When I started writing Memoirs of a Gigolo, I thought it would be fun. It is fun. I can’t deny that. I’m having wonderful fun writing the adventures of Oliver. But it has been hard. More than that- it has been my trial by fire. I have pushed myself to my limit then pushed a little bit more. In D&D parlance my mana is increasing and every time I raise the bar the pool I can draw from gets deeper.
What have I learned about myself as a writer:
- I am capable of producing a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time.
- I can work even when I don’t want to work.
- I don’t need to be inspired to get my but down and the fingers tapping.
- I am better at this than I originally thought I was. I’m not going to say that I thought I was just an okay writer, I’ve always believed I had talent, but now I’m starting to get that people other than my BFF think I’ve got it.
- I’m not afraid to put myself out there anymore.
- I don’t need a safety net.
I will say that it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not the writing. But the emotional and physical drain. I’m writing about 40k words a month. And by a month I mean within about a two week period.
Just to be clear, 40k words a month is an insane amount of writing. In the ten or so dedicated working days a month I put into each volume I’m producing about 4k words a day. I work eighteen hour days on these days.
This is insane.
Maybe as a one off I could imagine a writer would need to produce like I have been, but I’m doing this month after month. I am running a marathon here and I’m just hitting my stride now I’m halfway through the story.
I can say that the journey (because it is a journey) has taken me to places I never thought I would imagine.
What is different from what I thought would be:
- Oliver and Olga are far more complex characters than I ever thought they would be.
- The ending is not what I expected.
- The ending is not what I expected – I’m going to repeat that one for effect. The ending has gone to a place I never thought it would.
- Each volume is a lot longer than I originally planned.
- There are more characters that are far more complex than I thought they would be.
- Oliver is far more sympathetic than I thought he would be.
- Olga is less sympathetic than I thought she would be.
- It’s not as fluffy as I thought it would be. This started out as a bit of fun while I was plugging away on another project and I needed to shift mental gears. The distraction has turned into the focus. I’ll be back to the original project when I’m done with Memoirs.
What has stayed the same:
- Twelve Volumes. I need eighteen, but I’m going to do it in twelve.
There are moments when I have considered quitting. But I am not a quitter.
Something unexpected happened when I started to publish Memoirs.
- It’s popular. I figured my BFF, my sister, my cousins, my friends, and a few random people that came across Memoirs would read it.
- I underestimated the number of readers that would grab a handle and hold on during this wild ride.
- I underestimated the popularity of the serial format.
- I never expected that I would be approached by the industry professionals that have contacted me.
- I never thought that Memoirs would be the way to get my name out there.
- I never anticipated the vitriolic responses from some reviewers that find Memoirs personally offensive. Crazy stuff.
- I never imagined how much the experience would force me to grow as a writer.
Moving on and getting back to work. Thank you for sticking with me through the first half. I can only promise that the second half will be just as much of a thrill ride.
One final thing… if you think you know how it ends, you might be wrong.