Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Produce Books Now, Books Are Cool

I think when we're younger, we draft these big plans in our heads (I'm going to be an astronaut! I'm going to be Batman!), and while some fade out as time passes and interests change, you're always compiling a new list of plans, dreams and goals.

Maybe your goal is to live and work in New York City. Maybe your goal is to play a professional sport. Maybe your goal is to raise beautiful and compassionate children. You have these goals, and you should chase them down, do all in your power to accomplish them, hold hope and faith close to your heart and make what you dream about a reality.

When I was sick, when I was more fully in throes of mental illness, my plans got grandiose (I'm going to prove people wrong, I'm going to change the system!) and the route to those plans seemed light-years away. It felt like I'd never accomplish my goals, that I'd always be thwarted, and incidentally, that it was never my fault that things didn't work out. It didn't matter that I had unrealistic irrational goals, and it didn't matter that I didn't take more than one or two steps towards accomplishing them, it was always the fault of something or someone who wasn't me. This of course led to me staying angry, staying frustrated and making even more grandiose plans that I didn't do squat about. 

Now I'm stable. Now I'm making smarter decisions, setting smarter goals. Goals like straighten out my finances. Attend GenCon. Create new things that people like. Be honest. Be open.

One of the lingering formerly grandiose plans was "publish books", and that often got inflated to this idea that I could crank out a book every 6-8 months for the next thirty years and then stop writing and swim through the sea of money I would have no doubt made.

I should point out that while I wrote and wrote and wrote, I never finished much. Finishing meant I'd have to take that next step, and that felt like work, so I found new and exciting ways to procrastinate.

That time's over. And I'm thankful. Look what I did!

This is a link to my Smashwords page (or library, whatever they call it). You'll see there are two items on it.

86 Things I've Said On Twitter is now a single volume you can read through at your leisure. It's about 40 pages of all different kinds of advice covering writing technique and publishing advice and motivational you-can-do-it-ness. Also, it's TWO DOLLARS. Yes, that is cheaper than a big cup of specialty coffee.

Character 101, Or How To Build Effective Characters is my one-stop guide to character development that is practical, detailed and interesting. It's two dozen pages of easily applicable method and advice to turn your possibly uninteresting character into something memorable. It's $4.99. Yes, that's less than the cost of this silver bar. And may also be less than the cup of specialty coffee.

Did I ever think I'd get this far? Nope. But I'm glad I did. And I hope you stick with me on this ride. I'm excited to see where it goes.

**Note: I could have really easily turned this into a really vitriolic thumbing of my nose at certain people, deriding them, taking shots at them, and generally being a rotten person. I'm not saying there aren't people who weren't negative, toxic, unhelpful around me at various points in my life, but I am saying that the ultimate reason why I didn't do this sooner falls on my shoulders, not theirs. But I'd be lying if this didn't feel a little satisfying to prove those haters wrong.