I get frustrated sometimes. Lately, it seems I am frustrated a great deal, especially at night when I am tired and staring at my computer after a long hard day. Thankfully, I have a saint of a husband who helps me deal with these frustrations.
Part of my malaise lately is due to the weather. Iowa weather in late winter and early spring is often a roller coaster. One day it is beautiful and I am riding high on emotions because I had a chance to get outside and take a walk and think and hope for better times. Then, the next there’s a ice storm that keeps me indoors for fears of slipping on the ice, so I have to wait for another beautiful day, or even a somewhat warmer day, so I can be outdoors again. And I miss it. It’s not like the long days of winter where I am cooped up for days on end. The yo-yo-ing of the weather is tough, but I can manage.
Part of it is things beyond my control. Friends and family members alike are going through different issues that are causing different kinds of turmoil and I can only help them by praying and offering support at present time. There’s issues at play that I can’t get into, but those issues make me feel like I should be doing more, more, more even though I can’t. So I sit and wait….
There’s also this disconnect that is going on with me. To quote Five Finger Death Punch “I’m a little thrown off today, there’s something going on inside me…I’m a little bit off today, a little bit off today.”
I have been asked by a number of people “when are you going full time with your writing?” “Why don’t you make writing your career?” “When will you be famous?”
I write a great deal, even if I am not always posting. I write things I think are profound and thought provoking. I write what I think others may want to read. I also write a great deal of what I feel is drivel… but that’s just me being ultra picky about myself and acting the perfectionist. But I write a lot. I spend time thinking about what I am going to write as well. I am often at this for hours on end in my “free” time.
I post a lot. Much of it is in the hopes that others will read my words and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed stringing them together. I hope that those who want me to become famous and do this full time would be the ones reading this and enjoying it and sharing it and even commenting on it…. But it appears that’s not the case.
I posted a recent selfie of my new haircut on my personal Facebook page and got almost 80 people who liked it, but yet a recent blog post only got 7 views total and most of them were from the WordPress reader despite links to this blog being posted in various places. The same people who insist they hope I could do this full time are mysteriously….. absent. They don’t read what I write, yet they think, magically, I will just become magically famous and create enough income to do this full time.
That only works in fairy tales. Alas, while I write fantasies, even in those stories the characters have to work hard for what they want. Just as I do. I still write, I still post. But I can’t make a living off of things that aren’t read or shared. Case in point – I made 13 dollars in royalties from my Portals Series last year… most of which came from only two readers. My recent free book deal garnered just 30 downloads…. and I wonder who of those 30 will actually read it.
Granted, I know others have busy lives as well. Thus, I feel selfish when I look at the 80 likes for a picture and nothing for a blog post and get frustrated. I know others can look at a picture quick and like it versus read a post that will take several minutes out of their day. They don’t have time to read stuff. They have their own things to do. I get it. I too am busy. I have others things that take precedence. But I also don’t turn around and then ask those same people “when are you going to become famous?”
The past year, in addition to trying to create more of a name for myself as a writer, I have been taking a few steps to try to also help others out with their own endeavors. I try to take time to read the blogs of those who read mine and at least like them. I’m reading books that aren’t my forte to help others get reviews. I have bought things from some friends who are also artists to help them out. I try to engage when I can (Side note here – if you are reading this and I haven’t helped you in some way, let me know… I’ll add you to my list of things to read/buy/do as I have the means).
Right now, part of me feels deflated because I feel like I have done a great deal and have naught to show for it.
I know I have to be patient. It’s not a virtue I have ever mastered though, nor will I think I will have more than a grasp on it. I have to remind myself CONSTANTLY I have achieved a great deal already… after all, I currently have NINE works in my Portals Series and several more that I am currently working on. I have to remind myself that writing, like my genealogy research, is a waiting game. I have to write and then I have to wait. Nothing good comes to those who rush.
I also know I have to work harder on promoting myself a little better. I have to learn to actually talk a little more about my writing instead of just write about it. But the introverted nature within me causes me to clam up around people unless I know them and they ask…. and even then I kind of clam up. I am much better at writing things down then I am about speaking them aloud. I hate putting myself out there, which is why I have been quietly writing for years.
But I also ask my readers to help me (and their other writer friends, since I am all about helping others out as well!) Share writings you find profound. Try one of my novels, whether you wait for another free offering or pay full price. Tell others about my books, even if they don’t interest you themselves. Ask me what I am currently working on. Offer to become a beta reader. Encourage others who also write to share with you. You may find something you want to read if you do.
If you liked this blog post and wanted to see some of the fantasy works I have written, check out my Portals Series. If you are interested in my other online endeavors, check out the drop down menu.
And as always, #writeyourownstory