It’s been pretty obvious that writing has been on the back burner for me lately. Lately being a relative term. And also, maybe, backburner. I’m still writing (every day actually), and reading, and reviewing on Reading Bites. I’m just not as pushy about it. I guess pushy is a good word. I don’t push my identity or “brand” as a writer.author/etc anymore.
After my main publisher closed (nothing traumatic, they just also wanted to focus on their own writing) I self published my books (with their help, and they even gave me the cover art.) But I lost a lot of the back scenes writer support network I had. I went through a depression. The ebook bubble popped. I lost interest in playing the publishing game. That is, the droll work behind the work, not the writing, but the spending tons of hours looking for and vetting good markets, trying to get critiques, keeping up with market trends. That’s the part I got tired of.
Then last year I decided I need to get myself back out there. Yeah, I can keep self publishing (and will for the projects that it is best for.) But the market there is so glutted that those eyerolls at “self published” are back, and rightly so.
So I thought about how to make myself get back in the game. I went to a con. I got my first booth. I deleted almost all of my writer friends from my personal page.
There were two main reasons for this:
- I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I’m not a jealous-of-other’s-success type. If you are my friend I’m crazy happy to see you succeed. But I am incredibly hard on myself, and very judgy of myself. Getting mad at myself for not being as successful as others doesn’t help. So now I control when I see people in the field that I might compare myself to. I stopped reading writer and agent blogs too.
- I needed motivation to become more active as the author again. I needed to separate my personal and public life. The easiest way to make myself socialize as an author was to move certain people to the author only side, so I can only see them as a reward for showing up in the author persona. Also, let’s face it, there are tiers of friendship and not everyone wants or deserves the full access backstage pass to your life. Boundaries are healthy and motivating yourself to get outside those boundaries are healthy.
Has it worked? Well, I also ended up further changing my personal Facebook account, using the lists to restrict access further. Again not everyone needs a full access pass. And I’m not on my public account as often as I should be. But I will be at a con in October. I will be at two event selling books and crafts in September. I have written every day since early July. I have two more books coming out, one by the end of the years, and one that was supposed to be out August 1, but has been delayed at the editor.
So…maybe it works? At the very least I feel more stable and secure in my writing life than I did a year ago, and significantly better than two years ago. That has to count for something.