Part of the problem when you start trying to build an audience, whether you’re working on customers for your new business or trying to spread word about a worthy cause, is the long gaps where nothing seems to happen. Nothing feels less satisfying then shouting into a vacuum, and yet so much of connecting with people for the first time is doing just that. Eventually you shout enough words out there into the black-hole of the internet that someone passes near enough to hear and starts shouting some back. If I’m making this sound like a very negative post, don’t let me give you the wrong idea. I wrote last time about becoming a full time writer without really noticing, sort of, and in that post I talked about how much I’m loving it. I meant it, but I still have to deal with the patience testing gaps that seem so large in your early days.
My current gap is one of necessity, it is an unclosable gap because I am currently working as quickly as possible towards the other side and don’t have the resources to fill it. My one and only book on the kindle store has settled down to its usual no-sales a month (Not a worry, as I said before, that’s sort if its job) and I’m working on a new story that should be coming out in a couple of months. In the meantime, I am writing every day, updating this very blog, tweeting many witty and charming tweets which you can read by looking slightly to your right, and doing my best to make friends in the wide and wonderful world of books. And still there seems to be time in the day.
This is probably because one of my strengths has also become something of a curse. I can write very quickly, if I choose to. This means that if I set myself a daily goal of 1000 words, I can have that done before breakfast and by ready to complain about being bored by noon. Of course, the ideal solution would be to have a go at another 1000 words, but my lazy brain does not agree. “What!?” It asks, sounding remarkably like Danny DeVito,”We did the thousand, two thousand wasn’t part of the deal.” While changing to a 2000 word goal usually leaves me fighting to accomplish it all in one sitting and getting frustrated and miserable.
I try not to worry about this too much. I do, after all, always make my 1000 a day. It’s not huge, but it’s enough to keep anyone moving forward. We all have our little work habits and when your only supervisor is yourself, you have to find what works. Still, with all this time I have been thinking more and more about the gaps between milestones. How we keep going, and closing some of the smaller ones. This is part of the reason I like to have a blog, and part of the reason they always fall by the wayside when bigger things start happening. Again, I feel much like I am shouting into a vacuum, but it is a way to write without letting my brain know that I am writing. Furthermore, each post is a step forward. Audience bait sent out into the great black-hole in the hopes of pulling in some kind of mixed-metaphor, space fish.
For now, I will try to relish my gaps. It is my fondest hope that in the not too distant future, I will have less of them. I will be replying to emails, managing and promoting more than my lone short story and, of course, spending my huge bags of cash. When that day comes along, I will miss my quiet little gaps.