When I started publishing, I thought I wanted to write full time. That was my only goal. I wanted to write fiction full time and quite the day job.
That, my friends, was a child’s goal. It was, and still is, a good goal, but it was overly simplistic, and assumed a world of do this or don’t do this.
When in reality, as we know, though I keep having to remind myself, each decision is made up of a million tiny decisions, a million incremental shifts one way or the other. That’s the whole “slippery slope” thing, right? “It’s a slippery slope! You do that one thing and the next thing you know….”
Well, I don’t actually think that’s true. I think it’s a bit of a cop-out; “I made one bad choice and everything went downhill from there.” No, man. You made a number of bad choices, which yes, added up to one steep downhill slide, no doubt.
I want very much to do this job full time. I run up against stuff I’d like to do and can’t all the freakin’ time. The reason I could write so many missing scenes in the last month is because I had time off from the day job. Now I’m full of goddamn ideas for freebies, or for cheapies, and I can’t really justify writing them because in the writing time I’ve got, I really need to focus on the stuff that’s just beginning to pay the bills.
Listen, if I get laid off, I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do: I’d start writing five thousand word porn stories and selling them for three bucks a pop under a pseudonym. Three bucks gets me seventy percent at Amazon, and that’s a far cry from the thirty-five cents on $.99, which is what I’d charge writing as me. (Three bucks is more than I think five thousand words is worth [honey, you won’t see me buying five thousand words for anything; that shit’s not even worth downloading because I’d have it read in twenty minutes and then it’d just be taking up space on my fuckin’ phone.].)
I could be doing this now, except I realized something driving home from the Bay Area tonight. I’d rather stay with the day job and devote a hundred percent of my writing/publishing time to this career than start up a pen name for shorts and splinter my writing/publishing time between the two names, even if it got me to full time faster. Because then I’d have more time, but I’d still be stealing time from the books I love writing in order to pay for it.
So. Clarity achieved, but man. Man. It might be a long, cold slog, and I’m exhausted. The kid’s getting a little older, so I have larger chunks of time than I did even six months ago, but boy oh boy, I’m just fatigued beyond even recognizing myself. And I’m an insomnia kid. I’ve spent my whole damn life tired.
Goal, right now, for realsies: I want to build a sustainable career publishing mostly queer, mostly kinky, mostly porny fiction. I love writing novels, though I’m seriously getting a little addicted to writing serials in my head. (Something about that great episodic energy is fucking compelling as hell on the writing side. Never fear, people-who-don’t-read-serials: Little Red and the Big Bad is out this week, the complete damn thing.) This is what I love. And so, no matter how fucking long it takes, this is what I’m gonna do.
My mom used to tell me I could do anything I set my heart on. She never once told me to find a fucking backup career, because she literally believed I could do anything. Yeah. If you raise a kid like that, you might get a me: I don’t give a shit how much evidence exists to support the idea this is largely impossible, I’m gonna pull it off anyway. Start your watches.