I realize the headline is a bit of a bold statement, but it’s something I’ve experienced quite a lot since I started writing and marketing my novels. It’s not a frustration associated with writer’s block but more so the after effects when you’re trying to get yourself out there through marketing, sales, etc.
I really believe this is the bane of all writers. We all love to write and enjoy sitting down at the computer, typewriter or with paper and pencil to let our ideas flow. it’s what comes afterwards that compounds the situation.
This week, I traveled up home to N.J. for a book signing event for local authors at a local bookstore near my hometown. There were more than 20 authors there signing books. We were cramped together in long tables scattered about the bookstore. Through it all, I only sold two books to friends of mine who came to support me and get signed copies of my book, The Dark Tides.
That was pretty much the highlight of my trip. As authors, we get these images in our minds of long lines of people waiting to get their book signed, taking selfies with fans, talking to everyone about your book, getting feedback, etc. In reality, especially for independent authors like me, that never happens.
That’s what can be so frustrating when you’re trying to break into the publishing world and establishing yourself as an author. You know you have a great story to tell and want to share it with everyone else, but marketing and publicity cost money. Unless your name is Rockefeller or Kardashian, its hard to make ends meet when you’re doing all your publicity on your own.
I came home to Virginia feeling frustrated, disappointed and unfortunately, I took some of that out on my family. I broke down, wondering if this is worth all the pain and frustration I am putting us through, not to mention the downward spiral of financial woes piling up.
On my long drive back home, I was flipping through channels and came across pastor Joel Osteen. As if fate, destiny or ordained by God, his sermon was on frustration. He said that people can get frustrated with things happening in their life and pray to God to remove them, but He doesn’t always do that. God puts these obstacles in our way to help put us on the path he has carefully carved out for each one of us.
I’m trying to preach but I realize that he was right. Each one of the setbacks I’ve experienced since I started writing my novels is just another step forward to bigger and better things. Every author who made a name for themself has experienced this at some point in their career. I can’t let it bring me down. I have to pick myself up and keep moving forward.
If you let the frustrations associated with publishing your book keep you from doing what you love (and that’s writing) then you shouldn’t have started this journey in the first place. It may not line up perfectly for you but, in the end, it will make you a better person.