“Wow, I didn’t know you wrote books?”
“What goes through your head when you’re creating poems and characters?”
“It’s so cool that you’re an author. It’s a good hustle and I bet you’ll be a bestseller.”
“I’m so proud of you. Keep on writing! You’re an inspiration to me and others who read and see what you’re doing with your dream.”
These are just a few of the things I heard when I released my first poetry book. At first, I loved hearing every bit of it and explaining my whole writing process to everyone. It felt good to know that there were people interested in what I had to say and it felt great knowing they were inspired. I was on such a high, that finally becoming an author was all I could talk about. All those quotes and poems I had written had come to life for the world to see. That first published book pushed me into overdrive to write another and to finally complete those novels I had been writing for years. Now, I’m four books in and I find myself in a place of uncertainty and wanting to give up.
Once the book is finished and put out to the world, everything is pretty much left to the universe, and when it comes to this writing thing, the universe doesn’t seem to be on my side. As an author, I am struggling and I don’t know what to do about it. When people ask me how my books are doing, all I can say is, “okay, I guess,” because I’m too embarrassed to say how I really feel.
Everyone sees the good in being an author but many don’t know my struggle. They think being a writer is super easy when it’s far from it. Sometimes the words flow like a river and you have a limitless amount of ideas floating around. Those are the times I enjoy being a writer, but unfortunately, things aren’t always that way.
When I went to college and decided to major in journalism, everyone kept telling me how there’s no money in being a journalist, but because I loved writing and had dreams of my own, I didn’t let that stop me from pursuing my major. Well, just like journalism, there’s really no money in being an author either unless you become one of the lucky ones and sometimes there’s no money at all.
A few days ago I literally made 8 cents. I wanted to scream, but I also wasn’t surprised. There’s not much I can do with any of the money I get from my books, and when the money isn’t coming in for all those hours that added up to months and then years, I find myself unhappy and ready to give up. With wanting to give up comes the lack of motivation. I find myself no longer wanting to create. At times I feel fine with never releasing another book again. At least that way I won’t spend my time going crazy over edits and characters and plots. There are people that constantly ask when am I going to write another book, but they’ve never read any of the previous ones. But what kills me the most is those people that have yet to support me but feel the need to jump in my messages asking me about publishing and my writing process so they can do it themselves or help out a friend.
I constantly think of letting go of the books and blogs, but as much as I struggle it’s just something I know I’m not ready to do.
Authors, what’s your struggle when it comes to writing and how do you cope?