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I know, I know. I’ve been absent not just from this blog, but from twitter and Facebook too, for quite a while now. There are number of reasons, not least of which is the imminent house move. Contracts were finally exchanged earlier this week and we’re all set to move on Friday and over the weekend. Of course, after that we have to put the new house in order, and who knows how long that will take?
But I have to confess that I’ve also been feeling a little… “Marc-Nobbs-ed-out” of late. It’s hard to really explain, but that’s pretty much it. I’ve been trying to re-connect with the ‘real’ me. You know, the married father with a day job.
I’d been toying with the idea of creating a ‘real’ Facebook profile for a few months after realising just how many of my old schoolmates and university friends are members. And a couple of weeks ago I did just that. Even fell right back into the old routine with a few of my old friends. So that’s been taking up some of my time. Time I could have been spending writing, but haven’t.
I’ll admit that I’ve toyed with the idea of placing Marc Nobbs on an extended hiatus. I even toyed with the idea of pulling my publications and website and disappearing altogether. But I decided against that.
The problem, for me, is that publishing ‘for profit’ (as in, getting paid royalties) isn’t as rewarding as when I was publishing for free. Obviously, it’s more rewarding financially, but I’ve always said I wasn’t in this for the money. Which is a good thing really given the money would never be enough to live on.
No, writing, for me, is about sharing my ideas and characters and getting feedback from readers. Back when I was publishing for free, feedback was the only payment, and the readers knew that, so they offered feedback. It was sometimes called the ‘Blowjob Principle” – which means ‘if you enjoyed it, giving praise is more likely to result in more of it.” Readers sent authors e-mails of thanks in the hope the author would write more.
But if you’ve paid a few dollars for a book, that need to praise the author to get him to write more is removed – because in effect, you’ve already rewarded him in the form of the money you’ve paid (of which he’ll get a cut).
In other words, ever since I started publishing for pay – first at Ruthie’s and then at Phaze – the feedback from readers has dried up. Oh, I still get to see what some readers think in the form of reviews, but I miss that personal interaction with readers.
So, I’m giving serious consideration to going back to my old model. Giving my stories away for ‘free’ – the only ‘payment’ requested being a note of thanks from the reader and word about what they thought of the story.
Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that I am taking some time off from being Marc Nobbs, so that I can be the other me – certainly until the New Year.
So, see you all in 2011.
Sorry about that. Actually, I don’t know why I’m apologising, it’s not like I get paid to do this you know. Blog, I mean. I suppose you could argue that blogging is promotion and possibly leads to book sales so in a roundabout way, I do get paid for blogging, but not very much.
It’d be below the minimum wage, let’s put it that way.
So, what’s kept me away? Well, life. I’ve been (Yes, I know I say this all the time) busy at work, but more importantly, I’ve been busy at home. We are moving house, you see, and the preparation for it is unimaginable unless you’ve actually done it recently. And we don’t even have a date yet. We are hoping it’ll go ahead around the 11th November, but until the legal work is done there are no guarantees. Ask any Brit that’s moved and they’ll tell you what a monstrous process it is.
At least we don’t have to worry about the chain collapsing as there isn’t one. We’ve buying a new build and the builder is taking our house in part exchange. They can worry about selling it on afterwards. Hopefully it’ll go to some young couple who are just starting out, like we were when we bought it.
But it’s the prospect of the move that’s kept me busy. First, I cleared out as much of the rubbish that’s collected in the shed as I could. That was one weekend spoken for. Then I spent another two weekends getting all the crap down from the loft (or attic as Jr calls it), sorting through it, dumping what we don’t want and can’t sell and storing the rest in the garage, which is now even more full of stuff that before I cleared it out.
I tell you, I can’t believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated over ten years we’ve been in this house. It’s incredible. As is the amount of stuff I know have sitting in the kitchen waiting to go on e-bay.
God love e-bay and the people it turns up who are willing to buy utter garbage.
Actually, some of it is good stuff. I’ve got a collection of Marvel “Return of the Jedi” comics from 1983-1985 to go on. I’ve hoping they will prove popular with the collectors.
So, if I’m quiet in the coming weeks, you know why. I’ll be boxing up glasses, plates and the rest of the house.
Now, must remember to find a good broadband deal for the new house. No, Virgin Media on the site either, so guess I’ll have to contact Sky. :-(
Last weekend I took the family away for the weekend. After what had happened in September, I figured we deserved it. We went to Lincolnshire and the highlight of the trip had to be Lincoln Cathedral. Put simply, it’s stunning. And given it’s age – it was built in the 11th Century – it’s even more remarkable.
Below is an album of the photos I took of it. Enjoy.
I still haven’t written very much in too long a time. I’m going to try and rectify that this coming weekend by ‘forcing’ myself to sit and write. I’ll do it by hand with a pen and note book if I have to. What I write might well be crap, but it’ll get me back into the habit and that’s the point. Perhaps I should try and knock out a short and see what happens.
I also plan to add some of the great comments from the two reviews that Eternally & Evermore has received so far to the books webpage. I’m actually chuffed by both reviews – although I am surprised no one’s yet mentioned my favourite character in the book. If you haven’t read it yet, then keep an eye out for young Sophie, Will’s daughter. Amy actually describes her perfectly - “infectious”.
Have a good weekend everyone.