HIGH, Part 6

In 2004, while still plugging away at the video editing books, I got this strange idea. “Hmmm… Maybe I should write a book someone would actually want to read?” Not that people weren’t reading the video books. But they weren’t reading them, if you know what I mean.

With my epic fantasy novel seemingly on perma-hold and the video editing treadmill winding down, the idea of a “diet book” popped in my head. It wasn’t going to be a diet diet book. That is, I didn’t have the next big craze ready to foist upon the world. I more or less wanted to tell my story and maybe entertain along the way. I have a knack for humor (or so I’ve been told: personally, I don’t see it) and that pretty much set the tone.

The title jumped out at me almost immediately. (If you don’t know the title, it’s right over there at the top of the left hand column. If that thumbnail is too small, I recommend buying the book for easier viewing.) In fact, the title essentially meant this was going to be an anti diet book. (Not a book against dieting, but the exact opposite of a diet book.)

I wrote the first twenty pages or so in a single sitting. (Not the order the pages were in the published book, however.) I printed it out, sat back, and read it. “Hey, this isn’t bad,” I thought to myself. “Maybe I’ll try some more.” Of course, I still had those video editing book projects to work on, so it really wasn’t until 2006 that I began to focus on it more. Then I really put the pedal to the metal in 2007, just to get the stupid thing finished. After all, four years had gone by since I first conceived the idea, and I was tired of regularly scratching out the copyright year on the title verso page.

Once the writing was finished, things moved very quickly. Here’s the run down:

  • Self-Published the book.
  • Looked for a publicist.
  • Canceled the publicist. Looked for a literary agent.
  • Discovered real publishers very rarely touch self-published books
  • Got a publicist. Gave some book talks.
  • Discovered non-fiction books are really hard to sell if you aren’t Madonna or a famous doctor
  • Decided to start some serious blogging to help make a name for myself (yes, I did this completely bass ackwards.)
  • Blogged like crazy for about a year.
  • Realized I spent about three times as much time trying to promote the book as it took to write the book.
  • Watched book sales soar to upwards of one copy every seven weeks.
  • Realized this little project was essentially doomed.

That’s when the blogfunk set in and that’s when, back on the left side of this summer, I wrote this post.

It still feels strange to me to only write one or two posts a week, after writing five a day for nearly ten months. And it feels even stranger to build up a small but loyal following, and then just piddle out like that. Heck, even Lyn not a couple days ago thought I hadn’t posted in four months. (Although I blame a bad RSS feed on that.)

But … if I’m really going to ever write another book, I don’t have much choice. I can’t work sixteen hours a day, commute another hour, sleep four hours, blog for two hours, then clip my toenails the rest of the time. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for forward progress. Something’s gotta give.

Next in the series: Confessions of a Middle-Aged Whiner

8 Responses to “HIGH, Part 6”

Biz said
September 2, 2009 at 10:47 am

I miss you Charlie! Sorry work is so busy!

    Charlie said
    September 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Hey look! Someone’s still visiting. πŸ™‚

Sagan said
September 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm

This is so fun to read all about how you came to be here! There’s never any one way to go about doing something.

And the million dollar question… would you do anything differently now? I mean with blogging first rather than after, or with getting a publisher rather than self-publishing?

PS Happy Blogiversary!

    Charlie said
    September 3, 2009 at 9:33 am

    If I could do anything differently, yes, I definitely would have tried to make a name for myself first and then do the book thing.

    Of course, had I taken that course, it’s likely I never would have written the book at all. So although nothing ever came of it (commercially speaking) I’m glad it exists.

Roni said
September 2, 2009 at 10:58 pm

DUDE! You are alive! Awesome… I was worried about ya.

I want to hear about this new book!

Stop worrying about the blog and post when you are inspired or have the time. It’s no fun when you force yourself to do it.

Sorry I missed your Blogiversary. I got your email but I’ve been buried myself lately.

    Charlie said
    September 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Stop worrying about the blog and post when you are inspired or have the time. It’s no fun when you force yourself to do it.

    Well, my current dilemma isn’t so much about how often to post but about what to post.

    But more on that later.

      Roni said
      September 3, 2009 at 9:27 pm

      hence the… wait until inspired. πŸ˜‰

        Charlie said
        September 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm

        Right, but that sort of comes with the understanding it will be this blog. If I wait until I’m inspired and post it elsewhere, odds are nobody will ever see it. Of course, similar odds say no one will ever see this comment either.