I spent most of my free time in March doing some long-range planning, primarily about the handful of novels I’ve been bouncing between since 2020. Reclaiming the City is one of them. One of the reasons why it took so long is because I got distracted with reading advice from other authors. I spent more hours than I want to admit trying to figure out how I could walk their path and follow their writerly life.
What I should have been doing is determining what I really want and how to carve a path there. I needed to be honest with myself that, in my heart of hearts, I really don’t want to follow any of their examples. I needed to recognize that the best path for me (at least for the foreseeable future) is going to be far from conventional.
It’s this uncoventionality that led me to write this post. Like with the manifesto I wrote in January 2019, it’d only be fair to tell you where I stand so you know where I’m coming from and what my ultimate mission for Apprentice Wordsmith is.
I am not a serious writer. I don’t want creative writing to be my career. I never want to depend on my fiction for my livelihood.
I’d rather depend on other forms of writing to pay my bills – forms that produce pieces I have no emotional attachment to. That’s what my copywriting work is for.
When it comes to writing fiction, I am a passionate hobbyist. Nothing more.
Creative writing is the main thing I do for fun, and I want to share that fun with others. I want to help other people get into this hobby too, so they can experience the same joys of creation that I feel.
I’ve made my peace with the possibility that my stories may never earn me much money. Sharing them with the world means far more to me. I’m content to continue publishing Friday Fiction on the blog into the foreseeable future. I do want to try something more socially acceptable with some of the novels I mentioned earlier – self-publishing an ebook or print-on-demand. Though don’t expect any news on that till 2023 at the earliest.
If, when the time comes, people buy my books and like them enough (or hate them enough) to leave a review, I’ll call that a success. If those novels make a dime in profit each, that’d be icing on the cake.
I know this attitude disqualifies me from competing in the big leagues. I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m not here to compete. I’m here to create and share that creation with others. I’m here to have fun. Call me a hobbyist and an amateur. I’ve been called far worse before.
Since I’ve accepted my place as a passionate hobbyist, does this mean I’ll never market my work like a sensible creator? Will I ever (to put it in marketing terms) strengthen the Apprentice Wordsmith platform? Of course I will do both of those things. But I’m going to take my time. For 2021, though, I’m just going to write and not worry about how to get in front of an audience.