Spitting in the Face of Battle and Kicking Ass in the War
TODAY’S BREW: Water. I’m moving furniture.
I shall tell you a short story. I have yet to determine if it is a sad or happy story.
We’re poor as dirt, right? That’s fine, I’m okay with it, my husband’s okay with it. We knew it would happen when I quit my job. We don’t need a lot, we have what we want. But of course, Christmas is around the corner, and this is the first time we won’t be able to just get what we want to get the kids. We have to plan, borrow and beg, make sacrifices, more of them, and hope for the best. We aren’t looking forward to Christmas any less, that’s for sure. Actually, I am super excited for this holiday, more than ever.
This is the part where I wonder when I’ll start seeing money from the sales of RUNNING HOME. Because, writer and reader buds, I don’t know if you know something nobody I know does, but there is no way in Hell to know what you’ve sold until that check shows up. It could be enough to pay for a car, or enough to buy the gas you’re putting in it. You just don’t know. But based on my Amazon rankings, where I rank relatively according to what others have sold, and the reviews, I thought I had a pretty good idea.
Apparently, I was shit wrong.
I never expected to get rich, or do much more than come out of the red, but to find out that I may not have even earned out my advance is like having a steamroller filled with demon blood run over my heart and then suck it out and pour said demon blood inside the aching cavity it left.
I am a positive, do it and do it well kind of person. I’m super easily pleased. I know there’s more I can do to sell books, that it’s a marathon, not a race, that it’s continuous and limitless. I have great faith in what I’ve built, the support I’ve had from the most amazing people on the planet, and I know that this is a stepping stone. Everything is going according to plan.
What troubled me about this figure was how much work I already did put in to promoting the book. The incredible blogs I’ve guested on, the contests, the reviews, the street team that busted their ass for me. Not to mention the revisions, the edits, the 5 plus years of working on my first novel. All that for a couple of hundred bucks?
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER EVER EVER I WONDERED WHY I BOTHER WRITING.
I’m agonizing over a sequel to a book nobody cared about? My husband works 7 days a week so I can do this? That’s not fair. This is a charade, a fun hobby with a solid pipe dream attached. I had my fun, and now it’s over.
Writing is not the hardest work you’ll ever do, I don’t care who says so. It’s gut wrenching, has thrown me into depressions that last for weeks, has challenged me to find out things about myself I never wanted to. But lifting shelves over my head at 3 in the morning with a bunch of 18 year old girls trying to build a bra display, knowing that your regional manager who fucking hates you is going to say it has a scuff mark on it when she shows up the next day in her bitch scarf and pampered fucking Ann Taylor suit with her $200 hair cut that still looks like shit when you have bags under your eyes, your feet hurt from running in heels to fit old people for bras, and you miss your kids and husband because you’ve only slept for 3 hours is worse. That’s worse. (run-on sentence, anyone?) It’s worse to make phone calls at 8 in the morning to southerners who don’t want to pay their phone bills and call you horrible names is worse. Done that, too. Wondering what you’ve done wrong to make your 3 year old such a raging tyrant is worse. Worrying that you’re not giving your kids enough attention because you’re too worried about keeping your shit job is worse. Having to fire a 7 year veteran whose husband is out of work because she gave a discount to her neighbor is worse. Lifting literally hundreds of 50 pound bags of gravel in and out of a Jeep is worse. Getting sunburned and bitten by mosquitoes weeding someone else’s yard for 8 hours straight is worse. I’ve done all this stuff and then some. Writing is the second easiest job I have ever had.
Pet store manager is the easiest. And the most fun.
I have no right to complain that I’ve worked too hard to have earned hardly anything this early in the game. I realize RUNNING HOME has only been out for a couple of months. I am eternally grateful for every single person who ever picked it up, said “this ain’t half bad,” and am humbled that people connect with it. It’s all I ever dreamed of. I kid you not. It’s all I ever wanted.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t buy Christmas presents. So, I’m sent into the pit of despair where I wonder what the fuck I was thinking when I said this was the best thing I could do for my kids. My kids won’t go without presents, don’t think that. We’ll find a way to get them what they want, and what we want for them. We’ll still adopt a family for Christmas, because no matter how poor we might be at a given moment, there is always someone worse off.
BUT WHAT THE FUCK, I CAN BE DISAPPOINTED NOW AND AGAIN, CAN’T I???
You guys love this book! And you tell me so, to my face, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Facebook and Twitter!
AND THAT IS WHY I WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE THE SEQUEL. I created something people are connected to, and that’s what my passion is.
So, I’ve done what I should do. I took a few days off writing. I moved all the furniture in the house to make it more Zen-like. I played with my kids, spent time with my husband, and read. And now, I’m ready to win the war, whether I lost a battle or not. Losing is all in the eye of the beholder, and it’s all relative. I’m still living the dream, even if I woke up faster than I wanted to. This is one stone in the path of a long road, and I’m ready to pick my head up and keep walking.
Thank you, everyone who supports me and all the writers out there that kick ass every day and create. I love you all for making it worthwhile.