I started working on the YA time travel series this week.
This doesn’t sound so very earth shattering, but, it’s probably been on my mind for more than a decade, and I decided to stop waiting for the characters to drop into life, or plot to magically plant itself in my head, no, I would actually *work* on it. Actively.
I wrote a few pages, and then decided on a radical “venue” change, and re-wrote them. It has sparked a few other things into motion, and I think that maybe it’s a sign that this is what I should be working on? I don’t know. What most people don’t know is that there is actually a connection between this series and the SHUSH Museum, which probably sounds absurd, and in a way, it is. I’m not going to say more about that right now. It’s part of how I’m building them all to come together, and I mostly feel like as cool as I think it will be, the amount of work it will take to pull off will not translate into any sort of return on the investment, and no one will give a flying frack about it.
There is part of me that is looking at the amount of work involved to make the whole plan I envision for this thing, and know that I have very often poured tons of effort into things that didn’t do me any good. In fact, most of the things I’ve poured tons of effort into have done me no good. And, while there is a decent chunk of my hesitation that is wrapped up in the normal fears of creative sorts that work very hard to keep us locked in our heads and not creating, there’s also the fact that none of the things I have managed to create have been particularly successful in finding an audience. It doesn’t help me fight off those fears if they’ve been RIGHT at every step. Maybe it’s just insanity to continue to pour effort into things that really ARE doomed to fail? Why do I keep doing this? Because, I will tell you, writing is hard. Marketing is harder. I don’t really like doing any of these things.
This is when I’m supposed to wax poetic about the urge to create, and how that is supposed to sustain us through these periods of doubt. Except, I’m not entirely sure I am feeling that urge. I feel like I’m doing the only thing I know how to do, to keep trying to do what exactly? To somehow turn these things into a product? To actually, FINALLY make consistent money on the crap that comes out of my head? Am I completely delusional? Who would pay for these things? *I* would not pay for these things. I am not even convinced that the small audience I do have would bother to plunk their money down for products. That is, while they’re loyal and engaged and the best and I love them, would they actually feel the content was worth spending money on? Even more so, I’m not sure that the content I am planning on building for sale actually matches the audience I am building. In other words, the people who read this are the people who would be interested in what I have to sell, as it’s different from the content they know. Am I wasting my time building the “wrong” audience for the stuff I hope to sell?
But, I’m trying to not think about the money part of this equation, even though, it’s taking a bigger and bigger part of my attention as I can’t seem to improve my income by the usual routes. I have tried. More than once. And after trying dozens of the usual routes multiple times? I’m feeling fairly confident in my assessment that an increase in my income is not coming from those routes.
I am exhausted by the limits of thin margins. How much longer will things hold together? I don’t know. The only thing that seems to make sense is to keep going forward, even if it doesn’t really feel like a meaningful direction. So I will celebrate a few pages of a start, and hope more pages follow.