There are two approaches to reinventing yourself as a writer. There are those that refuse to see the writing on the wall and try to hang on to what little recognition they’ve received. And there are those that cut their losses and get excited by the new possibilities change can bring. I admit I’m not particularly good at making changes in my personal life. (ie It took me years to cut my hair to shoulder length. *g*) Once I do, I tend to be much happier. For some reason, my reticence when it comes to major changes doesn’t really apply to my writing life. I don’t have a problem shaking things up. Maybe it’s the seven years I’ve spent in this business (relatively short compared to a lot of writers), but I have gotten to the point where if something isn’t working I walk away and start over.
My site and my work doesn’t exactly fall into the damaged goods category, but I also haven’t been able to break out…yet. Now I realize I’ve only had three single titles release widely. Most writers have a lot more than 15 books under their belt before they retire a name. With the changes in the industry, I don’t have that luxury. Everyone is looking for the next ‘BIG’ thing. They’re not concerned with steady sellers. This is especially true with booksellers and it’s influencing how publishers buy. It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.
Which brings me back to what authors can do. If you find yourself in this situation, you have three choices: Continue as you’ve been going and hope things get better, quit the business, or reinvent. I’m actually getting excited about the idea of reinventing myself as a writer. There’s always a chance that it won’t pay off, but I think the odds are better if I try. I’m well aware that the changes will take a lot of work (ie new genres, new website, studying craft, etc.), but the payoff could be big in the long run.
I won’t be getting rid of this site. I still plan to write Blazes under Jordan and probably any Mammoth anthologies I end up doing. Everything else will go under my new name/s. And no, I still haven’t made any final decisions on the name front. Still giving it some thought. I’ll let you all know what I decide.
Until then, I’m enjoying the idea of becoming someone new. 😉