Happy New Year guys! I don’t know about you, but this one snuck up on me. I just settled into 2011, and here it is 2012.
I have been on a bit of a sabbatical the last couple of weeks, sort of. The stress of book sales, finishing my WIP, the lack of ‘work’ time due to holiday chaos, and all the pressures of going Indie began to weigh on my shoulders. The hint of getting burnt out crept up on me, I felt it lurking, growing. But as you guys know I like to call the shots (I’m bossy like that), so I told it to piss off, took a break and went ‘unplugged’. I think I went five days straight at one point without even checking email.
Like many times in life, you come to a crossroads, stalled until you decide which route you’re going to go. How fitting that I came upon mine at the end of the year. Sure us authors take breaks here and there, few days off here, week off there, but I told myself I would do more than that. I told myself I wouldn’t touch any of it, not my email, not my sales reports, not my WIP, not a damn bit of marketing…I wouldn’t touch any of it, until I wanted to. Cue crossroads…and what if I never wanted to?
I have no doubt in my path as a writer, none. But the challenge of going Indie has been greater than I anticipated, and I anticipated it being a nightmare. It takes time, I know this. Rarely does anyone become an overnight success. And the ones that appear to be so, if you look deeper, it took them years to become that ‘overnight success’. I don't even want that kind of success for myself. But the struggle to build any momentum, forget keeping it going, just getting it started! Marketing eats into writing time, writing time eats into family time, looking for new ways to market eats into everything…it’s a nightmare. I hate the term “I found myself…” as if you magically drifted somewhere without your knowledge, poof, you’re in a new place. But in this case, it did creep up on me, and I found myself questioning whether or not I wanted to continue to go Indie. Did I just want to go back to submitting to agents and publishers? I needed a break, to forget all of it. And I did.
For two weeks I honestly didn’t care about whether or not I had any book sales that day, didn’t care that my rank was probably drifting into no mans land, didn’t care that upon hearing my name people would say, “Darian who?” I didn’t care. I knew that giving myself that time would allow my mind and heart the freedom to roam, to eventually bring me back to my decision at hand without the actual stress of making such a big decision. I figured if I kept on not caring about getting the word out, that meant I needed to reevaluate myself. Maybe I was a loosey goosey Indie writer after all? Or perhaps I’m just not cut out for it? But a few days ago, staring in the fridge figuring out what I was going to make the kids for lunch, my brain being random as it sometimes is, I said, “Oh, that would be a great idea to try marketing,” and ditched the fridge for a notepad. Ideas began trickling in here and there, and then there I was, checking my email and thinking about blog posts.
I deserted everything for two weeks, let my PC get covered in dust, didn’t think about any of it…I came to a crossroads and chose my path in the midst of silence. So here I am, blogging. Can you tell which path I chose? Tomorrow I’m going to organize the desk downstairs, whip the room up into a makeshift office for myself, get organized and get back at it. I am not sure if I chose this path, or this path chose me, but it seems somehow we make a good pair.
A few years ago my New Years resolution was to not make anymore New Years resolutions, and I’ve been pretty faithful to that. So this is not my resolution, because I didn’t make one, it’s more of a statement I will take to heart. This year, I will have faith in my path, and myself. To remember that I must be on the right one, or I would have fallen flat on my face some time ago. I think I’ll even put it on a sticky note to remind myself…have faith.
What about you guys, did you find yourself with a wonderful realization, a promise to yourself, a resolution, craving a fresh start? What has the end of the year, and the start of the new, brought you?