Hi everyone. This post is a little late as I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. But, as I sat down I realised I had the perfect subject for this morning. And I want to share it with you.
What’s Kicking Off?
The next proof of ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’ is here. It arrived yesterday and it’s perfect. Perfect I tells ya. There’s nothing wrong with it – at least that I can pick out. So I should (finally) be hitting ‘Go’ right? Right?!
But I haven’t yet. I keep staring at the book and saying ‘One more read. One more check.’ As if I’m not at the point at which words start to blur into one icky mess. So why can’t I get the book out there? It’s not like there isn’t an eBook version already for sale . . .
This Is The End
I’ve been working on this series for almost three years. ‘Vicki & Lara’ released in September 2012. The other books followed in pretty regular patterns and though it wasn’t as quick as I wanted, it was still pretty damn fast. I know many folk who are stunned at the speed at which I’ve released these six titles. And this IS the end. A project that consumed me wholly and marks the start of my career as an indie author and our (Ileandra, DSB and myself) career as a publisher too. Part of me doesn’t want to let that go and it’s pretty easy to see why.
Well . . . What’s Next?
I’ve touched on this briefly, but if I’m brutally honest, the answer is I have no frikkin clue. I was so utterly consumed by ‘Meeting Each Other’ that I’ve given no thought to future indie projects. Sure, I have ‘Slippers & Chains’ to be working on, but that series has a home with Breathless Press. What about me flying solo (which I love doing, so, so, so, so, SO much). The thought of not knowing where to go terrifies me, but as long as this project is still ‘open’ I don’t have to worry about it too much. So I put off completing it.
I need to spend some time thinking about this, because whatever I chose needs to be realistic as a whole project. Can I write it? Can I edit it? Can I afford cover art?
Yes . . . big question that. Can I afford XYZ? Well, so far ‘Meeting Each Other’ has utterly drained my dedicated bank account and I have nothing left to work with now. I need to make money to produce more of my own books.
What Do You Mean There’s No Money?
What? Didn’t I tell you? This indie publishing gig isn’t the ‘get rich quick’ scheme that people seem to believe. It takes lots of work, lots of time and at the end of it, because you’re a one man operation without the marketing budget of our friends in the Big Six (Five, now?) then no one is going to know you’re there. Ergo you’re unlikely to make buckets of money.
I always hoped that sales from one release would fund the next one. I’m yet to break even on the funds I poured into making ‘Vicki & Lara‘ the best it could be. Let alone the ones that followed.
So why again am I doing this? Why am I pouring time and money, not to mention my heart, soul, sweat, blood, tears and sanity into a project that has no return? Shouldn’t I just get a ‘real’ job and sit behind a desk or swipe groceries or teach sproglings how to count? Wouldn’t that add more value?
We have this debate all the time. DSB will probably talk about it soon, but I, in particular, feel the pressure because I’m the one with titles for sale. Ileandra isn’t under quite so much pressure yet.
Because I do feel pressure. I feel a burning drive to succeed and provide for my family and give The Sprogs everything they want and need. That is one of my inner reasons for writing, I won’t lie about that.
But so far I haven’t been able to do that. My monthly earnings from ‘this writing gig’ don’t even fund my coffee shop habit. So I certainly can’t buy clothes and food for The Sprogs with it.
So, what if it IS a waste of time? What if I’ll never get what I feel I want from this whole thing and prove right all the naysayers (because they’re out there, believe me. Some among my relatives, others elsewhere)? At least while I have an unfinished project, I can’t be expected to rake in the £££ right? After all, it must be complete before it can start earning. Right?
Pffft! Yeah, Right!
Fortunately I know better than that.
I know that hard work, perseverance, a willingness to believe in my own self and my ability will get me much further in this chosen profession of mine.
I know successful indie careers start slowly, build gradually and, for mega successful folk, appear to blossom over night, when in fact they are the product of years and years (and years!) of hard, non-stop work.
I know that huge five figure earnings aren’t the norm and that it’s far more likely that I’ll occasionally pay a bill with what I earn from anything I write.
I know that three years in, I’ve achieved so much to be proud of just as things stand and that I can (and should) hold my head high and feel good about it.
I know that.
So why can’t I hit ‘publish’? *head desk*
I’m scared, is the long and short. Those reasons and more tell me that putting a lid on ‘Meeting Each Other’ ends the only thing I was sure about. The one thing (writing-wise) that I have full control over. My ‘little baby’ will be out in the world without me to protect it and left utterly open to the opinions of readers that I may or may not get.
How is that not scary?
But the simple fact remains this: if I don’t do it, I’ll always wonder. If I don’t do it, then the work I’ve put in to date really will be a waste.
Next Steps . . . ?
I will publish this book. I will.
I just . . . don’t know when. I would set it as a goal, but that feels like undue pressure. And it’s already a goal: by the end of this month. So I will do it. I will (I WILL).
I’ll take that (actually no-so-irrational-fear) and throttle it into submission. But not yet. I can’t. I need more time. I need to remember how to breathe through my nose and eat without feeling sick. I need to convince myself that I don’t need to organise a huge launch party or Facebook event. I need to chill the hell out and remember why I started writing, even if the reasons I continue are slightly different.
Once I do that . . . it will be a pleasure to click ‘publish’ rather than something scary and pointless.