Next weekend, just after Thanksgiving, TeachTheSky.com will celebrate its 10th anniversary. It was in 2003 that I first launched this website, in its original form, telling the story of Everett Kendall, Marilyn Johnston, Jericho Kingston, Roland and Ledger, and all the others. TtS would spin-off with Deadman, APT Responders, and so on, coming to a debilitating hiatus in 2009.
It’s been interesting to look back on my career during the last ten years (twelve, if you want to go back to Crossworld’s original run in November of 2001). It’s been full of hiccups, deadends, false starts, and every imaginable mistake. But at the same time, it’s been full of some really sterling successes and some events of which I am very proud.
Over a decade, writing has been a very curious adventure, with no real road-map or guide. I set out to become a ‘professional author’ and when the money from Crossworld started coming in and I started seeing reviews of my book and writing, I realized I had ‘made it’. The question at that point became a matter of increasing sales, upping visibility and distribution, etc. In other words, it became about marketing and salesmanship.
An author – or artist period – who tells you that salesmanship isn’t a big element of success is misguided. To both audiences and production companies alike, the onus is upon the creator to drive the work forward. In time, teamwork may take over and managers and promotional teams may take on some or even much of that burden, but that will only occur after you have already excelled at it.
And that feels like where I am now. From a professional standpoint, as we wait for these last few but terrifyingly critical details to get taken care of involving Rhest for the Wicked, that transition to teamwork is underway. Even as we wait for Rhest to clear, books #2 through #11 are already in development. That’s now my job as part of this team. It’s yet another part of this adventure as a writer.
It’s a subdued excitement that fills me these days, a decade later. Amateurish exuberance has evolved into (what I hope is) a professional temperament. I hope my stories and storytelling reflect this decade of work and effort. I strive to be a writer worthy of the stories I’m trying to tell.
It’s been a wild ten years. In that time, nothing has gone according to plan. In more ways than not, I think that’s a good thing. The adventure isn’t made up of what goes right; it’s made up of what goes wrong and is then overcome.
And this has been, and continues to be, a hell of an adventure.