I feel like I am not accomplishing anything lately. My procrastination via Spider Solitaire is back and often when I am trying to be productive I am thwarted in the most unexpected ways.
Despite that, I feel like I must be getting somewhere, because I am being flooded with creative ideas again. That tends to happen when I have gotten some mental obstacles out of the way. I still have a small stack of paperwork clamoring for my attention, but I think I can get them done tonight and tomorrow, and then think about how I want to schedule my writing.
This therefore seems like a good time to reference Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, one of the books from the Long Reading List.
It ended up on the list because a few of the girls I was watching over really related to it. Lia has an eating disorder, similar to her friend Cassie, recently killed by hers. It was not as popular as John Green's books - there were many more people devoted to The Fault in Our Stars, and Looking for Alaska a bit as well - but Wintergirls had its fans.
I liked that it ended with a ray of hope; Lia was learning to thaw. I didn't love the writing style. There was a lot of stream of consciousness and kind of text-speak - like this best replicates the mind of a teenage girl who is always connected. The choices make sense, but I am an old fogey who tries to think in complete sentences.
It reminds me that I don't know that I have a potential audience. I was surprised at one point by how many downloads Cara got, but overall the writing I have done so far has not been profitable, at least not financially.
I do know that some people were helped by some books, and I think there is more potential for that. I still think that ultimately it will be the screenplays that become a means of support, and the books will be not widely read but emotionally significant for those who read them. If the first part comes through, then the second part is not terrible.
(For the second part, based on what is currently available I recommend Family Ghosts for grief and Morgan for poor self-esteem. There will be some anger and body issues coming up in Lainie and a not-yet-titled book, and more guilt and family dynamics in the Family series.)
There is a lot of work to be done that will be rather tedious. I need to start sending query letters to agents and publishing houses. The fun part about that is that in addition to being fairly tedious that also tends to involve a great deal of rejection. Looking forward to it!
In addition, I know that there are still a lot of people who prefer hard copies to electronic versions, and I myself fall into that camp. I need to get the print-on-demand option set up. That not only widens the available audience, but allows the possibility of signed copies and giveaways. If I am going to do it, I should do some cleanup and editing at the same time. That possibly can help and definitely will be time-consuming.
Improving my time management in general plus balancing the creative side with the business side will be quite the feat, but my overall feeling is still excitement. My mind keeps taking me to back to Spruce Cove, or up to Jamie and Joanna's hovel of an apartment, or Tubman college.
And sometimes my mind travels to the dystopian future that we are creating every day. Perhaps it is not always optimistic, but I am still invigorated.