Friday, September 14, 2012

Unexpected Consequences

In college, I was an English major with a concentration in writing.  By concentration, the college meant that I took more elective English course in writing than in anything else.  I did that so I could spend much of my time writing.

My hope was to get a good portion of a novel written, which I did by that work has never seen the light of day and probably won't.  It is very silly.

After graduation, I focused on the only type of writing that I could be paid for: technical and instructional writing. Getting a job in the field took some doing but I succeeded (having a Masters degree helped) and some years later I decided to try my hand at creative fiction again.

That experiment didn't work so well.  It was too hard to keep the rules for technical and creative writing separate.  So I abandoned the project.

A few more years went by and slowly I acquired the skills to do both.  So by day I could be the mild-mannered writer of help and instructions and by night the masked avenging novelist.

Now let's skip ahead to early in 2012 when my publisher awarded me a publishing contract. That had been my goal for years and one in which I thought was unattainable.  But with that hurdle crossed, sometimes else happened.  I discovered I really wanted to write creative fiction full time.

That really took me by surprise.  I thought I had this dual life thing well defined.  Guess not.  Problem is I can't give up the job that pays for my house, gives me medical insurance, and allows me to live at my current lifestyle, not unless I'm prepared to make some drastic changes and probably suffer through a divorce too because my wife will not be happy if I were to go that way.

In short, I've painted myself into a very small corner, one without much wiggle room.  My only hope is my forthcoming novel sells well -- and by that I means sales in the thousands of books per month.

I'm not expecting that.

So what will I do?  Make some changes in both my creative writing schedule and my regular work schedule so I can cope and keep everything in balance.  It wouldn't be easy, but then nothing about this whole process has been, why should this be any different?

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