I’m sitting at a crossroads. I’ve been here for for the last couple months.
“What now?” I keep asking myself. My mind is on fire. I have more ideas than I can count or remember, and I want to turn them all into viable stories. But the book industry is a horrifying thing. It eats people alive and shits out books. More and more keep pouring out, quicker and quicker. It never stops, and most gets wiped away.
It took the Nameless Chronicle a bit less than two years to start selling reasonably. Two years of my work being continuously wiped from the book industry’s asshole and tossed aside. It’s maddening to think how much effort, planning, and money one can put into something only to have it MAYBE pay off some time in the far future. This is a task for only the maddest of the mad.
For me, in essence.
I’m now actually doing decently, and there’s been a constant upward trend. This is good. On the other hand, this still doesn’t suit my needs. I need greater success, and I need it as quickly as possible. If I keep spending all my earnings on editing, covers, and marketing, then in essence I am working for nothing. It is work I enjoy, yes, but not at all worthy of the ascetic lifestyle I have to lead to make it possible.
I’m rambling, so let’s summarize before I get even further from the essence of what I’m saying here: My next work should have immediate marketability, as opposed to the cult/sleeper hit potential of the Nameless Chronicle. I’ve already done the write-what-I-want thing, and it’s only started to take off recently. If I had to push two biplanes instead of pull one with a jet, I think I’d go full psycho.
So… go through with the Monster-Hunter-Age-Of-Enlightenment-Bloodborne thing (that I’ve already planned and structured out), or reach into something with mass appeal, like Space Opera? I foresee a massive surge of cyberpunk in 2019. and onward, so that might be the way to go. Perhaps a mixture of the two. There doesn’t seem to be a good answer. Everything can work and everything can fail.
I don’t doubt my ability to tell a good story and tell it well. I have eyes. I read and compare. For me, some degree of success in the future is, I think, inevitable. But the question remains: When? I’m not nearly as young as I look. If option A gives me earlier breakthrough than option B, then why take option B? Because I want to? I do, but do I want to dedicate 2 more years of my life to a series that may really take off in 5?
I don’t know.
So I sit at this crossroads and weigh my options. Time keeps passing.
M. T. Miller