This post is going to ramble a bit. Sorry in advance. I'm going to try and really open up here, and, well, while it's easier for me to open up in words that I've typed instead of said, it still isn't one of my strong suits.
But, I'm going to give it a go tonight.
With a bit of whiskey to help.
So I was reading the Metro Spirit the other day and saw the article about Tara Wood. He blog has blown up, and she was one of the featured writers in the new book, "I Just Want to Be Perfect" by some "Fine Ass Chicas." I hadn't heard of her and went to her blog, "Love Morning Wood," and it's hilarious. Well, in her words, it's ball busting fucking funny shit.
She's a mom to seven, a wife to a good husband, and a devout Catholic. And she writes about what that kind of life with those types of intangibles brings. But she is real in her writing if that makes sense. The being thankful post in November was probably the funniest thing I've read in a long time. It really is great writing. And it's real. Which is why I think she has thirty thousand followers and a few of her posts were selected for the new book.
If you go check it out, be forewarned, she cusses like a sailor. No, she cusses like a pirate, who just finished a fifth of rum, is firing his cool ass cannons at the invading English Imperialist Army, and is about to bang a prostitute. Great writing either way in my opinion.
After reading her blog for a while I checked Facebook, and saw where Brian Panowich was defending her writing and the curse words in it to some tool who acting all high and mighty about women using the F word. Rightfully so in my opinion, (just don't click on her site if you don't like it, you freaking tool.)
And before I dive into my emotions, Brian Panowich is another local writer. He works full time for the Fire Department, and from my understanding, he was writing flash fiction on websites and was approached by a pretty well known agent. He signed with the agent, and wrote Bull Mountain. An awesome book about the Burroughs Clan in North Georgia. The book follows three generations of the outlaw clan, from moonshine in the fifties, to weed in the seventies, to meth today. I read the novel twice. I didn't like the ending the first time, but seemed to understand it more the second time. Putman books published him, and it's been fun following his success. In my opinion, he's also amazingly talented.
Both writers deserve their success. Both of them write pretty great stuff. And, what I think is really cool, is both of them are unapologetic and write who they are if that makes sense.
And I have tried to do that.
But it hasn't worked out for me like it has for them.
This is the first week since I registered as an author with Amazon that I didn't sell one book. Not one. Nada, nill, zero, nothing. That kinda sucks.
The more I thought about it, I was jealous of their success, but happy for them at the same time. Then, I sat down and kept thinking about how they are writing, and it's working for them. I started playing the numbers in my head.
So there are about one hundred and thirty thousand people living in this county. Two have really had some luck and success as writers. Is it possible that I could be the third? Or would that be too many? I mean we are a small county. One of the smaller ones in Georgia, but our population has grown considerably. Is there room for three writers? What if someone else gets discovered before me? What about four? What if my stuff isn't worth discovering? What if two is the limit? Should I keep going? The blog is growing, I can see the analytics. I had more unique visitors last month than the previous month. It wasn't I love Morning Wood numbers, but it was still good. Maybe I should give it up. Maybe I should write "What Is Olivia Green" on the internet and see if that grows my numbers. I know I've had a lot of positive feedback, but that doesn't mean it was that good. Maybe the novel has run its course. Maybe...
The more I thought about it, the more I realized there wasn't any point in thinking about it. I have never met Tara Wood or Brian Panowich. But I love their writing. And if I'm being honest with myself, I really am happy for both of them. I can be my worst critic with my writing, and with both of them I see a different level if that makes sense. I feel like I'm good with writing fast fiction, stuff that makes the reader want to keep moving.
They can move the reader forward at a different level sometimes.
So I don't really know what to do. I've thought about making the blog more specific. I could write about being a single dad and the fun times I have with my daughter, or the dating scene and all the crazy women in my life, or the publishing scene and how its cool that I was published. But, it wasn't cool how my publisher worked. Or how she misspelled a word on the back cover. That was really uncool.
I've thought about doing the sequel to "Who is Olivia Green" on this site. I could do a chapter as a blog post. It would save my friends who all supported me and want to see what happens next twenty dollars.
I don't know what I'm going to do. I really don't. The only thing I'm sure of is that I'm going to keep writing. I love it too much.
I'll finish up my crime novel about Augusta this summer. I'll either publish it for free on the internet or maybe go back to the publisher who did, "Who Is Olivia Green." Then, based on what is going on with book sales I'll finish up the Olivia Green series. Either in the next book or in two. I feel like I owe my small amount of readers that much.
And I really am happy for the success of my fellow writers. I can be happy and jealous of their success in the same night. I keep hoping I ride a call with the fire department and I get to talk with Brian Panowich. And it would be just as cool to meet Tara Wood.
I can look at them at diminishing my chances of becoming a full time writer from Columbia County because of their success and figure there won't be that many success stories from our little county. Or, I can read their books, and smile and nod, and laugh, and smile some more.
I'll keep reading, I think.