For the Narcissist Lover in You…

Monday Selftalk / Jealousy / Merchandising and the New Book

It’s Monday again, meaning I am back at work. Not a bad thing– I am not complaining. Quite. As much as I am happy to have a job doing art (which I love) none of what I create at work is technically mine. I am merely a tool to flesh out other people’s ideas.

Ho hum. I still love to create, and I get to create everyday at my work. I remember the days when I was a security guard, and a grocery store bagger, and a pizza deliveryman. I sympathize with all you creative types who are still stuck with completely uncreative jobs. I recall how hard it was to take myself seriously as an artist/writer when the rest of the world saw me as a pizza guy in a beat up Ford Tempo– a pizza guy with delusions of grandeur.

So. Enough said on that subject. I am at a place now where I get creative fulfillment and validation almost everyday, and yes, that goes a LONG way towards helping me to believe in myself.

But not ALL the way. I STILL might be suffering from delusions of grandeur. ‘Nough said?

Last night, the wife and I watched “Julie and Julia”. It started out as an effort on my part to enjoy a chick-flick with her. I had designs, as you might guess. But I did end up enjoying the movie. Except for one part.

Two thirds of the way through the film, the struggling writer/blogger gets her story told on the front page of the New York Times. This results in fifty-plus calls that evening, every single one of them from a literary agent, an interviewer, an intellectual rights manager, all basically begging for her to partner with them to tell her story and make her rich and famous.

I was (I admit with bald shame) sick with jealousy. Because I used to believe that sort of thing would happen to me someday, and now I don’t.

Dammit.

I am in wait mode right now. My editor is still working through RoC. A collaborator of mine (who I won’t identify unless he tells me I can) is making a very cool prototype of the divided sigil necklace that features very prominently in the new book. If all goes as planned, we may be able to offer it for sale. It will be an extremely cool bit of jewelry, completely apart from its significance in the book. I am considering selling a bundled package: the sigil necklace and a signed hardcover of the new book. My greatest fear though (among MANY greatest fears) is that we will go to the trouble of making such a thing and virtually no one will buy it. Then, not only will I feel like a self-deluded idiot, but I will have wasted the time of a very talented artist who believes in me and my work a great deal.

But this is the risk all creative types have to take, right? The risk of sticking your stuff out there and finding that nobody wants it?

Giving stuff away for free is one thing. Trying to get people to pay up for it after they’ve gotten used to free, that’s something else entirely. This is why I say that so much rides on the response to RoC. We shall see.

Onward.

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6 responses

  1. Dags

    Maybe you are, you know… beating yourself too hard?

    For one, your current readership belongs to a certain niche. And unless you’re trying to publish an original work in the same vein, those numbers will mean nothing to a prospective publisher – you ARE, effectively, a novice in everything else.

    On the other hand, if you DO try to publish in the same genre you will have to work twice as hard on the originality as your average first-time writer. It’s a hard job you’ve signed up for.

    But you CAN pull it off – you already know you can spin a tale, or would you call all those people who read your stories ‘delusional’ too? Maybe it’s just time to stop worrying about the sales, and apply the fanfic rule to original fiction: HAVE FUN ALONG THE WAY.

    You’ve touched a lot of people’s lives, paid or not. And that’s something not many get to boast. πŸ™‚

    July 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    • You are absolutely right. I HAVE been trying to write purely for the fun of it (“Ruins of Camelot” is the result thus far) but that is something I need to be reminded of EVERYDAY. It’s definitely an American (and maybe global) convention that one is not REALLY a writer unless one is published. S. King sez that a writer is just someone who writes. I do a lot of that, so boom. I guess I am a writer. And even better, yes, I have a load of readers. THAT… is awesome. Thanks for the reminder.

      July 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

  2. Ale

    The other day my sis made me watch this movie because I blog… I got pissed watching it– maybe I was jealous, too. Though it made me feel small and made me question myself [not in a good way either.] But then I see you, and you keep on writing because you love it, no questions asked and it inspires me to keep on going with my dream…

    What I mean to say is that you are an inspiration and a great writer as well despite how well know or not you are =P hehe. And yes, there are ups and downs, but hey, life is a roller-coaster! *Grin*

    And I would definitely get the swag… πŸ˜‰

    Don’t forget you are made of awesomeness!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    • THANKS Ale! That is positively huge. I am encouraged. Hugsies.

      July 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

  3. Hester

    I saw that movie, too, Geo. I think there is an interesting parellel (one that actually occurred to right after the film). Despite her blog’s notoriety and her book offers, the most important thing to Julie was that Julia Childs remark favorably on her efforts. And, as I recall, she did not. So while things were surely fabulous…without that approval, they just fell a little short for Jules. You see, I am sure, what I am getting at.

    Keep writing…it is what writers do, regardless of anyone’s “approval”. And your writing is above the ordinary. I mean, can thousands of readers be so very wrong???

    July 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

  4. Anne

    Geo… look… you even got it, that a lot of ppl over the world read your books.
    Isn’t it anything?
    I know, there are a lot of writers having a published book, not very often read and not breaking any border! Be proud of what you have created! It’s not only JP, it’s The Girl on the Dock, the god of lost things, The Riverhouse… and there will be coming more, I’m sure of.
    We all are hoping, you can write for a living. Till then, keep on making ppls live much more colorful!

    *in awaiting the german version of JP3*

    July 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

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