Facing all of the avenues of success as an entrepreneur and independent author can be overwhelming, but the trick to achieving your own success is focusing on what you’re passionate about and not pushing yourselves into spending all your creative energies on side projects.
Hey guys, I know it’s been awhile — approximately an entire month and then some — since my last blog post. To sum it up, I needed to focus solely on my manuscript, which resulted in June being my most productive month so far! As of now, I am working on chapters 17/18 and I’ve reached just under 65,000 words on my first draft. I am estimating this book to be 25 chapters in total, so my completed, super rough first draft should land around 90,000, and my brain/plotting notebook is already filled with small editing notes on what to add in my first rounds of developmental edits. My goal is to do all my own developmental and line edits (multiple rounds each), and hiring a freelance proof reader before publication. I have friends who are readers, writers, and artists who are very interested in the concepts of my story and who have told me they will review chapters and leave ARC reviews for me once I’m ready.
This brings me to the point of this post today: No, this isn’t me telling you I’m done with my blog, I’m telling you it’s gonna be randomly published on, at least for now. My hope is to do one or two, maybe up to four posts a month, but as of now they won’t be on a set schedule, they’ll be written whenever I think of them. I need to dedicate this time to my book, this story that I’m falling in love with writing and these characters I have very roughly developed arcs for that need fleshed out.
My initial intention for this blog was to pound out two posts a week for you beautiful people, but what I realized was I was exhausting myself and exerting my creative energies on a side project, not the real project. I love this blog, it’s a great space to clear my head and get some advice about following creative passions as an adult, but stepping back from it for a few weeks revealed that my rigid schedule was going to turn this blog into a recycled piece of garbage, the same posts you’ve seen done countless times by other people.
Let me explain: I don’t want this blog to be another mouthpiece of a writer-working-to-author just trying to peddle books out to any readers who come across it. I don’t want this to be another blog that doles out contrived, try-hard posts about a craft I’m still developing my own skills in. The direction and intention of this blog is to be a place for me to organize and collect my thoughts, to give my two cents on how to juggle following your passions and keeping a roof over your head; not a direct piece of my marketing strategy, where I create a false persona of myself for “fans” to falsely idolize and I write blog posts that everyone has already read (or watched on a YT/vlog channel) somewhere else. Frankly, I’m not that person, and I never want to be that person, and running my creative energy into the ground to write articles about topics I either don’t care to write about or aren’t really qualified to do so, to hit an imaginary quota I put on myself makes me not want to do it.
There is a big push on independent authors to do EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. Going through the videos on Author Tube (YouTube’s author community), you get told that in order to cultivate the amount of people necessary to succeed at sales you need to juggle email lists for newsletters, pump out blog posts or vlogs on YT, start a patreon, join a bunch of social media groups with other authors and start critiquing each other’s work, consider putting out classes that people pay for, and other innumerable ways to push yourself out there. It is a lot, especially when you as an author plan to write books for the rest of your life to support an income and live your dream. The expectation is to start doing most, if not all, of this before your publication (while you’re still working for most people) in order to use it as a marketing hub, which is a perfect strategy, but you run the risk of flying too close to the sun and melting your wings. Putting all of your time and energy in managing an empire of side gigs when what you really started for was to write stories you love isn’t rewarding.
Self reflection says it could just be me whining about what’s par for the course. I could just be feeling the impending stress of needing to begin true marketing prior to a book publication and be getting overwhelmed. Every publishing house hypes the launch of a book prior to release, that’s how you get the most people to buy it. I guess the bone I’m picking at more is the struggle with keeping your sincerity and integrity while pushing out so much work and getting noticed, ensuring to not create a facade of a glossy, perfect person and putting that out into the world as the real thing. That’s ultimately what social media is, the best of everything projected as if that’s your real life, the visage of what you wish to share. It’s about the management of true quality control, ensuring everything you put out isn’t a rushed piece of shit that doesn’t give fans true value. It’s about ensuring you have enough energy to keep writing your work, the real reason why you’re doing all of this in the first place.
As an aspiring independent author looking at the long game prospect, I am reflecting on what my true goal in this game is. I feel like the story I’m wrestling with is very high concept, it requires a lot of world building and character arc development and it’s very taxing to weave these character developments into the overall pacing of the rest of the story. It’s something that I will be working on for years to come, before starting other series I have notes written for stashed away. TAW is my baby right now, with all of the different long game ideas and weaving in an entire flashback arc at the end about society before WW3 and the atomic decimation of the globe, it could be eight, ten, twelve books total. Considering possibly weaving my other book ideas into the same universe, like the fantasy series being a comic book in my dystopian world, a horror series set in the pre-dystopian reality. Just different ideas that I have to keep somewhat fresh, yet preserved long enough to dedicate myself to TAW. I brainstormed TAW: WRP for five years before it came out to be an idea I could divulge myself into (and before I stopped telling myself I could never do this and stopped doubting myself); I can hold on to these ideas too.
Shout-out to Sarra Cannon, I’ll link her website and YouTube, Heart Breathings, below. I haven’t read any of her books but I love her web series, she’s a great example of a writer who turned her creative passions and entrepreneurial spirit into an empire; writing what she wants and supporting her family by following her heart. I hope to do the same; writing from home while homeschooling my future children until I can afford to get them into private school. She also provides classes to purchase, and I would argue her experience of writing 20+ books in multiple series for the past ten years puts her in a different echelon of mentor than others in the AuthorTube community who also offer classes. I eat, sleep, and breathe her Anchor Series and when I begin editing I’ll eat, sleep, and breathe her Editing Series, both linked below. I love her message of writing what you love, always studying the craft of writing to be a better writer, and focusing on high concept story ideas to make sagas that fans adore.
So, artists, remember to stay true to what you want, and don’t get caught up in your side games while focusing on crafting the true product. Grow and accept needed change, but always remember your original goals. Think about what you want to pursue, and manage how much creative energy you spend.
Also, please feel free to message/comment any topics you want me to write about in the future.
Sarra Cannon / Heart Breathings:
Heart Breathings YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCasYwEzMc7tjKuAS-
Elements of a Best Selling (or Anchor) Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyDruOi1q9A&list=PLg6zjsQP4PwcpMEj3Uo2b1sPFWrcule9
How To Edit Your Novel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg6zjsQP4PwejATdBaHiF_lyrV9Pw585u