THIRTEEN months ago, I was in the first stages of setting up my online presence as a newly self-employed ‘writer/ghostwriter’ and my first collection of short stories, Close Call: Short and Bittersweet. Woo hoo! My intention was that by the end of 2015, I would be well on my way to becoming the next J K Rowling …
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BY the time I published Close Call in April and got the marketing underway, I was already running low on funds. So I swallowed my pride and looked for a day job. The timing couldn’t have been worse – I lost momentum at the most crucial point in my campaign.
In the end, I found myself with two part-time jobs, one office based and one as a waitress. On one level, I was trapped for most of the summer, on another I would have gone mad with the isolation of writing at home all day. The sheer physicality of working in a busy tea room has kept me grounded and in reasonable shape and I have had the great pleasure of working with a great bunch of people – mostly half my age!
For the first time in my life, I have just enough job security to pay the bills and just enough flexibility to write my little heart out. What more could a girl ask for.
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THING is, even with more free time on my hands, production and marketing don’t mix – which is why self-publishing is such a ball ache. I am the publisher. This means by the time I have faffed around with my blog, twittered around with my social media, requested reviews, networked with other writers, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, I have even less time to write. In fact, contact with my iphone switches off my creative juices altogether. And this only compounds the sense that my window of opportunity is closing …
So I have had to make a decision. Continue plugging my first book, or move on. Methinks I should draw a line. Although Close Call has hardly made a dent in the bestseller list, I did achieve what I set out to do. That is to produce a portfolio that would demonstrate my style and approach as a ghostwriter to potential clients. And it’s been an excellent dry run for my next projects.
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MY master plan now is to continue building my social media network, develop my ‘brand’ and soldier on with the bigger projects I have already started, while in the short term produce individual short stories for publication in literary journals. As for this blog, it simply isn’t feasible for me to pump out masses of ‘content’ every single day, so my goal is to consistently produce one short story a week (and anything else that inspires me in between). It’s a tall order, I know, but I have a whole winter ahead of me and more free time to get my act together.
2016 promises to be my most challenging year yet. Watch this space.
I share a similar story too, except the fact that I work as a content catalyst and my job requires me to both write and edit various kinds of content pieces for different clients. I jump out of my bed determined to pen down my next short story by the end of day, but as the day passes by, I run out of my creative juices as well as my determination. And so, I sleep with an untold story. And that’s kind of my story 😛
Anyway, here’s wishing you all the best for 2016. Hope to read your anthology some day. 🙂
Many thanks for the words of support. I swear most of a writer’s time is spent just thinking about the stuff we want to write … but it came as a shock to me in the last few years that all that time we believe we are wasting is never wasted at all … it all goes somewhere … every day that is ‘lost’, the subconscious is working its magic, and the results, even if they remain hidden in your subconscious mind, can be quite spectacular. In your case, maybe Your Story is the one trying to be born … I hope this makes sense … you refer to your musings as puzzles, so I think you know what I mean …
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This is the hardest thing about being a writer, the fact that nothing ever seems to happen the way we want it to happen or as quickly as we’d like. I published a book on Amazon/Kindle 2 years ago. The second one was supposed to be published last January. A year later, it’s still in the editing phase. Writing the story was easy. Getting the story ready for publication was frustrating.
But marketing sucks. I can understand why big companies pay through the sphincter for a good marketing campaign.
You have a lot to offer. Please continue to persevere and build your audience.
Thanks for your reply and the encouragement. I crafted a reply to you straight away but lost the message before I could hit the sent button. This happens a lot when I reply to comments on WordPress and it is very frustrating. I wonder if other people have the same problem or whether it’s just me …
As long as I think of my writing journey as a process (or therapy?), I can never be disappointed with the outcome. And as long as I can earn enough money to keep a roof over my head, food in my mouth and still have free time to satisfy my creative impulses, it really doesn’t matter a jot that it’s not making me any money. That will probably come one day when I’m not forcing it. In the meantime, I just enjoy the ride. This is the only way I can look at it or I’d crack up!
There was something else I wanted to share with you but I can’t remember what it was …
All the best with your writing and marketing. I’m curious to read Atto Run, so will check this out at some point in the next few weeks.
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Thanks for a great reply. If you remember what you wanted to say, please send it along. 🙂
I think we all can identify with you. Being a self-published author is no great shakes and we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the passion we have to see our written word in the marketplace.
Yes, we never lose that belief that one day we will become an overnight success and neither should we lose it, but we all have lives to live and bills to pay. Never give up your passions or your dreams. Always follow your bliss. Good luck to us all!