What to Do with the Meantime

There’s time, and then there’s MEAN time.

And it’s exactly what it sounds like.

I Have until June (at Least)

It’s looking like I will not be able to launch the crowdfunding campaign for Advent 9 until June at the earliest, which leaves me with some time on my hands. That time can be an opportunity or a hindrance, depending on how I spend it.

There are, of course, plenty of things to do in the interim: procure a typesetter, get some interior illustrations, set up distribution and marketing channels, and continue to grow my audience.

That still leaves me with lots of time.

My Next Priority: Finish Writing Project S²

As ambitious a project as Advent 9 has been, Project S² may end up being a much more important work. And while the progress I’ve made on it has been excellent, I need to start producing it in quantity if I’m going to have another book to start publishing by the time Advent 9 hits shelves.

If I were well organized in motivation and morale, this would not even pose a challenge. Writing books does not have to take long. I wrote my first novel in a single month. But it’s gotten harder for me as I’ve become a better writer. I worry about whether I really have anything to offer.

Only recently have I been able to start combating this. Hearing my book read by a professional narrator has helped me realize that I have the chops to pull this off. I can only hope it gives me the confidence I need to buckle down and churn out a manuscript.

After That: Write the Advent 9 Sequel

This depends on the reception that Advent 9 receives, but following David Farland’s roadmap should at least get me the publicity I need to generate interest in a sequel. Which leaves me with the important task of actually writing the thing.

I can’t reveal much at this point, except to say that people who enjoyed the first book will fall in love with the second.

The Other Things: Diversifying the Brand

David Farland intended for me to expand Advent 9‘s influence beyond the boundaries of prose writing. He talked to me about creating graphic novels and video game tie-ins, getting options for movie rights and thinking about merchandise.

It’s probably not too early to consider these options. Without David’s connections, arranging these things is going to be a lot harder. Some of them will have to wait until the book has proven itself on the market.

But there are roads that lead to me lining these things up ahead of time.

It’s Not an Easy Life

I didn’t go into writing novels because I thought it would be an easy life. Some people have that delusion, but I always knew it was going to involve mastering a lot of different disciplines.

One thing David Farland always made clear is that you can make a living at it. But you have to treat it like the full-time job that it is. I am still going into this mostly blind. Better prepared than almost anyone else who tries it, yes, but still mostly blind.

It’s the kind of thing where if I succeed, I may find myself in a position to become a resource for others. If it seems like I’m calling attention to myself as I try to pull off some amazing balancing act, that’s because I am. I only really succeed if I am seen succeeding. But being seen also means I risk failing in front of an attentive audience. It’s the only way to make this work.

There’s a lot of time between now and June. And I have to spend that whole time on the tightrope.

Keep your eyes on the act.

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