I thought I should take a moment to reflect on my progress thus far as an independent author, and let me tell you it is not easy. Each day is filled with an internal conflict to keep pressing forward. It is a daily struggle to remain motivated and focused and that each day is one step closer to my goals. But it is…hard. Some days are better than others. I have days where I am filled with so much self doubt and procrastination that I type less than two pages and give it up for the day. Or two… Some days I feel like there is just not enough time in the day to finish what I am working on. I have the vision; I see where I want to go, but some days this engine of mine runs out of gas.
Will I ever quit?
No. Writing has always been a passion of mine and anyone that knows me can testify to that. Creativity flows through me like a river to an open ocean and I know there is no way that I will ever quit doing what I love to do. But this journey of mine does get tiring. For those that do not understand what you do a great deal of time is spent trying to convince them to share your vision; and then more time is wasted trying to make those same people understand that the life of an author is a slow grind. Success is not overnight. A lot of work goes into self publishing starting with finishing the manuscript, and then it is on to revisions and editing, and formatting…designing the covers for the book…and then the business/marketing side of the deal.
But the biggest struggle that I have encountered in this journey is trying to forge relationships with other people who do what you do; who understand your pain and struggle: other authors. All of my networking with other authors is done on Facebook and other social media platforms. I try to offer my support by promoting their work on my website and blogs, tagging and liking and posting their work on pages and what I have come to conclude is that each author is their own island. As an author myself I have found it difficult finding that balance between helping someone else fulfill their dream and accomplishing my own. As much as I would like to I cannot read everyone’s manuscript, post a review on Amazon and then share their links on all of my social media accounts…only for the favor to never be returned.
Am I relying on other authors to help me get to where I want to be? Hell no. I do everything on my own and I am working hard to build my own audience and I know most of that comes from word of mouth, but there is something to be learned from authors who are more experienced and have an idea of where they are going. I just barely figured out my direction and I know that with consistency and great deal of hard work I will have my own audience begging me to hurry up and release a work of mine. But until then, I guess the life of an indie author is a solitary one-meaning, no more networking (or attempts to network) but focusing on building my own brand.
My stories are original 100% and the day my work is no longer authentic is the day I will quit writing. Yes I have favorite authors whose work I admire and inspired me to pick up the pen but never do I read someone else’s work and then try to duplicate that same story by changing the names and faces of the characters. I see a lot of that going on…but hey to each his own….
To those who stumble across this blog, understand that I am not complaining, just voicing my opinion and expressing my struggles as an indie author. Most of us are blessed with reaping very little benefit other than the personal satisfaction of bringing what we have in our hearts and minds to life and receiving a few good reviews. I love what I do and I guess that is all of the fuel that I need to keep going.