get to enjoy the carrot but I also no longer have it to chase.

I’ve always been more of a doom and gloom person than most, but even for me this is pretty bleak. I did go on to say, as I’m sure most writers would agree:

I don’t have much of a choice over whether or not I will write. I can try to steer the words to subjects that interest me, but I can’t simply stop. If I’m not writing fiction, I will be writing book reviews, or writing blog posts, or writing overly long email replies… It will always be something.

Which is very true. Before the novels, it was various websites (that second link dates back to my ‘home page’ from the 90’s and most of the page links there are now broken). Before that, it was short stories on a typewriter. Before that, it was short stories with pen and paper. Before that, it was short stories in crayon. The urge to write was, is, and always will be.

Work still continues on Bad Decisions as well as Mister Bearsley. I’ll update when I have more progress to report.