1. Working a full time job, grabbing all the overtime that is offer because like many, we need the money.
2. Written four books over 100,000 words each. Recently shortened Pawper to Pedigree to 90,000 for better reader enjoyment.
3. Self published three of these books and all that entails. Only another writer knows the aftermath of self publishing.
4. Jumped into technology on my own to learn how to use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Learned to build my own web page. Keep in mind that prior to this, I used my cell phone to make and receive calls and that's it. I also did not know anyone, personally, who knew what any of this stuff was. I'm 53; all that interneting and social networking is still a mystery to me.
5. Learned Vista Print so I could design my own business cards, posters, banner and I'm sure there are other things in there that I've forgotten about.
6. Set up my booth at various arts & crafts shows, author events, library events and spoken with several book clubs.
7. I also make handmade clay ornaments and magnets for various holidays and local sports teams to sell at the arts & craft shows.
8. And I still manage to find the time to clean house, do laundry, groom our dog, grocery shop and spend a wee bit of time with the hubster and Cracker.
9. Fallen off and gotten back on the workout wagon numerous times. Hiking, biking, walking, weight training, yoga, workout videos from the library. Hey, at least I try.
10. Somewhere in there is sleeping, and eating is every time I pass the refrigerator and grab something. I've been on and off the healthy eating wagon too.
When I look at the pace I've been keeping for so long that it has become routine, it's no wonder I'm exhausted. Something has got to give and I think it finally has.
After promoting my newest release, Pawper to Pedigree, for two months prior to it becoming available for sale only to discover that no one knows about it, I have crashed and burned. How disappointing to have spent so much time promoting with hopes of seeing sales once the book was released and then seeing nothing. Granted, the books I bought for resale have gone from 24 to 4 in two weeks. The downside is that a majority of the people I sold them to do not have computers or use the internet. Which means, no online reviews which are a very important necessity for a struggling writer. It is how we get noticed as we drown in the sea of authors out there.
Writing the stories is the fun part for me. It is all that other stuff that comes afterwards that has sucked the life out of me. I will continue to write because it energizes, inspires, and just plain makes me happy. As to publishing...I will publish again, but not until I figure out how to reach and entice readers enough that they will buy my books, read them, enjoy them and help spread the word.
And there you have it. Very few writers have the luxury of making it their lifetime career with the backing of a traditional publisher. A majority of us squeeze it in as often as we can, in between EVERYTHING else and the job that pays the bills. So the next time you are looking for a new read, keep my words in mind as to what a newbie like myself goes through in order to entertain others with their creations. It is an exhausting, heart-wrenching, tear-stained love of telling stories that is beaming back at you from those pages. Enjoy it, talk about it, and if you are posting on social networking sites, write a little something about that book that made you laugh, cry, think. I know this author would appreciate it.