Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here's what I need to find to regain my soul

Today begins week 2 of 'no writing' and I'm torn. On one hand I think the break is great. On the other hand I'm concerned about my financial future. In my experience, the writing train has to continue for my earnings to go up. Another author said it best when she said, "Publishing is like getting a raise every month." Write a little and it's just a few hundred more. Write a lot and you can double your earnings. But if you get lucky and hit the jackpot, it could mean an extra 10K a month. That makes it hard to ignore.

But this break was taken because my writing had gotten soulless. I still believe that. And it is amazing that although I worked 45 hours last week, I still found time to take a step back and look at myself. This break has been good. I can feel my soul slowly coming back. Certainly there are no quick fixes. Certainly I can't wait until I am a complete human being again before I restart writing. But if I can find my direction before I restart, maybe both my life and writing will become better.

I think what I'm actually going after in my search for my soul is an openness. As my blog posts will attest, I am in certain ways a very open person. But in other ways, I am like a locked box. I need to unlock that box. Today I figured out what I have to do to open that box. It would be an act that I have never taken before. I have been taught that making yourself vulnerable can only bring you pain. But some how I need to make myself vulnerable to others. And my characters need to do the same. That is what most people find hot. If I would like to write very successful erotica books, that is what my characters must do.

Another thing that I've been grappling with is what I should write next. I write in 3 different subgenres. One subgenre and series sells best on iTunes; another subgenre and series sells best in audio book; another subgenre and series sells best in German and another series sells best on Amazon. This makes it very hard to decide where I should focus my energy. A few months ago I decided to focus on what sells best for everyone else on Amazon because Amazon is everyone's biggest money maker, but those books have been my worst sellers on Amazon (and my best on iTunes).

So the question is, what do I write now that I'm pushing to gain a mainstream audience. Do I continue to chase the large audience now that I have the podcast, or do I write what my fan base likes? I continue to be torn.

I think that I will spend the rest of this week preparing 2 more episodes of my podcast. After that I will continue to do some thinking. I could record a couple of audio books, but something tells me that I should invest the time in continuing to work on myself.

Also, I didn't buy the scuba certification lessons as I said I would. I didn't because I was told by my current roommate that he would be moving out. He was a nice guy, but he has turned me off from ever having a roommate again. And now that I can afford to live alone I think that I will try it. Since I can only barely afford it right now, I'm thinking that I should wait until my sales increase a little before I pay for my lessons.

You know, I wish I could do something more dramatic like go for a little trip where I can leave my daily life behind. But I have so many self-imposed obligations that it will have to continue to be a dream. Oh well.

Coming back to vulnerability, I have to say that this whole vulnerability thing stumps me. I feel like I could do it, but it is like that first kiss, when do you do it? Finding the right moment to make your self vulnerable is such a hard thing to know. And searching for the appropriate time my entire life, I have never found it.

I know not to envy anyone else's vulnerability because most people have no control over it and become victim to it. But still, I envy it a little. It is the same way I envy the screwed up characters that I write about... actually vulnerability is probably the exact reason I some times envy my characters.

Hmmm... I have to think about that. I didn't realize that any of my characters had vulnerability until now. Oh wait, you know what? My characters are vulnerable because they are forced into exposing themselves. What I need to create are characters that are vulnerable in their curiousity. That's what people find hot. Hmmm...

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