Because there’s no picture that particularly fits with this post, please enjoy my floofchild hiding under his bed. He was sulking because there was a pane of glass between him and the pigeons outside. The pigeons are basically his nemesis.
I’m almost half way to my Camp NaNoWriMo goal, which is good because it’s almost half way through the month. I’m still sort of fighting with the part of me that doesn’t feel satisfied unless everything is completed at least two weeks before it needs to be. Even when the deadline is basically irrelevant. Even when it’s self-imposed. But that’s what April’s Camp NaNo is about for me – enjoying the creative process without putting stupid amounts of pressure on myself. Or at least trying to. I’m getting there. Sort of. It’s a learning experience.
It’s been very strange not having a strict outline to work to. It’s different from my previous two projects in that respect and I don’t honestly think I’d be able to jump into a book without some sort of planning, but having started with an outline and moved into let’s just go with this for a while and see what happens has been really interesting. Major characters I thought I knew really well are suddenly showing sides of themselves I wasn’t aware of. Minor characters have been shouting give me more time and space, I’m interesting! I’ve been letting myself indulge all the what-if?s that pop into my head.
Speaking of what-if?s, I’ve also been thinking about what I’m going to do with this book when it’s finished. That’s a long way off (I’m very intentionally not setting a deadline for completion or publishing yet) and I’m not making any firm plans but I’m toying with the idea of selling it through Amazon and maybe some other platforms. Right now, I’m 50% why not? and 50% argh, no! about it. I’m not expecting to suddenly make loads of money or anything, but I fancy the idea of trying something new, just because I can. Selling through existing sales platforms is a whole ‘nother world and I do like exploring, but a lot of the reading I’ve done about it feels like instructions for gaming the system, which is kind of creepy. I also don’t like the idea of obsessing over reviews which, according to my research so far, are either not actually that important or literally the most important thing in the world ever and you will live or die by their volume, frequency and positivity.
I think what it comes down to is that I’m up for trying new things and I’m fine with the marketing side of those things as long as it can be done with integrity and without eclipsing the writing part. I’m really in this for the writing part. If I wanted to work in marketing, I’d still be working in marketing. Having recently blitzed my social media platforms and stopped following people whose content I wasn’t actually interested in (if I scroll through three day’s worth of someone’s tweets and they’re all retweets, I’m not interested) I don’t want to return to a place where my online experience is based around perpetual expansion and the necessary approval-achieving that goes along with it. I’ve been there before because I’ve had to be for work and it sucked my soul out.
Really, I want to write things and I want to share them. I want people to read them, if they want to. Money would be nice (money is always nice) but let’s face it, if I was really chasing ubercash I wouldn’t be writing transgressive fiction in first-person present-tense with a non-linear narrative structure, where the story is not this is what happens but this is who these people are. I get that some people love that stuff, because I love that stuff, but mainstream-appeal best-seller material it is not. I know it’s not. I don’t expect it to be and I’m not here for that.
I’m going to leave you for today with a couple of paragraphs from the point of view of Brett – filthmonger extraordinaire, ethical black hole and irredeemable bastard.
He stretches and something in his shoulder cracks.
The sound makes me want him but I can’t get my shit together enough to really do anything so I lie back across his legs and the pillows beside him, reaching for the joint laced with fuck knows what, smoking it almost down to the end. “So you want to know about the tattoo?” I’m not sure if I said the words they way they sounded in my head. My voice is foreign, alien, now.
He takes the joint out of my hand, unzips my hoodie and does something with his fingers to my collarbone while he smokes. It hurts but it’s good and his thumb presses into the hollow at the base of my throat. “Tell me.”