Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Update: Vicki and the Existential Crisis

I'm back, after an especially, for me, looong internet break.  The reasons for it are difficult to articulate, which is odd for me as a writer. I mean, it's our job to articulate things. But all I can really say is that I've been in the midst of an existential crisis. I suppose it's still not resolved. I suspect it's the kind of thing that doesn't get resolved; only come to terms with at best, until it comes to take up space in the living room and eventually gets offered a beer. (Or a nice juice spritzer. Shocking Vicki secret #1: I don't drink. At all. The existential crisis, henceforth to be known as the EC, would probably be more easily dispatched if I did. I could just get boozy with it and we'd soon be good friends. But alas, that path is not for me.)

I'm built kinda backwards- I don't always take good news well. Or opportunities. Or the realization that by the grace of whatever capricious spirirt watches over me, I've managed to cobble together a life as a writer. Instead I kinda roll my eyes at the aforementioned capricious spirit and wait for him/her to yank it all away, or raise the stakes, or leave me hanging by my fingernails. (Which I have only recently bullied into something resembling decent shape.)

So I guess I'm saying the shock of having over 24,000 downloads of both Gifts books in one month was kinda  overwhelming. (Oh, before I forget: Welcome, new readers! I usually make more sense than this during blog posts, but I'm out of practice a bit. And having an EC.) Yes, many, but by no means all, were free downloads. I actually hit #40 overall free in the kindle store and stayed there for what, two days? Three? I dunno. But no matter how you slice it, that was a whole lotta downloadin'. (And to answer writerly questions, yes it did translate into sales.)

Stupid me used this as an opportunity to spiral into a long internal dissection of how I should settle into a nice predictable life in baking or retail or an office somewhere.

Safety, whispered the EC. Stability. Stop it with this cobbled-together Bohemian nonsense you've been trying on like impulse spritzes of perfume in the department store.

My answer, after this long internet break and totally insane update, has been, "Meh." No, EC, not today. As much as I wish I could exclaim that YES! I just love life on the sweet writerly edge, that would be a lie. I am not, in fact, comfortable here. But I'm still here, hanging on with my barely presentable fingernails. And here I will stay, because the writerly edge isn't something everyone is cursed or privileged enough to walk everyday. I'm still here because, no matter what, I'm making word count. I wrote 4,300 words this past week. I'm here because this week, at least, I'm able to see myself in my fiction. I have a second book coming out with a real publisher, and I belong to two vibrant writing communities that I would miss terribly and who force me to do things like update on my progress when really, I'd much rather hang out with EC.

But not today. It's update day, and I had some success to report, buried in there stream-of-consciousness style. A little excavation will reveal an update of sorts, and if you missed it in the avalanche of existential ponderings, oh well. There's always next week. Thanks for reading anyway! It's good to be back.

6 comments:

  1. I find it's best to practice denial of all things good and bad.
    Send your EC ovah here and I'll take it shopping.:)

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  2. Bwahahaha that's good advice. My denial shall be totally pc- good and bad alike ignored!

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  3. Safety...ah yes, I remember it well. I miss it, along with health insurance.

    I read a book recently called Learned Optimism which essentially said that people who refuse to rue over this stuff are generally happier, more successful, and healthier. He did a lot of social experiments to prove this, and at the end of the book I was overwhelmed with data and thoroughly convinced. I've decided it's worth a try not to worry. :) Best of luck working through it all.

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  4. That's wonderful about the downloads. I try not to worry, but I'm with you--a lot of time I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Although maybe we can think about it as loving the best, preparing for the worst type of attitude? Does that seem healthier?

    Good luck this week!

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  5. Welcome back! That's great news about the downloads...try to embrace the good feelings as you can. :-)
    Good luck this week!

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  6. Maybe optimism is a learned habit- like eating your broccoli and brushing your teeth. Good for me but something to practice. Thanks for all the encouragement, ya'll!

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