It’s been awhile.

To be honest, a lot of what shuts me up is that I hate marketing myself as a professional author. That affected tone you’re expected to take, which varies depending on what you’re going for. Maybe the cutesy, snarky lilt in which you try to be both self-deprecating and self-promoting. Or just the attempt at wit to mask the desperation seething behind every public action on your part.

It gives me the creeps, putting those masks on. It makes me feel like a creep. Hey consumers, I wrote something. Now buy it to silence my insecure ego and make me money.

No thanks. I got off that carousel a few years ago.

But what the hell do you blog about in place of all that? I didn’t know, so I fell quiet aside from occasional hiccups of communication. I still don’t know, but at least I feel the itch to open up again.

My gentleman lover has been teaching me the joys of playing board games. Dominion, Carcassonne, Splendor, etc. It’s made me realize that my favorite strategy of playing is to quietly build and build and build while being ignored by the other players because everyone else is doing something flashier. Complicated playing strategies, or quickly-made points, or snapping up prize cards. The stuff that gets noticed right away as a threat. Meanwhile, I’m just building from the ground up, focusing on a strong infrastructure so that I’ve got something solid to work with once I’m ready. It’s a slow fucking strategy, but by golly I keep neck and neck with people in the end.

It’s the same with writing. I tallied up what I did this year: 2 novels, 2 novellas, and 11 short stories. I just wrote, and wrote, and wrote, building a foundation for three book series. I cleared away a lot of mental shit with these stories, and ironed out a lot of problems in my craft, too. It’s quiet, inglorious work. Not the kind that gets you shiny material for your pro author resume. But it’s so fucking satisfying to me, because this is exactly what I love. Writing stories and then sharing them.

I’m excited to see what happens in 2018.

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