No, I didn’t die. No, I didn’t give up writing. I just didn’t write on this blog.
And I may not write much on this blog any longer, because I’m focusing most of my energy on another.
What? 1,024 posts and you’re going to throw in the towel? Well, that’s a very nice number for a computer scientist, so maybe that would be just perfect. However, the reality is I’ve been doing lots of writing, just nothing that felt blog worthy. I mentioned my creative writing before, well I’ve gone through a number of transformations since then. I’ve written over 260K words on my “Diary of a Contract Killer” series and wrote a murder mystery novella. I initially gave up my ideas for conventional publishing when I realized it was really a fool’s errand to make any money at novels (after reading a rather depressing article that ranked the top 100 ‘most notable’ novels in 2014, by the New York Times, and showing that the 50th best only sold 25K books (I’m pretty sure I got those numbers here)). I toyed with self publishing until I accepted that money would be wasted, unless I put in lots of time and more money on advertising and marketing. Time taken away from writing and money taken away from our retirement.
I wallowed in depression for a while, as my numerous past efforts to build a business empire have all been for naught and writing was about the only thing that made me passionate. My passion is weird, though, and I can only be excited if I feel there’s a realistic prospect that people would actually read my stories. What finally got me excited and writing again was revisiting a notion I got from one of my early beta readers. This person ‘complained’ that, with my terse descriptions, my novel read like a screenplay. That statement sort of opened my eyes to other possibilities, so I started to learn about screenplay writing (which is a _very_ different animal than novel writing!). I started to think it would be nice to have control over what I was writing, so learned about what it takes to be a producer. Producing is a lot of work, work that appears to be rarely recognized, and producers generally only make money if the movie makes money, so the most risky. While I feel perfectly capable of being a producer (I’ve studied business for 40 years), I wasn’t feeling ‘called’ toward it.
That changed when I started to read up on directing. The more I learned about producing the less I was interested, while the more I learned about directing, the more I felt it was something I was meant to do and somehow missed out on all my life. So, after much navel searching, I decided to give up my notion of being a novelist and see if I could write screenplays. I’ve since adapted two (the first contract killer and the murder mystery) and been told by screenwriter developmental editors that it seems my writing style really does lend itself to screenplays. Now my goal is to try and get into the paid directing business by doing an unpaid directing job and am working on a screenplay for that. The progress I make on that will be detailed at my writing-centric blog.