Thursday, November 7, 2019

Woe Is The Writer

Morning all. It's KGG here, coming at ya tired. It's a school day and we got home late last night because were were attending my brother-in-law's wedding! That's right. Congrats to Steven and Joe! I know you won't ever see this, but one can never have enough best wishes floating around the Internetverse.
So I'd been wracking my brain for a blog topic. There's a lot of stuff I can talk about right now that has nothing to do with books.

Vintage powder compacts.
Jumping into the workforce after being home with kids for a decade (that's a fun one).
French skincare.
Instant Pot recipes.

But, obviously, those aren't gonna fly here.

Honestly, I feel like I've used up all my publishing/writing nuggets and now I'm floundering to contribute anything to the conversation. My career seems like it's at a standstill. My agent search has petered out and I'm debating on whether I want to try again with a new book, or remain an indie. Ideally, I'd do both but that doesn't seem to be an option right now.

Do I want to start all over with a pen name? Bask in the freedom of anonymity? Start from scratch?
I don't know.

I messaged my friend the other day. "I'm having an existential writer crisis," I said. "Can you help?"

And then she listened to me bitch for an hour. Do I want to keep going the agent route when I don't have the patience needed to survive the glacial speed of traditional publishing? Do I want to self publish whatever I want without worrying about high-concept or novelty? Do I want to burn money on a marketing pyre? Do I want my work to fade into obscurity? Hell, no, on that one.

I also told her that I feel awkward posting in an indie listserv because I have nothing to say. I haven't experimented with pricing or strategized a series launch. I don't have any author income to speak of. I'm simply there wishing people good luck. I'm a lurker. Blech.

I've turned into such a whiner--like my kids except it's about the state of the industry and not about having chicken with mushroom for dinner. It's not a good look.

An author friend of mine said she wished she had started her writing career thirty years prior. It's the one thing I have on my side: time. I'm forty. Which is young, dammit. I have time to figure out how I want this to play out. What is the long game? And how can I get there?

I know I want to entertain. To my make money. To be part of the industry. To have plenty of blog content.

But how the hell do I get there and how long will it take? And most of all, will I have the fortitude to carry on when my books tank or I've burned cash on a marketing bonfire?

Feel free to chime in, preferably with your own tales of woe. I am here for it. We're all struggling and right now, this is how I can contribute. You are not alone. So lay it on me.

1 comment:

Phronk said...

This is really good to read. Thank you! I’m about to turn 40, so the part about still being young was relatable and encouraging. We ARE young, aren’t we? Not even halfway through this whole “life” thing, and the first 20 years were mostly flailing around trying to figure out the basics, so they don’t even really count.

Self-publishing something easy and stupid did get me out of idle for a little while. I see it as an easy way to experiment and learn, especially if it’s under a pen name (yet still taken seriously and done with pride). I mean, I’ve still managed to stall a few more times, so this isn’t really advice, just a bit more raw info to consider.

Anyway, thanks!

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