“The unread story is not a story.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
Recently, I decided to move away from Amazon with my published works because I found that I am not getting paid for them, despite being on Kindle Unlimited for several years. A few people were reading them here and there, but the lack of payment for those free reads from Amazon was frustrating. The payment system on Amazon amounted to me having to get struck by lightning twice to get paid at all.
I figured, if my books are going to be read by people for free, it may as well happen on a platform that supports Indie authors instead of paying a billionaire. I want everyone to be able to access these stories. The Kindle platform felt too limiting. Mainly because the target audience for my short fiction isn’t reading stories there anyway. Young adults are flocking to platforms like Wattpad to read books for free or with ads.
There are paid options for authors on these platforms, but for my short fiction, I want people to read it. I don’t care if I get paid as long as it’s out there, but I also don’t like contributing to something that isn’t helping my readers find my work.
To that end, a new story was on Watt Pad in the Petunia’s Peculiar Particulars series. “The Curious Cat” made its debut on Watt Pad on August 6th of this year. I am in progress on the next story in the series, “The Dapper Dog,” and I am currently working on a novel that I’ll finish before the end of October. After years of struggling with writing a novel from start to finish, I finally discovered the magic sauce that fixes my ability to stay focused.
I need to see my progress, physically see it. Writing on a computer is not an organic process for me. I can see the word count on a computer, but that’s not the same as holding the pages of the story you created in your hands. Printing it out is fine, but I never go back and re-read it that way because I have an auto-corrector and inline editing software that takes care of errors as I go. So, that means my stories don’t get revisited and get the attention they need and a complete revision process, especially not the long format stuff, which is the fair majority of my body of work. None of these long-format works have seen the light of day. At least, not yet.
Fortunately, in 2019, I purchased my first typewriter. Yes, I said my first because I now have a collection of several typewriters. I am having fun learning how to repair and restore typewriters as part of keeping myself sane during the pandemic. Typewriters turned out to be the key that unlocked my creativity and allowed me to get stuff done. I see the pages getting produced. I can touch and handle the progress. Editing by hand and making notes on the page is more organic to me. It’s all part of my joy.
So, my 1938 Remington 5 and I are having a grand old time writing this novel, along with my 1962 Smith Corona Skyriter, on the rare occasions that I choose to go to the coffee shops. People think I’m weird for using a typewriter in the digital age, but it helps to see my progress and hold it in my hands. I’ve never finished a novel before and here I am, with one almost completed.
You’ll see some typewritten flash fiction get posted here from time to time now that I’m back at work. I’m finishing things I start and getting them out there. That’s my goal. I’ve written over 2 million words in my unpublished writing career.
It’s time to publish.