So Now What?

Once again, I find myself at a crossroads. This isn’t my first time. After all, I’ve been suffering from chronic mid-life crisis since I was twelve years old. You’d think after several decades a body would figure out what he wants to be when he grows up, but apparently it’s not that easy. But before we talk about the options at this particular crossroads, let’s rewind a bit.

It was about eighteen years ago when I first got the idea in my head that I wanted to write. I think most writers are bitten by this bug after reading a good book and thinking, “Hey, I could do that.” For me, the idea ironically didn’t occur to me until right after I’d written a book.

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Granted, this “book” was essentially nothing but a boring software manual. But it was about 400 pages and I did make a lot of copies of it and I’m pretty sure no one read it. In short, without even trying, I’d already achieved what 99% of all authors achieve.

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Like most wannabe authors, at first I decided I wanted to write fantasy. Fantasy is easy because you just write whatever you want, as long as you make sure there are dragons . . .

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And your knights talk correctly . . .

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Unfortunately, fantasy turned out to be hard. If you can believe it, apparently the story where the protagonist leaves home, sets out on an adventure, overcomes obstacles and eventually defeats the Big Bad Guy had already been published. Me? I couldn’t think of anything original or good. So instead I wrote technical “how to” books on video editing. It started out fun.

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But then it wasn’t.

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Not at all.

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My life as an author wasn’t shaping up at all the way I’d envisioned it. But then a voice said, “Write what you know!” I replied, “Who said that?!” (It was really creepy that I could hear voices telling me what to write.)

Anyway, after thinking about it, I thought, “Heck, I know all about dieting! Should I write about that?” But the voice didn’t answer me. Undeterred, I set my mind to it and a few years later, it was done.

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(Seriously, it’s really available on Kindle for just $2.99. iPad, Nook, and other versions are in the works.)

Writing a book like that is easy. Promoting a book like that—especially when you’re an absolute nobody—is hard. So I looked to industry experts for help.

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The blog was an extension of the book and eventually took on a life of its own. It got moderately popular fairly quickly, but then went pretty much nowhere.

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Now fast forward a few years to my last post. I thought it might be fun to try something different and I’d certainly never tried anything like that before. Much to my delight, it was very well-received. I heard it even made some people cry (if you happen to be one of them, I’m sorry: I’ll try to draw better pictures next time.)

So now what?

Is this my new thing? Do I continue to illustrate random stories or do I stick to the usual ha-ha-look-at-me-try-to-lose-weight theme that got me my sixteen fans? How many stories could I tell anyway? And do I even have enough time to produce these posts (that now suddenly take twenty times as long to write?)

I’m looking to y’all for advice. Unlike most bloggers who declare, “It’s my blog, I don’t care what anyone thinks!” I will blatantly pander to the masses. I like to be read and if I ignore you, then what’s the point?

So now what? Leave a comment or email me directly (charlie <at> backtothefridge <dot> com). I’m dying to hear from you. 🙂

10 Responses to “So Now What?”

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
September 19, 2011 at 4:50 am

I like the cartoon drawings, though I can see why it would take a LONG time and much more planning to achieve.

I happened to love your weight loss book by the way.

Deb said
September 19, 2011 at 6:22 am

I like reading your stories and I like having them illustrated.

Please sir….may we have some more?

Helen said
September 19, 2011 at 7:51 am

I think you need to write consistently on the blog, whether you illustrate or not is your choice. You’ve done lots of of fun things (remember the burger tour?) but unless you consistently share with us, how do we know to keep following?

    Charlie said
    September 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I do like the illustrations. It really adds a new dimension and has the potential to appeal to a wider audience. But it would mean posting every other week. I guess only time will tell if that’s too infrequent to keep people coming back or not. :-/

Biz said
September 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I love the illustrations, and my favorite picture of the last post was the family hug at the end – it still makes me teary!

I love you Charlie!

Love, your prettier sister Biz

Stephanie Barko said
September 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Hi Charlie-

I never wear blue, but otherwise that looks just like me in the above cartoon. Although far from a master blogger, I have managed to acquire a small following. Some of the rules I follow are to blog in series, blog often, and offer giveaways in return for comments and subscriptions.

Anything at all that relates to the theme of my blog can qualify as a post–doesn’t have to be original and doesn’t have to be by me.

Anna said
September 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Well, I still read all your blogs, regardless of if I comment or not.

The illustrations are fun, but not necessary if you dont have time 🙂

Anna 😀

Crazylady said
September 26, 2011 at 5:57 am

Hey Charlie, I’m mostly a lurker though have commented a few times what seems like aeons ago!

Anyways, I just bought your book for my kindle and I’m looking forward to it cause you are a funny man… funny ha ha not funny peculiar. Ok well maybe a little of both!

Sorry I haven’t been commenting much but I have had my head up my own ass for what seems like forever. In fact I think it’s well and truly stuck there now. 😐

MizFit said
September 27, 2011 at 4:11 am

you need to find another bloggerwriter and partner for a picture book.

to describe to the confused befuddled kiddie masses WHAT THE HECK their parents do for a living.

I mightcould have already started….


    Charlie said
    September 29, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Hmmmm . . . interesting idea. Now we just need to come up with a title.

    “Why Mommy Can’t Eat Without Taking a Picture First”
    “All About Daddy’s Invisible Friends”
    “Does The World Really Care How Much Mommy Weighs?”
    “I Can Blog All By Myself! Rants of a Second Grader”