In moderation, all things.
When I look at the heroes of my generation and those immediately past, well––I see that it was the antics, the cries for help that many took for talent or something equally meaningful. No disrespect to (why name names) but.... As writers ultimately, we are remembered for the words we put on the page. To capture the actual complexity of life as we know it, the minutia of experience––without being overly repetitive––well this takes layers of writing. Editing is that form of creative writing that builds on the foundation, an adding of layers of experience, a posteriori observation. The process goes on grindingly, haltingly, and then––once the foundation is set properly, with a surprising sense of fun.
My real problem is that this process is so ingrained in my being, and I have become so used to not being recognized for this work, that I no long have any faith in anything but my writing. I do not see an audience for it, though I know on a rational level, one would exist if I could break through and get a few people on board, regularly reading. Maybe that is the purpose of this blog. To explain what I am doing in a way that people can understand––hopefully find a way of respectably earning a few sheckels for the type of work that most do not have the stomach for, or if they do, expect to be handsomely rewarded for.
As much as I may joke about the work that went into Arisugawa Park being worth $500,000 at fair market value, I do not expect that amount. $10,000 would be enough. Hell, $500 would be far more than I have ever set eyes on. But I will not sell the work or give it up at this point. If it ever sees the light of day, I have decided, it will be on my terms. I truly believe that a lot of the sinews were taken out, in reducing it from 133,000 words to 118,000 words. The book was very good at the longer length. What may have made it very good could well have been diminished, in the rush to get it to a length where it would possible for the agent to sell, as a debut author, to traditional publishers.
If I am going to ultimately self-publish Ari Park, I will need to take a good few months to examine the manuscript and judiciously reshape. Without means, affording the time that this kind of effort requires is extremely difficult. Better to put it away, work on something that can make money in the short run––Cowachunga, though on surface level this serial novel would seem the less commercial. Still, I believe that many are hankering for a good, original story.
Here in the Philippines I can somehow subsist and enjoy life at a reasonable level ($1 beers on the beach are about my limit) and not feel like I am borderline homeless in the face of those who follow the rules and may (or may not) work very hard. Original output that coheres and sustains is just so time-consuming. And if you do achieve a believable character or fictional universe, people are likely to discount the work it took. Oh, the fools.
Now, off to reshape that crucial first paragraph of the next episode of Cowachunga––for the 150th time. To have something original, of my own making, that is as good or better as the rote plots that already exist, which most writers are content to hang their words around. To have enough money to simultaneously pay off credit cards and school loans. Putting all thought of abstractions like taxes to the side. No time to waste.