Obsession and Persistence

Obsession-SwitchI’m an obsessive person. When I’m interested in something, I’m VERY interested in it. And when I lose interest, you couldn’t pay me enough to spend another hour on whatever it is. Having a brain that works this way is unconducive for many common life activities, like, for example, holding down a job. The upside of this trait (one eventually learns after banging one’s head against metaphorical walls for 39 years) is that it’s very conducive to executing short term projects. Couple that obsessiveness with a powerful imagination and an exceptional grasp of language, and you’ve got the recipe for a novelist.

Unfortunately, these days there’s a lot more to being a novelist than just writing novels. Unless you’re one of those reclusive geniuses who can sell a million books without ever leaving his bed, you’ve got to network, build your audience, keep up with changes in the industry, etc. And it’s not that I dislike any of that stuff. In fact, it can actually be fairly enjoyable. The problem is that I tend to network/market/research in the same way that I write novels: in short, intense bursts. Usually what happens is that shortly before a book comes out, I switch to Marketing Mode and spend the next several weeks focusing on getting the word out about my book. And then I go back to being a hermit while I write the next book. The problem with this method, besides being completely transparent and probably not very good for my mental health, is that it doesn’t really work very well.

With that in mind, I’m making a conscious choice to be maintain a more prominent–and consistent–online presence. In some ways, this is a return to my “roots,” so to speak. The first public writing I did was for my old blog, MattressPolice.com (don’t go there; I sold the domain to a guy who sells mattresses), and that was where I built my core audience. Many of those people followed me through my journey to becoming a published author, and remain fans today. I found those readers by sharing my observations about life and my daily challenges, frustrations and successes. I want to get back to that sort of engagement with readers.

The cornerstone of this new approach is this website, SFAuthor.net. Besides being an obvious ploy to garner more web traffic, the new domain is part of a conscious effort on my part to stop fucking around and commit to being a real life author already. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll see a lot more changes along those lines. I hope you come along for the journey. I’m not sure where we’re going, but pack a lunch because it could be a while.

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