Where's that Story?
A little while ago I put a short piece of a novella I wrote (and also narrated) up on my blog and said that I wanted to self-publish it. My original goal was to do that a few months ago, which obviously didn't happen.
The problem is I'm not so sure I want to release it anymore.
As I write more and read more, I keep learning about story and growing in my abilities. This makes me look back on this stuff that I wrote even just a year ago and think that I can do so much better now. So instead of kicking it out the door to Amazon or wherever, now I want to revisit the story and try to turn it into something that might actually be good. As it is right now, I think it's OK. I'm proud of it, but only to the point where I know it was the best I could do at the time given my level of skill and knowledge. So what I'm struggling with now is whether I release something that isn't what I would call "done."
Don't get me wrong. I don't think that I'll ever be 100% satisfied with a story. I'm the kind of person that likes to fiddle and tweak for eternity. Nothing is ever perfect, but it can be good enough.
The other thing that makes me hesitate with this story is that I know what the self-publishing world looks like as a reader. There are a few gems here and there, but they are in a sea of mediocrity that is impossible to navigate. More often than not when I pick up a self-pubbed book, I put it down again. It doesn't grab me, it's not compelling, the characters stink, take your pick. And I don't want my story to be that.
So, where is the story? It's back in the workshop. And honestly? I'm pretty sure there isn't a lot of heartbreak about that from anyone that might be reading this. That's not a self-deprecating statement, it's an honest one. I've had great feedback about my writing and I really appreciate it, but I also know that no one is breaking my door down to read my next thing. And that's OK. I'm still learning and to an extent I don't want to subject the world to my practice sessions before I even have the training wheels off.
My ultimate goal is to write a book that is GOOD. Maybe even GREAT, but I'm shooting for GOOD. And my definition of that is something that a traditional publisher would buy. It's not a perfect definition, but I think it's right for me. I have a day job that keeps me busy and provides for my family, I don't need to churn out books that aren't up to my standards, so I choose not to. I will still post things here. I might even post that novella here if I clean it up a bit, who knows? But the novel that I'm writing right now? That one is going to stay under wraps until I'm satisfied, which honestly might be another year. And that's OK with me.
What does that mean for my blog? I'm still figuring that out. It's been a few years and I'm still figuring this whole thing out. I don't know if I'll ever get it right, but that's fine too because this is all just an experiment. An outlet for whatever it is I have to say at a given moment about any number of topics. So expect more of my writing to pop up here, more reviews of things I've read or watched, and more general thoughts about life. Just don't hold your breath for anything published. It will happen someday, just not today.