I’ve never been really comfortable with the idea of using a GoFundMe page to help fund my transition, simply because I don’t like just randomly asking people for money. Even if the cause is worthy–and, in my opinion, it is–the whole idea just isn’t… It doesn’t sit well with me.
So I have been looking into various options for dealing with the inevitable unemployment that will result, once the transition becomes too obvious too hide but isn’t complete enough to put behind me. No matter what, there’s going to be an awkward period lasting 2 to 6 months, possibly more, where I’m clearly not a man and clearly not a woman. It’s not like one day I’ll be a man, but the next no one will bat an eye when I introduce myself as Aria. It will be slower than that, and more difficult than that. It will also leave me unemployable for a period. While I do write for the U.K. gaming site Cubed3, that isn’t really making me any money.
I’ve been trying for about the past 3 months to find an agent to take the novel I wrote last year, and I’ve been writing another novel in the interim. Actually, I started the novel around January 3, and it’s about 20% complete right now. I’m still looking for an agent for the previous novel, and I hope to finish this one and start looking for an agent for it, as well, around March, possibly April. I can quickly edit and refine enough of the manuscript to begin submission while I finish editing and refining, especially since agents seem difficult to find, particularly for Fantasy novels. On that same token, my next novel–the one after the one I’m currently writing–won’t be Fantasy.
Self-publishing is not something I’m really interested in, and I’ve always sort of looked down on it. There’s no screening process for those who self-publish; anyone can self-publish a novel, so there’s no publisher or agent keeping out the junk. I know how that sounds considering I’m having a hard time finding an agent, but it’s not unusual for people to spend years getting their first novel published. Getting published is a ten thousand mile journey, and I’m still in the first few hundred miles. So that I haven’t yet found an agent is not a mark against my book; it’s a mark against the industry, particularly how hostile it is toward authors. The growth of a writer is not what agents are interested in; they are interested in the bottom dollar, and that’s it. I say this because out of the two dozen agents to whom I’ve submitted my manuscript, two have replied, and neither said anything more than “Good luck. This just isn’t right for me at this time.” This, of course, may conceal a reason it’s not right for the agent in question. The author will never know, and will never know what to change or improve.
I’m still not willing to self-publish my novels, but I realized today that there’s no reason not to self-publish my short stories. And that is exactly what I’ve done. The first of many that will be uploaded in the coming years and decades is Dead or Alive, a first-person tale about a man who appears to be dying–or who is in a hospital room–or who has already died. It’s heavily anti-organized religion, and takes a strong stance against religious indoctrination and the terrorism of the soul for which organized religions are notorious. It’s rather short for a short story, I freely admit that, but it’s entertaining, and I definitely think it’s worth it for 99 cents.
Check it out! You’d be doing a lot to help this young author move forward. 😀
Or, if you’re not interested in reading a short story, maybe you’d consider simply donating to the cause, or sharing the page? http://www.gofundme.com/ariatransition
Thanks, and have a good afternoon. 😀