Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moving Like Glass (brought to you by IWSG)

This post is going to be a bit different from my normal kind of post in that I'm participating in Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group this month. People tend to believe that if you're a writer then you're insecure about it, that those two things go hand in hand. I'm actually not insecure about my writing, so I've been inclined to skip these posts in the past. Skip writing them, that is (I don't skip reading other people's posts), especially since many of my posts tend toward what I would consider support posts for other writers anyway.

However, although I'm not insecure about my actual writing, I am insecure about the whole writing career thing. One thing in particular constantly nags and pokes at me: everything seems to happen so slowly! I feel like a piece of glass.

Did you know that glass is a liquid? Okay, so, maybe not. Actually, the state of glass is still being squabbled over by Science, but, for my discussion, we're going to go with the "glass is a liquid" side of the argument. And, no, I'm not going to try and explain the argument, but I will say this: glass does not crystallize as other solids do when it's cooled. For this reason, it's generally called an amorphous solid or a supercooled liquid. Yeah, I know: if you go touch it, it feels plenty solid, and it can break, but if you want to go read up on all the science behind it, you go right ahead. [There's a good discussion here if you want to read up on it.]


Did you know glass is a liquid? The way it was explained to me (in Science) is that glass is a colloidal suspension. A simple example of this is Jello. Basically, you have a liquid into which is introduced a solid that is in suspension within the liquid causing it to hold it's shape. Or that's the case with Jello, at any rate. It doesn't actually have to be a liquid/solid suspension, but that's what works for my example. With glass, the actual glass is a liquid and has to have foreign particles introduced into it so that it will solidify and retain the shape it is cooled in. Most manufactured glass is soda-lime glass, known as such because of what is introduced into the system to help it retain its shape.

The theory is that glass then, only being a colloidal suspension, continues to flow very slowly over the years. Very slowly. Very, very slowly. So slowly in fact that this is also debated by Science, but, for my purposes, we're going to side with faction that believes in glass flow because it's a liquid.

And that's how I feel! Like a piece of glass moving so slowly that you can't tell I'm moving. I don't mean on the actual writing front. I'm not sitting here with writer's block or anything. But on the selling front, on the getting my name out there front, I feel like nothing's happening. See, I know that's not quite true, because I do have people reading my work and leaving reviews, but it's not spontaneous at this point. And that makes it feel like it's not happening at all.

And that makes me insecure. The feeling of no movement.

I suppose the good side of that is that it makes me want, even more, to finish my next project and get it out there.

Speaking of that next project, it's called Shadow Spinner (for those of you coming by for the first time today because of the IWSG thing. The rest of you should know this!). The first chapter, "Part One: The Tunnel" is available for free this week for the Kindle (only) over on Amazon. It would be so great if you'd go pick up a FREE copy of it, click the "like" button (something that seems to be difficult for most people stopping by), and, after you read it, leave a short review and rating. Yeah, okay, so I'm asking a lot, but it's a short read because it's just the 1st chapter, so there will be plenty of time left over for a short review! Make me feel like heated glass!

The cover has been done by the fantastic artist formerly known as Rusty Webb:
Did I mention it's FREE?!?

["Part Two: The Kitchen Table" will be available soon.]


  1. It can feel like nothing's happening. Like we've worked so hard for something and then it just sits there. It took eleven months after the release of my first book for something to really start happening.
    We're pushing a boulder uphill. It takes a lot of pushing to ever gain momentum. But it will eventually happen!

  2. Interesting post. I'm a science buff and I had not heard this. Anyhow, you might like my IWSG post this month. It's good for a laugh anyway.

    Welcome to the group! :)

    IWSG #179 (At least for today.)

  3. I'm not actually there yet, worrying about my writing career, because I'm in the horrible part of editing, when everything is the messiest. I can relate though.

  4. Ah, yes the waiting. There seems to be plenty of waiting at every stage of this process. ;)

  5. formerly known as Rusty Webb?
    I'll stop by today and check it out.

  6. My momma always said, "The best things come to those who wait."

  7. Hey Andrew! I remember you, from that voting thing Alex had me do for you. So nice to find your blog! I'm a new follower here, too.

    Ah yes, the glacial speed of the publishing industry. It's enough to drive a writer mad! But I'm here to tell you, it's not always slow going.

    Yes, I've put my time in, not as much as some or even most, but I have. I've paid a few dues. And I found a home for my novel and am only 2 months away from publication, and it's only been 2+ years since I started writing my book. It's all in the path you choose.

    After some querying, I chose to submit to a small press. I won't have to wait nearly as long as with the Big 6. And I have more control. I'm sure Alex will tell you the same thing.

    But know that anything truly worth doing, is worth doing slowly, to make sure it's done right.

    And welcome to the IWSG! I'm #47 on Alex's list.

  8. Alex: Well, mine has been out for many more than 11 months...
    I'm really just hoping a 2nd book helps things along.

    Melissa: I'll go check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

    Ravena: Oh, yeah, I'm not a fan editing.

    Kimberly: Yeah, there is. I don't mind the things that take time because of me, like the actual writing. What I hate is waiting for other people!

    Tyrean: LOL yeah, he has a new pen name

    Michael: Yeah, that's just to make the waiting people feel better, like saying rich people aren't happy either.

    Nancy: Well, I'll be looking forward to your book, then! Thanks for coming by (and for helping with the win on the voting!).

  9. Interesting analogy here and I can see what you're saying. One thing I guess is that there is so much darn competition out there vying for attention. I think the majority of those who get anything published see a sense of little movement in the outcome of what they do. But I guess the more you do, the greater the potential for breakout and getting recognized. Overnight sensations are a rare event.


    Tossing It Out

  10. Lee: True, there is a lot of... stuff... out there. It takes a lot of work to rise above it.

  11. If you look at old windows, very old window, you can sometimes see how the glass is thicker at the bottom of the pane. Century old glass will lose it's shape some, at least in a window frame.

    But then again, most materials, rocks, landscapes, whatever, behave like liquids over long enough time-scales, we just don't tend to live long enough to notice.

    And I've read from several successful indie authors that have said they didn't see any success until they released their fourth or fifth title. Of course, once one thing catches on, there's a good chance people will start picking up other books you have available too. Then it's an avalanche of sales and people are claiming you're an overnight success.

  12. Rusty: They talk about that in the article I linked. That's also being debated. Because, you know, everything has to be debated. The other opinion, because we have no tangible proof that that glass flow happens, is that the people then just put the heavy side at the bottom.

  13. I'll go check out (and "like" it) asap.

    And yeah, that whole glass thing...I definitely feel the same. Though I have to admit it's beginning to feel less like a super-slow moving liquid and more like a rock.

  14. S.L.: Ah, your rock comment made me laugh.
    I think you got here just a bit too late to get it while it was still free. :(
    But it's only $0.99, so I hope you'll pick it up anyway.

  15. I'm amazed you're so prolific. I guess the break you took between graduating and writing stored up a lot of story ideas. Good for you!

  16. Hey Andrew! I've heard that really old glass windows are significantly thicker at the bottom than they are at the top, which seems like proof that glass is liquid.Of course, what I don't know about glass (or everything else,too)could fill volumes.....'Stuff Eve don't Know, Volume 1' (available now as a 'Book on Tape'...no, I'm kidding...there's no such book)
    Congrats on being so prolific! I've never been through the process, so I can't say for sure that I know what you're going through, (another thing in my book of stuff I don't know)..it must be slightly stressful though to feel as if you're getting nowhere on the business end of things..good luck to you and thanks for an interesting post!

  17. I like Alex's comment - it's encouraging! I know exactly what you mean though. Things can be really slow a lot of the time! And I'm certainly nowhere near making a living as an author. Maybe one day :-)

  18. I'm kinda of geeking out about the glass-is-a-slow-moving-liquid-maybe thing. That is pretty freaking sweet. But it's sad that you feel like glass :(

  19. Lexa: Well, you know, I can't actually write fast enough to keep up with my ideas. Especially since I have a couple of ideas that have been hanging in there for 20 years or so. Anything that hangs on that long must be pretty decent.

    Eve: Yeah, they are often thicker at the bottom, but many people argue against the hypothesis (for various reasons).
    Thank you for reading my post!

    Rachel: Alex likes to be encouraging :)

    Callie: I figure as long as I can keep moving, assuming I don't break, I'm okay.