Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This is supposed to be fun...right?

Notice: tired rambling ahead.  You've been warned.

Anyway, so I'm sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to get my brain back into gear.  And, maybe I'm feeling a little frustrated about this whole writing thing.  We're all friends here, right?  So I'll indulge in a little wha-wha.  You've heard me whine before, so this isn't news.  But, since I've turned this blog primarily into an online, stress-release journal...

I saw a recent Facebook friend post something similar to this, but I didn't chime in.  Just sorta nodded to myself, "Word, Bro", pumped a fist and moved on.  But, here I am, dumping it out now.

Feels like I've hit a huge, massive wall.  Last three years, I've climbed over or knocked down lots of medium sized walls.  Now, I've run smack into one.    I'm stuck.  In more ways than one.  And I don't know if, when, or how I'm going to get moving again.

All the writers I know, who I started in this biz with, seem to be moving ahead of me.  Leaving me behind.  I see this writer signing this contract, that writer landing this big deal or placing a new story in that huge anthology.  Everyone chugging right along, while I sit here and spin my wheels in neutral.

Part of the problem is I've been engaged in long-range projects with no immediate returns. Spent most the last year grinding away on a novel that I set aside middle of the summer for this current novel project.  AND, after that, I've got a completely different, Charles Grantish novella/novel sitting on my desk, outlined, ready to go after I've completed the first draft of this novel. 

So, again...more long range projects to come, more of me with my head down writing, partly to keep my nose to the grindstone, but also partly so I don't keep getting rubbed raw (which I shouldn't be; I should be happy for all those folks, and really, I am) each time another writing colleague posts a new accolade or sale or whatever.

I've got stories out there.  Somewhere.  One has been with an editor for over a year, no word yet.  Another has been shortlisted with an anthology that also seems to have ground its wheels down into the mud.  Another, one I'm really excited about, is really being picky about it's TOC, which is AWESOME....but I'll admit it.  I just want some news, you know?  If only to help keep me going every morning.

Also, Cons.  On one hand, they're fun, refreshing, they recharge batteries. And, it's kinda cool that at the last couple, me the "middling" guy has hung out with a lot of newbies.  Not really being a mentor, but hanging out with them, talking, chilling.  BUT...

Hey.  I don't know WHO really reads this blog or not sometimes, but here's a risk: some of you folks who used to chat with me and support me and give me advice now and then...where are you?  Off "recruiting" other newbies under your wing?  Busy schmoozing and wheeling and dealing with bigger folks down the line?  Cause you used to be around.  And now you're not, really.  And it's not like I need you to prop me up, or anything.  I just like hanging with you.  Genuinely like you, and want to chill with you.

But you're busy and all.  I get it.  Because, hell...I'm NOT busy, am I?  And I'm not gonna lie... I kinda really WANT to be. So I think, pretty soon, I'm going to pick a new Con where I don't know anyone and just attend all by my lonesome.  Honestly, I might as well.  Why go to Cons to see people who won't be available most the time anyway?

And then there's the whole self-e-publishing thing, which I still haven't come to turns with.   Look, publishers e-publishing folks, fine.  Believe it or not, I'm a traditional guy, and that works for me.  BUt it's like we're in the 1960's of publishing: "Hey, if it feels good, self-publish your ebook! No one cares! Do your own thing! Down with publishers, man!  Fight the power! Self-e-publish!"  

And everyone's doing that, left and right, and, sorry...that just doesn't feel right to me.  BUT, with a handful of big names doing it also and telling everyone else they should do it or they're dummies, I feel old before my time, and fear being left behind in the self-e-publishing dust as that old "stick in the mud" who prefers the traditional method and WANTS a gatekeeper's approval.

That's part of the reason - well, a big reason - I participated in the Coffin Hop this year.  It was FUN.  Remember that word?  I blogged almost every day about cool stuff that I liked, and people posted comments and we interacted and stuff (note to self: maybe I should gave away free stuff more often).  It was fun.  I had fun blogging about my Halloween memories, and the people who posted comments seemed to have fun.

Fun.

Remember fun?

Anyway, for the newbies following this blog now because of Coffin Hop, please don't be put off by the whining.   It's not always like that around here, but fair warning, this has become my stress relief valve, so whining does happen occasionally.  But anyway, thanks again for having me on the Coffin Hop; it was fun.

Which is hard to remember, sometimes.  Because that's why I started to write in the first place, yeah?  Because I liked it.  It was fun.

And for me, writing really needs to become fun again.

Soon.