Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Happiness outside of success or failure."

"You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure."

Bill Watterson. (Creator of Calvin and Hobbes.)
I posted this on Facebook, but I wanted to talk more about this here.
It's clear that ebooks aren't going to do much for me.  Not a huge improvement over just writing a manuscript and sticking it in my cedar chest. 
So that's discouraging.  
Reading Bill Watterson's advice in his 1990 Commencement address to Kenyon College, was very inspiring.  It seemed to be directly answering my questions and my doubts.  
I'm still months away from having to decide what to do with all the material I've written.  While I enjoyed FREEDY FILKINS and I think it holds up, dammit, I know it was a bit of a one-time, one-kind thing.
DEATH OF AN IMMORTAL I also think holds up, and it was my stalking horse.  Trying to figure out the ins and outs of online publishing.  For instance, I've learned that the best way to go about it is  -- as usual -- the opposite of the way I actually went about it.
For example, if Amazon has an "exclusive" deal, and wants 90 days, but Smashwords doesn't, obviously the way to go about it is to give Amazon the rights first, THEN do Smashwords after the 90 days.  Then tell everyone about it.
Then it will be in both places, and using whatever resources are available.

I'm still focused on the writing.  I can always hope something will come along and present an opportunity.
Anyway, took the 3rd and 4th chapters LED TO THE SLAUGHTER to writer's group, and Gary sat down and read it and had some excellent suggestions.  They were the kind of improvements that I expect the whole book to gain more than once.  I'm really seeing this as a longer term project, doing it in distinct drafts and trying to get it right.
Everyonce in a while I get a distinct glimmer of this being a "good" book. 
It's funny.  On the outside, this would appear to be my most "pulpy" book yet,  but in execution, I think it's my most serious novel yet.
That other thing -- that "Will anyone ever read it or know?" -- that's just something I refuse to worry about right now.  (OK, so obviously I'm worried but I'm trying NOT to be..."
So just to repeat to myself: 
You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure."

Bill Watterson

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