Month: May 2024

Structuring Life to Support Creativity: Marketing Incoming

This week I finished my draft of Structuring Life to Support Creativity and put it into the hands of an editor. I also met with a cover designer and will have draft covers to look at next week. I spent a whole day feeling much lighter and excited that I can turn my writing attention toward new projects. Then I remembered that if I want to launch the crowdfunding for SLSC in June, I need to start making marketing noise now. At the moment the noise is lightweight, just making sure I mention the project and drop links (You can sign up right here to be notified when the project launches.) But I need to be doing advance legwork on interviews, blog posts, and other tasks I can do to support the project during the funding period. I also need to develop strategies for which information goes into what location. I have so many social media accounts, a Patreon, this blog, a newsletter, and probably other locations that I’ve forgotten.

In some ways Crowdfunding is incredibly familiar to me. I’ve run so many Schlock Mercenary projects, but the audience for this project is different. That changes the strategies. It means that my giant marketing list may not net me the click through that I see when pitching something Schlock related. I don’t want to really start pushing marketing for the project until I have a good cover. My current mockup is … not good.

I’m rambling. Dumping thoughts here about this project in sort of an anxious haze when I should probably be crafting focused messages instead. I will be focused, but I also think that acknowledging the inherent creative messy-ness is worth doing. Especially when you’re preparing to take a leap you haven’t taken before. In order to promote this book I can’t hide behind the brilliance of others. I can’t talk up other people’s art and writing as reasons to buy. This book is my words, my ideas, my brilliance or lack thereof. I have to find ways to speak confidently about my own work and say “this is worth buying.” Even when I did picture books in the past I could hide behind the brilliant illustrations and talk about those. This one is all words I wrote that I hope will be useful to others.

So I’m breathing deep and laying track in the hope that I can get this project to fly.

Recovery Day

The bill for borrowed spoons came due this week. Unlike every week for the past three months, I didn’t have the energy to file the paperwork to borrow additional spoons to pay the bill. In the long run, this is fine. I’m due a reset. What it means is that I’ve canceled a lot of things I meant to do and I’m spending significant amounts of time staring at walls or out windows. The things I do manage to accomplish are either very simple or very urgent. During all of my staring I’ve discovered that I’d like to gently write a State of Things post to orient myself as to where things are.

Our twenty-year-old cat died on Monday. We’ve seen it coming for years as she slowly declined in mobility, eye sight, and cognition. On Saturday she stopped eating and began to rapidly fail. Sunday night she was dying. Monday morning she was gone. It is odd to speak clinically about this experience: declining, failing, dying. Yet to speak more emotionally, to really explain how I experienced this passage, would be to relive my distress and possibly cause distress for some reading. So I retreat into the clinical, the bare facts, and I bury the lede under a discussion of energy and spoons. As if somehow I could shuffle this in, make it more routine, less impactful. Safer. Easier. But I don’t think death can ever be easy. Not when we really sit with it. The only way to make it easy is to not look. No judgement. I’ve chosen that path for myself before. I don’t think self protection is inherently wrong. This time I sat with my cat so she would not be alone.

Kikaa was a good kitty. I rescued her from under our deck. Then we had to give her back. Then she started coming back to visit. Finally she became officially ours. She was supposed to be outdoor only, but that lasted less than two months. She was fully integrated into our lives when I wrote about her being a gift cat. There are more stories, but mostly she was interwoven into the sorts of habits that don’t stick in the memory as stories. I can either write thousands of words about what she meant to our family or I can keep it very brief. For today I’m choosing brief. But know that this briefness covers a huge depth of significance. I can either spend all day trying to find the bottom (there isn’t one) or I can bridge the depth and continue onward to describe what else is happening in my life. Continue the process of disentangling what is now from what was last week.

Today is a pause. I finally have no urgencies to drive me forward. It is the day when I feel the sluggishness of my thinking after months of being sharp and on point. After a weekend of crisis care for family members (both human and not) who were going through big life experiences. I sit here spoonless letting words flow or not. (This post has had multiple long pauses in the writing). I am tired. Projects feel too heavy. Fortunately I know that if I grant myself rest and space, then energy and enthusiasm will return. Up there in the first paragraph I planned to list out things I’ve got going on and what efforts I plan to launch, but I’ve discovered that writing the list would require more focus than I want to spend today. So instead I’ll let this post drift gently to a stop.