While the Lavis Chronicles, my story of an empire’s first brave explorers to step into the universe, still has many posts to go, I’ve already started drawing up designs and outlines for my next story arc, designed to run concurrently, for at least a little while, with the Lavis posting schedule.
While talking with a friend today inspiration struck for a third story arc, yet again in a wholly different environment than those that have come before. I ran into a dilemma I hadn’t expected: how much writing is too much?
Generally the writing itself isn’t the problem; the 300-500 word posts are just about perfect for my normal bout of inspiration, and I’m able to queue up quite a few at once to cover for potential dry spells. What I most worry about is making too much noise – having too much going on at once that potential readers of this site won’t want to disentangle the many differing threads.
Granted there’s a lot of “cart before the horse” going on here, particularly with how little I’ve publicized my recent writings and how infrequently I tweet about creating, but I don’t want to cause future problems for myself if I can avoid them. One of the roadblocks I had while owning my own business was that I was always focused on avoiding the problems visible a year down the road, without addressing the day’s immediate needs.
Right now my Lavis Chronicles posts go up on Tuesday (Sundays for my Patreon supporters), and other posts on a more random schedule. Adding a second storyline, coming out on say Saturdays, plus other content, does that make for content overload? What about when I add a third – should I hold off until after the Lavis Chronicles finish?
The long arcs are actually less stressful for me because there’s a flow to them, a stream-of-consciousness where I can really get into the mind of a character or setting and explore what’s there, often creating multiple posts in an evening. Single or one-off entries are harder to be inspired for, because it almost all has to come together first.
Someone advised me to not post so much until I had a solid foundation of paid supporters, so I could make sure to always have content available, without giving it all away “for free.” I’m not aiming to make a living off of writing, nor expecting to get throngs of supporters throwing money at my works. It’s a hobby, hopefully one that people enjoy enough to support.
I received an email from someone I support on Patreon, blown away by the response she’s gotten to a recent campaign. There’s a few lines in here I really love, and speak to the heart of how I feel about the service:
I will never fully understand how it is that there are people out there in the world that out of the kindness of their hearts just want to help make art possible–my art, for that matter. It moves me in ways no words could ever fully articulate, and I am so incredibly grateful to have you along on my journey, and now, on my team.
This entry has kind of meandered all across the landscape, but really I think the point is that I worry about displeasing readers I don’t yet have and I worry about making it harder for new readers to enjoy what content does exist.
Just something on my mind as I lay my head down, debating whether to outline that third arc or not.