So many thing have changed since I got started… that is, really dug in and put in an effort to market my Smashwords stories and bulk up my blog. April 2016 is the mark I’ve set as the new beginning, so I guess I’m coming up on two years of making a go of it.
One milestone was printing up a run of hardcover books for sale at SizeCon last year. That was huge. That followed advances like creating my own original artwork (suggested by Giantess Tina) and attempting audiobooks (suggested by Undersquid). I’ve attached myself to a small group of dedicated writers and relentlessly creative types (like JDO, Nyx, Taedis, Miss Kaneda) with whom I trade ideas, talk shop, give and receive support. It may look like I’m name-dropping, but I’m careful to give credit where it’s due.
These new forays have not only imparted a sense of accomplishment, but they’ve made me hungrier for other endeavors. Some of these are highly aspirational and far-reaching, so now I have to demarcate the boundaries around what’s feasible and beneficial against what’s a lot of work, takes time/energy away from what I should be doing, and may be beside the point entirely. We’ll see.
I started up Patreon and Ko-Fi accounts. No reason not to have those up, they take no maintenance and cost nothing. Patreon has been a learning experience: first it stalled because no one cared about it, then I loaded it with two exclusive story lines of different themes, advertised it in different arenas, and very rapidly it has earned me more than years of Smashwords content. On the other hand, it has attracted a lot of content-pirating bots, and I’ve had to brainstorm with my donors a reasonable solution to frustrate these while giving my supporters what they want. I’ve also learned a lot about what my audience wants, through polls and practical application: people appreciate varied content, though they may not be in a position to pay for it; readily paying patrons almost universally want to see tiny men humiliated and abused. Silent majority is silent—people are ready to pay for what they can’t get anywhere else. I join the ranks of many, many writers who flirt with commissions and are immediately confronted by the crossroads of “how far out of my interest am I willing to write, when there’s money on the table?” Because I’m into some freaky shit, but there is always someone who pushes it a little further, and someone who’s gone way out of bounds. And they’re looking at you as a creator with one question in their minds.
Sorry if it sounds like this is all about money. You can’t deny how awesome it would be if I could switch to part-time office work and dedicate more energy toward writing in my preferred genre, though that’s not likely to happen any time soon. I want to build up an audience, a steady readership, have a good relationship with my audience, so they’re waiting for me when I work on a larger project, maybe a novel… Holy boots, even as I write all this out, I lean back and question myself, staring at these words in surprise. What exactly do I want? Am I just in this for the money? Isn’t it nobler to feverishly hack out your fantasy for love of the art? Well, a lot of this revenue gets invested back into my infrastructure: custom domain name, premium WordPress account, analytics, strategic scheduling, developing my online presence, &c., as well as supporting artists I like, buying stories, images, and videos from people I not only admire but am increasingly connected with. These are now acquaintances and friends, and if they can bother to spend time on me, I want to show my support however I can.
This isn’t about fancy meals (I can make those) or expensive clothes (I’m not a flashy person). This is about ramping up my institution as an author. I’m choosing the hard path for this, too, going strictly independent and self-published—because what traditional publisher would accept my lovemaking scenarios of a tiny man crawling all over a beautiful woman?—doing my own editing, promotion, networking, &c. I just checked out a book on Google Analytics because that’s something I’m missing, whereas anyone else would hire someone else for this especial headache. I feel like I’ve got to do it all myself (and I share what I’ve learned). Also, I feel an urge to take this as far as it can go. That’s why the lofty plans, the ambitious one-man show. I want to personally explore what’s possible if I put everything into this and take some chances, and if anyone else has that urge I can help them along.
Ugh, I couldn’t type fast enough. I had somewhere I was going with this when I started, but I started pursuing links and my wife came in to talk about plans for the weekend and I totally lost it. I’m just excited about what 2017 turned into and I’m not sure where 2018 will go. Do I have the resources to double-down on writing alone? Should I branch out into ambitious, distrait endeavors? As of last night, the Republicans shut down the US government again, trying to leverage health care for our children (something they forestalled for four months, for this moment) to support their white supremacist agenda of persecuting minorities. Maybe I should be contributing to a community garden or learning auto mechanics. Maybe I should pack a go-bag and store a few carboys of drinking water. Every time I talk about humanitarian causes and community support, there’s always someone to remind me that society needs its artists and that I am one. It just sounds weird to insist that my role in society is important because I can write, edit, and self-publish a story about a tiny man crawling into a woman’s butt. It certainly answers a demand, no debate there, but it’s not exactly First Aid, is it.
Imagine a post-apoc scenario, survivors relaxing in a rare moment around the campfire. Someone has mustered the ingredients for a nice meal, someone else has jerry-rigged a musical instrument and sung a song. Everyone turns to me: “Storyteller! Beguile our minds with your gods-given talent! Elevate our spirits with your recitation of wonder and imagination!”
I stand up, clear my throat, and resume. “When last we left our hero, he was dangling between the thighs of his project manager, one tiny fist wrapped around her pubic hair, as she promenaded nakedly about her own office, cackling like a demon.”
“What would we do without our storyteller?” the hunter comments to the medic.
Shit. That’s a good idea for a story. Maybe I do this because nothing else drives me, nothing else magnetically attracts all my energy and resourcefulness to it. I enjoy calligraphy, I make beer and mead, I do crosswords in pen, but size-fantasy writing opens up something within me and I just want to do more and more. And since the world’s about to end, for humans, in a few generations, why not? Why not go down in flames singing my song, when nothing matters and everything ends up the same?
So thank you for reading me. I look forward to your comments and emails. I hope I present as open to anyone who’d like to talk to me. But thank you most of all for reading me. I’d be writing regardless, and I have, in a silent vacuum, reciting my fever-dream of large women, but I’m glad for your company. Thank you. Here’s to a good 2018.