Quandaries & Opportunities

Posted on 23 January, 2015


Print Room Beamish - photo by David Masters - available under Creative Commons 2.0, Attribution Generic

I have an interesting opportunity and a quandary, and I’d like to describe them to you.

One of the goals I set for myself when I published PERISHABLES was to experiment with different means of promotion via The Perishables Project. As part of the project, with each novel I’ve set a goal of selling ten copies to persons I do not already know using various promotional means and I’ve been successful (and then some, but not profitably so) in each attempt. That failure of profitability – the knack writing has for *not* funding itself – is something that came up recently at Illogicon. I was on a panel on Diversity and Representation in Fantasy and Science Fiction and an audience member asked how we tell unconventional stories and still make money. I answered honestly that I do so by having a day job. I don’t make money as a writer.

I’ve always maintained a fairly bright line between my writing and that day job. I don’t want one to impact the other. Within my workplace I’m in some minor ways sort of high profile and don’t want my writing to distract from what I do. Writing has also always been an escape from conventional work. When I do writerly things I don’t want to think about my day job. I don’t want people asking me computer security questions when I’m trying to tell stories. That barrier has always been important to me.

Now, the quandary: this week I’ve been asked if I’d agree to be profiled by the Raleigh News & Observer. They’re doing a series on persons in the Triangle with an artistic pursuit and a day job and how they balance those. The person writing it has a great reputation and is a great local writer, the paper is great, and yet I’m a little nervous. This would be fantastic exposure at no cost: exactly what The Perishables Project strives to find and try. What writer would say no to that? It would be insane to say no. Still, there’s a part of me that clings to the bright line between the office and my writing and this is a story *about that bright line*. A part of me is just terrified of highlighting it, terrified of drawing that sort of attention to myself.

This morning I”m about 90% on saying yes to this offer. To turn it down would be madness, right? Surely it would. Even if it feels like taking a spotlight and shining it directly on the one boundary in my life I’d most like to protect.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I just needed to get all this out somewhere and one assumes you’re all people interested in hearing about my writing and what I do around it. If you have an opinion, feel free to express it.

Photo credit: “Print Room Beamish” by David Masters, unmodified, available under Creative Commons 2.0, Attribution Generic.