I’m not sure exactly where all of this started. Whether it was making my “special” NaNo stuff bigger and better this year, leaning a few advertising tricks, or just trying to finish three books in a year (which is sort of off the table right now). Wherever it started, I’ve found a new diversion to focus that I can’t seem to shake, which is why I’m blogging right now instead of working on my other projects.
Words are words. At the end of the day, a thousand words is better than doing nothing at all, even if they’re for a humble blog post. When I have something to say, I need to say it.
Though my current feelings are a bit abnormal, my day started like any other. I woke up, prepped for an early shift at the gas station, and drove a couple blocks to work. I knew I would be ending early and online late since the local cafe is open till 9 tonight.
All morning I was thinking about the house, and how I’m going to get all my planking and framing out there on schedule to do some work. An hour long intermission to fetch my trailer from the property isn’t a good way to beat the heat, and my shifts prevent me from doing anything at the lumber store after work. Except today.
I grabbed my subfloor sheeting and loaded it in the pick-up. It was strictly a drop-off and delivery scheme to have everything ready to go for early Sunday, when I’ll have a whole day to get the subfloor down. I was listening to Trust Me, I’m Lying for most of it. I enjoy Ryan Holiday on long drives because his words provoke ideas about how I can better serve and grow my customer base. I had to pause it for a bit as I dropped the load twice trying to get up the hill. I forgot the tow strap. After the second attempt was sorted, which involved heaving 12 heavy compressed wooden sheets back into the pickup, I ran up the hill in reverse and then backed to the side of the foundation to unload. The plan worked, even though my 4WD pickup isn’t the best at climbing that hill. Here’s a picture:
Anyway, the drive back and my current thoughts are focused on what I’m going to do next. Do I work on CORP II (I’m planning a small revision) or try to get more readers involved in the process? Do I work on the cover for it? Do I try finding a programmer to help me take my free Kindle books project to the next level? How am I going to turn this into a product millions of people will want? What can I do to better prepare myself for the NaNo project launch in October? How many emails will need my somewhat immediate response today?
My mind is running around in circles like a dog chasing its own tail. There’s so much on my plate right now, including tweaking and tuning my house plans as an iterative process, that I can’t seem to land on anything in particular. I can literally sit down and work on whatever the hell I like. When it was only 2 or 3 book projects, this strategy worked for me. But now it creates it’s own distraction.
Too much distraction can be a bad thing. We all know this. But for the last few years, a bigger concern was not having enough on my plate to maximize my writing time. If there weren’t pressing things in my life, I’d find myself playing on social media instead of working on writing with passion. That problem is certainly solved. A little bit of distraction and squeezing is essential. Artificially, purposefully, or accidentally limiting my time has served to boost my motivation, not cripple it. But too much can be quite a load to bear.
Essentially, my projects themselves feel like those damned lumber sheets. Each one is heavy, cumbersome, and has some important edges that are better not broken. (the subfloor pieces have a tongue-and-groove at either end that fit together for added strength) All of my little projects are important, each one a specific part of the future “home” that I’m building with my online presence. Each one is important, each is essential to the construction, and though they will hand a few bumps, bangs, and weathering, each must be handled and fitted together with a certain degree of care.
It sucks when I hit a bump and they all slide off the back of the tailgate. I almost feel like I’m driving up my own cosmic hill in reverse, just so I can deliver the building blocks to where they need to be, rather than actually building with them. But that’s part of the process. An internet marketer recently told me to do all the research and have the audience built before you consider starting a project, much less releasing it. I think Ryan would agree with that philosophy.
But I don’t. I don’t play to market whims and trends, especially with my fiction work, because I shouldn’t have to. If the book was good last year, it’ll still be a good book next year. The best books are absolutely timeless. Even a book with a Roaring Twenties setting, like The Great Gatsby, are easily readable today. The wise words of noted philosophers are just as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago. Fiction is a wonderful thing.
My other projects take a lot of time and planning. Marketing, even for the fiction books, takes careful planning. I spend so much time planning that I start loosing site of creating new content. I’ve been thinking about doing another Operation Raindrop book, rewriting Endeavor (which will be Incorporated Endeavor when it releases, or CORP III), continuing the tweaking with CORP II, revisiting two first drafts that I wrote about this time last year, expanding and writing content for my Astronomy project, etc, but I can’t seem to get to anything. I suppose after I finish this post, I’ll take to the norm and just pick something to work on at random.
I think I’ll be a lot happier once the season is over and the framing is all finished, on both the house and my writing and publishing pursuits.
I don’t know if this article was insightful or helpful, but for what it’s worth, thanks for reading. Hopefully I’ll be putting happy endings on some of these things very soon.