Life is a hot mess of personal trials and triumphs. Sometimes we don’t even notice the things around us and time breezes by like the blink of an eye. But other times, the harder days drag us through the mud.
I won’t just talk about life or my own personal drama for long. I like to keep things focused on the writing, on books, since that is my focus and passion. But sometimes, most times, our personal lives bleed into the professional. I’ve always had a difficult time separating the two because they always seemed like a cohesive give and take tug of war. When life is good, it is almost too easy to write and I grow complacent in my habits, until the desperate days come rolling along. Since I became “an adult” I’ve struggled a lot to make a good living, to take care of my parents as best as I could. When I got married, life became even harder. My husband and I are both products of our generation and the present economy. We tried college, different careers and struggled through our twenties at first separately, now together. At least now we can round them out with the wisdom we gained from past mistakes.
We are about to have our first baby this winter. The full weight and responsibility ahead of us weighs on us heavily. I know we aren’t the first parents-to-be to have freak-out moments and won’t be the last. But it’s a very constant and very present thing at the backs of our minds. When I was single, writing was easy, a constant adventure and an escape from my day job. In the last couple years I’ve had to learn how to function with my husband as a unit. With a baby on the way, the usual worry over bills and paychecks has grown to a monster the size of The Nothing. Besides my faith and hope in God, I find it hard to not have more of those freak-out moments.
Our struggles have taught me a lot in the past two years, given me new purpose and focus. Writing is at the center. I like to joke with my husband that I’ll solve our financial troubles by writing a best-seller. While I wish very much for that outcome, I realize the best I can hope for is to write and write well. All I can do is strive to grow as an author, to study and practice the craft every day. My goal is to become a good rather than just a competent writer. I love the idea of selling more books.
Self-publishing is both rewarding and harrying because while you have more freedom, you also have some mountains to climb. Basically, it costs money to make money. Self-publishing comes out of my threadbare pockets and each time I can only hope and pray I make back what I’ve put in. This is also the main reason I support Indie novels and authors so much. I understand the struggle to make a buck while losing a buck. With finances as my main concern in my personal life, I haven’t been as proactive in my writing career the last year and a half. I’ve got plans this fall to change that, but in the meantime I continue to write and study and practice every day.
And I would entreat you, fellow readers and authors out there to do all you can to help each other. Every time you purchase that ninety-nine cent novel on Amazon, think about how much the author spent on editing, cover design, etc. Maybe they have other careers that make self-publishing a little easier on the pocketbook, but maybe they don’t. Think of all the people involved behind each novel you browse through. I’m preaching to myself when I say this, but leaving reviews for the books you enjoy really do make a difference. Every review, every kind word you pass on makes that author’s day. Hearing back from our readers gives us the encouragement to keep going, because we write for you as much as we write for ourselves. In turn, I want to thank everyone who has ever reviewed or read my novels, especially the first few. Each book I’ve written has been a learning process and you are wonderful for sticking through the journey with me. I love you for that.
I love writing. I don’t think I’d ever give that up, even if I only had two cents to my name. No matter how easy or hard life may be, I wouldn’t trade any of it. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned. I am thankful to you, reader, for taking the time out of your day to read this. I hope this has encouraged you in some way. I know I’m not alone in the day-to-day struggle and the knowledge is comforting. Look at yourselves in the mirror sometime today if you get a chance and tell yourselves you can do it. You are strong and brave enough to conquer your obstacles one day at a time. Above all, have faith and enjoy your life because it is special and you matter.