I don't think it's a secret I'm struggling. This has been a harsh month emotionally and physically. I think Mom's doing a little better, so that helps. Dad's leg... is still swollen, but not quite as bad, so hopefully that means he is getting better. We go back in 2 weeks on that if there are no issues before then.
I'm getting ready for the Texas signing. I'm looking so forward to meeting you guys.
All this is happening while....
This is in part because Letting You Go... bombed. Totally and unequivocally bombed. I can't sugarcoat that hah.
It hurts because it has been my favorite project to write. I'm in love with the characters, I'm in love with the progression of them and arc of their development. I love where the story goes and how it ends. It was a passion project and now... it's hard to get the heart to keep writing it.
The reviews have been freaking amazing and to you ladies who have taken the time to review and to reach out to me? God it means so fucking much. There were days that those notes were the only thing that kept me going.
The. Only. Thing.
Now, I hesitate to post this.
It's not your place to know the struggles of an author or what's going on. You didn't sign on for that. But so many of you here have been with me from my very first book, or my second series. You've been my shoulder and my friend. So, I have this need to let it out there and let you see where I'm at.
Writing has become expensive. So freaking expensive.
I, maybe stupidly, invested a lot in this new series.
It took me in a direction I wanted to go as a writer. The fact it bombed, and the fact that I'm in the hole and will not recover from it this month... is a hard pill to swallow. Book 2 is on track to do the same if not worse and that makes writing it such a monumental struggle. It stifles the voices and makes me a person I don't want to be.
A person who writes at point A to get to point B.
Again, that's not your problem hah. Again, it's probably oversharing.
Behind the scenes in the Indie world... God, it can be ugly. You hear through the rumor mill what people say about you. You get evidence of them rejoicing in your failures and you learn from their silence that you aren't of use anymore. I saw that this time... it hurt. I'll survive that too.
That's just the ugly truth. I've experienced it before. I thought I did a good job of weeding out the bad and keeping the good around me. I failed a little.
I've gotten advice so much advice. I don't have the right fans/readers. I need to concentrate on readers that are non MC non Rom Com. I need to market different, I need to hire different marketers. I need to change my covers, I need spend x amount on ads. I need to release quicker, I need to release less, I need to reinvent myself. I need to write to market.
Some of that is probably great advice. Some of it I definitely should do I guess.
Some authors are so blessed because they can write the hell out of anything and do it PHENOMENAL. Some authors are blessed because their sweet spot is the market and some authors manage to be so phenomenal they can write and the market changes to suit them, because the rest of us are in awe of their talents.
But my problem is... I'm not any of the above.
Still, at the heart.... I'm a writer.
I write the characters in my heart. I write the voices in my head. I have never been able to write to market.
Once upon a time Sabrina Paige tired to get me to. She told me, write a step brother book. that was the hot topic. I couldn't. I tried to force it... I got no where. I wrote what I loved (which at the time was MC). She tried again. Write a sports romance.
So I wrote... golf.
Hah... I loved Perfect Stroke even as Sabrina rolled her eyes at me. Golf was the least sexiest sport there was, she said.
She wasn't wrong.
I didn't care. I fucking loved my characters, I loved the story and thankfully my readers? They did too. I didn't try to market and divide who I marketed to. I threw it out there, I said this is it. I hope you like it. I lost a few readers, I gained many more.
Through it all I was grateful.
Even in this horrific bomb-- hah --I'm grateful to the ones who took a chance and tell me they loved the story as much as I do.
So, I'm a crossroads. And to borrow a photo by the great Ella Fox (and new friend because she held my hand and let me cry)
I'm struggling to try again. I've never been a quitter. Never... even when maybe I should have been.
But today while I've been struggling to pick myself up.
I've gotten mean notes about trying to fleece my readers with a book, (99 cent book and an author gets like 30 odd cents of that book if you buy it... which this reader did and returned it after reading)
I've gotten notes telling me how they can't read my book because it's not safe. I've gotten notes berating me for making a cliffhanger--and not in the funny ways others have been doing it where they love the book and just hate the waiting--in the ill never read you again, kind of way.
So I'm here... struggling. Still struggling.
I'm going to write book 2... I have to. I have preorders and some of you are invested and that makes me wonderfully happy.
Through it all.... I've realized something. I had an author friend who walked away, quit writing because of all the bullshit behind the scenes. I never understood. Writing is in my blood. I can't imagine life without the words...
After today... I'm starting to understand her reasoning.
Be kind in your notes to people. Be kind in your actions.
We're all struggling in this world called life.
We're all just fucking struggling.