Why I Don’t Write About Cuil Press

Okay, time to fess up.

I’ve been avoiding writing about Cuil Press. I know it’s one of my goals, and I know I said I’d be blogging about all of them regularly. But I dropped the ball on this one.

Actually, I dropped several balls on this one.

The truth is that the main reason I haven’t been blogging about the Press is it has been too depressing. Between my summer-from-hell, Desy’s health issues, and the shit Michon had dumped into hir life, the Press took a major back seat. This resulted in multiple reschedulings of our current projects, among other issues.

Hard truth: more than any other goal, the Press is where my insecurities eat at me. They eat at my badly enough that if Michon and Desy weren’t depending on me I probably would have quit by now.

Which… is ironic since the reason my insecurities are eating at me so hard is because other people are depending on me.

It’s this lovely downward spiral of self flagellation.

Let’s review those goals —

The Bookshelf?

If I don’t manage to get my books out, no one is hurt. At worst, a few readers are let down but… real talk, I have no evidence to date that there are folks out there waiting (eagerly or otherwise) for my next release. And while that does a bit to my ego, it also means no real pressure.

The Farm?

That’s literally a situation where any progress is improvement. If we never get the farm, but I figure out how to grow veggies indoors, that’s a win. If we never get the farm, but Michael learns project management, that’s a win. If never get the Farm, but Michon and everyone moves close enough that we can be in each other’s lives regularly, that’s a win.

Old ‘Woman’?

Hell, that’s all me. My friends and family may cheer me on, but I’m not letting anyone down if I change my mind or decide to take a break.

Generational Home?

I mean, that’s mostly my thing. Everyone else in the fam agrees we want to live together and do a communal thing, but I’m the one who wants to find a way to make it last past our lifetimes. If anyone else wants that, well, they haven’t told me, ya know? And honestly, I wouldn’t expect them to. We work because we each provide something to the synergy we create. And I’m the one who is inward-focused. The one whose goals center around caring for and nurturing the family.

But the Press?

*shudder* Not only Michon and Desy, but every author we sign a contract with is depending on me to get things write. To not fall apart during the run up to publication, to stay on schedule, to manage our goals and deadlines, to, to, to…

I’m going to fail them. I know it. I know it the way I know the sun rises in the east. Because for all that I’ve healed and grown and fought back, I don’t think ever really recover from a childhood of emotional abuse.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

So yeah. There are definitely times I catch myself looking around for the exit sign. This is one thing left in my life where I am legit scared of failing. And times like this summer when I couldn’t do fuck all for months at a time, they don’t exactly help.

We are slowly getting back on track. I finished the Once Upon a Green Rose cover and am making progress on the cover for Kindle a Fire. Deadlines and schedules have been updated since we pushed the publication date for Green Rose back into January.

I should (please God!) have the formatting for Green Rose finished by Oct so Desy can send it out to book reviewers. (Contact her if you want a review copy.)

And, if we can keep the momentum going, we’ll have two books out early next year. Fingers crossed.

Now, where’d that valium go…

Cuil Press, LLC: Lifetime Resolutions

Cuil Press is the indie publishing company Michon and I started a couple years ago. It’s had a very slow and rocky start, but I think we are finally finding our stride.

This particular resolution is in many ways the weakest. Not because my commitment is lower, but because I don’t have as clear an idea of what I am trying to achieve.

Partly, that may be because Cuil Press wasn’t my dream to begin with. It was Michon’s. And while I’m the one who grabbed the bull by the horns and said ‘Okay, let’s do this!’ ze is still the visionary of the Press. But a bigger part is that I’m afraid to come up with a specific goal for the Press.

I grew up watching disagreements about what direction to take a family business tear that business (and, as it appeared) family apart. It was only much later that I understood there never had been a family as I understood the term. Only people who felt stuck together by blood ties and business ownership.

Any goal I have for the Press risks coming into conflict with Michon’s vision for what it can and should be. And after what happened to the business my grandfather started, that possibility worries me more than it probably should.

So realistically, what do I want for the Press?

I want it to be bringing in enough money to pay us a reasonable amount for the time we put in and be able to offer our authors reasonable advances.

I want to be able to keep it going as a viable business, possibly even something that other people can pick up and continue after we retire.

I don’t want it to become a full-time job. (See Bookshelf)

I want to stay true to the ideas that led to us creating Cuil Press in the first place.

I think that’s enough.

Blog posts related to this resolution will be about editing, marketing, small business, the publishing industry, and other related stuff.