I just thought I should mention it because, you folks, honestly, you rock my goddamn world. I say this full aware that it’s one of those phrases I overuse, but this week I mean it quite literally. My world, it is rocked. I spent part of yesterday studying my to-do list for the next couple of years – not months, like I ordinarily work, but whole damn years – and realised there is a stuff on there. Stuff with tentative release dates and upcoming deadlines and the possibility of more stuff on the end. Stuff that I don’t have to write and figure out a market for, because there are folks who are waiting for it and setting deadlines and expecting it to sell once it’s released.
There’s still a part of me that’s absolutely bewildered by the fact that there are enough of you paying attention to what I write in order to justify that. Writing’s always been a bit like that for me – consciously I know there are people I don’t know reading the stories, but somehow it never sunk in and reached the subconscious level. For years it was just me, and they were dark and unpublished times. Then it was me and the Clarion peeps, and then other writers in the Australian community I met through those folks, and then some of my other friends who don’t write (many of whom I knew for years, and knew I wrote, but remained utterly separated from anything I was doing because I was paranoid and didn’t talk much about the specifics). With the release of Horn my extended family started taking an interest, rather than nodding and saying “yes, a story in an anthology, that’s very nice.” Last year I met my first person who said “oh yeah, I’ve read your blog” and it blew my freakin’ mind. This is not to say that I didn’t know you were out there, reading, just that it never actually sunk in to the point where I thought about when sitting down to write.
And now there are folk who are willing to gamble money and effort on the fact that there are enough people out there, people I don’t know, who want to read something I haven’t actually written yet. I spent part of last night looking over the to-do list and that hit me pretty hard, eliciting a short Keanu Reeves type “whoa.”
Of course, I’ve spent the last twelve hours talking myself out of thinking that this is a big deal, making all the usual arguments about “they’re mostly novellas” and “small press” and “not a full-time writer earning a living wage yet”, but that’s primarily because I need to reduce that realisation down and make it manageable in order to keep working, otherwise my brain will jam up in panic and nothing well get done. But the realisation is still there, underneath all the word-counting and project planning and figuring out of deadlines. My approach to writing has changed in a very tiny way, because you folks started reading. And enough of you liked things like Horn enough to justify plonking down a wad of cash and buy a copy, which led to the suspicion on the publisher’s part that it’d be nice to try it again.
And that rocks my goddamn world. I know I said it in my last post, and at the beginning again, but I feel the urge to say it again (and will probably keep saying it in the future): Thanks for reading, you crazy crazy people. You’re all goddamn awesome.