I’m going to be real here for a moment so if you’re not interested in emotions (mine or your own), you may want to skip over this post. Also, it’s kinda rambly.
The seasonal depression has been extra bad this year and I have been incredibly unmotivated to write. Since November (or even October?), it’s been such a slog to get words out and everything I write feels terrible and hard. I am wondering why I am even doing this shit and does anyone actually care? I know people say not to write for others, but that is literally half the reason why I write. Half the time it’s because I have something burning in my head, but the other is because I want to share those ideas.
When I wrote “just for myself” the quality of my writing was different. It had a super narrow focus and was very repetitive. Trying to turn that into coherent stories has been challenging, and for the most part it’s been fun. Except, lately I haven’t been having fun. And I don’t mean in the “you have good days and bad days” type of way, but in the, “I never want to do this and will make excuses to do anything else (including clean)” way, coupled with a few, “oh I have a great scene, but I can’t write it b/c I’m a talentless hack.”
Maybe I’ve set too high a bar for myself. Maybe I’m too much “all over the place”. Maybe I really am hinging my happiness on other people’s responses. I don’t know. All I know is that something’s gotta give or I am going to walk away (again) with many unrealized dreams and unfinished projects.
Now, before you go and tell me that “being an author isn’t easy,” I want to tell you that I already know that. If it were, we’d have a society with all authors and no doctors, lawyers, mechanics, electricians etc. I never expected to write something and then have people throwing money at me before I even got it out of the door. I may be an optimist, but I’m not naïve. I think the worst thing is not that it’s hard, but that I don’t really know on what “hard” I should be spending my effort.
On the one hand, I would love to get traditionally published. But there’s only so much one can do in terms of writing, self-editing, and querying before your project is out of your hands. Yes, you can keep querying for eternity, but if you never get picked up, your story never gets out there. And, let me tell you, I’M SICK AND TIRED OF WAITING. In Memoriam, my book #1 of The Savant Uprising is currently at the 2nd reader for a publisher and has been there since March of 2021. By 2nd reader, I mean that the 1st reader asked for a full manuscript, read that, and passed it up the chain. The 2nd reader has to accept it before it goes to the buyer aka the publisher. Or the 2nd reader can reject it, that would be OK too.
I just want something to happen! While I’ve been waiting, I’ve been writing the 2nd and 3rd books which are now completed (and 2 more are projected) but I literally can’t do anything with them, except maybe query because book 2 is the start of the actual trilogy. Again…more waiting. I’ve considered hiring a developmental editor or some other editor for book 2, so I can see if I’m on the right track, but that leads to another problem:
Funds. I’m not making enough money to justify a dev ed. And, would it need it? If the publisher picks up In Memoriam, would they be interested in the others as well? Who knows? If not, then I can do something with them. But I need to know that first…(Never mind that I made vanity covers for two of the books so I could begin visualizing myself as a published author….).
So, I decided to put The Savant Uprising series in time-out after completing my 3rd novel, Gen Codex because it was making me frustrated and crazy and I still didn’t know if the story is even worth anything. Instead, I tried to figure out what kinds of things I could do in the meantime to keep promoting myself as an author.
Well, what about an entirely new story? If I made a short steampunk story that I could use to help fund my writing or something, that would be good since my problem is lack of product. I don’t have anything that people actually want right now (except pictures of cats). This led me to come up with a steampunk serial series, Cloudbreaker, that I’ll release in 7 short story installments via Patreon or something.
EXCEPT I’M GETTING NO FEEDBACK WHATSOEVER!! No matter how positive I’ve tried to be on my various social media platforms about upcoming stuff, no one gives a shit. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Ko-fi…it’s all a bunch of crickets. It’s so much crickets that I’m thinking of learning TikTok or Twitch just to see if those reach people who care.
I know it’s hard to market to your friends, but I somehow have over 1000 “friends” on Facebook and let’s face it, some of y’all are barely above anonymous strangers. So, give me feedback! What do you want to see?!
Steampunk/Cyberpunk/Fantasy? Short stories/serials/novels/series? I can guarantee you I have ideas in all of those areas, but I just need to understand what my focus should be (because, as we’ve established already, if left to my own devices, I’m all over the place). Really, I’m on the verge of doing a desk flip and going to play with dolls or something because no one seems to care about anything (me included).
So, this is my desperate attempt at getting engagement or reassurance to see if anyone out there is listening. I don’t even want money—just a like or follow on one or all of my various social media platforms and maybe a comment about my upcoming stuff. (And, if you really don’t care, that’s cool too. Just keep being your awesome self. And I mean that in a totally positive way, I promise.). (Seriously, did y’all think I was that much of a cynical bitch? I’d still like you if you didn’t care about my work. I’m not a monster…)