Thing I have learned since deciding to write a book….
March 9, 2016 Things that happen in my life!
It’s interesting to me how life goes sometimes. Like I said in my bio, as I was pondering how I could contribute to the world and my family after my youngest was older and having to take care of my disabled mother, I was prompted to write a book. And like I said I had no idea how to do that. Well these are some things that I have learned in the six years or so since that day.
First, that writing has nothing to do with reading. Yeah, that sounds wrong, but it’s true. It has little to do with imagination, creativity, or especial grammar (that’s what editors are for). What it does have to do with is desire, persistence, passion, and endurance. The last has been the hardest. After I started learning how to write and what all that entailed I felt like the milestones I was reaching ie word count, peer review, understanding craft and technique, etc. were leading me to somewhere. I felt like I was going to finally get somewhere. Then I learned that I had to have it edited. Ok, so in order to really compete with the traditionally published authors I needed it to be edited professionally, not just by my sister who reads a lot (even though she was always a big part of the process) but by someone who charged an arm and a leg. Well, shoot, I need the ones I have, so I found Blue Squares Editing and was able to save for a bit and sneak some from the budget and got it edited. Now I have to say, that was the best money I had spent! I learned so much from Christopher that it really took my writing to a whole new level.
Then I learned that I had to have the write kind of cover, blurb, and synopsis. Ok, what does that mean. I turned to IndieRecon and found a plethora of great info, but how do I start to apply it all. I am still working on that. But now I was totally confused. I kept seeing, if you think your going to be a overnight sensation and make it big and quite your full time job then don’t do this, and you need to so this and you need to do that. I paid again for more training where I learned a great deal about Amazon and how that works.
Then I learned that I had to have a successful launch and what that entailed. Still checking the list to see if I missed anything. By this time I think I grew a new patch of gray hair, in which I color and will always do so. Then I put my book into the universe on Amazon and watched it soar. No, not really, I did feel that I had done quite well because I held a great position on the Amazon rankings and was on the first page in my niche genre and things. I was on cloud nine, then about three weeks later the air had slipped from my balloon and I sank to the bottom.
The numbers weren’t good, in fact I think I cried. I started to doubt what I was doing. I had spent over $1000 now on this book and six years of my time. I moped around and didn’t shower for days. Ok well about two days, but it felt like way longer. I figured it had to be my cover was wrong, maybe my blurb. It must be my synopsis. I changed my cover, re worked my blurb, became obsessed with checking Amazon everyday and watched it sink clear down to the millions place. My heart sunk.
Then I read a Facebook post from another Indi Author who was confiding her struggles with much of the same things and she had decided to take all her stuff down from the online markets and put them all on a free site. Her desire for writing for those who love to read had been stifled by the need to meet the requirements and politics of publishing, that she had forgotten to love to write. It really made me think, and before I spent any more time wasting away in Amazon ranking hell, I needed to figure out why it was that I started this in the first place.
I took myself back to that moment when a small voice in my head told me to write a book. It didn’t tell me to choose YA fiction, it didn’t say anything. I could have chosen to write on how to deal with adult children-because I have some- I could have chosen to write about how all the different ways I have tried to keep my house clean when it really comes down to ,because I just didn’t do it, but I chose YA Fiction. So I started to think, why? Well it was because my son had a hard time finding something to read that he was interested in that wasn’t ‘how to build an engine’. An actual story, fiction, fantasy that he wanted to enjoy. Plus, he and the rest of my house, are a house of Geeks. Yes, we do Geek at our house and everyone plays some kind of online game or console gaming. Even the 4 year old plays abya.com. I know, what about good old fashion make believe. Are you kidding! You really have to have an imagination to play online games. Anyway tangent for another day. Then it came to me. That is what I was going to do, bridge the gap between online role playing games (MMORPG’s) and books.
Yes I said it MMORPG’s and BOOKS in the same sentence. It is possible to do both, to love both. So that is what I learned, what my journey has taught me. That it’s ok to love both, and to have them both. How to work hard and that you still have to spend money. How the most important thing is that there will be a million ways to do something and a million things you have to do and all the should’s and should not’s. But what ever you do do, NEVER forget the reason you started! If that’s to leave a legacy for your loved ones, never forget it. If it’s to offer your years of expertise to others, never for get it. If its to make a million bucks, never forget it.
I have learned, to have a great love for something that used to be so hard for me. And to overcome the challenges and hurdles has felt to stinking awesome. If I never make a dime, the one thing I will cherish is being able to bridge the gap between reading and video gaming. And to enjoy the journey, even through the hard parts and the slow parts.
Great and encouraging post.Thanks for sharing the travails of the path that made you a writer. Your voice is beautiful. Best wishes.