Indie Author Awesomeness!!!!

 

This year seems to be slipping though my fingers. I turned 28 last December, and since then things have felt…slippery. I’m creeping up on 30. I’m supposed to be established in a flourishing career right now. I’m probably supposed to have kids. I’m sure at least a few people in my life think I’m supposed to have grown up a little and given up on my “unattainable” dream of being a writer. I haven’t really accomplished any of the goals that I thought I would have as a panicked teenager, when asked what I would be doing in ten years time.

I was going to be a lawyer. I was going to have built this perfect house, smack in the middle of some woods, where no one would ever bother me.  I was going to have lots of money and super cool, funny friends who looked up to me. I was going to have it all figured out.

Didn’t really happen.

I’ll tell you why: Change. I need change in my life. And I wasn’t going to get any change by going to university for four years, or building a house somewhere which meant I had to stay there and actually live there for, like, forever. If I’d done any of the things I’d dreamed would make me happy as a fourteen-year-old, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’d be miserable as all hell right now. Instead, I travelled the world. I saw Europe, and America, and Canada. I forewent a traditional education to learn other lessons that I really did need to learn. And I wrote the whole time.

Writing has been the only constant in my life, apart from my awesome husband, of course. It’s given me so much over the past few years- so much passion, excitement and feelings of true achievement.  But it’s also been hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done, by a long chalk, is learning how to become a self-published author. The process has taken so much work, and pushed me to learn so many new skills. I never thought I’d have to learn how to format or design webpages, or figure out how best to market my own products.

I always thought I’d get more sleep.

Thursday 31st May       02.48 am

The stuff in my head…

…I wonder if Sam and Dean ever do ordinary things. Do they have to go to the dentist? They’re teeth are pretty good. Maybe Cass gave them super teeth powers…

…I should check my email….

…I can smell burned toast. That means I have a brain tumor, doesn’t it -if I can smell burned toast? Great. I’m probably going to die now, and I’ll never see my books published…

…what if that attachment didn’t send? I should probably get up and check…. Should I get up and check? Yeah, I probably should…

…I hate the Australian internets. Makes me want to kill people. I just need to find out who’s in charge…

….Oooh, three more friends on facebook…

…how come people look at me like that when I tell them I’m self published? It’s a lot harder to be a successful self published author than it is to be- ugh, never mind. They clearly have no idea… 

… Must. Write. Down. Amazing, Ideas. Immediately!…

…did I remember to eat today?…

…Only two weeks ‘til book launch. Am I ready? What if no one buys it? Oh great, I think I’m gonna throw up….

Other than thoughts of the Winchester boys and my fears of untimely death, I’m sure this nightly monologue of worry plagues most self-published authors. We write to make others happy. We write to give people a gift that we enjoy so greatly ourselves. Mostly we do it because we need an outlet for all the weird things we imagine, or for the people we’ve dreamt up in our heads. We just want our work to be out there, and we want people to like it. And if we can find a way so that we can pay our bills and get our hair done occasionally along the way, then fan-freakin’-tastic!

I’m proud to call myself a self-published author, because that means I’ve never given up.  In the end, after I’d done most of the work myself, anyway, I made the choice to self-publish, even rejecting an offer of traditional small publishing, because this process has empowered me and made me who I am. It’s made my writing stronger, and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish.

I hope…

I hope for a lot of things. Sure, one day I hope I’ll be able to walk into Waterstones or Barnes and Noble, and my books will sit on the shelves alongside my peers.

That would be cool.

Mostly, I hope people will realize that the publishing world is changing, and being self published is incredibly awesome and rewarding!  Should anyone out there require evidence of Indie Author Awesomeness, check out these three equally astonishing books, by the equally talented Tammara Webber, Colleen Hoover and Jamie McQuire! If you haven’t already read them, you’re really missing out, people!

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Author Incident Report

Offender: Frankie Rose

Offence: Succumbing to ‘The Rage’

Book title: Sovereign Hope

Release date: 1st July 2012

Incident:

On June 4th 2012, while walking to work, one Mr. Ivan Andrews of 4271 West Avenue, witnessed the alleged offender, armed with a neon pink spaghetti strainer, hanging from a tree, screaming abuse and throwing her shoes.

Upon approaching the alleged offender, Mr. Andrews enquired as to what seemed to be the problem. At this point, the offender is reported to have sworn profusely at Mr. Andrews and referred to him as a “stupid, stupid man.”

Mr. Andrews then reports that the alleged offender began climbing further up the tree in an attempt to reach a bird in the higher branches. Mr. Andrews suspects the bird was a Whip Poor Will, having heard its repeated calls from the sidewalk. The birdsong, Mr. Andrews reports, is what appeared to be sending the alleged offender into what he referred to as a “murderous rage.”

She was heard to scream, “I swear I’m going to kill you. You just wait. I’ll going to make you suffer, you monster!”  At this point, Mr. Andrews was met by a couple of women passing in the street who apparently knew the alleged offender. Both women were sympathetic to the offender’s cause, and began cheering her on.  Confused, Mr. Andrews claims he asked the women what was going on. He indicates the women told him the alleged offender was a writer, and the bird had been singing outside her study window for extended periods of time, distracting the alleged offender from her work. This, according to the women, was unacceptable behavior.

Mr. Andrews then witnessed the fire brigade arriving. The alleged offender was removed from the tree by force, where she was restrained until state medical workers arrived to assess her mental condition. The alleged offender was heard to shout, “It’s not my fault he has a death wish. I’m on a freakin’ deadline!”

The alleged offender will be detained for an undetermined period of time, until she displays the necessary composure to return and function as a normal member of society.

  

THIS IS HOW I FEEL SOMETIMES.  THE BIRDS JUST DON’T SEEM TO GET IT.

Us writers… sometimes we get touchy. For me, I’m usually at my worst when I’m reaching the final stages of my manuscript and the light is visible at the end of the tunnel. I want- no I need everything to happen quicker than it is. I feel like if I don’t get things down today, or preferably yesterday, then I’m liable to forget all of the perfectly imagined scenes that have plagued me for weeks already, waiting impatiently to be penned. Or more accurately smashed out against laptop keys with an electric fury. I like to call this period of writing ‘The Rage’.

While mid-Rage (like other authors, I’m sure) I may or may not have the tendency to overreact to minor distractions and interruptions.

Possibly.

I’ve been known to shoot my husband an exasperated look while saying,  “No, of course I don’t want food!” My body’s requirement for sustenance is obviously on hold, since I’m so unbelievably close to completing my book that it understands I don’t possibly have time to eat. I survive off my fat reserves during The Rage. I know this. My body knows this. And now so does my husband.

Thankfully, my better half also understands my need for complete control over my surroundings when I’m summiting the final haul of my mountainous battle to Complete The Book. He doesn’t mind me screaming out of the window at the amateur-hour workmen doing very important ‘construction’ work (digging a big hole). He doesn’t mind me walking around in my mermaid-print PJs during the day, because I’m too angry at the disorganized state of my wardrobe to consider rooting through it to find something appropriate to wear.

I’ve tried to change. I even tried yoga, which, for me, was an incredible step into uncomfortable territory. I’m more likely to attend a Muay Thai class than Pilates. Let’s just say, the tranquility didn’t stick. I’m never going to be the flower power-type hippy with a daisy in my hair, concentrating on drawing my consciousness into my crown chakra. That’s just not me.

So I do other things. I run; I listen to raging music to match my raging mood; I manage to growl in such a way that implies I’m not beyond chewing off a limb if anyone disrupts my flow. I’m sure most authors out there must have coping mechanisms prepared for the most stressful parts of their writing processes. I’m keen to learn what they are. Who knows- maybe I’m not the most psychotic person to ever abuse a laptop.

There have to be hundreds of potential remedies to cure The Rage. If anyone feels like sharing their sure-fire tips for guaranteeing they don’t end up in a tree, brandishing novelty colored kitchen utensils while mental health workers discuss the best way to jimmie them into a straight jacket, then please feel free to share!!!

In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on blocking out the world and writing some more books. I hope someone, somewhere out there, likes them.

This post was written for The Writer’s Voice. You can check out their awesome interviews and guest blogs, as well as the stupendous brilliance posted by the rest of the crew, by hitting the button on the top right of this page.

Thanks!