There comes a time, realistically there are many times, where you come to a point in your life where you must make a choice. Move forward, or stay where you are. I am proud to say I have said “Yes” to that question that pops up from time to time. I moved in with the man of my dreams, I married that man, I published my first novel, you get the idea. But there’s a few things about me you may not know.
I had the chance to go to college a few years ago, but I was afraid. I worried about student loans and that they would give me a hard time because I had been home-schooled through high school. I am scared of a lot of things, as I’m sure everyone is. I’m scared of making a mistake, doing something wrong, and possibly hurting someone in the process. I’m sorry to bring up the zodiac sign mythology but I’m a Libra and I weigh things to death. I spend so long thinking about which way to go that sometimes the opportunity passes me by or I just psych myself out so much that I freeze. I don’t decide. I stay where I am.
I’m scared of failure. If it hadn’t been for Hubs convincing me to put “Ensuing Darkness” on Amazon when he did, who knows, I still probably wouldn’t have had it up there by today. Haha, it’s like I know I can do these things, I know it, but I’m scared to prove it just in case what I thought I knew was wrong. I caught myself in a freeze a while back when I was asked about my being an artist. It would’ve possibly been my first project for someone other than myself, but I froze because I was scared of failing and disappointing my first customer.
I’ve been doing this freezing thing for years, but I’ve also been working on getting past it and taking that glorious step forward. I applied to Full Sail University, to go for a BFA in Graphic Design. I was almost done when they told me even after all the financial help I could get and with 2 Stafford loans, I still had $3000 left to pay before I could start. That sucked, but hey at least that’s the only thing that stopped me this time.
I have been plagued by writer’s block for a very long time now, almost since I put “Ensuing Darkness” up on Amazon. It’s been almost a year now since I self-published E.D. and I was so disappointed by its lack of sales that it brought on the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever had. I didn’t think this was going to go away this time. I know it may sound a little dramatic, but I’m still new to this game, and when your first book only sells 10 copies in an entire year your confidence tends to take a blow.
I wasn’t sure I was good enough. Maybe I hadn’t written it well enough? But all the reviews from beta readers and actual customers were great, no less than four stars! So what was wrong? I still took the book down and re-wrote it just in case, but there was still no change in sales. I knew that Hubs and I didn’t and probably wouldn’t have the money to advertise properly for a while and that’s probably what did it, but after so long of telling yourself that it tends to start sounding like an excuse. Bottom line: I failed. I know people say that it takes a lot to actually publish your book and that I should be proud, but really, what’s the use of publishing your book if no one buys it and you still remain a nobody? I might as well not have published it in the first place. It’s just how I feel.
But as with any situation, there is always a positive side. Like the fact that even though I’ve changed my book cover 3 times, people (other authors) tell me it’s still not right. Now I can change the cover and since most of those 10 sales were from people I knew, I can give them the new copy when I have it. Another positive is that I talked to some wonderful people on a writing site called “Scribophile” and they really lifted me up. Some of the things they told me was that I was putting too much pressure on myself to do amazing right out of the bag and make those sales; I’d lost the fun in writing; sales don’t reflect quality as much as exposure (which made me sigh with relief); my cover needed work; I wasn’t doing as much free advertisement as I thought I was as I needed a link to my book on every page of my site here; and maybe I just needed to take a break for a while, do something that brings back my sanity haha. All these things and more is what I got that day, and it made me feel so much better.
It also made me come up with a plan, but that’s a whole different post for tomorrow.