Sunday, July 28, 2013

Encouragement for the Frustrated Indie Writer

The past few days have been a brief respite in a stormy sea. The result was I hadn't blogged as regularly as I might have. Sorry about that, except...well...I needed it.

I didn't do much related to writing either.

What I did do, reading popular YA novels and listening to feedback from my brother, was really reassuring and more helpful than I expected.

I'm not very good about consistently reading my fellow writers' works. It's not that I wouldn't, it's just that I usually don't have access to them. I might need to check out Wattpad not only to provide excerpts of my own work, but also to check out some of my neighborhood indie writers.

In any case, I had some much needed relaxation time, so I read.

I realized a few things. This author in particular (who shall remain nameless) really wrote more or less the same trilogy a second time...and they still became best sellers. What she changed was storyline stuff that I hate (oh well) and adding more sexy time (hot and heavy romance for YA that made me think was just short of bodice ripping...bleh). Several of the digital copies had significant errors...yet this woman is a national (and possibly international?) bestseller.

I feel a bit better about myself.

The second bit that was helpful the past few days was hearing from my brother. He hadn't read my books and then just...well...devoured them. He loved them. He reread JAMES like 3 times! Then he bought JEREMIAH and kept asking me for hints about what would happen in the story. He raced through THE BROTHERS and then bought LOVERS AND RIVALS. He also told me he thought my books would make great movies.

Yes, it is true he's my brother...but he doesn't mess around with books. If you can't hook my brother, he won't get hooked. He just won't finish the book. But this was more than just getting hooked - this was literary love. This was addiction where he can't wait to read the next book.

Having this knowledge, along with the few people who have given me feedback about my books (of which there are very few) really made me feel better about life in general. And I really, really needed it.

I was starting to think maybe I was wasting my time...again.

This is because it is so easy to get discouraged and feel like writing is a worthless exercise when there are thousands of people competing making it next to impossible to be found by readers. When I don't get feedback, it's easy to think I must not be any good.

It is so easy to feel like I should give up when I have been forced into such difficult times financially. I feel guilty for writing (and judged) even though whenever I have looked consistently for fulltime work, I haven't gotten a single interview. The only thing I can seem to get is part time...and so I feel judged, as though my financial situation was my fault for writing.

The irony is, if I had gotten fulltime work early on, I never would have started writing in the first place. Fulltime work would also make it difficult to continue writing.

So despite everything, I feel a little better about my vocation because of these two "small" things happening in the past few days. I say this even though my heartburn came back in less than an hour from being home (seems it is strictly stress related, eased on by pregnancy hormones - thanks pregnancy!). Clearly I'm in an uncomfortable place (to say the least) but I do have hope. I will not give up - not completely.

My books are good reads (ha!). This is no time to white flag it.

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