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The Big Question, The Definite Answer

08 Jun

Is this one of those rambling reflective posts?

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE RAMBLING REFLECTIVE POSTS

After recent stressful events I had an hour or two of feeling sorry for myself, ate an entire packet of Haribo Star Mix and felt a little sick and a little better, had some water, had some tea, hugged my daughters, hugged my wife, then I sat down to think some thoughts.

HERE WE GO

This is my sixth month as an indie author, and it’s time to ask myself the big question: is this what I want to do? It’s not failure I’m afraid of. Failure means ‘everything stays the same’, and speaking frankly that’s pretty much exactly what I want. And yet I’m not scared of success, either.

SO WHAT DOES SCARE YOU?

Clowns.

EXCEPT MR JELLY OBVIOUSLY

I don’t take much of this seriously, certainly not myself, which helps me to not stress out too much. Something else which provides great relief from stress is my family. For a time I wished for more free (read: writing) time and looked forward to having little girls rather than babies, but now my babies are gone and while little girls are delightful, I miss the babies! I do have a little more free time now, but still. Every day is so full, I work and I play with my girls and I work some more and I do some chores and I work a little more and I change some nappies and I cook dinner (after washing my hands, of course) or look after the girls while my wife cooks dinner and then I usually have Luna in my lap and watch something while I give her her evening bottle (not too old for that, not just yet), then she falls asleep and I write a little with her in my lap, or play a game sometimes if she’s not quite asleep, then I carry her to bed and check on Miya and then write for a few more hours … I probably had a point once, allow me a moment to gather my thoughts.

IS THIS LONG ENOUGH?

I don’t envy Amanda Hocking at all, that’s the truth. I don’t want to be famous like her. I don’t want her kind of success. I think she handles it remarkably well and I’m always impressed at how positive and friendly she is … maybe some people are more suited to success than others. I don’t think achieving success of any kind would change me, I’m too bloody minded and grounded for that (besides, my family would soon drag me down if I developed any kind of ego), but I don’t know if I’d enjoy it, either. Maybe I would. Maybe I’d MAKE myself enjoy it. Maybe I’d enjoy it because I know my wife and family would be proud of me.

THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE

In the end, it comes back to the writing. I love writing, I did it for years without any thought of getting published, I’m only self-publishing now because my wife told me I had to DO something with my books and my family support me to a ridiculous degree. If it was just me I’d still just be humming quietly as I worked out some plot problems or something, never to be read by anyone but myself and possibly my daughters, when they’re old enough.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

I don’t take myself seriously, but I do take my books seriously. I work hard on them, maybe too hard. If I do become a success, if I find an audience for my books, I’ll be happy that people are enjoying what I’ve written. If I never become a success, I’ll be happy because I have a great family and I spend my days looking after and playing with two amazing little girls, and writing.

WIN/WIN

I think that I may have cheered myself up.

HURRAH

Getting back to the central question, the important question, ‘is this what I want to do?’, the answer is a clear, definite ‘YES’. I enjoy being an indie author. I like the control it gives me. I like that I may become a success, I like that it doesn’t matter if I never reach anyone but the splendid few who have already read and enjoyed my books. I love the craft of writing and I love having written, and I enjoy doing the associated publishing things too–formatting, covers, even editing has a certain prickly charm and it’s so satisfying when you finish a run. I mean, goodness, I’m even starting to enjoy promotion now that I’ve figured out what parts of it I can do without feeling sick. I am in a good place with this indie author thing.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

WELL THEN

Well then.

YOU’RE NOT VERY GOOD AT BEING ANGSTY I MUST SAY DON’T YOU KNOW AUTHORS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ANGSTY?

I’ll work on it.

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2 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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2 responses to “The Big Question, The Definite Answer

  1. Mark Williams International

    June 9, 2011 at 11:06

    Success is a strange concept, rather like wealth. Usually the two go together. If you are wealthy you are successful. But that’s just so shallow.

    I have a better definition of success. You enjoy what you doing and other people benefit from you doing it. Obviously that rules out certain activities, but thankfully not writing.

    We’ve been really lucky to have had the enjoyment of writing a book and see it succeed in terms of chart position and remuneration. Which is kinda nice, but it’s not fulfilling in the way writing for children is.

    Which is why I may have a Kindle UK best-seller on my hands but I regard you, Ben, as the more successful author.

    You’re doing the hardest thing of all – writing for children. For children, not at children. Such a difference.

    Keep up the good work. I’m adding Miya Black to my collection next.

     
    • Ben White

      June 9, 2011 at 14:19

      Well, thanks. There’s an easy answer to why I don’t talk down or ‘at’ children–when I was young, I hated that. And I always knew, whether it was an adult or a book doing it. Give people the benefit of the doubt, give people credit–no matter their age–and they’ll rise to the challenge.

       

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