Of Books and Borg
This weekend, I ran my first book promotion in years. I spent not a small sum. Certainly not as much as some, but more than one day's wage at my day job, so it was significant to me, especially now, when literally everything has become so expensive. Whether I'll make that amount up remains to be seen, but early indicators suggest no, I likely will not.
And as I type this, I'm looking at doing the exact same thing again with several other titles. It's a gamble. One I'm more likely to lose than win. So why would I do this? Interestingly enough, the answer came to me after watching the last two episodes of Star Trek Picard.
I've spent the last few years without much in the way of creative motivation. Getting that motivation back has been slow going, but we're almost there. I've got a lot of half baked ideas on the table, but getting myself to sit down and commit them to paper has been a bit of work. That's where the promos come in.
Well, those and some new advertising mediums that have allowed me to add a bit of personality to what I do. (If you're intrigued, check out some of the new graphic features on my Amazon book pages, which were both fun and frustrating to make.)
And this is where the endorphins come into play. You see, I've heard that this endorphin rush is a thing that can be brought on by exercise. It's even possible that back in 2014 when I was hitting everything way too hard that I might have even experienced a little of this rush myself, but lately... Well, let's just say that the ever declining state of things that came out into the spotlight some five or so years ago has really put a damper on my excitement about anything. But this past year I gently nudged myself to look at some of my old half finished manuscripts and that's when inertia took over.
Disclaimer: I have no official diagnosis of any condition associated with the following words, but this is the best way to describe my artistic style: I obsess, I fixate, I explode with productivity, and then I lose interest. It's a cycle that doesn't seem to have a fixed timetable. It happens when it happens, for as long as it happens. And at the moment, I'm fixated on pushing the books I have abandoned and neglected for the better part of two years back into public awareness.
Which brings me back to the Borg analogy. I've assimilated success. I've added my distinctiveness to the collective known as the written word. And yet, it's not enough. Because it never will be. Because it was never about success (or perfection to use the Borg allegory). It was, and has always been, about the journey. Yeah, I know, that's a cheesy motivational poster quote, but it's true. I can look back fondly on all the times in the past that I hit one goal or another, and while the satisfaction of knowing I did something awesome is great, it doesn't beat the heart pounding rush of watching the thing happen.
And that's what I want. I've got a long, slow, and steep climb from the graveyard of neglected books, and I am aware that they aren't going to go back to being popular overnight. But that's exactly the point. They don't have to. I'm looking forward to the uphill battle ahead.