I've read several books recently about self-publishing books by writing them on your blog, one chapter at a time. (One of them was written this way!) Most of these work for non-fiction, however. I'm genuinely curious about writing a fiction novel (or series) by posting it chapter-by-chapter.
The problem is, everything I've read about this style of publishing is strictly about non-fiction. And as far as that goes, all the non-fiction stuff I write, you can pretty much read here. And I have to ask myself: could I write a non-fiction book based on what I know? And that begs the next question:
What exactly is it that I know?
The truth is a bit more complicated than me being an "expert" on anything specific. There's a few things I'm considered an expert at... playing the saxophone, cycling for fitness, using Linux, or being an idiot... I've got decades of experience in those fields.
But those things are practical, and with the exception of playing the sax, they're all things I taught myself for practical reasons. I don't necessarily want to teach people how to do something specific, as much as I want people to learn how to think in a manner that will let them accomplish and learn things. I want to teach them my mindset. I want to get people to learn how to direct their unguided yet limitless energy to accomplish great things.
You know, there are days when I think writing is a waste of time.
No, really, bear with me here. I know some of the greatest minds of all time (of all time!) expressed their thoughts through writing. But the more I try to write, the harder it gets. More and more, our life is run by 30-second clips of images, music, flashes of light, and maybe a brand logo or three. But very little thought matters in the regular world anymore, and I'm becoming more aware of it as I get older.
Most of the guys I work with (I work in a large factory that builds agricultural equipment) have never read a novel. A good chunk of them barely passed high school. So what good does it do for me to pour my soul out in words, page upon page, chapter after chapter, when almost nobody I know will read it? How will this affect people around me? Well, the truth is, it probably won't affect them much. But for the few people who read my work, I'm happy they enjoy it.
I just wish I could reach more people with my writing, otherwise, why do it? I certainly would like to make a living at it, but that's not why I write. I want to be able to reach people, and engage their minds in ways otherwise impossible. You can't carry a conversation about morality, world events, and spirituality over a rushed 30-minute lunch break. Most of the guys I work with spend that 30 minutes eating and showing each other crude pictures from Facebook on their smartphones.
I guess I need to revisit why I write. Is it for me? If so, I need to not worry so much about how and what I write. Is it for others? If so, then I need to make more of an effort to make that happen, instead of wasting time.
Ah, joy. Yet another day of self-doubt as a writer. Time for some more coffee.