I quit writing yesterday. Just gave up on it. For about two hours.
Y’all, being a writer is the hardest work I’ve ever had. I know hard work too. I spent my summers in high school and college doing things like stacking hay in 95+ temps. I worked as a breeding assistant. I’ve helped foal out mares. I’ve cleaned more stalls than I can count. Hard, physical labor has been a part of my life my whole life. So trust me when I say, writing is harder.
The actual work of turning an idea into a finished book is mentally exhausting. But that’s not the whole job. You’ve got to market yourself and your book. You’ve got to find an audience. You’ve got to make people want to read your books.
The writing part is easy compared to all the other stuff.
And apparently, I’m awful at all the other stuff. I didn’t sell enough books last year to cover even one of my bills. My two books, combined, have maybe sold a hundred copies.
That’s depressing. That’s why I quit last night. I’m exhausted. I’ve worked harder to market my second book than I did my first yet its sales have been worse. I’m killing myself to finish my third book even though I have little hope that it will sell well.
I tell myself it isn’t about the money, and it isn’t. But it’s hard to feel like all the hours I spend working, all the times I skip out on friends and family, all the things I miss…it’s hard to feel like that is worth it when no one is buying my books.
I spend roughly 10 hours a day at a job I don’t like just to pay my bills. I spend most of those 10 hours frustrated that I can’t just quit and write.
That’s all I want to do. Write. I don’t want to be rich. I don’t want some handsome guy to sweep me off my feet. I don’t want kids and a perfect house in the right neighborhood. I just want to tell stories and have people read them.
I’ve put everything I have into writing the last few years. And I’m failing at it.
It would be easier to just quit. Accept that my life is what it is and make the best of it. But the first thing I thought of when I woke this morning was writing. I composed this blog while I drove to work. The compulsion to write overrides everything else in my brain. I have to write. Have. To.
So today I don’t quit. I’m back at work. I’ll finish my third book, release it, and hope people will read it. I’ll do the same with my fourth book. And my fifth.
I’ll keep writing on hope.
Hopefully, I’ll find my audience.
Hopefully, word will get out.
Hopefully, things will get better.
Hopefully, I’ll get better.