“Self-publishing is the literary world’s version of masturbation, except the results are quite often less thrilling, and you usually end up with a mess.” – John Winters (I’m a self-publishing failure)
Lately, I’ve been a writing machine. I update three different writing projects three times a week. On Mondays, it’s this blog. On Wednesdays, it’s the Verdantian Chronicles. Then on Fridays, it’s my original novel Finding Fae. It’s been a lot of pressure and this experience has been filled with plenty of mini breakdowns and asking myself some very tough questions since I’ve started. They are as follows:
What’s the point?
Am I even doing this right?
What if I fail?
Are my ideas any good?
Did I publish the right stories?
I really don’t know where all of these insecurities came from, since writing and posting used to be such a great joy for me and gave me a lot of confidence. I guess it all started when WordPress sent me an email congratulating me on my one-month anniversary with them. It shocked me. I’ve been doing for a month? I feel like I just started, how the hell had it already been a month? Well, I did the math and of course it made sense. I update once a week and all of the websites I frequent have about four posts. Oh my God, I’ve been doing this for a month.
So I took stock of my writing. I wanted to see if my stories had the momentum I was hoping for. I had sixty-five views on the Verdantian Chronicles. I had ninety-four views on Finding Fae. That was when my stomach dropped.
The numbers in my head versus the numbers that were actually on the websites weren’t matching up. I was expecting to be in the triple digits by now. So when I actually looked at the numbers, it appeared (to me) that I was barely scraping by.
I tried to be rational, I tried to tell myself I only started one month ago. I basically just created a tiny fanbase, threw my work out into the void that is the internet, tried to promote the hell out of it, and hoped for the best. I couldn’t (I thought I’d told myself I wouldn’t) expect people to crawl out of the woodwork demanding updates and falling in love with my work on day one.
But I hoped it would happen. I really did. I just wanted some kind of sign that my writing was good, if not great. I wanted the affirmation that I was great, that writing professionally was something I was meant to do. I’ve given up so much to have this opportunity and I’m more frustrated with myself that Madi Leigh’s Personal Fame-Train isn’t starting up as fast as I want it to.
Am I doing something wrong? Am I not enough? Are my ideas absolute shit? These were the questions I frequently asked my newfound writing-wifey Ash, curator of the blog From Ashley to Ash and my newest source of wisdom. She’s the person I’ve been ranting and raving to over the course of the past few weeks. She is an absolute saint for being able to deal with all my crazy. She deserves a round of applause.
But even with her encouragement and the praise I’ve gotten from the few reviews I’ve received on my works, I found myself running errands on Monday, realizing I was running late on a certain blog post and coming to an even more horrifying realization: “Would it really matter if I just stopped updating? Would anybody really care?”
The answer came to me halfway between BLT’s (Boyfriend, Long-Term, remember him? He’s still a thing) office and the highway. I would care. I would care a lot. Like I said, I’ve made plenty of sacrifices to get here, and I’ll be damned if a little creator’s anxiety gets me down.
So instead of focusing on numbers, I’ll do the smarter thing and focus on the updating. I plan on finishing Finding Fae by the end of the summer, whether it kills me or not so I can say I’ve accomplished something. I’ve already got eleven chapters written, and I’ve got probably eleven more to go. So this should be a piece of cake… right?
In the meantime, I guess it’s all about reading and writing. I hope whoever reads this is doing well and has enjoyed this week’s belated segment. Enjoy the void until next Monday.