Well, it’s been a strange few months for me. I’ve been busy – even more so than usual – but not that busy writing. I’ll explain.
The reasons for my laxness are multitudinous, much like traffic wardens. Unlike traffic wardens, one of them is this: we are expecting another child (!). This could in fact be any day now. And this unexpected (but quite welcome) expectation means I have to focus on what’s best for my family. As my partner is about to have a year off work (usually we’re both slaves to the grindstone) this means that I have to invest my time where it will best pay us back. Unfortunately, this isn’t in my writing. But fortunately, my ‘real’ work has never been busier. It is, however, eating my days with unprecedented greed.
About six months after I released my first book, Xenoform, it took off unexpectedly. I was thrilled to see that my debut novel was ranked on Amazon kindle above much better ebooks by real authors like Iain M. Banks (rest in peace) and Stephen King. This was exciting stuff, and although I never sold as much in the US as the UK, I wondered if maybe, just maybe, my dream of writing for a living might come true.
Bust just after my second novel was released, things changed for me. I personally believe that this second book, Macao Station, is much better than my first, and reviews seem to bear this out. But (seemingly due to Amazon’s internal changes) my sales began to plummet. Now that I’m running at about a tenth of what I was, it’s getting hard to justify the huge investment of time that my writing demands. I’ve only released a novella since Macao, and if I’m honest it’s going to be a while until another full book.
Does this mean that I’m gone for good? No. I’ll continue to drive ahead; I’m just stuck in first gear for now. I’m tempted to moan about how hard it is being an author, especially an indie author, and find myself an expensive fringe hobby involving the filtering of contraband into my nervous system. But frankly, although that is the tradition among creatives, I simply don’t have the time or energy. And what energy I do have is going to have to be spent prising eldest-childrens’ lego bricks from youngest childrens’ mouths for some time. I’m not short of ideas; I have too many bloody ideas, if truth be told. But if someone else would do the hundreds of hours of computer work for me, that’d really help.
I also realise I’ve been AWOL for a while, neglecting commitments and generally being eccentrically artistic (ie:- a dick). I’m trying to get back into the saddle, but I’m afraid I’m fundamentally, er . . . not moody, but . . . er, well . . . okay, moody. Predictably unpredictable. And I’ve been on recess. So there.
Finally, the next thing I publish will need to be exceptional, or I’ll be jolly cross with myself. Macao Station, in my opinion (the most important one), was light years ahead of Xenoform. But both were just training for what comes next. So (and I’ll probably regret saying this) the next one is going to have to be in a different league. So I might, as snow-lovin’ Captain Oates once said, be some time (paraphrase).
So for now, I’m stuck in this floaty limbo where everything is changing, but I’m not yet sure how. I’ll post some poetry, maybe, next time. I’ve found writing poems to be a good way to release some of that creative pressure in little bursts. But I’m still building a head of steam for the next big push. But do excuse me if I vanish and re-appear at whim. Much like a traffic warden. Sort of.
BTW, here is my long-neglected website (good advert, eh?):