As you may or may not know, I’ve been dedicated to writing full-time since last August. Now, that doesn’t mean I write for ten hours a day because I am just not that person. But it does mean that, with a few small exceptions, all I’ve been focused on work-wise for the last sixteen months was writing.
But it’s time to stop that nonsense.
I told myself if I had a work opportunity come along that let me work from home and not have to travel much that I would take it. And one came up. So, I’m shifting focus to make sure that that project is a priority. Because it’s good to pay bills with something other than savings.
I don’t regret the last year. The novel I published in September may have never been written if I hadn’t made the choice to devote myself full-time to writing for a while. And I think I made a substantial amount of progress on this writing journey by devoting myself to it full-time for a bit.
But I’m ready to take the pressure off the writing now. In the last year I dipped a toe in in some other genres to see if I could get some actual sales. And I did. (My top-selling title is a romance title.) But my love and passion is speculative fiction. And I’d rather take some time each week to make money through the day job and write what I love in my free time than have to keep up such an intense release schedule with romance that I can’t ever write my speculative fiction.
(That’s what it really takes to succeed in that genre, at least initially. What I ended up doing this last year was releasing a lot of titles, but not enough under one particular pen name to really let it gain traction. I knew that wasn’t the best approach, but some lessons you just have to learn through personal experience it seems.)
So, I’m regrouping and reassessing. My goal for 2016 is to focus on novels only. (I’ll likely break that a few times, but no shorts or non-fiction will be planned for.) I want to publish five novels under three pen names. (Obviously, I still haven’t quite learned my lesson or I’d focus on just one pen name…)
And we’ll see how it goes.
As I mentioned on my AW self-pub diary thread I did hit the 2,000 paid sales and $3,000 earned marks recently. Not amazing numbers compared to some, but more than pizza money. And I find that I really do love writing. I just don’t particularly like caring about sales and promotion…
So there you have it. Feel free to learn from my mistakes. Haha…
(Although, honestly, I think we all have to take our own unique paths to that goal and this last year was a necessary and integral part of my own personal path to wherever it is I’m headed.)