Many worlds live behind my eyes, and each and every one claws at the edges of my mind to come into being through word and art. I have played with them, dancing through the night. I have tried to prioritize them so I can work on one world at a time, but the others shout and scream to the point where I can no longer hear the chosen one...
This year, I have been trying to change my relationship with my fiction and my career. I want to write more short stories, prose poems, and vignettes, but I still want to work on novels, novellas, and novelettes. The problem comes in when I try to choose one world over another.
I used to think this was a problem with disciple, but I don't think it is. Not really.
Sometime I am in the mood to reread Harry Potter (I am on book 6 btw), and sometime I want to watch Star Trek, and other times I want to continue reading the Pillars of Reality. If my choice for entertainment can flip around from genre to genre, why would I expect that my imagination would fixate on just one thing?
Why should I feel guilty for loving many genres?
Because it feeds my resistance to keeps me from writing...
There is so much pressure on writers to conduct their business in a certain way. Every writer who has achieved even a little bit of success, has a formula to follow. They all have the same talking points.
- Write a series of books.
- Write them fast, releasing several books a year.
- Start an email newsletter.
- Sale, Sale, SALE!
So, how does a writer with too many ideas work?
I want to tell stories, and yes, I want to make money off my work, but I should not have to conform to how other writers do their work.
Writing is a craft. Yes, it is a business, but I think we spend too much time, energy, and effort focusing on how to make money, and not enough time on our craft.
We have to tell the stories that are in us to tell.
For writers like me, the community consensus that I should be all about the money distracts me from the real purpose of my career. I have stories in me that want to be told, and I need to spend my time, energy, and effort on telling those stories in the most well crafted ways I can, and then figure out a way to monetize that.
Stories must come before money.
If you are a writer like me with too many ideas and worlds in you fighting to get out, find a way to tell those stories before everything else.
Our stories matter more than our income.
I have been here before. I get to this point, and then slowly, I get sucked down the business road and worry more about money than craft. I can only hope that I will not fall down that path again.
- Tell your stories as I tell mine.
- Allow your imagination to carry you to where you need to be.
- Put the stories and craft first, then monetize that.
- Don't lock yourself into a system that is self/soul defeating.
I have faith in my craft, my stories, and my characters. You should too.