Contemplation…

What a week! Oh, nothing disastrous. Nothing full of bright stars and soft bunnies either. Just…a normal week. Ups and downs.

A few weeks ago, it was finally brought to my attention that ‘damn girl, you are depressed with a big bold D’. Wasn’t a big surprise. I fall into these black pits now and then. I just hadn’t fallen this far in a long time. My therapist – yes, in therapy and proud to acknowledge it – helped me see this reality and we began working on specific things to help me out of it. I did the work. I do the work everyday.

And I’m seeing sunshine. It’s never going to be an easy thing for me, or even a natural state of being. Just like I’ll never be six feet tall or fashionably thin or wake up one morning to find I’m twenty years old again.

Just reality!

A few things this week struck me with some impact. Some of you who know me on Facebook are aware of the first. The notorious list of what makes a real author. I’ve debated sharing it with the world, but I have no doubt it will arrive without my encouragement. Since right now it’s a bit of a ‘secret’ project, I figure it isn’t my business to pile of the ridicule until it’s public. Then? Watch out.

It’s not that this list means to be pretentious. I assume most of the people contributing are patting themselves on the back regarding this list of positive statements. I may be the only one who is rolling my eyes and sneering.

I have a natural aversion to lists, especially those gathered by people attempting to stamp a seal of authenticity to artistic endeavors and who hold the assumption that ‘these are things WE can all agree on.’

Pardon me while I shake my head in bafflement. I don’t agree.

the list

What was great about my bringing it up on Facebook was the response I got when I shared one of the ‘new’ rules. Thou shall not share bad news with readers. They have their own problems and don’t need to hear yours. (From my freely admitting to being chronically depressed, you can see I failed abysmally at this.) Now, I wasn’t looking for hugs or pats on the head or a cheering section at my refusal to join the ranks of ‘happy’ authors – but I got a lot of that. Quite endearing and supportive. I enjoyed the discussion! I felt…buoyed.

On the downside, I look at my Amazon dashboard of sales and sink like a rock. I know that everyone has seen sale decreases in the last few months. And I’m sure I’m not the very bottom of the list. But…wow. I have thirty titles available. Seventeen are in a single series that needs to be read in order. Four novels are in another. Three are short stories, part of the second series. Three are loosely organized in another series. Two are boxed sets. And I have a novella that stands all on it’s own.

I haven’t sold a book in three days. Not. A. One.

This week has been a real roller coaster for emotions. I love people, Facebook was a good reminder of why. I think my books are good. Not perfect, but good stories. Amazon was a reminder that maybe they aren’t good enough?

And if there are any words in the English language that loom over me, it’s those two words. Or three. Not good enough.

I’m lucky these two mood influencers of the week balance each other.

my week

And how was your week? How do you deal with the bugbears of your life? What words drip poison into your veins? How do you feel about lists?

6 Comments:

  1. Your writing is amazing. I get depressed sometimes as well, and could probably be diagnosed w/ “chronic depression”. I think it adds to the writing though, and adds a realness and depth that it might not otherwise have. And your writing is amazing! Just sayin’. So, that’s something to keep in mind. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Leslie. I’m just at a loss on how to attract readers.

    I do think it’s important for me to speak about depression. I’d hope that by doing so, I empower others to reach beyond where it takes you.

    The authentic depressed – we are legion!

  3. Yeah, I’m at a real loss lately as to how to attract readers as well. We don’t seem to have many author events here in Sacramento, particularly for sci-fi/fantasy genres, or anything. I do have a blog tour coming up, but I’m not sure if that will help or not. The internet is saturated w/ blog tours, and the markets are saturated w/ talent. So, what do ya do?

  4. I think all of California is considered too pricey for cons. I have my doubts. San Jose has several – BayCon. And San Fran has Convolution, near the airport …

    I’m heading your way in March. We need to meet and brainstorm!

  5. Hey Ms. Maureen.

    I have no flippin’ idea how to promote my own books. But from a reader’s perspective….blog tours seem like a huge waste of time. Not a venue where I find new books or authors.

    My main sources are a couple of very popular review blogs, recs from friends, and…Book Gorilla and BookBub. A friend of mine who is doing okay sales-wise with self-pubbed books has had good luck listing the first book in her series on BookBub.

    Attending SF/F cons might help. I did pick up some cards from local authors at the recent Alb Comic Con. I didn’t end up buying their books because I’m picky. (In one case, because the price point–$5.99–was too high for a new-to-me indie author.) But I imagine at least a few of the people they spoke with did end up buying books.

    Hope you see an upsurge in sales soon!

  6. I do love scifi fantasy cons and always leave promo stuff around. No idea if it helps.

    I think I’m going to contact the NorCal Pirate Festival and ask if there is somewhere to leave stuff. The Plank Owners area might be good… plank Owners contribute extra. I’ve been a member a few times.

    What I love are the advice givers who say, “First, get a BookBub ad…” Yeah, stop right there… It’s like saying ‘First, JUST walk into Mordor…’

    One doesn’t JUST get a BookBub ad…they are particular.

    I’ve managed to crack E-reader News Today, ENT. But never for anything but a free book.

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