Being an indie author is an emotional whirlwind.
As I lay crying on the floor, my husband listens intently as I complain about things he really has no clue about. But he listens. And offers any advice he can. He kisses my forehead softly and whispers that he's my biggest fan. He really is. He gives me so much support and so much love, I'd fall apart without him. I consider myself a strong person. I've very positive and optimistic. I feel compelled to help others when I can. I try to be selfless in my acts.
But…some days get to me and I get down.
This journey has been a rocky one. It has ups and a lot of downs. I see a lot of amazing writers shoot to the top, which inspire me to work even harder. I read amazing books that motivate me to keep writing.
I have an abundance of support on my side, which I've fully thankful for. I feel very blessed to have my husband and family support something I'm so passionate about. It's great they believe in me…sometimes more than I believe in myself.
If I've learned anything from being an indie it's that nothing is predictable. There's no right or wrong formula. There's no step-by-step guide on how to make it big or how to write the next best thing. And I studied psychology in college and grad school, so to not have a concrete design of how to succeed at something really drives me nuts. I'm use to working with facts, analyzing data, and researching information to find the results. Every author will tell you something different, but we all use our own methods. What works for one doesn't work for the other.
So my purpose of this is—we all strive to be our bests. And when we don't feel that we are succeeding at that, we begin to doubt ourselves. We doubt that we're good enough, that we can do this, and that we should continue doing something that seems to get us no where.
The market changes so rapidly in the book world. What is popular or 'trending' one month won't be the next. It's really hard to keep up with sales, new releases, and freebies. We're all trying to make a name of ourselves and get our work out there. Trust me, I get it.
As authors we hold a responsibility—to give you the best possible book we can write. To show you our appreciation through our work. To express ourselves through words so you feel every single emotion written on the page. This is what we live for.
As readers, you also hold a responsibility—if you want books from us at decent prices, we need your help. Don't wait for a book to go on sale and buy it. Buy it at full price so we can continue funding ourselves to publish. Yes, publishing can be cheap if we know how to edit, format, make covers, host blog tours, make our own swag, etc. but it includes so much more than that (most of us hire editors, cover designers, and formatters). Authors who write full time may need to pay for childcare, like me. Signings, paperback copies, and buying swag also cost us money. We also contribute to many, many giveaways. At the end of the day, we do this for you. So please, help us to continue giving you stories. Help us, so we can give to you. Write us reviews. Recommend us to your book friends. Tag us in statuses so other people know about us. Share our links, posts, teaser pics, statuses, etc. Indie authors don't have many recourses for promoting and marketing. We do 99% of it online. At least I do anyway. So we count on our online family.
So now that you understand the reason behind my mini meltdown, I'll give you some background info on my family/husband. I'm an open book about most things. I don't care who doesn't accept what I do or who chooses to judge me based off what I write. If you don't approve, I really don't care. I'll continue moving on regardless.
So my husband was hit on his motorcycle about 2.5 years ago. 7 months before that, our daughter got meningitis and was hospitalized for a month. That was a rough year.
My husband ended up losing his right leg, just below his knee. He's also a very tall guy—6'9 to be exact—which makes it hard for him to use a walker (they don't make them tall enough for his height). His built and helmet are what saved his life, so I know the feeling of being grateful. I feel it every day when I get to wake up to my family. However, he stills struggles to this day to walk. He doesn't have a prosthesis right now due to his many reconstructive surgeries. We are hoping he gets one again soon, but for the past 6 months he hasn't been able to walk at all. And before that, he walked minimally with lots of pain (he still lives in chronic pain that is only minimized thru pain pills). When this happened, our daughter was 8 months old, I was in graduate school, and my stepsons were 7 and 10. I was not prepared to take on 3 kids by myself and become my husband's full-time nurse. I don't think you can really ever prepare yourself for that kind of life change, but with everything I do, I accepted it. Like I said, I'm very optimistic and compelled to help.
So time went by—my life a complete routine every day doing the same thing. Taking care of my infant daughter, raising my stepsons, and catering to my husband around the clock. I needed an outlet. I needed something before I ended up in the psych ward. My life was that crazy sometimes—between the appointments, the chronic pain my husband suffers from, and trying to steady my own mental state. I was only 23 years old. Fresh out of college months before that. I had just started grad school that semester. This was not what my life was suppose to be like.
But then I found reading…which lead to writing. Writing saved me. It saved my mental health. I was resentful, guarded, angry, and depressed. The accident took my husband from me. Not physically, but he wasn't him anymore. He was a shell of a person trying to figure out why this happened to him. It lead to depression and anxiety. But like anyone that believes in God, you question His plan when things don't go your way. And I did. I wondered why this happened to me, my family, and my husband. We were good people, right?
...All the things that I thought over the year before I started to write. I have always been a writer—song lyrics, poems, short stories—but I started to really write. I wrote characters that I could relate to - characters that mimicked my husband and I before the accident. The love, passion, desperation we had. It was my way to connect to our old lives. But no matter what, that can't be my life anymore. But I can make it better from the cards I've been given. I can set an example. I can be an inspiration. I want my kids to learn that you don't just give up with shit goes bad. You don't just fall apart when your life ripples away. You get back up and you inspire others. You find a reason to wake up everyday.
And that reason is you. I write because I'm passionate about it and because it's therapeutic for me. But I publish, connect, chat, etc. because I love my readers. I love that I found something in common with other people. I didn't have a lot of that growing up. I always felt like the outcast; the oddball. I was never popular. I didn't care though. I didn't like clicks anyway. I just wanted friends that liked me for who I was, not what I was wearing or how much makeup I could slather on. I wasn't athletic, either. So I didn't really fit in anywhere. I was on the dance team in high school, but wouldn't consider myself a dancer. Although, I do enjoy dancing in my kitchen.
I know this turned into a long post, so I thank you for continuing to read it. I just wanted to give you the inside scoop of being an indie author. I'm sure we all have our own different story. We all have our own routines and own ways of managing the business. This is mine. I wake up thinking about writing and I go to bed thinking of it. I'm always working. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it, though. I am truly grateful that I can work from home and do something I love. Going into this I hadn't a clue what I was doing—I went in completely blind. I didn't have any author or blogger friends. I didn't know what a beta reader was, or what an ARC was, or what a blog tour was. I learned everything on my own until I found a strong network of people to surround myself in. I often forget to shower or change my clothes when I really get in the writing groove. I forget to eat healthy or to even cook for my family sometimes until they are running around the house chewing on the walls. I rock the "just-out-of-bed messy hair bun" daily and live in yoga pants. I'm not sure what make up is but I have it somewhere buried in my bathroom. My clean clothes have found a nice, soft place on the floor instead of the closet and dressers. I don't have an office, so everything work/book related is on my kitchen table or laying alongside the wall in my living room. I forget to buy milk so I make midnight runs to the grocery store so my daughter can have milk when she wakes up. You might say this is what being a MOM is all about…but let me tell you…It's being a mom times ten. The house is messier. The clothes are smellier. You look awful and body spray and dry shampoo are your go-to saviors.
But I wouldn't change this for the world. I love my job. It's not even fair to call it that, because I love it and get to work from home, but I love it regardless. I love you for being here. For reading. And for your support.
I am taking this year to slow down. I have a lot going on with my husband and his lawsuit pertaining the accident he was in, as well as 8 signings. I hope to meet some of you. Don't be shy. Say hi. I'm probably more socially awkward than any of you. (Hello…I'm a hermit that hardly leaves the house unless it's necessary).
If you are a supportive reader, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.