2017 Book Charity Drive – Wrap-Up Post

It’s been a few weeks since the charity drive I was running with my book finished up. You might have noticed I’ve been a little slow to write up a post about how the charity drive went. There’s a reason for that.

Before I get into this year’s drive, I want to provide a little context with how things went last year. During last year’s drive, those who purchased my book raised $24.28 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. While it wasn’t the number I wanted to hit — it fell just short of one-quarter of the goal I was aiming for — it was still something and it still went to a good cause. This year, I decided that instead of doing a 50+ day long charity drive that I’d do a one week long drive. Considering the fact that about one-third of the sales that happened during last year’s drive happened within the first seven days, combined with the fact that I had more people helping me out promoting the charity event this year in comparison to last year, I figured thing would go close to as well as last year1I didn’t set any charity drive goals, but I was honestly expecting a similar result in terms of money raised..

About that.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the Kindle sales. As a reminder, the drive lasted from November 12th through the 19th.

That’d be one copy purchased. Total. At least it was on my birthday? Well, no matter. Most of my sales historically have been from the paperback side, which is (currently) tracked through CreateSpace. How did that go?

Oh2Fuck..

As for final totals, I was able to pull that from the Kindle site.

Needless to say, I’m not making a donation of $2.06 to UNICEF. I’ll be donating more than that3I don’t feel a desire to divulge how much. Sorry.. That’s not the point though.

It took me the better part of two weeks to write this post because I found myself at a loss for words. I didn’t know how to say what I was feeling without sounding like an entitled prick. There’s a pair of thoughts in my mind that I can’t completely reconcile in a way that I can phrase them quite in the way I’m thinking them.

On one hand, I really want to see my work become successful. Whether that success is through acclaim, through the admiration of a small but devoted fan base, or through actual financial success is something I haven’t fully figured out my desire for. But I want to be successful with my work. Specifically, I want to be successful with my writing4Because frankly, my actual work isn’t particularly fulfilling..

On the other hand, I recognize that by raising money for charity with my work, the important person here is not me. It’s the people the money will be going to help. I’ll be fine. But there’s a lot of people who won’t be if they don’t receive the help that charitable organizations give. Hell, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the work of charity in my childhood. So to see this event fail when I’m not the recipient of the proceeds is disheartening.

I’m going to be taking a break from writing for a while. I don’t particularly want to stop writing, but I also don’t feel like my writing has a purpose at this point. Maybe I’ll change my mind at some point. There’s a handful of blog posts I’ve pre-written that’ll still go up on this blog each Monday (as per normal). In theory those will last until around the end of the year. I have a few ideas that will likely be content here early next year, though I haven’t gotten around to writing those yet. As for my long-form/story stuff, I think I need to reassess where I’m at there.

On Writing When You Lack Motivation

Hi. My name is Tim. I’m a bad blogger.((*Insert an Alcoholics Anonymous-like response of “Hi Tim” here*))

Like many bloggers, I lack motivation at times. Life gets busy, people need our attention, and fires come up that we didn’t expect. Unless you’re using your blog to make money((I’m not, even though it’s something I’ve considered in the past.)), when everything in the world is vying for your attention, blogging and writing will typically fall to the wayside. It’s not like I mean for things to be this way…it’s just what happens.

I have a bit of an added source to being a bad blogger that many other bloggers don’t have. I have a backlog of approximately 375 posts from a previous blog that I can leaf through at any time and post on this blog. Four of my last ten non-guest posts fall into this category. Occasionally, I’ll find that one of my old posts is particularly poignant with a current event or something in my life, and I’ll post it to share my point of view. More frequently, however, I find myself resharing those old posts because I don’t have time to write…or worse, that I’m not motivated to write.

Even as I write this post, I don’t particularly have a ton of motivation to blog. It’s been a long couple of weeks, preceded by a very busy couple of weeks, preceded by an extremely hectic first six months of the year. To my right sits an iPad and Nintendo 3DS with Brave Frontier and Fire Emblem: Awakening respectively calling my name. It’s dinner time and there’s a hamburger with my name figuratively written on it and a can of Pringles with my name literally written on it. My phone has beeped at least four times in the past ten minutes with text messages or emails. Writing is not my top priority at this very second.

I wasn't kidding. This is how my wife and I make sure we both get Pringles when they're purchased.
I wasn’t kidding. This is how my wife and I make sure we both get Pringles when they’re purchased.

Things are better than they were as recently as last week. I looked back over my blog posts, noticing that I’ve had a grand total of one post since my wedding((A span of five weeks.)) that had received a comment. It’s deflating. It’s discouraging. It’s disheartening. Instead of being down about it — which I admit was the case for a few days — I decided to go through my Feedly and catch up on the blog posts I’d missed while gone on the honeymoon. 117 posts later meant that I’d left comments on around 40 posts, but it also meant that I had gained a renewed motivation to write.

My motivation still isn’t where it once was. During NaNoWriMo in 2011, I churned out 60,000 words in 21 days. In 2011 itself, I wrote 407 posts on the blog I had at the time. But I don’t need to be at that motivation level now. Where I need to be is at a place where I have the motivation to continue to write and continue to grow my blog. Resources that once existed for growing my blog’s audience no longer exist, so now it’s up to me to succeed. That’s a pretty strong motivating factor on its own.

What motivates you to write? What do you do when you struggle with motivation? Sound off in the comments.