It really is!
I’ve been looking over the competition, the kids book market is oversaturated. Jesus, it is. The market always has been. And since the advent of personal publishing, really anyone can and does do it. Like YouTube channels it is vast; quality, variety, and consistency vary widely. The whole thing feels like I’m staring down an ocean wondering how I’m gonna swim across. Or at least stay afloat.
What do I have in my favor for this adventure? I got me some skills. The craftsmanship is high and it shows. My discipline and focus are in a good place. Motivation comes and goes, but it’s there. My job, while a time sink, affords me some financial security. I’m single, or single enough, which gives me a lot of social mobility. Years of experience. Independence, smarts, and spirit. There’s a few things.
Not gonna list detriments. Those come often and naturally enough when I’m tired.
Among all the hats I wear in life or in business, I do wonder. There is always a time when the smaller details can hijack the larger scheme of things. All those addages, idioms, sayings and platitudes are true; its the daily commitment to it all. Neglect one skill and another will take its place. If you’re not mindful, it’ll probably be a bad one. When there is a prize to focus on, the rest really does naturally fall in line.
Feels like that last paragraph is a mess, the thoughts are there but still concealing into a whole.
Take care of the basics so you can focus on the larger prize. If you don’t, them nagging basics will distract your attention off the larger goal. Or worse, you chase your larger goal at the cost of your humanity. Efforts to focus on that sexy prize need to be practiced, too. Ultimately, there’s a balance to be had. As in all things.
We’ll work out the kinks of this post in the second draft
That is what book three, four, and five all are, passion projects. I’m doing them more for me than for a target audience. It’s me flexing to show what I can do. And, if we’re being totally honest, the motivation behind books one and two are the same. These were made with great love and care. Firstly, to validate myself as an artist. Secondly, to set me free from the rat race and hurl me into a strata that would allow me to just plug away on art.
Well, guess what. Turns out the world doesn’t quiet work like that.
Been taking inventory of what I have done and what needs doing for book three. There’s still a lot of work there. I don’t know what part of me insists on some of the pieces being so huge, but there’s that part. It’s probably pride. Maybe with a dash of perfectionism. Probably both. Whatever the case may be, it’ll be more time. And a healthy amount.
I’ll be posting works in progress soon… They’re big pics.
As though I don’t have enough goddammed unfinished projects, I’ve been toying with the idea of making another easier smaller kids book for ages 3-7 maybe. One that deals less with overly cumbersome illustrations and poetry and more with the basics: letters, numbers, and shapes. And a second one on hygiene.
The logic goes, if I’m gonna self indulge on an overly crafted book for my pride, it’d probably be a good idea to put something out that’s more practical. That people and kids can use. And, on my side, get me refreshed and warmed up again on the designing aspect of book making.
No promises, mind ye. I’m way over stretched as is. I’ve gotta make sure I have a handle on the rest of business making. It can’t all be about making products. Gotta make a fan base, gotta advertise, gotta meet and greet. Gotta sell, sale, sail!
I can’t tell how much effort is to too much. The hazard there is burnout. I can’t tell how much is too little. The hazard being laziness. So I’m milling around somewhere in between. If I hazard a guess, it’s somewhere towards the lazy end of the spectrum. Of course, I’m known to be a cruel taskmaster to myself. Never enough never good enough. But when I pull my head out of my ass, I remember to keep things level.
Progress is still being made but there is a part of me that screams better, faster harder, more! I hate that part. I betcha it’s the neurotic part. That part is a mean sonofabitch.
Even after all that mental horseshit. Things are plugging along. The book as it is now, book 3 of illustrations and poems, is finished in a whole bunch of aspects. Those big pieces are gonna keep me busy, though. Estimates have me working on these for the rest of the year. But those estimates are real hard to measure.
Speaking of things I don’t know. Shows in the fall, will any be open? This covid stuff has been mean to everyone. Peering into a crystal ball and trying to read the future feels like folly. Who wants to recklessly wager a couple grand they cant afford on a show with low to no people. People who have already been hit hard financially by this whole thing.
I’m gonna sigh up anyhow. At least I can say I’m trying. San Fransisco in late September, Portland early November. A couple of smaller publisher showcases. More about that later.
So I guess until all this dithering settles, I’m best to focus on the things at hand. Book stuff in particular. I’ve got large paintings to fret over. Business stuff to attend to. A hard drive crash has robbed me of subject matter, thats a bother. A whole bunch of wriggly-piggly life tasks to wrestle with.And to top it all off, I’m pondering making a couple of smaller simpler books.
So the plate is full and ever filling.