So I’ve noticed a pattern with myself. I have this love/hate relationship with writing.
Some days I really love writing. Other days it’s like slogging through the mud trying to force your feet to take that next step. I look at my sales and I wonder why the hell I’m even bothering. I wonder if anyone out there is reading my books. I wonder why I continue to torture myself with these endless interior monologues of “should I keep going or not” and if I really DO love writing books as much as I think I do. Or have I just merely conditioned my subconscious to love it? And think I love it? And keep doing it because that’s what I do? Because I don’t know what I do with myself if I didn’t write?
And then I think… okay, I can do this. I WILL do this. If [INSERT NAME HERE] can, then so can I (usually that name is Nora Roberts, Gena Showalter, Karen Marie Morning…yeah, I love to compare myself to super greatness). I think, Maybe I just need a breakout novel. More name visibility. More ads. More blogging. More social media. More running around to conferences where people have never heard of me. More writing my fingers off and throwing shorts up on Amazon. More getting my backlist out.
It’s overwhelming. And absolutely exhausting. I could wear myself out trying to do all of this AND write and more. And I look at other writers and think I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not visible enough. I’m not anything enough.
And I have to remind myself that (a) I work full time and (b) I have a teenager and a husband and (c) I am only human not superhuman. I can only do what I can do.
So I have to take a step back every so often and re-examine my writing and my goals. I’m a Gemini, so this is super hard for me. Because I want to be in two places at once. I want to do it all! I honestly think part of my problem is never having a solid direction other than, “I want to be published.” Part of me knows that is simply not enough anymore. After all, anyone can write and publish a book.
Please note: I am in NO WAY slamming indie publishing. I think it’s opened a lot of opportunities for authors, especially authors who have a unique niche that a big publisher won’t take a chance on. It has changed the shape of the publishing landscape forever. I know a lot of authors who have done it and been wildly successful. And also worked their ass off. I find that truly commendable.
Somewhere along the way, what I wanted got mucked up by the new landscape of publishing. I’m one of those people who like choices, but not TOO many choices. You can’t offer me a smorgasbord of things I want (deserts, fried food, shoes, candy, books) and expect me to choose—because I want them all. In the old days, there was one path to publishing: get an agent or an editor. Query until you die or you get a contract. It’s so different now and it’s hard to know which direction is the right direction.
I could self-publish everything I write. But I’m not sure I want to. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think I’ve finally come to a decision, as hard as it’s been. I still have a dream I hold dear to my heart. I don’t talk about it much anymore for various reasons. I keep it to myself. I want what I want. I haven’t figured out how to write faster/more/better in the short amount of time I have allotted. But, dammit, I’m going to die trying.