Friday, October 21, 2016

A young artist in town who I talked to yesterday, giving advice, though who am I to give advice?

But the main thing I said to her is really something I should be doing myself.

I told her that she should quit worrying about promotion or trying to make money off her art and just concentrate on her art. Of course, she is really young. 21 years old. Hell, I didn't even start writing until I was 22 or 23. Couldn't figure out how to get started. Then flailed around for 5 years writing the same 50 pages over and over again.

Anyway, what's true for her is true for me.

Writing the book is one thing. Everything that comes after is a completely different thing. It's all very distracting. It is frustrating and dispiriting. And has absolutely nothing to do with creativity. The actual writing is inspiring and fun and fulfilling.

Sure, I want people to read me. But I don't seem to have any control over that. And the more I try to assert control--by promoting, finding agents and publishers, the less creative it is.

Next year is pretty much taken care of. I have two books that have recently (still waiting for the physical copy of "The Darkness You Fear") or are currently coming out ("Tuskers III" is going to be "In Stock" at Amazon on the 23rd, and the ebook should follow soon.)

I have two books coming out through publishers: "Tuskers IV" and "Snaked" sometime around the middle of 2017.

I plan to self-publish "Gargoyle Dreams" myself early next year. A love story with a gargoyle doesn't seem to fit anywhere, but I still really like it.

So I'm going to turn a blind eye to the "selling" part and return to what I really like: the actual writing of the books.  Just ignore everything else.

Really, it's the art that counts.


Dave Cline said...

There may be a twilight realm between pure creating for creations sake and creating *knowing* that you've been accepted by the community in which you are creating.

If one lacks the, shall I say, obsessive passion of the creative process, but still wants to create. However, at the same time has not been vetted as worthy in the eyes of those who hold sway over what it means to be worthy -- one, perhaps like this young artist, and like myself, has not been convinced that the exhaustive pursuit of this craft will payoff.

Someone like yourself, having been vetted and found acceptable, I think, can, in the back of your mind, return to a focus on the art. All the while know that what you create will probably be received with accolades.

Someone like myself, though, without the merest crumb of credibility, finds it harder to adopt the philosophy of art being its own reward. To crest that hill, never having climbed a mountain before, establishes a platform of self-actualization. Without that platform of success, it's back to the bottom of the canyon, every time.

Duncan McGeary said...

When I put out my first effort two and a half years ago (Led to the Slaughter), I was anything but confident. So a certain amount of success has buttressed my efforts since then, to be sure.

I came back to writing because I knew that there was a place to go--Amazon--and that my manuscripts wouldn't end up in a cedar box. As it turned out, my self-published books don't sell much, but I didn't know that at the time. If I had known...I'm not sure.

But I have found satisfaction in small things. A good review here and there. Maybe just one person coming in the store and telling me they liked my stuff. I have also found satisfaction in the actual writing. The coming up with a scene that tickles me, a character coming alive. I like living in the creative world, but I'm semi-retired so I can do that.

But I totally get where you are coming from. I visualize a future when I've run out my string with small publishers, end up putting my own stuff out and selling five copies, and then my art for art's sake will be put to the test.