The photo above (and a very fine photo it is, I think) rather beautifully captures my current book selling landscape - or at the very least, my emotional conception of it. How lucky I am not to be relying on book sales to feed my family (or at this rate, even my pet mealworm, who by the way is called Boris). I'm actually even luckier than that, since the project exists not to make money, but to provide my descendants with an insight into at least one member of their ancestry. In other words, despite occasional protestations and the undeniable fact that I am by no measure financially comfortable, making money from my writing isn't very important to me. It's more of a "That would be nice!" sentiment, and that helps to prevent me becoming the kind of person who drinks like a fish (memo to self: fish don't drink - never use that simile again), growing far too much facial hair, moving to Florida and ultimately blowing my own head off.
What does drive me just a little bit potty (as I may have raged about once or twice before) is the nature of online websites and Facebook pages - and I won't regurgitate old observations - but today I may have happened upon a little gem (*cue praying to an unknown god that this is a little gem*). The group is small, seems to be quite quiet, and it's local. Three things which immediately endear it to me.
It's surprising to me how strongly this feels like a positive moment, but perhaps I've been disappointed too many times by the whole online mob personality. A small group seems far more approachable than one with many hundreds of members (less competition to be heard/less inclination to become insincere?). There is also - and this is a throw-back to my childhood, since in my past I have been a successful adult educator who relishes working in a classroom - the fear of exposing my inadequacies to a massive group, wherein I know there will lurk damaging opinions and unhelpful feedback. Despite intellectually realizing that these things happen, I find it hard to not cling most tightly to negative opinions about myself or my work. Constructive feedback I can live with; casually thrown shit tends to stick and smell the longest.
I shall endeavour to keep you posted with my interaction with this (anonymous) group - although no news might be the best kind of news, but it will be a good habit to develop if I can get into a routine of reporting positive things instead of whining...