Encouragement and Zen


Steven Lyle JordanI recently heard from a producer with whom I’m collaborating on a possible television vehicle, who told me he’d heard from an actress who had been a major character in the original production that inspired this new vehicle—and yes, that’s all you’re getting from me, as the project is still in stealth mode.

Anyway, this actress—I’ll call her M—had a chance to read through the material we’re preparing for the new vehicle, including two short stories of mine, and she reported back to my producer friend that she was left “in tears” over the wonderful treatments and ideas gleaned from the original production, of which she still has very fond memories.  M specifically mentioned my short stories as being among the most moving material she saw.

The producer wanted to make sure I heard about it, because of my recent frustrations in selling my material, which had naturally led to personal doubts as to the quality of my writing and whether my efforts have been worth the trouble I put into them.  M may not be a science fiction writer, editor or other such “authority” or mucky-muck, but as labels have never particularly impressed me, I’m much more appreciative of the opinion of regular people (including actresses) who are more likely to actually read my novels to enjoy them.  Message received: Thank you for the cherished compliment.

In a way, it’s compliments like this (and many others I’ve received) that can leave me even more frustrated by the fact that my novels don’t actually sell well.  I’ve made it a point, when conversing with those complimenters and presenting my work online, to encourage people to share their opinions with others; only to find out that social media users are less likely to share content when specifically told to share content… even their own.

All the same, I’ll take the compliments when I can get them, and worry about promotion… some other time.  See, I just came back from a nice island beach vacation, which helped put me into a very zen mood when it comes to the novels.  (I heard about the actress’ comments while I was gone, and they didn’t hurt, either.)  I know I can write a good story; but I’m fully prepared to move on to other things if I can’t get promotion and selling to work.  Such is life.  No point striving to be the greatest mechanical watch maker in a digital watch world.

But right now, I’m happy to sit back and see what develops.  June will be a significant month, as I’ll see whether my promo cards make an impact at Balticon.  So I’m coasting until then… then I’ll see which direction the wind takes me.

(You know what else I learned on my island beach vacation? I now know how to drive on the left side of the road.)

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