Trying to find a bit of peace for myself.
I sent book 2 to my beta readers a few weeks back. I heard quickly from one, who loved the book, and nothing from the others. I’ve decided to move ahead, on faith. Want to get this one out, and move to Hard as Roxx.
Getting people’s attention has been a challenge. I’m not referring to my beta readers; just having people take the time has been great. But as an Indie publisher, what I see is that most of the people I interact with on social media are sellers, not buyers.
The buyers are still safely tucked away in book clubs.
So I’ve given myself permission to no longer need attention. Truthfully, I don’t need feedback. I tend to be painfully honest with myself when it comes to work. Books 1 and 2 are good. They are not great, but good. The half-dozen reviews I’ve gotten have averaged around 4.2 out of 5 for Discovery. I’d give it 3.5 – 4.0 stars. I’m okay with that. I’ve never read a great 1st book. So, I’m not getting lots of raves, nor tons of attention.
My goal is not to sell a million books, or retire from Lockheed Martin as a novelist. I have simpler writing goals. Friends have questioned me, and most think I can’t articulate my goals. In truth, I can, I just chose not to. Dreams, I believe, should remain secret, until realized. However, I’ve decided to walk on faith, and declare mine realized … later.
Besides, I now have others who read my blogs, and some are looking for a bit of hope to take for themselves. So, with them in mind, here are my writing goals.
Goal 1. Create memorable characters – people you have never met, but feel you know. I want to be able to develop three-dimensional main characters that will stay with you once the book has ended. That requires more depth that modern writing’s frenetic pacing allows.
Implication: I need to write in-depth books, with robust pacing. Stieg Larsson has shown readers will deal with in-depth. So there is hope.
Goal 2. Be unique. I daresay none of my books will remind you of another book you read. I am a heterosexual male who writes stories that appeal to women more than men. I write emotional scenes with detachment, so that you can own your reactions and not be burdened with my mine. I write logical sequences with enthusiasm in hopes that you feel the characters’ thoughts, hear their voices, taste the world as they do. I am tired of reading fiction from men who seem to think feeling is solely a woman’s right.
Goal 3. One day write 3 brilliant books. Just 3. Emprise is the 1st book that comes close to where I want to be.
Implication: My writing must be art. It should, in places, steal your breath. You should want to weep and cry, and rage. It should be unfair, and too mean, and perfect. Three o’clock should pass you by, lights on, book in hand, engrossed. And, when the book has ended, you should mourn having lost the experience of reading it.
It is nigh unto impossible to write such a work. And so, it must be done. Because if I cannot, if I never plumb those depths, or pull out the deep joys and tender agonies life has left me, what will have been their meaning? Surely life’s sole purpose is to leave footprints.
What you don’t see in the list above are monetary goals. I don’t have any. Frankly, I don’t need any money from writing. I want to connect to readers so that I learn to write what they wish to read. Money follows customer satisfaction. It neither precedes nor runs concurrent with it.
So I will publish Awakening, though imperfect it may be. I know it is fun, and silly, and enough of an escape that it will find its audience. It is, after all, a love story. Who doesn’t like love stories?
In the meantime, I will continue to work. Brilliant is a steep slope to climb. But lord, is the view glorious.