Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: The Horror...

I'm working on uploading my little short story to Smashwords, in, hopefully, the premuim listing. After a few days of "WHAT?!?! type stuff I decided there was too much of a learning and sidebar issue curve to take the time to do it and I opted to enlist someone's help. Thanks God for social media, I found someone who works for, or is, a publisher and she says she'll format and upload it for me for $25.
Works for me.
I have enough tech skills and experience to learn this stuff, it's mostly figuring out Word,  then adjusting the way Word displays and then being able to adjust the "settings" for the appearance of the piece when it's splashed onto the Smashwords page. Otherwise known as formatting. I cannot imagine doing this with an 80K word story. No way.
Here's the thing, and this is something for YOU to think about too. We've all heard the phrase that speaks to, "picking our battles", right? For me it's the same thing and that reality has been graphically brought home to me having spent 3 days trying to master the process of upload and tweaking and photo adjustment and a bunch of other stuff my ego wouldn't let me let go of. If I told you how many hours a day I spend, already, on the computer, or netbook(on my nightstand in my room), or laptop or iPhone(if I'm outside or in the bathroom or at Target) you might not believe it. I don't mind, in fact I love learning, but some things just don't ring my bell. Like formatting and book covers.
Look, I don't give a damn, I'll do what I 'gotta' do to pull this off but again PICK YOUR BATTLES.
 My point is that I'm prioritizing my time, I have to and so do you. I was absent the day someone etched in stone the imperative to learn Word so I use Works and Notepad to tweak and layout my stuff, even when I was blogging to a million or more people. It irks me that Word becomes so invasive to my system and that it costs so much.

I focus on the two peak things I need to do, every day. Write and Network. I put in biz class high speed Wi-Fi in the house. Speed, capacity and access. And, YES I actually keep in touch with the people I follow, bloggers and writers, reviewers and readers and people I just want to follow(THIS is why SPEED is paramount, both download AND UPLOAD). Learning the craft of writing came behind my blogging and radio stuff because I could do those things on the fly. I traveled for almost 3 years nonstop. Almost a year later I'm still feeling the effects of 20 hour days for 3 years, with little time or energy to write during it all.
Writing on a high level is very serious business, I'm sure you know this but I'm just saying - I take it seriously and am working on it all the time and it takes a LOT of time. So, I'm sure you too make choices, every day about all kinds of things on a lot of levels. Self publishing means self promotion and that means WORK. Building a "platform"(I'm still not sure what that means and I don't think anyone else does either even though you see it used all the time) or network, is a major element and will take time to build and maintain.
Anyway I think you get the point.
Evaluate, re-evaluate and focus on the elements you need to, stay flexible, loose and know it's a blessing for anyone in the publishing industry to give you the time of day and a miracle for someone to take an interest in you.
Technology is the horse you rode in on, nothing more.

The HORROR of it all hits me when I look back and realize I should have spent my time more wisely on the things that matter most to me at this point in the struggle. It's about WRITING  and PEOPLE.