I have my finished novel in need of edits/additions and rewrites… but I worry about ruining what I’ve accomplished with it, disrupting the alchemy of whatever went right when I wrote it.
I spend out the money to get good art for the covers of what I’ve done (short stories and compilation) and for good editing, but the sales of the fiction I write are not sufficient to justify what I do spend. You hope that quality speaks for itself but there is so much cheap-and-nasty fiction out there that getting noticed, read and having quality and effort appreciated is damn tough.
Red Phone Box has raised my profile, definitely, and Old Fat Punks is a good book – or will be when it’s done – but it’s hard to maintain the energy on things that I know I’m good at (game writing), let alone things I have no confidence in myself on (fiction writing).
I should write more erotica, every submission I’ve made to an anthology has been accepted and that has to mean something. It’s tougher for a dude to get anywhere with that though and I have enough of a reputation (undeserved) for ‘dodginess’ that I find myself hesitating to write what I want to write, as well as hesitating to flow with the stereotypical erotica tropes that might, perhaps, get picked up and noticed more. I hugely admire Remittance Girl for doing what I seem unable to do, or at least seem unable to set aside worrying about.
My heart is truly in genre fiction but I have high demands of myself, lofty heroes, big shoes to fill when I try. That’s part of the reason I chose pulp stories for my first public efforts, something I love but also something fairly forgiving to the writer.
Confidence only really comes with appreciation and sales, sadly. It’s not enough to be good, you must be seen and understood to be good. Especially if you’re as resistant to compliments, praise and positive reinforcement as I am.
Still, step one is more writing.