Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mild Panic Attack

Don't stress out. I'm alright. It was just a mild panic attack.

It happened yesterday, when the enormity of everything sort of just hit all at once... and then I stubbed my toe rather badly. It was the sharp pain of the door edge on my big toe that triggered the attack. Yes, my toe hurt. But it was all the other stuff flying around my head that caused a mild case of hyperventilation and then lots and lots of tears.

In short, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

There is so much I don't know about this business of being published, most especially the marketing part, and the more I find out, the more I realise I don't know. Then I read articles about reader backlash against authors on forum threads and the like, and I wonder if I'll ever actually get read at all. I mean, if your audience hates you, what are you supposed to do?

Will I be one of the hundreds, probably thousands, slaving away in obscurity for the rest of my life?

What's so important to me about being published anyway? I've thought long and hard about this, and am yet to come up with a satisfactory answer. The best I've managed is "because." What the hell kind of reason is that?

I love to write fiction. I want to make a living writing fiction.

It seems, however, the odds, and rejection letters, are stacked against me.

Still, I have absolutely no choice but to soldier on. "Because" isn't a very compelling reason for anything, yet that "because" is so damned powerful, it keeps pushing me on.

So today, I'm going to do more research on marketing. I despise self-marketing. Have I mentioned that?

Wish me luck!

And today's Forgotten English is:

Turn the Peats

A north country phrase equivalent to "change the subject." The allusion is to the square blocks of dried peat which are used for fuel and which, when they become red-hot underneath, are turned to allow the burning side to give out its warmth and glow.
- Basil Hargrave's Origins and Meanings of Popular Phrases, 1925

4 comments:

Jaimey Grant said...

Don't let a few haters scare you off. Yes, self-promotion sucks, especially if you're the type to avoid all kinds of 'Look at me! Look at me!' behavior.

On the other hand, I've met some really great people, through goodreads and FB, that I never would have met if I hadn't been out there, occasionally touting my stuff as something worth reading.

Granted, I tend to avoid most book-related forums, but there are several authors who have success even in those tense environments.

It's hard to find the happy medium, very frustrating, but ultimately worth it. :O)

S.M. Carrière said...

I hope so. I haven't really begun marketing properly, and I'm already as frustrated as all heck!

Pam Asberry said...

I am glad you are feeling better. One day at a time, my friend. You write because you HAVE to write. And, naturally, you want your work to be read. You are doing all the right things - researching, studying, doing the work. Try not to obsess about what you don't know and haven't done. Just keep on keeping on. You will get there! This is a very exciting time - try to enjoy it, at least a little bit!

S.M. Carrière said...

Pam, you always have the perfect pearl of wisdom to put my mind at ease. Thank-you!

I have no choice but to keep on keeping on, really, if I do want to make a living writing. It just gets so... vast... every so often.

I shall try very hard to enjoy this period of discovery. I'll try.