Thursday, December 18, 2014

Trying to define myself as a writer (and figure out where this whole writing thing is going).

It's been a while since I've posted on here. Sorry about that. I finally managed to get a job, so the blog kind of fell on the wayside. I've still been writing and hanging around AW. Most recently, I started work on a project I mentioned a while back. It's an epic fantasy in which the first book is tentatively titled The Watersong. It's going pretty well. I wrote about 3,000 words today.

Today, I also did some work on my Martin Mason upper MG fantasy series. I wrote about 4,500 words in this one today. I actually found that doing two projects at the same time wasn't all that hard. Because the projects are quite different, I find I can switch between them when I get tired on one, and I still have the creative energy to work on the other. Now I'll have to see if this keeps up.

This brings me to my existential writerly questions. I have a wide range of interests as far as writing goes. Pretty much, I want to write fantasy and science fiction (and maybe horror). Now, that probably doesn't sound like that much, but when you factor in that I want to write for MG, YA, and adult audiences, things get a bit messier.

The issue is figuring out which one should be my jumping off point. Will I hurt my chances of establishing a career in one age group or genre by writing the other? Yes, I know I should just ignore that and write the stories I want to write, and that's what I'm trying to do right now. I'm trying to take away some of the publishing pressure I put myself under.

Make no mistake. Publishing is still a huge motivation for me, but if I'm not having fun writing, why am I doing it at all? There are countless other things that I could do and not have fun (but make a lot more money in the process). So that's where I'm trying to go as a writer: toward a place where I can write again for the fun of it.

I've also opened my mind a bit to the idea of self-publishing (if trade publishing doesn't work out for me). I've learned that cover artists are not nearly as cost-prohibitive as I once thought. It wouldn't be my ideal situation, but if I can't get anyone to bite on my books, I don't want them to languish on a hard drive, where no one will ever read them.

I'm still in the querying process for Sunweaver. I believe in that book, as I believe in all my stories. It's just the question of whether agents and publishers will believe in them the same way I do. I guess I have the issue where what I like isn't necessarily what they're looking for.

They want dark, gritty fantasy. I write fantasy that sits more middle-of-the-road between the optimistic fantasy of decades past and the grimdark of today. I'd like to think there's a place for it. Authors like Brandon Sanderson are doing quite well. But will I struggle because that market is already filled by established authors like Sanderson?

Once again, maybe I should just not worry about this stuff and write the best books and query letters I can. It's just so hard to ignore the business side of writing. And that won't get any easier if I do end up self-publishing, because then I'll have to handle the business side myself.

Oh well. I'm just kind of musing aloud here. It's probably not the most coherent blog post.