Unless you’re living a glamorous life à la John Green or some other celebrity author, you’re probably not completely secure about being a novelist. Heck, I definitely am not. It’s a weird mindset, to be telling stories that you make up completely out of thin air. You’re at the mercy of whoever bothers to read what you write, and if you’re a perfectionist like me, words feel like they can literally kill you (how ironic is that). But I’m writing this pseudo-rant post to let you know that you’re not alone in that odd feeling of being a bit eccentric and *different* than your non-writer friends. Read on to find out the dirty little secrets about indie publishing from yours truly – a girl who wasn’t hit with some miraculous creative breakthrough, but rather, a good dose of paralyzing hormones (I’ll elaborate, just roll with me here).
Secret #1: I actually don’t enjoy the process of writing.
Well, that’s only partially true. I enjoy dreaming up stories, but sitting down to crank out 10k words in a day (which I have actually done on a few isolated and desperate occasions) is incredibly daunting. I set hefty goals for myself, and I always want to accomplish a ton of work like the #girlboss I’m convinced I am, but that doesn’t usually pan out. When I sit down to write, there are usually a bunch of really loose ideas and concepts (or, maybe I think I know what I want to write about, but I later realize that I don’t). The next most common problem I notice recurring all the time, is that I know exactly what I want to happen in the story, but have a hard time pacing it (ie., how to get from point A to point B in a logical way that’s entertaining and not too predictable). Writing is work – that’s why I say it’s the most energy you’ll ever expel while sitting completely still.
Secret #2: I started writing because I was upset about a boy.
I was absolutely heartsick over this one (yeah, I know, totally Taylor Swift-esque. I’m not mad about that comparison though, she’s a badass). It was a pretty intense crush that happened and I’m still working through it, but I’ve grown a lot since then. At the time, I was nineteen and totally pissed, and so I did the only thing I could think of – short of giving him a piece of my mind: I wrote my first novel. And then published it, on Amazon, for the world to see. It’s not perfect, but it helped. And I guess I should thank him for launching my writing career – I guess everything happens (or doesn’t happen) for a reason, right? Now I just pray he never actually finds out…
If you want to check it out, you can find my somewhat-embarrassing foray into the world of novels HERE.
Secret #3: It’s really freaking hard to spread the word about my stories.
You’d think that if you actually publish an original story online for the world to see, people might actually show some interest – that is not necessarily the case, unless you’re an expert marketer. Or you are one of the lucky few who have an agent who will push your work to the right audience. If you’re like me and are neither of these things, it feels like a relentless uphill battle laden with quiet dashboards and lackadaisical mailing list subscribers. And yet, I write. I’m vastly creative and find that I really need that outlet to get my ideas out to the world. Paired with my music lessons (as I’ve been an avid guitar player for over 11 years now), I have found ways to combat stress and view life with a *little* less cynicism.
Secret #4: Even (most of) my friends haven’t read my work.
I know, it’s weird. And a little hurtful. But I’m convinced they have other redeeming qualities. If anything, it just reminds me that they’re human too, and I do love them. I really do. Still weird, and I don’t get it. But it is what it is – and it’s not the kind of thing I would force on anyone. But a little interest from people who supposedly give a crap about my life would be nice, LOL. But that’s to be expected – some people, in your life journey, might have trouble relating to your penchant for penning the great American novel, or they might just be plain jealous. Either way, I’m sure there are other things you can bond over even if the writing thing falls through the cracks. Nothing wrong with enjoying different people for different things!
That being said, I’d like to just take a minute and mention that I do have some really amazing author friends, and they’re likely the reason why I’m still (somewhat) sane. I actually got to format and edit a book for one of them, and then he wrote a fight scene for one of my books (so it was a nice little swap). If you like really creative action-packed futuristic sci-fi with a good dose of heart, check that out HERE.
Secret #5: I actually have no idea what I’m doing.
It’s true, most of what happens is me completely winging it. I’m not an expert marketer, even if I have learned a few tricks here and there. I also am not an expert writer, even if I can do it fairly well though years of practice. But that’s life – you just fake it ’til ya make it. And even then, nothing is ever guaranteed. My motto is to shoot for the moon, because even if you fail, you’ll still be among the stars (I heard that somewhere and can’t remember where exactly, but it’s my motto now).
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how my books came out, and if you’d be kind enough to check them out, I’d really and truly appreciate that. They’re available on Amazon HERE.
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