Today was the day! A new milestone was reached and a marker laid. The foundations of growth are being laid, and the winds of change are blowing through my writerly sails. I am preparing to bid adieu to the doldrums and stride forth into the great beyond ready to take on everything that stands in my way; follow me or be crushed.
Okay, that might be a little over the top on the drama, but I did send out my first newsletter this morning. To a whole eleven willing souls nonetheless.
It might not be much, but it is a start, and I really am excited about the idea of making this newsletter something regular.
Right now it will be used to replace my weekly wrap up post on the blog. There are two reasons why I chose that post for the newsletter. It is a nice post that gives information about what I have been doing and what I am planning on doing in the coming week. Also, it is a post / piece that I can easily write every week without worrying about running out of inspiration. It is just a recap of what has actually happened after all. Plus, it was a post that seemed to generate very little interest on my blog each week. Now, that might be an indication that it is not a good post to make my newsletter, but as my recipient list grows so will my plans with it.
That does however mean that I will need to come up with a new blog idea on the weekends. I’ve not really had much time to think about it yet, but I there is something that I am thinking about which could be a good laugh. You never know, if it takes off, there could even be some free books being given away to those that join in the fun and games.
One thing that is for sure, is that this newsletter and the other things I can do with the mailing list I am compiling is certainly the first solid step in a new period of permanent growth for me, and I am really excited about where it will go.
I am hoping that if I can use the newsletter enough, to bring relevant content out into the world, my number of subscribers will grow, and with it so will my options. There is no way for me to guarantee that this approach will yield success, but it is worth a try. The world of book sales and promotion, especially for a solo-flying nobody like me, is a black hole that is filled with both infinite possibilities. The chance of anything succeeding is just as great as the chance of failure. If anything, there are more chances of finding success, providing you are realistic in what you call a success. To me, that is a single sale, to me, knowing that somebody has bought the work I have written, makes it a success.
Stephen King himself said that if somebody pays to money for something you have written, and you can take that money and pay a utility bill, then you are a success. The thing is, most of us have allowed our minds to get clouded. To be a success we need to match those around us. We need to keep pace with, and surpass the rest of the pack. Yes, that is a success, but it is not the only form.
Sure, awards are nice, and it does make a good impression to some when they see ‘Stoker Award Winner’ on a cover, but ultimately, it means nothing. Now, before people start jumping up and down, I am not dissing the Stokers, or any other award out there. Would I jump up and down with delight if nominated? Of course. All I am saying is that it does not mean anything if you win awards. There are lots of awards and lots of categories around the world. Look at the Oscars. How many great movies are there that never won any, and how many steaming piles of cow dung that did. It is all subjective, and if you know the right people, and can make your face seen in the right places, you are guaranteed to get something.
The same for ranking in subcategories. I did it with Diaries of the Damned, and yes, I still brag about it, that I was number one in the British Horror category last May, but it does not mean anything. That same book is now languishing around the 1 million mark on Amazon, and is still my best selling title. It was a success then, but it did not make me a success. Do you see what I am getting at? We need to be able to break down the true meaning of success and see that everything we accomplish, no matter how it is viewed by others, is still a success.
A Head Full of Ideas
My biggest problem at the moment is that I am working on two novels, well, one primarily, and the other is there for whenever I need a change of pace, but my brain keeps throwing up new ideas for me. New novels and short stories that the muse is demanding I write. She stands over my shoulder all day long, like a devil in disguise, whispering in my ear, filling my head with her creative impulses and urges. I am a slave to her desires, nothing more than a conduit for her voice, but even the must be kept in check, and so I need to focus on these novels, and get them written, so that I can make room for all of the new playthings I have been given. There are some run of the mill ideas, but also a fair few stories that shocked even me at first. These tales need to be handled with care, because they could easily explode into something far darker than even I have contemplated writing up to this point.
Fuck it, explode away, I am reading to write something that will shock people, that will viciously wrench the words from their mouths, and leave their very soul feeling as dirty as a hooker at the end of a busy night. Two tales in particular are guaranteed to repulse even those that have put up with my crazy ramblings until now. They are coming, and they know who you are. They are coming for each and every one of you, and there will be no hiding from these stories.
You have been warned.