Sunday, August 21, 2016

Time flies when you're having fun.

I am grateful to Facebook today. The first thing I saw in my newsfeed this morning was a reminder that five years ago -- on August 21, 2011 -- I notified all of my friends that SwanSong would shortly be available for purchase at Smashwords. 
Just like that, I became an indie author.

I don't think I've ever mentioned this here before, but publishing a novel had been on my bucket list since my twenties. Well, okay, we didn't call them "bucket lists" then; that wasn't until that movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman came out in '07. But the concept of making a list of lifetime goals has been around forever.

Here's the list I made back then, as near as I can remember it, and very likely not in order: 
  • Get married and have kids.
  • Make $20,000 a year.
  • Travel to all 50 states.
  • Visit Ireland.
  • Visit Czechoslovakia (yes, it was still Czechoslovakia when I was in my twenties).
  • Write a novel and get it published.
  • Lose twenty pounds.
There may have been a couple more, probably relating to getting out of the city I was living in at the time, but that should give you the gist of it. 

It's kind of fun to look back on, now that I've nailed all of the items on that list. Of course, the marriage didn't stick and the pounds didn't stay off (and brought friends when they came back...), and my salary goal seems ridiculously tiny now (and it ought to give you an indication of how much I was making back then).

But this put me in mind of another goal. Not long after I started this indie author thing, I told myself I would publish three novels a year. So far, I've kept to that schedule -- and when I add in the omnibus editions and short-story collections, as well as all the anthologies I've been a part of over the past few years, my publishing schedule looks crazy: thirty-three titles in five years. And 2016 isn't over yet. I've spent this weekend updating A Billion Gods and Goddesses; the new version should be out later this week. (I'll send out a newsletter when it's live.)

I've learned a lot over the past five years, and there are some things I don't yet have the hang of. Sounds like it's time for me to make a new bucket list -- and here's hoping I'm as successful at completing it as I've been at nailing the old one.

These moments of bloggy reminiscing have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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