It occurs to me that the title is going to make this entry sound much more interesting than it may actually turn out to be, especially as Halloween approaches (which is my favorite time of year). I apologize for any deception, however unintentional. This is about my egotistical dream and fear which stems from my writing aspirations. I write under a pseudonym for various reasons that are honestly much too boring to get into although sometimes to alleviate that boredom I think of myself as having a secret identity and S.J. Drew is my superhero identity (I didn’t say I was a good superhero; as I’ve said, I’m not even Captain Otaku).
The dream is very simple – that one day my works will be well-known enough that someone recommends my own work to me. Since I do publish under a pseudonym, this is within the realm of possibility although perhaps not the realm of probability. I do write what I would like to read, so someone who knew my tastes could indeed recommend I check out these “Nevermore and the Ravens” books. And that day, lovely readers, would be more awesome than I can either imagine or express in mere words. I’ll borrow from Lewis Carroll though – “Oh frabjulous day! Caloo, callay!”
At least, I assume it would be that awesome. I certainly imagine so. The world is such a big place and for my efforts to become an acknowledged writer to actually come to fruitition would be remarkable, fantastic, remarkatastic even. Artists love love love praise. Actually, everyone does, but to pour so much energy and time and effort into something and have someone you know think highly enough of it that without having any bias (because again, I’m writing under a pseudonym) they recommend you check it out would be such a high compliment.
Perhaps it sounds silly, but don’t judge me too harshly; artists have odd fantasies (and mundane ones as well). Acknowledgement that my work exists is step 1 to my dream coming to fruition, and I am pleased to see I averaged a little more than a download a day for Necromancy for the Greater Good. I hope to improve upon that average as I publish more in the series, which I fully intend to do (and indeed spend quite a lot of my time on). In fact, if you have a Smashwords account, you can already download the newest collection of stories, Paranormal is Relative. It is totally free! I’m still waiting for Premium status and shipping to other distributors, so those with Nook or other accounts will need to be patient.
This, of course, is the flip side of my dream. I fear that one day someone will say to me, “I picked up this book and it was awful! I know you like stuff like this, and it know it’s free, but don’t bother. Just don’t bother.” And then I would cry, inwardly, and maybe later cry outwardly. I know, perhaps this seems ridiculous but I really am afraid my writing is not very good. I have mentioned Writer G before, and am a few degrees removed but through friends of friends, it seems Writer G still thinks he’s a good writer, despite his lack of success in getting his fiction published. In fact, he’s now a life coach and has self-published a self-help book. Regardless of what I think of the advice contained therein, the book is still not very well written. I know that one negative review does not mean my writing is bad, and if my worst fear happens, depending on the source, I may just shrug off the criticism. After all, I can’t please everyone. And at least with writing under a pseudonym I’ll know that the criticism is probably honest unless the critic managed to deduce my secret identity and didn’t like me for some reason. But still, I fear I’ll receive overwhelming negative criticism and be forced to face the fact perhaps I am not a good writer after all. Granted, this doesn’t mean I couldn’t be successful if I managed to write something marketable, but I would rather walk away from writing with some dignity than have to live with a legacy of poor work (although if I made as much money as Meyer, I could probably live without dignity).
The Harsh Light of Reality:
I know what my chances of success are, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I set a deadline for myself to have the second “Nevermore and the Ravens” published by Halloween. That’s about a year to write thirteen short stories, song lyrics, and connecting segments, not to mention proofreading, editing, and getting a cover together. It wasn’t easy to get Paranormal is Relative out, but even if it never gets another download, I’m still proud I published it on my own deadline (even if I publish under a pseudonym; also, I really want more downloads). Realistically I know the odds anyone will ever say anything to me in real life about my book series, whether to say something positive or negative, are pretty slim.
But still I dream…