In my observations, I’ve noticed that many authors have the same struggles. They feel like these struggles are singular to them and their own personal situation. The reason why is because very few authors actually get together and talk about their struggles unless it’s on a forum. I know some who get together weekly or have writing groups, but the very real struggles go on feeling very singular to the individual.
I would like to discuss one such struggle of mine. Even though there are many and I could fill a book talking about them.
There is a stronger probability that my writing career won’t succeed than it will be victorious. That’s just the facts. People always say, “follow your passion and the money will come.” I’ve been self-publishing for nearly three years and that hasn’t been my experience. At least not yet. To be fair, from the beginning there were a lot of things that I just flat out didn’t get. Like how to get a proper cover, proper proof-reading, and a website for starters. Many could look at my career and point to various causes was to why certain things haven’t worked like I have hope. One huge one being that I should have focused on one pen name. But I had this itch for writing romance that needed to be scratched. So I scratched it. Now I’m back to the one pen name.
I was in my room this morning reading an article about how self-publishing for a living was on the out and it was a fantasy to think that anyone new could do so. Being that successful means writing a ton of books and getting the right kind of visibility. AKA: IMPOSSIBLE.
Then I walked out of my room and heard my dad grumbling to himself on the computer. I asked him what was wrong. He said some random computer or oil company laid off thousands of more employees. This wasn’t the first time he’s told me the stats of people getting laid off. For those of you so thrilled with gasoline (in the US) being so cheap right, let me tell you that it comes at a price. People are losing work or unable to find it because barrels of oil are so cheap right now. Even the Saudis are panicking over it according to a different article I read recently.
Moral of the story, there are lots of people out of work. There are lots of people looking for work who can’t find it. There are lots of people who go to regular day jobs and hate it. There are many friends of mine from uni that have moved back in with their parents or in with a boyfriend because they can’t afford to live on their own. And who can in a city where $1,000 a month for a 600 sq ft apartment in a mediocre neighborhood is considered really cheap?
Every time I start feeling the stress of, ‘this book will never sell. I will be thirty years old one day and living at home. I suck at life. Why am I doing this? The likelihood of success is getting smaller and smaller no matter how hard I work.’ I have to remember that even people who have those regular jobs aren’t fairing too well. More than one group of friends of mine who are married live off of one income and don’t know what they would do without it. And that is equally frightening.
I’m having a stern look at my computer and telling myself… soldier on! Because writing right now is my job. I have nothing else and I would be miserable doing anything else. So I have no choice. Keep going. Then maybe one day I can tell lots of other writers out there from a stand point of success that I truly feel their struggles. They were once my own.
Big dreams. Small chances. What else is new?