The ups and downs of indies

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

~Ernest Hemingway~

I’m convinced most indie writers are superhuman. We juggle everything else going on in our lives, another job, kids, hubby/partner/wife/girlfriend/ while at the same time try to find that perfect place where the stars align and we can create.

But it doesn’t stop with the writing. Oh no contraire. It’s actually just beginning. After we’ve written the last word of the manuscript, after we’ve added “the end” there’s the dreaded marketing campaign. Then there’s the book cover design phase. Then there’s coordinating the booksignings. Then there’s the day you wake up excited to see that someone has taken the time to write and leave you a review, only to realize they’ve panned your work. They didn’t like the bad language. They didn’t like some character in it because she got back together with a guy who’d broken her heart in the past. This is where you know the person who left the review didn’t read the book. I’ve never written a character that got back “together” with a guy who treated her badly.

But I digress.

If you’re lucky during all of it, your hubby/partner/wife/girlfriend won’t get fed up with all the trials and tribulations and leave your ass in the dust. Because let me tell you a writer is a moody, broody creature who needs a strong, supportive partner in order to get through this process. If you don’t have one, I honestly don’t know how you do it. (Maybe I could set you up with one of my friends though. But that’s another post for another time.)

The ups and downs of writing come in waves. One day you feel like your readers love you and want to marry you. The next day you realize someone hates you and your lousy writing enough to send you hate mail that they couldn’t wait to tell you about it.

Let’s face it, the creative process takes guts. Whether you’re an artist who paints, a sculptor who puts his torch to metal to design, a writer puts herself out there at every level, sets herself up for criticism, ridicule, even hate mail. Through it all, there’s no greater feeling than when a reader connects to your story or your characters and lets you know about it. Now this is the upside. Even if my readers don’t all leave reviews, they do write me. And wow!! I love it!

So here and now, I’m begging the reader. If you enjoy a book, find a way to let the author know it. It won’t just make them feel good, it’ll make you feel like you’ve just given someone their own personal star on their dressing room door. Want to make a writer feel special, leave a review. Before becoming an indie author, I never once left a review for a writer after I’d read their work. I’m ashamed of that and try to make up for it now by doing so. But I realize all those years of reading, all those books I enjoyed and loved, all those books that took me to another time and place, I should’ve told the author how I felt about the work.

So I take a pledge here today, that if I enjoy a book, I’m going to let the author know it. I really want you to do that, too. Because it isn’t easy putting yourself out there, let alone a story you created from the heart. It’s damn hard. I want the writer to know they were successful by taking me away, allowing me that escape. Because the ups and downs of indies are so much the author needs a little kick and pick me up now and then.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Humor, Personal Ramblings, Writers

2 responses to “The ups and downs of indies

  1. This would explain my sudden onset moodiness and my partner’s newfound fear of me. Great – like I needed something new to discuss with my therapist.

    I suppose here is a good a place as any: Dear Nathaniel Hawthorne, I very much enjoyed The Scarlet Letter. I find your writing style to influence me greatly. Sincerely, K. Jean King.

    All the rest I’ll send to living authors directly. This is a good idea; even the published need encouragement.

  2. Yep, I think I’ll stick to letting the writers who are still with us know I like their stuff. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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