We all know it; the hare gets off to a good start and the tortoise plods along and eventually crosses the finish line while the hare takes a nap. I’ve always interpreted it as: “natural ability won’t get you over the finish line if you’re lazy but persistence towards your goal always will”. If there was one lesson I could be guaranteed for my daughter, this would be my choice. It’s one that’ll get you by, no matter what the world is like in the future… it’s an ethic I want to inject into her character. I’ll give her a break for now, she’s four.
But we can think of the craftsmanship of writing that way. There are those who are genuinely, naturally talented in creative writing. They’ve got the ‘knack’, the thing that most writers sweat over and put a lot of effort into. Perhaps their first drafts are amazingly ‘clean’ or they have awesome ideas or an amazing ability to phrase themselves in a way that touches a reader’s soul. However, if they can’t persist in a project, the lousiest book in the world is better than the best one they haven’t finished. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines and criticise bad fiction when you don’t have your own example to stand by.
Damn, the Hare and the Tortoise analogy just grew its own set of legs and walked in an entirely different direction to my intention!
This blog post is really about my Kickstarter project… you know, the one that I’d dismissed? A week ago I blogged that I’d decided not to bother promoting it because I don’t have the time to devote to it. I’d also written it off because I couldn’t see it performing when I was ignoring it. It didn’t deserve to do well, not if I wasn’t putting in the effort. I became the sleeping hare… well, maybe not sleeping, because this hare is too busy running all these different races at once. Something had to give, and Kickstarter was it.
Someone made a pledge towards the Wanderer project today… in fact, they pledged a HEARTY amount and have ‘pre-purchased’ my entire planned future Wanderer series. Oh my bleeding heart, somebody pick me up off the floor. Their single pledge has effectively taken me 20% towards my end-goal. (Four more pledges like that and I’m golden). So what did I do when the email bonged into existence, informing me that somebody wanted Wanderer enough to put $100 towards it? Firstly, I checked that I wasn’t seeing things (because the notification only popped up for a second) and checked the actual email. Yes, it was true. Big smile.
Somebody else liked the book series I was proposing and wanted them all. (The $100 pledge gives them all Wanderer series books plus standalone novels, like Femme and any prequels or sequels… and yes, there’s already a prequel trilogy jotted down). Kickstarter became my tortoise, plodding away in the background. With 26 days to go, there’s more than enough time to put a bit more effort in. I find it interesting that the organisation themselves have declared that 30 days or less tends to get better results. Is this indicative that shorter timeframes yield better successes? It certainly looks that way.
I can hear you thinking: so who was this person that pledged $100? Where did he come from? Was he completely cold? With an account called ‘Stevo’, I thought of the different men named Steve I know. Two of them. I didn’t think either of them were likely… plus neither of them called themselves Stevo. Then my co-author cleared things up.
My co-author Linda was lunching with friends. One of her friends has agreed to be a beta-reader for us and she chose to peddle the Kickstarter project to everyone at the table. Stevo was there and his partner indicated she wanted the whole series. Lo and behold, later that day, pledge made. It wasn’t entirely cold, nor entirely unsupported. The lady who wanted to read the series was already interested in Wanderers because she’d downloaded Femme during its free week and enjoyed it upon reading. Technically, she’s an existing fan of the concept. So that’s where THAT pledge came from.
Thanks to my co-author Linda being a warm-hearted, social soul, she already has a few more people interested in pledging towards our project. She also mentioned that SHE didn’t champion it, but rather her friend… who is also our beta-reader waiting for the first edition to come her way. Technically, one of our fans sold the concept to another fan.