Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Drought Breaks

Well, a drought that has lasted over two months finally broke a little yesterday. For the first time since mid-March I actually wrote a new piece of fiction. It was short, a prose poem I'm calling "The Hiss of Angels," and it came with a lot of effort, but it was new and it went down officially on a page. It's not that I haven't had ideas. In fact, the idea for this poem came to me several weeks ago. I've had lots of ideas, have tossed them around in my head, but in the end I just didn't have the drive to get them down. Sometimes it's impossible to escape the thought of, "What's the use?" In the end, of course, there is no "use," other than that I want to do it.

 I also finally got up the energy to check my amazon sales for April and May. One rather strange thing is that "Killing Trail" had been selling a few copies every month since it was published almost two years ago now. But in May that has come to a stop and only "Harvest of War" is still selling anything. I would have thought the audiences for those two books were different. I can understand why "Days of Beer" dropped to zero, since folks buying that would have been only buying something 'from me' essentially. I was hoping "Killing Trail" would continue to have legs. Alas, it looks like not. Of course, I've been doing no promoting for the past couple of months either so that probably had an impact. For some reason, I don't seem to get many word of mouth sales. I could try to figure out why bu the answer might just depress me so I'll leave it be for now.

One thing I have done a lot of is play my Skyrim video game. It's a fantasy quest type game, and I like it a whole lot. It has some interesting writing in it. All throughout the game world you find "books" of various kinds that can be read or used. That's cool. The thing about a video game like this is that it consumes your whole mind while you're playing it, and that keeps you from thinking about other, less pleasant, kinds of things. Writing requires thought, and as soon as you start thinking, the scary stuff can start to creep in. Well enough rambling. Time to visit blogs.

27 comments:

Keith said...

Glad to hear you're writing again. Any idea when we can read "Hiss of Angels"?

Chris said...

I've been struggling getting anything done as well. Have some ideas percolating, and the deadlines to match, so there's that.

Do you play console video games, or play them on the PC? I've been thinking of re-upping my City of Heroes account, or maybe get something shiny and new. I don't know. Probably don't need the distraction . . . but that stuff can be a lot of fun.

sage said...

Good to hear you are writing, but don't beat yourself over only not writing, it's not like you haven't had anything on your mind lately.

Charles Gramlich said...

Keith, I'm going to share it with my writing group and then figure out what to do with it.

Chris, I've got an X-box and am playing on that. I do have an old game for the PC called Age of empires that I still play sometimes.

Sage, tis true. :)

Aimless Writer said...

Must be something in the air. I've been painting more than writing. Now I've gotten to the place where my writing drought has started to scare me. So I'm scheduling it now. Going to it like a job. I used to do this and it worked.
I loved Killing Trail. I think we need a Killing Tail 2.
When I figure out this promoting stuff...

Tom Doolan said...

Hopefully this small bit of proactive creativity snowballs into much more writing. You're too talented to not be writing. :)

David J. West said...

I like that title - (I always like your titles).

Deka Black said...

About Skyrim. there's some fans of the game that made a huge effort and put together all the bits and re-created the Skyrim books!

X. Dell said...

I'm wondering if sales might pick up again after awhile. Things are kinda funny that way.

Me, I still have my old 8-bit Nintendo, and little else. Guess I haven't been into serious gaming for years.

Well, decades.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Skyrim is a sanity saver.
Glad you finally wrote something. It's tough when a drought lasts that long. I went over six months without writing anything. Not a good idea.
And have you checked Amazon UK and others? I was stunned to see my books doing well there. Never even though to look until someone from the UK posted a review.

Oscar said...

Off and running again, or I should say writing again. Great, Charles. They say you have to be proactive to sell many books, using all means of communication to promote the book. I'll have to try that one of these days after the money starts rolling in.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

A break isn't a bad thing. If they don't go on for too long it does have a tendency to recharge the batteries. When you're dealing with reality, it's pretty tough to deal with fiction.

Charles Gramlich said...

Aimless writer, thanks for the kind words on Killing Trail. Yes, promoting is so tough.

Tom Doolan, I certainly have stories I want to tell.

David J., I do think I do good titles.

Deka, really, wow. That's cool.

X-Dell, I actually just bought the xbox last summer so I've not had it long.

Alex, so far I've had no sales overseas, though I haven't checked recently. My stuff just doesn't appeal widely, I think.

Oscar, yes, that money rolling in would be nice. :)

Bernard, amen, brother.

The Golden Eagle said...

Glad to hear you got in some writing! I like the title of the piece.

Travis Cody said...

The Hiss of Angels...that's a great title.

I used to have a Play Station, but that was years ago. I haven't updated it and I'm wondering if I should. I feel like I need some kind of distraction from the routine of work-eat-sleep-repeat.

laughingwolf said...

grats on watering the drought... ;)

you need skyrim... to keep bogeymen at bay, among other things

the walking man said...

All I can say is depression is a "creep up on you son of a bitch." I do believe that i have more Gramlich on my kindle than any other author...the use is that if no one else you kept me entertained for a few hours.

You know my attitude about writing Charles, you do it not because you have to but because you can...there is no rule i believe in that say's you have to do it every damn day. If you take a month or a decade off you still know you can do it. Just go with the flow, the stats don't mean shit.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I wouldn't call this "rambling." It's got me thinking about a few things, like getting down to writing some serious stuff. Yes, I know what you mean about the scary stuff creeping in!

Charles Gramlich said...

Golden eagle, I do like to do titles. I find 'em so important.

Travis Cody, the game is definitely a distraction and it's welcome at times.

Laughingwolf, I was hoping Lana would play some too, but so far no.

Mark, you're absolutely right. I need to keep that in mind.

Prashant, yes indeed. Life is crazy.

ivan said...

Low sales can bring you to a creative impasse.
I have been selling only one book every month or so, and finally, took up an old trade and became a lounge singer!
While performing at the club I met musicians there who offered, "Ivan, you got music all over you. You almost live and breathe it. Give up writing and go to music!
This is giving me a squirm.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, meanwhile, the lady who wrote fifty shades of gray has made millions. Sigh!

cloudia charters said...

" "What's the use?" In the end, of course, there is no "use," other than that I want to do it. "

Very wise & true.

Yes, video games must be like riding on two wheels in that regard you mention. Carry on, shake off the unpleasant like the shadowy fiend it is!



Friendly Aloha from Waikiki
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Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, sometimes I make sense even to myself. :)

laughingwolf said...

i bet she's overwhelmed by the treatment, needing lotsa tlc and r&r

when she's ready, she'll join you in the play, i'm sure

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, probably true, my friend.

Snowbrush said...

The vagaries of writing, eh?

The last video game I played was PacMan back when it was still popular, so what are we talking here, 30 years?

Charles Gramlich said...

snowbrush, your age is showing there, man.