Saturday, April 21, 2018

Writing As an Art, Not a Business

I started a new writing project a few weeks ago, but this one is just for me. No one else. At least for now.

And this is a HUGE step in a positive direction with my writing.

As my tribemates know, I spent a solid 4 years publishing novels as an independent author, and a 5th year reeling from the experience, the 6th year overwhelmed with family issues, and now in my 7th year I am finally rebuilding my self-trust and my relationship with my chosen art form.

I learned the hard way that trying to make your art support you is the short road to hell.

After 4 years and 15 novels, I was crispy fried, burned-out. The fifth year I stumbled around, trying blindly to keep some semblance of a career moving forward, but the timing was awful. A-W-F-U-L, AWFUL.

The indie publishing industry was suffering. What had started out as a gold rush turned tin-can for many indies. Let's face it--making a living as an author is rare. Extremely rare. This blog post over at CreativIndie by Derek Murphy from almost 2 years ago is the most balanced perspective I've seen. Keep in mind the indie industry is evolving at lightning speed, so things have changed and are still changing.

So back to my new project.

I'm revisiting my Appalachian Trail thru-hike back in 1998. I've gathered almost everything: my CampTrails backpack, photos, maps, memorabilia, guidebooks, and even some of my original gear.

It's been 20 years since I started that hike! I was somewhere around Fontana Dam, Tennessee this time 20 years ago and I can still feel the prickly warmth of a humid morning waking up beside the lake.

I've written about my thru-hike in dribs and drabs over the years, but it feels like the right time to process the entire experience. I might even share excerpts here on this blog. I plan on sharing excerpts, but don't be surprised if it's rough and random and all over the place, and there's long stretches of time between shares.

Why? Because this project is for me. I don't know even how this will come together into something cohesive that may eventually be published.

And I'm really liking not having any expectations. It feels like a brand new adventure. :-D And without the burden of making money or having to fit any genre or make sure the tropes are accounted for, I feel free and light going into this. That is quite a contrast to my attitude about writing novels, lately.

What about you? Have you spent any time recently on your chosen art form without any expectations for it our yourself? I highly recommend it.

Peace out.

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