My Sponsor, my Patron, my Cheerleader, my Husband

I have a few insecurities.

Okay, I lost count after 359, or somewhere in there. It was a while back around college when I stopped trying to keep track of them all.

Anyway.

I may have mentioned that I have dreams of publication, and perhaps even put forth the odd rumor that I am working towards such a thing.

This comes with a barrel of insecurities I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t think these were even issues until things started looking somewhat, vaguely, if-you-squint-your-eyes-and-tilt-your-head-in-a-dimly-lit-room-kind-of-way, REAL. (Five years might be a long time off for you, but for me, that equates to NEXT WEEK.)

I wasn’t prepared to start crying because I can’t write as well I want, as fast as I think I should. I wasn’t prepared to start freaking out because OH_MY_GOD (pick any one) I can’t seem to squish myself into even a loose deadline for a rough draft. I wasn’t prepared for pro opinions sagely talking of pushing out 4-8 books in a year, every year, not just to make a living wage at this gig but to keep you in the forefront of your demographic’s little brainpan.

I wasn’t prepared to look at the social media self-promotional requirements and either have my own psyche shut down at the sheer amount of (what I perceive as) chaos and a lot less private than I like to be. I wasn’t prepared to look at the advice of writers who say “yea, verily, Twitter and Facebook will get you all the self promotion you need” while simultaneously looking at reports  about spyware, malware and spamware being loaded from those sites.

I wasn’t prepared for the masochistic hair-pulling. The temper-tantrums trying to tease out WHO would make a good beta-reader and will they work for all my genres or just one? (Hint: 1 person out of 100 makes a halfway decent beta-reader, 1 out of that batch of 100 will be a GOOD beta reader and 1 out of that third batch will be able to read more than one genre – all of this after you’ve trained them up, which I’m still not entirely certain as to how to do. So far I’ve got 1 and half people.). More sage advice from more pros about how one MUST do this and that if you want to be successful.

I was literally sitting on our bed, trying not to cry, trying to explain to the husband why my failure was pre-ordained. I couldn’t write fast enough. I couldn’t write well-enough and OMG I’M GOING TO BE REMEMBERED AS PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE IF AT ALL!!!! I’m not author material, I’m not. I’m not made of Martin and Heinlien and Tolkien and Butcher and Harrison and Brooks and the rest.

My husband calmly looks at me and says: “You are an author. We’re just working on getting you published. One day at a time.”

Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking – “Awwwwwww……”

Here’s what I was thinking: “OMG I HAVE TO SUCCEED OR I SUBJECT MY ENTIRE FAMILY TO FAILURE.”

Not that I ever put pressure on myself or anything.

My husband believes I can make this work despite the statistics that indicate the likelihood of my being only a tiny blip in the metadata, if at all.

My husband tells me I’m a good writer and to stop comparing myself to all the rest.

My husband says don’t worry about the money when I show him the numbers about how it takes at least five books in a series before your name is recognized and people actively look for your work.  5 books before you start drifting into the black of the balance sheet.

“You’ll get there. Don’t worry so much about it. Just focus on the writing.”

I know he’s right about the focus part. I’ll never get anywhere if I don’t have any product to shove out the door in the first place.

But I’m terrified his faith is misplaced. I’m afraid he doesn’t really understand what I’m saying when I talk about things like how long it may take to earn the money back. How much longer it may take to make a profit at this gig.  “We’ll worry about that later.”

He tells the kids I’m a writer. “That’s Mommy’s job.” The kids believe this. He seems to believe it. I wouldn’t even be able to seriously consider self-publishing as an option (as far off as it is) if he wasn’t behind it.

And yet, I can’t help but to wonder if he’s cheering for the losing team.

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About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
This entry was posted in People, Writer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Sponsor, my Patron, my Cheerleader, my Husband

  1. fpdorchak says:

    Get a hold of yourself, Kattywampus—and by that I mean give yourself a hug!

    It’s not about “winning” or “losing.”

    Don’t worry about everyone else! Don’t even worry about yourself. Just do it. Do what you want to do. And your husband is correct!

    I know you’ve read some of my “What I’ve Learned” blog series about going Indie, cause you talked about “meat” (https://fpdorchak.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/quit-askin-for-stuff/#comments), but one of the other important things I learned was to have fun. To do what I wanted to do and put my work out there. Yes, there’s a lot of work, a lot of “advice,” a lot of a LOT of things…but it’s no different than anything else in life. You get what you put into it…and sometimes get far more than you put into it. But…nothing in…nothing out.

    Don’t worry about having to get everything right right out of the gate. Don’t even worry about it 20 years down that road. It ain’t about being “perfect.” Just take things one step at a time. *You can only do what you can do.* Don’t go killing yourself over this. Put your book out there and (one step at a time…) do what you can to market and promote. Read up on all the advice, as you “need” to…but don’t feel you have to have done it all yesterday…or 1095 yesterdays ago.

    I’m about to get all metaphysical on your ass.

    Is it really about the books? Is it really about “publishing”? And I say this to everyone out there.

    I’m not looking to embarrass or have you publicly air your answers…but look into your souls—all of you—and ask yourselves the hard question: “What is it about me that keeps me from doing ?”

    Be brutally honest. Then, once you have your answer, you’ll know you what you need to do. The answers might not come immediately, but if you allow yourselves to be open…if you allow yourselves to LISTEN to yourselves, allow life to show you what you really need to know…your answers will come. And it might very well not be what you expect.

    Love yourselves…TRUST yourselves…follow the [good and positive] impulses that life is nudging you toward. Expect the best. Welcome growth. Change can be scary…but you just have to face your fears head on. Address them at some point in life.

    Why not do it now?

    Kattywampus….

    Find your OWN pace.

    Find your OWN space.

    And, above all…

    Find your own PEACE.

    You CAN do this.

    Like

    • Have you considered conducting motivational seminars as a career path? 😉

      Now you beat me to something I’d written and scheduled for later on, but I guess I should just post it now, since we’re thinking the big, deep thoughts today.

      Intellectually, I know everything you say is true. It’s just the faith part of it that makes it more than a wee bit challenging. Kinda like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade when he came to the “leap of faith.” That expression on his face before he stuck his foot out over the edge?

      Yeah.

      Despite the stuff I ponder and write and say about “you/I can do it,” I still struggle with the “true faith” obstacle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fpdorchak says:

        Thanks, KWP, but we all have our inner struggles to varying degrees! We just try to help each other out where e can. :-] Guess I’ll go check out the next installation (I have my nifty-cool Space Pen at hand, ready to take notes!)….

        Like

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