Yesterday was a rough day for me.
I went into work very early in the morning, but that wasn’t what made it rough. Part of my job is being on-call for weather emergencies, and since the weather is very unpredictable, that means that sometimes I am called in to deal with what seems to be about to happen, but what actually happens is different. That’s frustrating, but, like I say, it’s part of the job.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the Fauxpocalypse Launch Party at All On The Same Page Bookstore. That’s what made it rough.
I wanted to go, and I’m glad I did go, I enjoyed myself a lot. It took a lot out of me, though. It’s kind of hard to explain. I get drained by personal contact with other people, that’s the best way I can describe what it feels like. At work it’s not so bad, because at work the other people are present in the same area, but I’m not focused on them, I’m focused on whatever it is that I am working on fixing.
Making conversation with people, having personal interactions with them–it’s like pushing a washing machine full of rocks up a flight of stairs. I can’t do it for very long–it’s just exhausting.
Yesterday afternoon when I got back home I couldn’t do anything. I played games, I messed around with some models I’m making in Blender, but my mind was far too numb to even try to write. I’m still not over it–I feel hungover. I slept until almost 9 am this morning–that’s sleeping half the day away by my standards.
It’s frustrating, because I really do like people. I enjoy talking to people, and listening to conversations, and sharing ideas. I wish I could be gregarious, but I just can’t. Sometimes it feels like being allergic to air or water. It’s not social anxiety, at least I don’t think it is. I am not aware of feeling fear or discomfort. It’s more like I’m bleeding chi into the ether. I’m like an uninsulated capacitor, as soon as I make contact with other people I discharge.
So today will be spent refilling my orgone batteries, as it were. I’ll immerse myself in media that calms my spirit.
Lately I have been thinking about how this inability to spend much time in social interaction is impacting my career as a writer. It was a year ago today that I had my first and only book signing. Fortunately only a few people showed up for that and they were all people that I already knew, but even that much contact was exhausting. There is simply no way that I will ever be able to manage anything like a convention.
I need a publisher. I have tried to manage as a self-published author for close to two years now, and while I can handle the technical end, I feel, fairly well, and I write stories that people like, I’m not going to make it as a promoter.
Granted, most publishers don’t really do that much marketing for their author’s books, but any at all would be better than none, and I have to choose between either promoting or writing–I can’t do both. I’d rather write, that doesn’t leave me feeling dead inside.
I’m in a much better position to find a publisher than I was two years ago. I have two novels finished, and a third about half done, and I have a large number of very positive reviews. My books could all use some line editing, but I think they are basically solid.
I do like writing this blog, and from the comments and follows people like reading it, but it’s not a huge promotional tool–I spend more time talking shop with other authors than anything else.
Now, I am a very meticulous person, I tend to measure several times and cut once. I’m not going to jump into anything. I am, however, going to start researching publishers and considering options. I know that other authors have started as self-published and moved on being traditionally published. That was never my goal, but given my experiences I think it’s the best path for me.
For me, the main consideration is that I find a way to do it that’s fair to my existing fans. You’re not numerous, but you are mighty. I have read about people who own copies of self-published works that end up having to buy the e-book again when the author signs with a publisher–I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. (From my research it seems that Amazon is able to remove a file from new sales while still allowing it to be downloaded again by people who already have purchased it.)
In any event, I have no guarantee that I’ll be able to find a publisher who is interested, given the nature of my work and my admitted social deficiencies. However, I do think that it is time for me to try.