Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things I will never do (when writing)

Happy new year to the three people that will ultimately read this blog post*. At the end of February 2013, I'll be celebrating the one year anniversary of the publication of The Complex, which is simultaneously exciting and not so exciting. (*I apologize in advance to the hundreds of people who will read this blog post when googling "You're tacky and I hate you," which is the biggest search that leads to my blog, courtesy of a pic I included in one of my previous posts. I'm not including you in my hit tally--though I appreciate your patronage.)

Unless I'm doing a really bad job of conveying this in my blog and in my books, I really don't take myself seriously at all. I don't really talk about my books with many people, I've actually never autographed a book (and have now made that fact into a bigger deal than it should be, though my mom is convinced that she can get me to sign one for her), and I have not spent a dime on my books. That being said, I love them and they do matter to me, despite my excessive efforts at nonchalance.

Still, I have compiled a list of things that I will never do in relation to book-writing. You can call me out on one of these if I break them, but I probably won't. It's a new year, it's a fab time to make lists, and I will probably add more to this list in the future:

1. I will never put a girl in a flowing prom dress on the cover of one of my books.
Listen, I love a prom as much as anybody. I rented Disney Prom one day when I was home from college and I thought it was top-notch, really swell stuff. And putting girls with flowy dresses on the covers of books is reallllllllllly popular. So, I'm not gonna do it. That's not to say that it's a bad thing--and I'm no stranger to prom-cover literature. But frankly, it's getting old. And I don't ever want to be old.

2. I'm never going to call myself a writer or author.
For practical purposes, I have. It even says that I'm an author at the top of my blog. But when people ask me what I do, I don't say that I'm a writer because honestly, I'm not. Ernest Hemingway was a writer. Stephen King is a writer. J.K. Rowling is a writer. I'm not a writer. I wake up and go to work like any other person, and I write for leisure. I don't care about money and I don't look at this as a source of income. It's a hobby, at best--one that does not define me (while it does make me immensely happy). Seriously, if any authors or writers are reading this--please call yourself whatever you want. More power to you. It's just not for me.

3. I'm never going to ask anyone to read my book.
I've done this before, but I'm not going to do it again. I don't submit my book to blogs to be reviewed (though I really don't mind if someone reviews them of their own volition). I don't tweet about my books and include links on where to buy them (even though this is a really widespread thing amongst authors), and I don't have a Facebook page. It goes without saying that in this world that is over-saturated with literature, if one wants their book to be read it must be found. Well, I'm not too concerned with helping people find my books. I don't sell books like Amanda Hocking, but I don't really care. I could probably sell more books if I tried harder, but I don't want to be a pusher (not to say that Amanda Hocking is a pusher; she's not). I just see some authors on forums and on twitter saying "BUY MY BOOKS. THEY'RE REALLY GOOD. BUY IT IF YOU LIKE (Insert bestseller here)!" and I want to ask them, have you no pride? Calm down.

4. I'm never going to spend money on my books.
I'm not going to buy an ad on a website, I'm not going to hire a graphic designer to make my covers, I'm not going to print out magnets and stick them to my car, I'm not going to host a book signing at a local bookshop and spring for a cheese platter. I don't want to. At that point, I've lost sight of why I ever bothered to publish something in the first place. For many years, I have been content just writing on my computer. Since I was 12 years old, I have derived tremendous pleasure from creating worlds and characters and stories, tweaking them to be publication-ready, and then ignoring them. I wrote and I write because it makes me happy. I don't want to pay for my happiness.

But I don't judge anyone who does these things.
I'm a weird person, in pretty much every way. If you do any of the things above and they work for you, I respect you for doing those things because they clearly make you happy in some way. These things just aren't for me personally. I don't tell anyone how to run their life and I didn't post this list so that someone could come and tell me why I should change my mind and do one of these things. Any person could come up with a list of things that they're not going to do. I think it's healthy. In a year I might lost my shit and want to start tweeting about my books nonstop like a crazy person. But maybe I'll look at this list of informal vows and realize that doing something like that would be a betrayal of self. So if I go off the deep end and start doing one of these things, call me out on it. Please.

-CZ

4 comments:

  1. Happy New Year!! Looking forward to Panopticon!

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    1. Yay!!! And a happy new year to you too!

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  2. I like this post. You make me, an ordinary working mom, want to write a book for leisure. I´ve been thinking about it because i get all these bits and pieces in my mind and i´m like oh yeah that´s gonna be a good book. Most likely i will just write on notebook paper and never finish. But yay for you on these accomplishments! Looking forward to Panopticon!

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    1. You should write! Like I said I spent 10 years writing books and letting them gather figurative dust on my hard drive just because it was fun to do it. Honestly, when I started writing I became a better reader.

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