Monday, May 21, 2012

The Pressures of Indie Authorship

After five years of writing, six months of editing, and more than a year of promotion, The Grim finally launched to raving reviews and tons of reader interest.  It seemed as though years of hard work was finally paying off.  Except--no one told me the hard part wasn't over.  I still had to promote my work, and I must admit: maybe I'm drowning under the pressure...?

Now, let's be clear: I love what I do.  Becoming an indie author has been a dream of mine since I was little, and seeing The Grim in print on my bookshelf sparkling like a marquee in downtown Harlem is that dream realized.  However, in addition to being a (hopefully successful) independent author, I am also a single mother with a day job.  Let's just say trying to find a balance has not been easy.

The scheduling alone is a monster!  I have interviews and blogs to write for my current blog tour, and Soapbox Spotlight submissions which have been flooding my inbox ever since I began the feature during Launch Week.  In addition, I've also agreed to review a few authors' books, I've had two back-to-back appearances, plus I need to find time to sit down and write the two new novels I'm working on:  The Devil & I, a romance novel, and The Lova Chronicles, a series YA-style that still needs to be fleshed out in certain places.  And that's just my author schedule.  We haven't even begun to discuss field trips, laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning, relationship issues, Bible study lectures with content I must both read and write, yoga, and the occasional bout with congestive heart failure (I was diagnosed in January 2010.  I'll tell you more about that later).

And did I mention I have a day job?

How do you find the time to even manage your time?  I've taken to using my Blackberry to schedule everything, even return phone calls, because I'm terrified if I ask my brain to do anything that isn't creative or second nature, it's liable to forget about it.  The problem is I always feel like I'm running against the clock, and I don't ever really get a chance to just enjoy this--all the hype and chaos that comes with maintaining an audience tends to take precedence to the joy that is supposed to come from realizing a dream.  And I don't even have the time to share that with the people closest to me.

I guess I'm going to have to take a deep breath and find a way to make my life work, to meld things together in such a way that I don't feel swamped, overwhelmed, or overworked.  And while all this sounds so good to me right now, it is definitely going to be easier said than done.  Consider the comment section below a suggestion box: I'm open to whatever you have.  In case you can't see it, there's a big HELP sign plastered on my forehead...

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