Yoda once said, “Wars not make one great.” Sounds reasonable to me. Recently, I was reminded of this quote when my daughter said something catching me completely off guard. Janette said, “Dad, you’re famous!” She was very excited by her discovery. As many of you might imagine, I was amused and more than a little befuddled. I think I responded by saying, “Of course I am. I’m your Dad.” Janette replied by rolling her eyes at me in a way only teenagers can which communicate disgust and the implication that I am now too old to be a functioning human. Then she said, “No, Dad. I mean, you are … like famous.”
At this point, I was no longer interested in messing with her head and really wanted to just get back to my glass of wine and my current work in progress, but she’d peaked my interest. Asking for a little more information, she informed me that I now showed up on Google if you search for “Bryan Nowak”. Not even on the second or third page, I’m at the top.
As a parent, I waver between bursting her bubble and explaining how search engine optimization works and the fact that I recently updated my SEO and letting her believe she was actually the progeny of someone famous. Actually, I was, in retrospect, happy she came to me that day because it means that the SEO changes I made not only took, they were effective!
Yes, I have a website, Facebook page for my literary work, and Twitter. However, under no definition am I famous. I really don’t want to be. Well-known, okay. Sought-after, sure. A guy who gets invited to parties? Maybe sometimes. But, never famous. Famous people seem to be too busy!
Writing is a ton of hard work and the return on investment is largely a sense of satisfaction. You are constantly writing something, editing something, marketing something, and generally praying to a higher power that someone … anyone will read your book. It’s true. Sometimes … once in a great while. You break even, but that’s a rare occasion.
Recently I went into my profile at the Horror Writer’s Association. It is a group I’ve belonged to since 2014. I’m an active member and just recently registered for the big convention they hold every year. When I originally set up the profile, I didn’t have any titles to my name, good or bad. I only knew that was where I wanted to go in my writing and I joined the organization.
While I was updating my contact information, I added all of the links I mentioned above for social media, my own website, and photos of myself, and my books. My point is that I’ve come a long way, but it has been a slow and steady change almost imperceptible had it not been for the need to update my information. I guess I needed to see that right now, at this point in my, still nascent, career. I can’t help but think I’ve just been trudging uphill slowly without a clue how high up that mountain I am.
My daughter turned me around and showed me the side of the hill. No, I’m not anywhere near the top … not even the first base-camp, but I’m not at the bottom either. Maybe, someday a few years from now, I’ll be at the first base-camp and will write another blog about the slow trudging uphill and my joy at breaking even for the first time. For now, I’ll just turn back around, headed up-hill, and stare at my feet as I take one step after another. Secure in the knowledge, that I’m making some—perhaps incremental—progress.
-Your Humble Servant,