Monday, March 14, 2016

Climbing back out of the hole

I need to apologize for vanishing for so long. The last six months or so have been ... "interesting." Events in those six months include, but are not limited to:

  • My car's engine blowing up, me being unable to get a $4,000 loan to replace it, having my hours at work cut to 7/week due to being unable to take deliveries without my car, not having enough money to make the next car payment, and having to let it be repossessed.
  • Needing to borrow money from family to keep paying the rent, and coming within five days of being evicted anyway.
  • The store where I work getting a company car and the manager letting me use it for deliveries in the nick of time.
  • Finally saving up enough money to buy a bike so I can at least get around without pestering people for rides.
  • The bike getting stolen while I was at work two weeks after I bought it, sending me back to getting rides to and from work.
  • Finally getting another bike at a discounted price because it had been returned ... and discovering that its front wheel is bent. Managed to get the wheel replaced, and the bike hasn't been stolen ... yet.
  • Nearly getting run over multiple times while biking to work and back home, the latest of which was a car speeding at 40 miles per hour and running a stop sign, and would've killed me if I hadn't spotted it in time. And the driver had the balls to yell "fuck you" at me when I got pissed off.
  • Immediately after that, the bike's chain pops off before I get home. I can't get it back on, so I walk home and take the wheel off in the morning to put the chain back on.
  • While biking to work yesterday, the chain pops off again. Need to screw around with the rear wheel again to try to tighten the chain enough for it to stay on. Might end up needing to take one of the links out.
  • Over the past few months, the store stays busy enough that I'm usually kept there three or four hours past the end of my shift, resulting in me getting home around midnight or later, going to bed, then repeating the cycle all over again. The extra money's great, it helps keep the rent paid, but the work-sleep-work cycle sucks time away from everything else, like writing and promoting my books.
  • Meanwhile, the Inkshares campaign for Project Revenant was a complete, total, miserable failure, because of course it was. Just like the same book's Kindle Scout campaign. A handful of people followed the book on Inkshares, but only four people preordered it. I needed 750 preorders just to get it published as an ebook ... and I got four. Granted, having no time for anything other than the job for the past few months kept me from campaigning effectively, but still.

As a result of all of this, particularly that last bit, I think I sank into a bit of a depression. Pretty much gave up on everything. Got almost nothing at all done, aside from the latest chapter of Harbinger, and that was a couple of months ago. Now I'm trying to pull myself together, get off my ass, and get back to writing and promoting ... as much as I can squeeze into what little free time I have, at least.

So ... what's the next step for Project Revenant? I honestly don't know. It took me twenty-five years to finally get one book published, and that hasn't opened any doors for me aside from one short story published in the Lucky Stars anthology I've talked about before. I'm really not thrilled with the thought of taking another twenty-five years to get a second book published, assuming it doesn't take even longer. I feel like I've let enough of my life slip through my fingers already. Maybe I'll give it one last polish and send it to a few publishers just to see what happens. Quite likely, I'll end up just putting it on Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo, where maybe a few dozen copies will sell, and then it'll gather dust like all my other books.

I hope I don't sound overly negative or bitter. I probably do, though. I'm just kind of in a dark place right now. I go through phases like this, where nothing I try seems to work out, and I end up wondering why I wasted my life on a pipe dream. To be brutally honest, though ... if I'd stayed focused on a career goal and gotten a degree, I could've had a halfway decent, somewhat well-paying job, and not worried constantly whether I'm going to be able to pay the rent or have one more meal. But here I am, 42 years old and the only job I've been able to land is the kind of job you get right after you finish high school, making $5.00 per hour and completely destroying my car.

It's hard not to be a little bitter over that.

But I'll do what I've always done before ... pick myself up and keep trying. After all, I've invested too many years in this pipe dream to back out now. If I give up now, then the last twenty-five years really would be wasted.

So, for now, I'll do one last edit of Project Revenant and see how I feel about things once it's finished. I'll also keep working on Uncharted Territory whenever I can, as well as my other works in progress. And I'll be doing everything I can think of to promote Chaser.

And I'll just see how things go from here ....

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