Sunday, August 29, 2010

To serve the future best

It's been a long, hot summer. Is that an understatement? Depends on where you live. It's almost September, and it hasn't cooled off. I begin to think the snows of last winter are preferable. The heat sucks the energy out of a person, leaving the body listless but the brain overactive.

I've been grappling with what is a serious issue in a writer's life: What do I need to do to continue in this business? A straightforward question, but one with multi-tiered implications and few pat answers.

"They" say to be successful in epublishing you need to maintain a current Internet presence and promote. Let's face it. You can't spend your time on the Internet sucking up to everyone and still have time - and energy - to write something. Maybe I shouldn't mention this, but I've been a few places on the Internet that exhibit a decided lack of maturity, and therefore are not a good way to spend valuable time.

It's been a long process, but several of the epublishing houses have accomplished what I always knew would happen. The cream is rising. I have a very short list of houses I would allow my name to be associated with, which brings me to the thorniest consideration of all: The Name.

It's well accepted among authors that name recognition can run a course, and when that happens, it's okay to start over with a new pen name. Perhaps that has some merit for the Rayne Forrest name.

"Rayne" didn't know much when she started out. A smidgen of talent got her started, but she made a lot of mistakes. Her voice is stronger now, more confident. She has matured along with the epublishing industry. So how best to step into tomorrow without letting go of best things of the past? Those best things being a readership that appreciated the Rayne Forrest brand.

Thorny, yes? Insurmountable, no.

As the industry moves forward, so will I. Blending a past imperfect with plans for the future bright is something we all do every day. The past is a road map that shows us what works, and those pitfalls we stumbled into. Yes, it's too bad the map stops abruptly at our feet without showing us the next proper step, but that's what makes it interesting.

Have I allowed this internal debate to interfere with moving forward? Has it stopped me from taking that next step with fears of a misstep? Sadly, I think it has. But the need to share my thoughts tells me that a decision is at hand. I only wish I knew for sure what it will be.

All I know is that in my own personal life, the decision will come in the midst of doing something else. It will simply be there as if it had always existed, and I'll know it's the right thing for me.