It's a beautifully sunny Monday here in the middle of nowhere. I'm sitting in a bright patch on my front porch supervising a small fire that is eating the boards of the deck we tore down over the weekend and thinking about changing my budget in order to fit in a writer's conference in June. I can't wait for the weather to be officially good enough to move back into the tree house that I use as my studio three seasons our of the year. Even numbers aren't so much of a headache when I'm outside! I'd love to say that I'm on my way to getting some actual writing done this week, but I'm afraid I'd be lying. I've got things already written that are whining about wanting to see the light of day. Between them and feeling like I should be putting more effort into selling Fiddlebug, my focus has been on publishing and marketing a lot. Dragonpox, closet monsters and any number of other things seem to be taking a back seat. I know that a writer is supposed to write every day, but the reality is that there are only so many hours in a day an sometimes a writer has to focus on how to make their writing work better for them financially. My goal is to work with what I have in order to have the best writing career that I can. Sounds easy enough, right? The problem is that I can see two separate and very different paths to work with. I can go the semi-familiar trail and self-publish again, or I can try the traditional publishing route. I have been trying to play both sides of the fence for a couple of months now, but I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have to choose one and stick with it because there really is only so much time and energy to use. The funny thing is that it would appear I'm at the crossroads right now. I can either continue with my plan to pay off the remainder of the publishing debt from Fiddlebug and then have enough to put back to self-publish Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny for Christmas, or I bump out my pay-off on Fiddlebug until Christmas and have enough money to attend a writer's conference in June with a friend of mine. It's actually a harder decision than I thought it would be. My biggest problem is that I keep hearing that having a publisher requires the same amount of sales work for an author as doing it yourself, and the main thing I really want help with is sales. The potential market is very limited when you live in a small town and traveling for requires a larger investment than you usually get in return. the other big perk I want to believe in concerning traditional publishing is having someone in the business adding their input to make my story the best it can be. On the flip side of that, I don't want someone directing my writing into something completely different than what it originally was. Self-publishing gives me the option of digging advice out of my friends and family instead of having the advice of strangers flying at me. then there is the time factor. If I self-publish, I'll have my book out and about for the Christmas season. Traditional publishing could offer that same book (in whatever incarnation it would be shaped into) a year from now or never.
So that is where I am on this lovely Monday afternoon. I'm on my way to figuring out the answer by the time Friday rolls around. It's a good thing there's plenty of decking to feed to the fire in the mean time.