Longevity over everything else

The time for my latest launch is nearly upon us. Well, when I say nearly, what I really mean is in a month and a bit. The closer I get to that deadline the more I want to see what happens, but its also the time where self doubt starts to creep in.

Doubt about how good the books in the new series really are.

Doubts about if it will make any money or will it just be a flop.

Doubts that I may get all one star reviews and people will hate it.

All authors have doubts. Some more than others. I place myself on the very start of the scale, as in I care a little bit, how people will take my books but not really. Once I like what I produce and I’m happy with it, I really don’t care what people think too much. Now don’t take that as I don’t take criticism well, because I do. If a reader highlights something that I can improve on, then I will look into it.

But if it’s just this book is shit! Then I really can’t work with that. Either give me a clear and precise point or fuck off!

But the reason I am writing this blog, is because in the mist of fear we tend to take the easy shortcuts. Be it a quick scheme to make money, or a choice that will give us quicker results.

But what we should always go for, is longevity.

Leaving a legacy is all we as artist should care about. It shouldn’t be what genre I can write in quickly, or how I can make a quick buck.

It should be the path that you can see yourself staying on for the next five to ten years.

The double L’s, is the name of the game.

Longevity + legacy= Success

This new series I am writing in, is a book that I saw missing in a genre that was all about the gadgets and not about the characters. In the sci-fi genre, I have only read a handful of series that made me happy. I love guardians of the galaxy and firefly, but there was nothing like that in book form, so instead of complaining I tackled the topic head on.

Now, the reason that these books don’t exist, is because the audience simply isn’t there for them. If that’s the case there is not much I can do. But till I try, I shall never know, and I shall always be wondering.

Better to do, then to wonder.

As Osho once said- Instead of stopping to think if you should jump off, jump off, and then you’ll have all the time you need to think on your way down.

Anyway

 

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Success

If you’re an indie author, then you know the fascination with earning 10K a month. It’s something a lot of authors aspire to because it resonates with success in their eyes.

But to me thats a really big goal to aim for, right off the bat.

Not many lawyers, doctors, or people in those sorts of professions make 10k a month. When you add up the years of studying, working underpaid, and the like, its just mind boggling. They have put in the time. They have earned their paycheque.

To think that any author should do that in in a year or less is insulting.

Respect the arts, respect the profession.

Don’t think I’m standing on my high horse looking down on everyone else, I used to think the same. I think it stems from keeping up with the Jones’s.  You see one author making bank, so you question why ain’t you to.

You see one author hitting the top 100, and you read the book they’ve wrote and your not impressed. But things sale for a reason, whatever that reason may be.

Every time the above thought creeps into my head, I have to remind myself of that.

When it comes down to it, how much do you really need to be happy?

I’ve come up with a figure, and its 50-70K a year after taxes.

There was a study that was done, that all human needs can be met after earning 70K. If you earn anymore, than you won’t notice a huge level of happiness. The baseline as it were, was 70k.

So that for me is my goal.

That for me would be life changing money. When I left school, I never thought I would see that sort of yearly paycheque, and for me to get it by doing something I love; I would bite your arm off and chew it raw.

70K a year is just over 5K and change a month. (That is without taking away taxes) I could live quite easily on that type of money, I could travel, I could have a comfortable life, I could go to the gym when I wanted. I could live a life of peace.

I could see the world.

Awww, just thinking about it now makes me smile.

When authors talk about making 10K a month, to make them happy, it’s not the money they need to worry about, its all the bills that they have to pay.

Down size and simplify your life.

The more things you own the more things own you.

Experiences over possessions any day of the week.

Anyway,

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Three months later

I did promise to update this blog, every week on what I was doing… well it didn’t really work out like that.

As you can very well see by the dates on the last post and this one, you will notice a fair time has passed, since I posted anything.

The reason for this?

I have been busy.

I noticed something interesting in the writing indie community. Those who talk the most, in blog post, forum’s such has Kboards, are usually the writers who haven’t done anything to further their business.

You can see it from posters who post comments every day, at hundreds of words a clip who go six months to a year between releases. Then they are the first to tell you that, the gold rush is over. You can’t make a full time living at this anymore, and blah, blah, blah.

If you watch the actions of people, who are making money at this, then you’ll hardy ever see a post from them. From Lindsay Buroker, Mark Dawson, Chris Fox, Michael Anderle, any of these big hitters are busy doing something to further their brand. Making some other content that will get them in front of readers eyes. From promo’s to admin type shit, to writing. They are too busy to entertain thoughts of failure.

Too busy to care what the latest KDP payout is for that month.

Their one and only goal is hard, crippling work. Each put out more than five books a year. Each knows that nothing will sell a book better than the next one.

This is nothing new!

But yet people still complain.

Each and every author from the above, didn’t hit it out of the blocks, with their first book. Heavy hitters such as Hugh Howey was on his five or six book, before Wool took off. This was during the early days of kindle when all you had to do, was release a book to make money.

Patience and hard work will get you to any goal. No matter how far off it may seem.

Lindsay Buroker is sort of a secret mentor to me. Her advice is always on point, always easy to follow.

She is a self-confessed lazy author, in that she doesn’t do much promo’s and facebook ad’s isn’t really her thing. But she does believe in putting out books. In the six or seven odd years since she first published her first book, Linsday has put out forty plus novels.

In interviews, she has stated that there where other authors who were making more than her. Other authors who had bigger list than hers. But she stuck to her guns and released book after book. Now she is making a six figure income, and her latest book is number 458 in the amazon.us store.

I bet any money in a year or two, she will be hitting a seven figure income. Don’t be surprised she hits that this year.

That’s all it takes.

Hard work. Writing every day. Publishing more than three books a year.

So sorry if I haven’t been as active on here has I said. I have a mission in mind to go full time, by Dec31st this year. And that means writing more fiction words.

I will post here and update, what I am doing a bit more regularly, but for the time being the one post a week may be a bit much. Maybe not, we’ll see.

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Nights

Speaker of the dead!

I finished speaker of the dead this week by Orson Scott Card, and while I think Enders game was a better book. This novel was simply brilliant. Nothing major happened in it. There was no planet defining battles. There were no explosions. There was no great war. There was no evil bad guy.

Thinking about it now, there really wasn’t a protagonist in the real sense that we know it to be. But I’ll get onto that later. For anyone new to the game of writing, and I mean you haven’t  got ten years under your belt, this book is a great read to see how to keep a reader engaged just by human emotions.

This book for me is the most literary book I have read in a while, I think the last one before that was the Kite Runner which was four years ago. Shit maybe more. But anyway this book to me was more literary than that.

I think people get caught up in the trap that literary books can only be about past or current events. There can’t be any aliens, there can’t be any spaceships, there can’t be any magic swords or rings.

But Orson for me anyway, has shown that you can have space and aliens and still make the book thought provoking.

It was masterful how each characters real enemy was themselves.

And that’s what as human beings we struggle most with right? Just getting out of our way. Just trying not to fuck up long enough so we actually get to our goal. And this book had that in spades.

Halfway through when I saw that there was no real war. No real actual violent conflict about to take place, I thought I would be bored. But nah, I kept on reading, because Orson had me invested in the characters simple life’s.

(By the way I have heard people call him by Scot. So I don’t know if that’s what he likes to be called.)

I think Orson, highlighted in such a beautiful way what it means to be human, by showing us our flaws when compared to the other alien race in the book.

The book was slow for me to read, because it didn’t flow as easily as I would like a book to. Some books are great wines, some are water, some are spirits.

I like my books to be a lot plainer to read. Less condense.

It’s the difference in reading a hard sci-fi book, to say something called Monster Hunter.

(I know that may not make sense. But writers and hardcore readers will understand where I’m coming from.)

All in all,

It was a cool book.

But I don’t think I would read it again.

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Week 2

This week has been stressful, a few unforeseen events have knocked me off course but I’m still going strong. One novel is done and just waiting to be sent to my proofreader, than the book will be already for publication. I am going through the second book, which will be the last draft. It needs a bit of work. I wrote this series lean, without a lot of flowing words. I tend to like to ear on the side of lots of prose, and making everything look pretty. But with this series, I wanted it stripped down and raw.

Just action and dialogue.

I think I pulled that off, but I may of gone to the extreme. So I’ll add a few words here and there, just to bulk up the novel. This is the first series that I have wrote which I really enjoy, the action is on point, the jokes crack me up and the story moves at a nice pace.

Although I love this series, weather it sales or not is another thing. But one thing I know, I can hold my head up high and be proud of what I have produced.

As a writer I can’t ask for anything else.

I don’t like marketing, but its a must that needs to be taken care of if you want to sell books. Well I learnt a hard fact this month, no matter how much you love your story sometimes it just doesn’t sell.

My first series, no matter how much time and effort I put into it, it just didn’t take off. So I think it’s time to close that door on the old girl, and move on. Its done well enough, just not as well as I would have liked.

Sometimes I say to myself really what do you expect?

Its your first series, do you know how many bestsellers didn’t make a buck or get any traction till they wrote or published at least six novels.

A bunch.

More than a bunch.

All I can do is write and produce and learn on the ropes, while not trying to get hit by the big punches of life.

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Week 1

I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk (google him and get pumped), and he gave me an idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about. He basically said that you should document everything you do. That and put out as much product as you can. So if  you write, or sing, or draw, the way to get to success is just produce, produce, produce.

That is why I’m going to put out six novels this year. Where I only released three last year.

But apart from that I am planning on documenting, my road to success or failure. I aim to become a full time author by dec 31st 2017. I believe I can get there, its just a matter of how much work I am willing to put out. But once a week I will blog, how I’m feeling, my thoughts, what I’m doing. Everything really.

Some weeks will be tough, but I aim to have 52 post at the end of this year. Maybe more.

I’m excited.

I see it as a challenge, a fight. The thing that scares me the most is after these 52 weeks, I fall flat on my face, then the whole wide world will get to see it. Nothing like having an audience to view your failure.

But we as authors, don’t really get that luxury.

If you really want to produce your best work you have to bleed on the page. Allow your blood to be the pathway, to letting other people see your dreams. If they can’t see it after that, you are either not doing a good enough job or….your work is shit.

All the blog post and emails from authors moaning that they are two- three books in, and they haven’t made a cent. Maybe those two-three books were not up to par.

There is a saying that your first million words are shit.

That doesn’t mean you can’t publish till then. Just believe in yourself and keep your head to the grind stone. Be so busy that you pass success by, till then just keep working.

So onwards and upwards. Sorry this post is short, but I can’t really think of anything else to say.

Apart from, damn! This is going to be fun.

Until next time,

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Sleepless nights

the-night-sky-pictures-9824

 

I wish that when you visited this blog, you would get more than just the ramblings of a mad man.

I wish I could give you writing advice that could improve your craft. And I could… but… it wouldn’t be as good as say listening to a Brandon Sanderson writing course on youtube. You see I have never written a bestseller, I have not made my millions in book sales, I have not gained a legion of hungry fans… yet.

So in regard to writing advice, there are a hundred better sources than me. If you’re unsure start with Brandon Sanderson on youtube, than buy everything James Scott bell writings on the matter of writing. Than throw in some Element of Style, and On writing by King and you should be well on your way.

No writing advice is not my forte.

I’m still learning the ropes and the basics myself. Don’t attach your ropes to my boat, its only a dinghy at the moment. When I am motoring on the seas of words on my speed boat I’ll let you know.

No what I can provide is a helping hand up the mountain. A strong voice to guide you along the way, and a hug and kiss if you need one. Because we all slip and slide down the mountain that we are trying to reach the summit to. I should know, I have more than enough bruises to prove it. I have more than enough scarred and harden skin that shows, no one, and I mean no one, leaves this journey unscaved.

So what is a person to do?

Get off the path and head back to where it is safe?

Honestly is that even a option now?

Sorry I’m rambling. Since I was sixteen, all I wanted to be was a reader. All I needed to be was that. Things came before it, but I never felt a calling as strongly as this. Now I’m having nights where I can feel the fear, of what if I never make it. What if I’m only a part time writer?

Better than a kick in the balls right.

I wrote a book. Well I wrote four… but… still. My dream wasn’t to be a part time author, it wasn’t to be just a hobby. It was meant to be what I am if you cut me to the core. So as I look up at the mountain that I have to climb, its a bit daunting.

What if I never make it? What if I am destined to do something that destroys my soul bit by bit.

These are the thoughts that try and give me sleepless nights.

Then I remember, if I have to struggle for rest of my life to get my words out to the world so be it. That is the burden that was placed on my shoulders and they are board enough to carry me through. If you are trying to achieve something, and you are worried about the bills, family, friends, just remember, take it one step at a time.

Look in the mirror, take a big breath in and out for a few minutes, then smile.

Breathe and smile.

Then take apart your goal one step, one day, one hour at a time. And try and fall asleep a little better, a little wiser, than you were the night before.

Until next time.

Good Morning,

Good Evening,

Good Night,