I AM. I AM NOT.

It doesn’t take much for me to start re-evaluating things, particularly when it comes down to life goals. For instance, when Amazon kicked off this pay-per-page thing for their Select titles, I immediately wondered what it meant for the plans I had to release a few shorter works between 9,000 – 15,000 words. It made me wonder I really even wanted to write those stories.

Of course, I probably will…if I can find the time. Why?

Because I am a writer and that’s what I do. If I don’t get the ideas out, I have to listen to them dry up and die in my head.

It’s not a pretty sound.

Such a small blip in the radar such as this Amazon thing can cause me to re-evaluate quite a bit. It made me take a longer look at my goals in regards to writing and what I want to see myself doing within the next few years. And, as usual, it had me questioning the way I have been approaching things.

It made me really dig into the core of who I am as a writer.

And I came up with a list that sounds a little grumpy but, I think, more honest and realistic than I have been with myself in quite some time. The list is as follows…

I AM a writer. I am making very modest profits from my work and some people even like my books. I have enough story ideas to last me at least another five years and a new one pops up seemingly every week. I AM NOT a marketing person, which means that I resent the fact that authors are now expected to blog, tweet, litter Facebook, and spend their money for ad placement on websites.

I AM a author and father that writes spooky stuff. I AM NOT a horror author the uses violence for the sake of violence or gore for the sake of gore. If I have to resort to shock value to get people to start talking about me, then I might as well hang it up. I’d like my kids to one day read my stuff and not wonder who the hell was raising them.

I AM a horror author that is also a Christ follower. A lot of people don’t see how this works which, quite frankly, baffles me. I’d say the bulk of horror has a lot of faith-based content at its core, especially when it comes down to good vs. evil.  I AM NOT a Christian that believes all of my “unsaved” fellow writers need to be bludgeoned over the head with Scripture or called out in any sort of public forum as being wrong in their own beliefs (if any at all).

I AM a writer that tends to weave a bit of my beliefs into my work, but not in a pushy or obtrusive way. I AM NOT a writer that shoves my beliefs down the throats of my readers through my work.

I AM a writer that works from home with three kids over the summer. My workspace is also a playroom of sorts for the kids and on any given day there are Legos, Little People, or crayons in the floor. I AM NOT an ungrateful writer or father that wishes things were different, even when I start to think about that dream office that we might one day get built in the attic.

I AM a writer. I AM NOT ashamed of the dreams I have of one day seeing my name on a spine in a bookstore (depending on how long brick and mortar stores are still around). I’ve been in a few TOCs in books in bookstores but let’s face it…that’s not the same.

I AM honest. I AM NOT phased by the hardcore indie writers that say seeing your name in a bookstore is a stupid dream. I once had a recurring dream as a kid about an apple tree, a pit, and a crumbling house. It was a stupid dream, but it has stuck with me to this day. Stupid dreams are sometimes the most significant.

I AM a writer. I can’t help but write. I don’t care what becomes of Amazon and it’s practices. If things get too sketchy I’ll go back to much forgotten art of querying agents…something I still do from time to time. I AM NOT going to let the changes and regulations of a digital publishing platform dictate how or when I write.

I AM a writer that is concerned with writing a good story. I AM NOT concerned with trying figure out the algorithms of a digital marketplace or trying to manipulate that same system with titles being constantly free or by bombarding my Twitter feed with BUY MY BOOK PRETTY PLEASE propaganda.

And lastly, as anyone that frequents this blog already knows…

I AM a writer. I AM NOT a good blogger.

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