We’re going to ramble a bit off topic today, but I promised myself I would blog at least once a week and this is what’s on my mind this week.
Every author has a moment when they hit a wall. This could be a wall made out of stories, it could be the well running dry, or it could be the soul sucking abyss that is marketing.
Can you tell which one is mine?
Making the choice to be an indie author is not an easy one. Most of us are control freaks that want the book to come out the way we want the book to come out. I’ve written about this choice of mine before, so I’m not going to get into that rant. But the reality is that with those choices comes the dreaded “marketing”. An author can be amazing, wonderful, creative, and make worlds that could set minds ablaze. But if they aren’t found, then nothing happens. They’re stuck in the same place they originally were.
So how do we market? Well, hell, I haven’t figured that one out yet. That’s my wall. This is my proverbial horror story where I’m hiding on the opposite side of a door while a guy with a chainsaw breathes heavily on the other side. I have two choices. Stay behind the door and wait for him to find me (see, in this analogy you readers are the man with the chainsaw) or I can whip around and take chainsaw man on myself.
My mind goes to weird places when I think about readers who potentially are leaving reviews. Ya’ll scare me. We’ll leave it at that.
I’ll share a hard fact with all of you who might be thinking about becoming authors. It’s not a lucrative deal. You aren’t going to be sitting in your living room writing the day away immediately. In fact, you probably aren’t going to do that for most of your career. You’ll be slaving away just like the rest of us, and then coming home to your second job of writing.
It’s easy to get discouraged. A lot of authors never publish more than one book because there are so many hats, there’s so much effort, and very little payback. I try to keep my expenditures at the same amount as my sales. Some months, that’s just not doable. Some months I sell so little, that I can’t even afford to pay my editor for the next book which will (hopefully) boost the sales.
And that’s a lot of pressure that makes a lot of people fold. Heavy weights and all that jazz.
All I can say is that you should never ever give up. Writing, for most of us, is not a choice. It’s a necessity. We have so much creative energy bubbled up inside of us that NOT writing isn’t even an option. Worlds are created inside our heads at any moment in time. We have to share that talent with the world. Not hoard it like dragons.
So if you want to write, write. You should! Just because there’s a similar story out there, that doesn’t mean it’s YOUR story.
Being a writer is a job. You aren’t always going to love it. You aren’t always going to feel as though you’re doing the right thing. And I can’t promise that you aren’t going to feel down in the dumps because you don’t get a lot of reviews. Or you aren’t selling books. Or you haven’t sold a book in a long time.
But the world needs what you’re writing. If just one single person reads your book and feels better about themselves, then you did your job right.