18 Aug

State of the Revision: Week 3 of 13(?)

Spent much of this week with my head in my hands, moaning, “Why do I always write such shitty first drafts?” Had to be ungently reminded that—because it is true I always write shitty first drafts—everything good I’ve ever written began with a shitty first draft and turned out okay eventually. Like it or not, this is my “process.”

I lost two of my spare days and am now only one day ahead of schedule. I was well on my way to four, but I arrived at a scene that was giving me trouble, realized the cause of the trouble was the scene being unnecessary, and chopped it, setting back my gains.

I also got distracted by “How about a Gumroad subscription for short stories about the curse-breaking sisters in that series you’re never going to have time to write? Let’s plan all the logistics, research some curses that can be resolved in 10,000 words or less, and start writing a bunch of those stories because that’s a good use of time right now.” My vision habitually exceeds my reality. We’re currently witnessing the death throes of my last vision, so this is a teachable moment.

I know I sound increasingly grim and that’s a drag, but it’s a long process to distance myself from writing so it doesn’t hurt too much when it’s over (I went through this seven years ago and know what it’s going to do to me [except that time, I got to blame most of the failure on someone else, so I expect this to be worse…]), with the added balancing act of having to sustain some level of enthusiasm for the book itself in order to do the work. It’s kind of like a hard-feelings divorce with a teenage child in the middle. For the kid’s sake, you put on your it’s-all-for-the-best face, but inside, you’re counting the days until that kid turns 18 so you can douse everything in gasoline and burn all evidence of life with your useless bastard ex to the ground. As liberating as that is, severing a chunk of your life is traumatic.


In my heart and head, I’m ready to move on, but I have this one last job to finish first. If you’re tired of me being maudlin about it, may I suggest signing up for the New Release and Nothing Else newsletter so you’ll get the memo when the book is done without having to witness my spiral into despair? It’s my policy not to spam you with useless emails or share your information with anyone else, and there’ll be only the one more mailing before:

More fire.

8 comments on “State of the Revision: Week 3 of 13(?)

    • I’m too poor to continue.

      In order to change the future, I need an extra 573 sales by the end of August. I have been busting my ass for the past 3-2/3 months and haven’t been able to move anything like 573 books during that whole time, so I’m not optimistic about the next 12 days.

      Twelve months ago, 573 sales was a slow month, no ass-busting required. Things have changed. I can’t survive in the current environment, and looking at who’s thriving and how, I don’t want to.

        • I left KU at the beginning of November because everything went to shit at the beginning of September. I HAVE GRAPHS. There is a PLUNGE between August and September, well before I noped out of KU.

          What happened at the beginning of September, you ask? Amazon handed out credits for “reporting errors” for their advertising platform at the beginning of September. The “reporting errors” were the result of cooking the efficacy of the ads for ~2 years to get everybody hooked on how great they were, and when they said “oops, our bad,” they flipped the switch on the real deal, which is why ads now cost 4-7 times as much and are seen by fewer people because there are hundreds of bloody ads on every single page encouraging shoppers to leave the product they were actually looking to buy. Amazon gets paid for every single click, even if that customer ends up buying nothing. They make way more money from ad clicks than they do from any one book, so they have no incentive anymore to push sales conversions.

          My credit was enough to buy a new car. If they had returned the $XX,XXX they ripped off instead of forcing me to reinvest it in their garbage ads, I could have kept writing for another year with my fingers crossed that something would improve. That obviously didn’t happen because it’s not the Amazon way to let go of money, so here we are.

          • Manifest Destiny.

            Someone jump in and tell me again how much better off I’d be with all my eggs in Amazon’s basket because they DEFINITELY never smash that basket against the nearest wall trying to get at an extra penny on the other side.

    • Visibility is the same old problem. I literally cannot survive doing hundreds of hours of labor for $10-$15 to entertain one person. Bring me 999 more guaranteed subscribers, and it will warrant some consideration, but since I can’t get that many people WHO HAVE LIKED MY PREVIOUS BOOKS to pay $3 for the last one, I won’t hold my breath waiting for people to throw larger sums at me for something different.

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