The life of a creative mad genius is a psychologically dangerous one. In the past few months, I've taken advantage of my freedom from the wage-slave community and doubled down on my books and personal creative prosperity. Because why SHOULDN'T I be able to make a few bucks off of the stories and creative work that I've labored so intensely on? Why should major studios, publishing houses, and "names" be the only ones who can make any kind of dent in the world of creative art?
Why does the size of one's budget solely dictate how successful your art will be?
So I ran a promotion for my book "Disastergeddon!" as if it was a pitch to a client. "Sink money into creative, promotional videos that will get people excited to read your book. Then push those videos out over all your social networks. Tie it in with a free promotion on Amazon and watch your downloads and subsequent reviews shoot through the roof."
Those "through-the-roof" numbers? Forty-two. Total. As I saw the numbers start to play out, I realized I was facing a major--MAJOR--creative letdown, which was coming, conveniently, right while I was writing my new book, Max Nebula and the Time-Tripping Damsel in Distress. Not only was a failed promotion terrible for existing book sales and reviews, but it was going to kill all my new-found motivation to keep writing Max Nebula.
An abyss of total creative depression loomed, as much as any abyss is capable of looming.
And yes, this all happened concurrently to landing a new client for whom I produced one of my best videos ever for. The client loved it. I'm doing another one next week.
Maybe it was because I saw the depression coming from a mile away (literally: the second day of the Disastergeddon! 5-day promo). Maybe it was BECAUSE I was working on the Max Nebula project. Maybe it was because in the back of my head, I knew that the business of "free books" on Amazon had changed drastically since Zaphod Zombie went free and garnered hundreds upon hundreds of downloads. But even though I was gloomy for the days following the Disastergeddon! promo, the total lack of motivation to do anything never really took hold.
I pivoted my strategy for Max Nebula and decided to take a far more natural, episodic approach. I also (foolishly?) ran a similar promotion for the first episode, but with the pieces in different places. Today's the last day to download Max for free and I don't think--strategically--it did any better that Disastergeddon! (it's currently at 49 downloads), but I still feel better about it and episode 2 isn't lost to the abyss.
So that's where I'm at and that's where this strip is coming from. How do you stay motivated, creatively? Or are you fortunate enough not to be remotely concerned with the business-end of independent art? Are you lucky enough to create for the sake of creation? And if so, what the f#@k is wrong with you?!