This So-Called #Writing Life

Look at me! Blogging the third week in a row. One of my new goals is to blog at least once a week, preferably on Monday, to get myself back into the swing of it. I don’t know what sort of things I’ll be talking about. You never know with me. Most of it will be writing related but I’m sure there will be some Sir Dexter posts coming. Everyone loves Sir Dexter!

This week I’m talking about writing in general. Y’all, this writing gig is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’ve been struggling with it for a long time now. I know most of it is my fault and the fact that I can’t seem to get out of my own way. That and the indecision paralyzes me.

Some of my writing friends know exactly what they want out of their writing career. They know the direction they want it to lead them. They know how to take the bull by the horns and go after what they want. They are determined and persistent and never give up. I admire that. I wish I could be more like them.

Me? I’m over here all, “I just want to write books for a living.”

I think a lot of my problem is (a) while I know the direction I want to go, I don’t know how to achieve it and (b) I have a short attention span and am a lot like the dog, Doug, in UP. SQUIRREL! I think that’s why I never settled on writing one genre. When writers ask me what I write, I cringe. Not because I don’t want to answer but because I think of all the stories I’ve written, published and unpublished, and it looks more like BJ’s Restaurant menu. Some of everything!

I’ve been a member of RWA since 2004. Over a decade, folks. I only have 10 books published. My emotions on the subject have run the gamut from “I’m just not good enough” to “I know I can write so why can’t I find an agent/land a publishing contract/get with that publisher? WTF am I doing wrong?”

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent too much time spinning my wheels listening to Everyone Else instead of my own gut instinct. Well-meaning writers who love indie publishing want to push you in that direction. While I have indie published, the cost factor is huge when you have virtually no royalties coming in. I invested $2,000+ into a book but have yet to see the ROI. I paid a lot for an editor only to have a snarky reviewer say that he/she couldn’t believe the book had been edited because it sucked. Gee, thanks. I only put 18 months of my life into that book. And since I didn’t have the cashflow to put that $2,000 into the book, I used a credit card thinking I would have the royalties coming it to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.

A year has passed. I’m still in debt.

I’m not whining. Really. I love writing and creating. I think I’ve resigned myself to writing for the love of it instead of the money. But I still want to be able to do it full time. I guess I really don’t know what that looks like for me. Is it indie publishing full time? Or is it finding that elusive agent and getting that publishing deal? Just when I think I’ve made up my mind, I’m struck with indecision again.

They say good stories sell. I’m sure that’s probably true but my books don’t sell and I’m pretty sure the stories don’t suck. At least, I hope they don’t. Most of the reviews I get are positive.
Bottom line: It’s a hard business and it changes at a rapid pace. There are a lot of decisions to be made and I have a lot of thinking still to do.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.