It’s been a while since I’ve done any writing, and a while longer since I’ve updated this site. Hmm… let me see what’s changed.
In the last couple years I’ve had a career change. I pivoted from science into science teaching, and since 2018 I’ve been working on my masters. It’s almost done, thank god. For a while I tried to keep up with writing, but I struggled to feel creative after a day of mashing my face against the keyboard for uni. I eventually decided that I would allow myself to have a break, and resume my attempts at writing something after uni was finished. There were other reasons why I stopped writing. I was preoccupied with several video games, I was overworked trying to juggle uni and part time work, and I was gradually descending into depression (I also thank god for anti-depressants).
The reason I’ve come back to this site, is because I’m planning a renaissance. I’ll be finished with uni soon, and assuming the absolute worst doesn’t happen, I’ll have an permanent adult job. No more excuses. A permanent job means I’m going to have to finally fix my work-life balance, and find how to make time for regular writing. I still have works I’d like to put out there, after all. That is, if I ever get around to finishing my book…
Then, the other day, I stumbled upon something incredibly random. I swear I wasn’t doing anything weird. I was on Reddit, reading some r/AskReddit thread (I don’t even remember what it was about), when I came upon some comment where the user said they wrote and sold erotica online. There was a big chain of comments discussing the process, and someone linked to a subreddit about it. Curious, I checked it out, and dang I was completely blown away. There were so many resources, so many guides, outlining exactly how to make money and attract a readership while writing porno stories. Now I’ve never really been interested in writing smut (I’m still not) but mad respect to anyone who has accomplished what the folks on that sub have. It was nothing less than inspiring. I’ve never seen such explicit (ha!) advice and directions, not on more general writing forums, not in books I’ve read, not in videos I’ve watched. It opened my eyes to something I’ve been told countless times before, but perhaps I’ve never believed: You don’t have to do it traditionally. Would I love to see my name on a star wars novel in a physical bookstore one day? Of course. Would I prefer to see a professionally published version of my book rocking the best seller’s list, or the Australian Authors section of my local Dymmocks? Definitely. But if I continue like I’m going, I’ll simply never get there. Instead, let’s do it like the erotica guys do it.
From now on, I’m not aiming for whole, complete books, that are published professionally. I’m not leaving my work in the hands of overworked, over-propositioned publishing houses. I’m heading back to my Amazon account, and opening whatever other online accounts I can find, and I’m publishing my writing as shorter works. When I complete several chapters, and like the look of them, I’m going to publish them in the form of novellas. No campaigning to publishers, no paying self-publishing houses, I’m going online. Amazon, Smashwords, whatever, and I’m going to sell. I’m going to be using the money from my adult job to pay for cover artwork and professional editors. Due to the smaller size of the works, I’ll be able to better afford editing, and will have even more artwork to advertise my books with. And the best thing? I already have a novella finished. In fact I think I might almost have two. Going from ‘who knows how many years it’ll take’ to ‘I have two things almost ready to publish’ is very exciting. And yeah, I’m not going to have the power of traditional advertising on my side, but all that means is I’ll have to work the system. And part of that, is this: my website. I’m reviving it.
The plan, as it stands now, is as follows:
I’ll work on various ‘chapters’ of the Through the Portal reboot story. They’ll be released in batches of 3-5 chapters at a time, as novellas. When large portions of the story are completed, they’ll be re-released as bundles.
I’ll also work on my other story, Quad (working title). Again, I don’t need to fully complete the story before I begin to publish. To be honest this strategy reminds me of pulp fiction magazines, which is actually pretty exciting.
I’ll also (though not at the same time) will work on other stories, such as short stories that tie into the Through the Portal canon. If I come up with something that doesn’t fit into the canon and would be suitable, I might send it off to a literacy magazine. But we’ll see.
I’ll use money from my adult job to pay for editing, cover art, and translation/conlangs. This’ll add legitimacy to my works, and hey, if an error gets through, I can just edit the .epub file. Cover art will make my works stand out, and will give me resources to decorate my social media platforms. And when I publish enough, I’ll start getting an audience. And that’s all I want. Not money, but readers. I have stories to tell.
Disaster will likely strike but hey, at the moment I’m feeling optimistic.