Okay it’s Wednesday morning. My record for timely posting is 1-1, but right now Tuesday is the only day of the week I have a vehicle and the kids are in school at the same time so all my appointments are crammed into that single day. Adulting is fun.
I wanted to talk about something I’ve personally been dealing with a lot lately, and I feel authors in general deal with frequently, unless you have the confidence of an Olympian deity who manages to seduce a woman as a dirty, flea ridden bird. I digress.
I knew I wanted to be a writer from my informative years, but I did not realize that came hand in hand with being an anxious pigeon. Creative professions are a category of brutality all their own. It is not a nine to five grind, or a physically labor intensive job. But creative professions are difficult work. It demands monumental sacrifices of time, effort, sleep, and straining your brain, and the pay off is a distant speck on the horizon. We shed blood, sweat, tears, often literally, while penning a manuscript. We cringe through edits and rewrites. Then we must distill our months of effort into a single page query, and that SINGLE PAGE is what we are judged on first. Not our text, that comes later. If our query piques an editor/agent/publishers interest enough to get them to read those sample pages. Rejections, silence, left to drift in the ether of the internet.
That is one lane. If you are an indie author, self published, or exploring any other avenues of getting your work out there: there is still the scrutiny of the reader, the reviewer, the not quite abated dismissal of ‘traditional publishing’ Oh and Marketing. Let’s not forget that bucket of suck, since both traditional and indie authors have to pimp their book. Alternate forms of publishing come with their own forms of anxiety that are just as stressful as the traditional path.
Writing for a living is a slim prospect, indie, traditional, or otherwise. There is imposter syndrome, ‘writer’s block’, slumps, juggling real life with writing life, bad reviews, bombed releases. For many of us, our self worth starts to tangle with our creative side.
So why do we do this to ourselves?
To be honest, that is a difficult answer.
On a personal side, the endless hours, the anxious hours, and wobbly moments are worth it. All it takes is one person saying they loved the story to make everything else a wash. I do this because I love it. I write because I can’t not write. (look at that saucy double negative.) Yes, some days are difficult. Some days I wonder how I am going to pull this off, but I stick with it. I keep creating. I keep putting myself out there. Not everyone is going to love my work, not every review is going to be flattering, and marketing is still a mystery knot I am attempting to untangle. I might not be able to make ‘a living wage’ off my writer for years, if ever. I might never get over this sense of imposter syndrome no matter how many books I pen. I might never shake this overriding sense of anxiety that my profession will never be seen as a job.
But someone will pick up my book and love it.
I keep going.
I stumbled on K.Flay one random youtube mix ago. Her breathy voice and catchy lyrics, coupled with eye catching videos are a win win and this song in particular is actually pretty great to run to.
This is my second time starting the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire and I took out pretty much the whole series from the library as a reward for when I finish edits. I am going to binge the hell out of them.