A few years ago I wrote a book that was hilarious. Everyone who read it agreed that this would get published right away and sell a lot of copies. So I blitzed the agents in North America and England and . . . there were no takers. Even when I promised them that this was going to be the first in a five book series, they ignored me. By that stage I was well accustomed to rejection emails and non-responses. The hilarious book was probably the sixth I tried to get published, and I’ve got over a hundred rejection emails with the glorious opening, ‘Dear Author’.
Then ‘Hell, I might as well do it myself,’ kicked in. I was prepared to do everything on my own. I didn’t want to, but I kid myself into believing that I’m a fast learner and that I really can take on every challenge I set my mind to (including time travel, but why stop at simply jumping from one era to another, I should build a teleporting time machine so I can travel the universe!).
Just three of the reasons why the future is awesome.
So in the beginning I thought that all I had to do was write and edit the books, come up with a blurb, an acknowledgements page, and a book cover. Easy. Except my photoshop skills are craaaap. Though, to be fair, I don’t actually use Photoshop, I use Gimp, so in that sense my Photoshop skills are atrocious, but my Gimp skills are slightly better. Thankfully there is an abundance of online tutorials to get me up to speed on that. Sweet.
But I would also have to build a website. Not just a dainty blog, because I’ve done those before, but something sparkly that would define ‘me’. So what did I know about building a website? Very little. What do I know now? Slightly more than very little, but enough to look impressive to my younger self. Did I get help? No! Because I can do this on my own!
And if I’m going to advertise myself I might as well give people something to read, like . . . a blog. I’m sure I can find something to talk about once in a while.
Nope, once in a while is not good enough, I need something regular, like three times a week. Why three? Because it’s better than two.
I should include some pictures on this website. I better shoot them myself, photoshop them myself, and edit it all together. And maybe I should try and do that for every post I make, because blogs without pictures are boring.
Go on. Impress me.
I should probably also advertise my blog. Twitter will do. I better sign up to that.
No, Twitter will not just do, I need a Facebook page as well. I don’t have one yet, but I should, and I will.
And since I’m promoting myself as a writer of fiction, I should probably include some samples of my writing, but what to do include . . . what to include? How about some of those short stories I wrote a while ago? Those are good, but they are mostly horror stories, and I’m trying to reach as large an audience as possible, so I should include those and something else. I just haven’t written that something else yet . . . I should start that now. I know! I’ll update some old fairy tales! Perfect.
And all the while I’m still trying to finish that five book series, and as long as I ignore anything Internet related I should be okay . . . except everything I do is Internet related. Crap.
So here’s what I’ve learnt from the experience:
I wish I had started everything earlier.
Self-imposed deadlines are laughable.
Starting something is difficult, but it’s much easier than maintaining something.
Momentum is key. Once the momentum winds down, maintaining something is a struggle.
Losing time is a surreal and yet awesome experience. Getting caught up in writing a story so much that the hours zip on by means that I’ve had a good day.
I really should cut back on trying to do everything at once.
When push comes to shove, I can write 7 fairy tale stories in 24 hours. Because I did.
Sometimes taking a day off is better than struggling through apathy.
You can never do enough self promotion.
Sigh. At least I have coffee. Coffee understands me.