Morning, everyone! It’s spring! Which, around here, means it’s raining. Still. Just a little warmer than it was last week.
People often imagine the life of a published author as one filled with red carpet invites, cavernous offices where we sit in a comfy chair. A maid or butler bringing us lunch on a silver tray so we remember to eat. And so much money in the bank that we don’t blink if our children want to go to Europe for a summer. Or Yale for six years.
Um, nope. This is work. Hard work. Our house is modest. My husband’s job pays the bills. Mine helps with groceries and, currently, the rest is being funneled each month to help make it so our daughter doesn’t start college knowing she’ll graduate with a mountain of debt. That’s the COO salary, anyway. The royalties? I get to go to my favorite coffee place once a month on sales.
Writing is hard work. It’s not glory. It’s trying not to sound pitiful when you beg for reviews. It’s not screaming in frustration when you look at your sales and wonder what you’re doing wrong. It’s making decisions between a free promo that may or may not work or paying hundreds of dollars that still has no guarantee of increasing sales.
It’s knowing you write good books, ones worth reading, and wondering why no one else seems to think so. Why they can’t spend a couple of dollars on something you spent years working on. It’s balancing family time, writing time, working, and sleeping. It’s chanting a mantra about how ‘this too shall pass’ when you get asked by someone you went to grade school with for a free copy “because you know me!”.
It’s hearing from writers who want to be published say they love your blog, but never bought your book. Or, bought the book and couldn’t find 5 minutes to leave a review on Amazon.
The hard work isn’t the writing. It’s staying positive, hopeful, and taking the deep breath before venting online. It’s reminding yourself, sometimes every minute of every day, that the next day could be the one where a review will be posted. Or sales will start to pick up.
It’s savoring that one extra cup of coffee for the month, the one that your royalties paid for, and dreaming that your sales go up where you can visit once a week. Or once a day.
It’s the never ending dream that, one day, the hard work of now will pay off.