Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is it worth it?

Sometimes, when I see dwindling sales and a solid lack of reviews, I think, "Is it worth it?" So much time and energy goes into writing anything - even this blog. First, there's the rough draft that inevitably turns into compost for the second draft, which feeds the third so it can morph into the fourth. The fourth is carefully cultivated to bring out subtle nuances, highlight important events, and is recycled into a fifth, but far from final version of the masterpiece I hope to produce. Each draft takes time, patience, creativity, and a more of my writer's soul than I'd like to admit.

Honest writing comes with a price. I'm not Olive, but her thoughts and emotions haunt me. The more I write about her, the more I see swirls of who I might have been in an alternate reality. She isn't sweet, or kind, or even terribly likable. But, at the end of it all, she's honest. She doesn't sugar-coat her feelings, she doesn't hide behind societal expectations, and mostly, she doesn't care what other people think about her. I wish I could say the same about my writing. 

Four novels and two short stories into my writing career, I decided to complete the project I started five years ago. As far as serialized novels go, Sunny with a Twist of Olive is slow-going, with only one episode released each month. The pace isn't nearly fast enough for readers, but there are only so many polished and usable words I can produce within 30 days. With so few readers willing to wait for a new episode once a month... I wonder if the effort is worth it. 

The answer is simple. 

Whether each new installment is read as it's released, or the episodes are gobbled up when the series is complete, the end result will be the same. For years, Olive has demanded to have her story told without guile or artificial sweeteners. Mostly, she's completely average, but has an extraordinary life of her own making.

So, yes, it's completely worth it. Whether I'm writing for three people, or three thousand, it doesn't matter. Olive won't be silent until her story is complete, and my writer's soul won't be complete until her story is written. No matter what, it's a win-win situation.