Silly Me. An Indie Author’s Lament.

Silly Of me to think that I could ever have you for my guy
How I love you… how I want you…
Silly of me to think that you could ever really want me too
How I love you…

In a conversation with a fellow author, a woman I look to as an example to follow in this ‘business’ of indie authorship, she mentioned how dismal a return she’s received from her marketing efforts lately.  I commiserated with her whole-heartedly, not just about the marketing efforts falling flat, but this whole “business” of being an independent author.  A lot of my woes come from not knowing how to run a business – I didn’t know that there was so much I didn’t know until I ended up in a bind financially.  There isn’t enough money in my regular budget to keep funding my writing business and since my writing isn’t selling, the business isn’t generating any money either. What happens to a business that doesn’t make money? It folds.

But the odd thing here is, I “can’t” just stop writing. I’m a WRITER. I write like I breath; putting words to page is what I DO. Hence the blog posts, long list of drafts, outlines, and such scattered around my hard drive. I can’t NOT write. And apparently, I can’t NOT offer my writing up to be read.  The cyclical nature of  the situation reminded me of the song Silly, sung by Denise Williams.  In it, she’s lamenting how she can’t help but do all these things for a lover who really, couldn’t care any less for her. That’s how I feel about my writing. I care to put the words out there – edited, polished, wrapped in a nice cover or formatted just so in order for them to be read in multiple digital formats, and priced so they’re reasonable (I looked at how much Stephen King’s work was selling for and took a few dollars off that, lol – for real, I know how much I’m willing to pay for a no-name author and that’s what I charged). I put energy and money into letting folks know what I’ve done, then I ask that my efforts be rewarded with compensation, feedback in the form of comments or reviews…

Silly of me to think that you could ever know the things I do
Are all done for you…only for you
Silly of me to take the time to comb my hair and pour the wine
And Know you’re not there

*crickets*

The buyers aren’t there beyond a handful of family and friends.  The comments are few and far between, and rarely come when solicited. The reviews? Equally as rare.  What’s really going on?  I comment, review, share, re-blog, network (a bit less these days), but find the reciprocation is lacking.

Silly of me to go around and brag about the love I found
And say you’re the best, well, I cant tell the rest
And Foolish of me to tell them all that every night and day you call
When you could care less

Why do I keep doing it?  Why do I keep trying to sell my work?  I know why I keep writing -d’uh. Mentioned that in the second paragraph. But why am I continuing to learn how to run a business so I can start again? Why am I now working on a workshop offering that will act as a third revenue stream to the two that already aren’t generating revenue?  Am I laboring under some amazingly strong delusion that one day, one day….

Hmph. “One day…” that only works with fairy tale princesses.  I’m only 47 years old but I don’t know how long I’m going to be in this existence. Perhaps it is time to put down the dream of becoming an internationally known author; a sought after trainer in active (realistic) self-esteem building.  I have joy, success; I make a living. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Some would say I’m whining now. And yeah, to an extent, I’d agree. I am whining.  And perhaps, it’s just me. I mean, besides my friend I mentioned earlier, other indie authors must be selling books at a decent rate, right? They’ve discovered the secret and are getting read, reviewed, and enjoying the fruits of their writing labors on the regular, huh? Or maybe, my writing is just that bad. Or maybe, it’s a matter of having over-blown expectations of my work in general. Perhaps it’s that old case of what tends to happen to me when I try to do things the way people say I “should” as opposed to doing things the way I want to.

Or maybe…

I don’t know about you but I’m thinking it’s time to let this all go.  The speculation and worry I mean. Not the writing. It’s in my best interest to ditch the expectations, the wanting, the whining, the needing readers to validate an aspect of my being that I hold so dear.  I have the ability to write and publish my work, what more do I really need?

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2 thoughts on “Silly Me. An Indie Author’s Lament.

  1. For people like us, writing is a passion. And yes, we’d like to make a living from our passion (and yes, I believe that sometime, over the rainbow maybe, we will) but no matter, we will continue our passion as long as we have air to breathe. Keep on keeping on. Nice to meet you here.

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