I’ve been fighting with my manuscript, probably longer and harder than I have with any other manuscript. It’s to the point now where I’m starting to question a lot. Is the story working? Does it still speak to me? Will it sell?
Ah. The old “will it sell” question. I’ve been pondering that one a great deal.
I’m currently in one of those “my writing career is shit” moods. I’ve tried so hard to stay positive, and usually I am, but even I can’t keep it up forever. I’ve received so much encouragement from my readers (my real readers, you know, those angelic creatures who have actually bought, read and often reviewed my books.) They are my strength.
And yet I remain in this slump.
I figured after writing a few books, it would become easier, not harder. However, each time I begin a new story, I second-guess myself at every turn. Why? Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned more as each book has been crafted. I can critique myself better. I recognize mistakes as they occur.
They seem to occur a lot right now. I’m distracted by everything. I’m happier washing dishes than writing right now.
One thing is certain. I have to finish this book, even if it’s the last one I ever write. I know that sounds extreme and I have no plans to stop writing but it’s tempting sometimes to wonder what it would be like if “Rosanna Leo” just stopped. The romance industry boasts so many authors and books. Would mine be missed at all?
Okay, okay, I know I sound ridiculous but we writers are insecure people. Indulge me a little. It’s been a lean few years.
I hope you’ll pardon me for sounding like a Debbie Downer. It feels as if there have been so many hurdles lately and my legs are sore from trying to leap over them. They haven’t all been writing hurdles either. Life has been stressful in many ways. I’ve tried to throw myself into my day job with renewed force recently as well and even that has been a disappointment. Something has to give. I’m finding it very hard to “spark joy.” Hell, I’d settle for sparking a couple of plot bunnies. (That’s not true. I’d probably torch those bunnies out of rage.)
I’m constantly questioning my writing and publishing choices lately. I know I made them with the best possible information at the time, but times change. The industry has changed. I worry I’m not keeping up. People tell me I’m not keeping up, that I should do this or that. That’s all fine and dandy but not everyone changes paths so easily. For some of us, it’s a monumental decision.
I used to log onto social media with glee because it was a chance to connect with my readers. However, considering the state of the world right now, even social media brings little joy and I don’t think I’m the only one feeling it. I’m tired of being disappointed by the news (I can’t even bring myself to watch it anymore) and I’m tired of putting out positive energy only to see it lost in a sea of negativity. And no matter how much I try to be a force of light online, it doesn’t seem to translate to book sales or reviews. I feel as if I’ve become everyone’s “favorite author they’ve never read.”
So I tell myself I need to take a break from social media and then I immediately debate the soundness of that decision. After all, if I take a step back, I risk being forgotten altogether. Who will remember my writing if I don’t keep my name “out there?”
I suppose there’s really only one way to find out. My peace of mind has been too rattled. There are so many distractions and not all of them good ones. I think I need to get back to basics and lock myself in a room with this damn book. Every day, the end seems further away.
Venting over. I hope, when I return to social media in full force, that I am once again the bright and shiny being some of you know and love. I want to be that person but until I can recapture a sense of fulfillment and pride in what I do, I need to take some time away. So I’ll be over here, busy with my matches, trying to spark joy. By all means, drop me a line. You’d make my day. I wish you only greatness and happiness and I know you wish the same for me.
Thank you for reading.
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