I’ve prattled on about this before, but it’s something I think most authors feel and these “Life updates” section are about what’s going on with me. SO! Hold onto your hats people, we’re going down a bumpy (and potentially sucky) ride.
There comes a time in every author’s life when they start to second guess their choices. That may be after one book that tanks and doesn’t do well, or that may be after twenty five books that do well, but the creativity just isn’t there anymore. Or the sales aren’t there. Or the readers aren’t there.
So many factors go into making our craft successful, and it’s incredibly easy to get bogged down by that. You readers are real hard to understand sometimes! We know what we want to write, but we don’t know what you want to read. Or why you aren’t reading. Or why you’re reading someone else. Or why you liked our first books, but then suddenly didn’t like the rest. Or why some books do really well, and the rest don’t even though they’re a continuation of a series.
YA’LL DON’T MAKE SENSE.
Anyways, that’s the big “question mark” above everyone’s heads. Some authors get really lucky and hit the right market at the right time. And that the market currently exploding is actually something they want to write. Other people, *cough*likemyself*cough*, tend to go for those cornerstone genres that people will always love, but aren’t necessarily booming.
This can really wear on a person! There are so many emotions that go through your head. Why is X person doing so well and I’m not? Am I not as good of a writer as I thought? Am I missing some key marketing concept? Was this a bad decision to put myself out there?
Usually the answer to all those questions is “no” and “calm down you’ll get there”. But when you’re in the midst of a panic attack, ya brain just ain’t interested in working.
It all really boils down to a fundamental thing that I think a lot of authors (and reviewers) forget. It’s something Jennifer Probst outlines in Write Naked so well that it made me have a complete epiphany.
Writing is essentially done alone.
Read that line one more time, and let it sink it.
The word “alone” is terrifying isn’t it? Most people can’t stand being alone. They need other people to feed off of their emotions, to bask in the sense of friendship and love that comes from being around other people. But when a writer signs on to be a “writer”, you’re essentially signing a contract that says “I’m okay with being alone not only for hours, but for days, months, years of my career.”
That’s all you get. Alone time with yourself and the never ending well of “you”.
Our brains like to work against us. I came from an artist background, I’m friends with a lot of artists and creative people who use that side of the brain that’s splashed with colors and glitter.
One thing we all have in common is that we are sensitive.
Yeah yeah yeah calm down, I get it. “I”m not sensitive Emma! YOU’RE sensitive”.
Hush. That’s part of being an artist. We are so connected with our emotions, with our surroundings, with light and sound and color and texture and the souls of everything around us that YES WE ARE.
There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive, but there are some things you need to make sure you do. Taking care of yourself, as a sensitive artistic person, is the greatest gift you can give.
Things to do today
Surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your craft, be that the written word or traditional art.
Set aside time for yourself to appreciate the stuff you have done. And I think a lot of people forget this one so I’m going to say it again. Take the time to step back, look at all you have created, and be proud of yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Success, especially in the world of writing, doesn’t necessarily have a quantifiable reasoning behind it. Sometimes, it’s just luck.
Finish the damn project. Stop looking at the sparkly new story just out of reach and give this one your all.
Fill your life with experiences to write about. Go out and travel, and if you can’t travel, then connect with people around the world and talk to them. Meet new friends, online counts, and pick their brains about not just their writing and their success, but who they are as a person.
Don’t give up. The money might not be there, the drive might not be there, hell the audience might not be there. But you are a creative individual and there are people out there who love your stories. Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely, and you are one of the rarest people on the planet capable of creating, developing, marketing, and breathing life into new worlds.
Don’t ever forget how valuable you truly are.
- Black Blood is currently being reviewed, expected completion date of 06/29/2017. Which means this sucker should be released on my vacation! Stay tuned for further updates.
- The Faerie Midwife series officially has a name for the first book! “Heart of the Fae” will be Sorcha and Eamonn’s tale. Long blog post about this book series after Black Blood is released.
- Also – 12,000 words into the Faerie book with an expected word count of 150,000 or more. You’ll get a nice sized book out of me this time.
- I’m collaborating with a ton of artists and will be doing a whole bunch of promo and giveaways in preparation for this series (and for your help to get the audience growing like crazy), so stay tuned for more of that!