This may be one of the toughest blog posts I’ve had to write. As many of you know, I’ve taken the last few weeks away from social media to step back, breathe, and do some soul-searching. I’ve come to some decisions, a few some are not going to like, but in the end, it comes down to what’s best for me, my family, and my health.
It’s no small secret that 2018 left me worn out and discouraged. This was capped by my last release, a book I put tons of time, energy, and every penny I could spare into, only for it to - by all accounts - fall flat. What’s even more disheartening is the fact I felt it was my best work ever. And, after checking my sales numbers, it’s no wonder I’ve felt discouraged this year. I’ve earned less than $400 for the entire year on all my titles combined, on both eBooks and paperbacks. I know it’s not supposed to be about the money, but considering the time, effort, stress, and tears I’ve put into things this year, the money - along with some reviews - would have helped boost my moral and level things out a bit.
Yeah, 2018 was not my year.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the 6th grade. My focus points in high school were English, literature, and journalism classes. I had fully intended on following that journalism career path in the Army, but Uncle Sam had other ideas, so I settled for freelancing for the base paper when I could. But my dream was always to write a book and hold its pages in my hands. And I’ve done that, six times on my own and - with others - in three anthologies. Not much to sneeze at when one considers it was all done in three years while working full time and raising a family.
But now, I’m wondering if I’ve burned completely out and if I’ve reached the point of no return.
I’m wondering if it’s time to let the dream go.
I had big plans to be part of the Indies in Indy author event next September, something I was really excited about, an event I’d hoped would take my writing career to the next level by getting to meet new readers and really getting my name out there. Unfortunately, my circumstances have changed and I will not be able to attend. When I signed up, we were in a good place financially. However, my husband had to take a different job that cut his hours and bring home pay in half, and with a child starting college next fall, I simply can’t justify the event fees I’ve yet to be able to pay, plus the hotel and travel expenses. Right now, we’re doing good to pay the bills and give the kids a decent Christmas. As far as any other events, I may do some local, free gatherings, but at the moment, my heart’s not in it and I wonder if it’ll just make things worse by forcing myself to go.
As far as actual writing goes, I haven’t sat down to put words to paper since I finished Running For Him. This blog post is the most I’ve written at one time in ages. I have plenty of story ideas, but no drive or motivation to write them. However, I do know this….whatever I write in the coming year, IF I write in the coming year, there will be no paperbacks. For the sake of simplicity and reduced stress, anything I write will either be put out in eBook, either on my own platform or retailers. My readers group will continue on and, if nothing else, I’ll write for them on my own timetable. Which brings me to another thing.
Going forward into 2019, I will not be participating in any group projects or anthologies. Working around the deadlines and requirements of others stressed me out and I felt my writing suffered because of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with other authors, but I discovered the collective thing was not my deal.
So, for now, I’ll still continue my blog, as well as work behind the scenes with Love and Lace magazine. I’ll continue to support my author friends when and where I can financially, and always in spirit.
Basically, I’m taking 2019 for me, to write how and when I want, if I want, without the pressures of deadlines and promoting and all the other stuff I feel I have to do right now. And to discover exactly where I want this writing thing to go, or if the commercial side of it should end for good. I still have a ton of soul-searching to do, and answers to find for myself. But no matter what answers I find, I will always, ALWAYS, be thankful to my fellow authors who helped me, who taught me and lifted me up when I needed it. And I will always be sincerely grateful to the readers who read my words and made my dream a reality.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all, and may the new year bring you all the love and joy you deserve. <3