The dreaded one-to-two week period after a new release where the weight of this career comes crashing back down on you.
The moment when you judge your success (and often your value as an author/creative) based on little ticks and sales charts, or the lack of those little ticks and sales.
It's in those days following a release that you breathe, you try to celebrate, but an undying question of "will readers connect with my work?" "will they like my work?" "was it worth everything I just went through to put it out in the world" comes crashing down on you.
"Am I worth it?"
"Should I keep writing?"
"Why am I doing this?"
Publishing books is not about the money for me. It never has been. I edit for a living, and I adore my job. I could edit books for years and never tire of the excitement of cracking open a new book and helping a new author bring their world to life.
No, I'm looking for something more.
To find my "tribe", as it is.
When you cross the publishing finish line, which you've been pushing for like a marathon runner up hills in the blistering heat, there's no relief. The finish line moves. It drags you along to the next book, the next project - the next step in a staircase that will only end when you walk away.
But I don't want it to stop. Not really.
If you're reading this as a fellow author looking for a reassurance that this is normal and it will pass, here is your encouragement. It is normal. It does normally pass. But you have to make your "why" front-and-center. You have to keep writing for you.
Money comes and goes. So can fame. But the joy of knowing at least one other human being on Earth read your book and said, "yes! This is what I've been waiting for." is enough to make it all worth it.
If you think of me this week, a note of encouragement means more than I can ever say.
Dear Readers, thank you for reading my books. Thank you for making my journey one worth taking. I would happily go through a hundred slumps just to share my worlds with you.
P.S., if you'd like to see which books I should be finishing right now instead of fighting the Slump, check out:
-The Slayer Queen
This week on YouTube, I'm sharing a week in the life of a full-time editor/author!
Day one's video is already up HERE.
Life as a full-time editor, a mom of two toddlers, a writer, a Reedsy Reviewer, and a wife keeps me on my toes, but I love it. I can't wait to share a glimpse with you!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE for notifications when new videos pop up throughout the week this week, and feel free to drop me questions on those videos or in the comments here on this post.
Now that my second year as an indie author is officially rolling, a new chapter in my writing journey is here.
When I began this journey in October 2020, my mentorship with Lindsey Teske from Of Ink and Pearls Publishing set me on my path and gave me the tools to make it where I am today. To say Lindsey's advice was invaluable is a gross understatement. I truly believe that without her foundations, I would not have had the success I did as a debut Epic Fantasy author.
Once The Vow That Twisted Fate launched, though, and Lindsey and I parted ways, I found myself riding the waves that are the highs of a book release and the lows of imposter syndrome.
Self-publishing isn't necessarily easy.
Who am I kidding? It's downright challenging.
But it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done as an author.
With that being said, after 7 months of trying to find my place in the indie author scene, of writing multiple novellas and participating in interviews, live chats, and more, I am ready to move into a new chapter in my writing journey.
I have signed an Elite Mentorship contract with Dragon Realm Press!
One of the most important lessons I've learned as an indie author has been to be humble and teachable. There are always new things to learn, always ways to improve, and being open and eager to learn from those who have achieved what I myself wish to achieve is the key to growth.
How does this affect my book/publishing schedule?
For already-scheduled books, it doesn't affect the schedule.
-The Slayer Queen is still in the works to be included in an anthology this summer
-Angel's Abdication (April 9th) and Angel's Ascendance (August 9th) are both still on schedule for release as planned
-Splitting Dawn is still a part of the Realm of Darkness box set, which comes out in October
What this new chapter does mean, though, is that I will be learning how to better share my work with the world, and how to make the most of the non-writing time I have. I am ready to be more intentional with my time, and move beyond 'coasting'.
I am excited for this new step into potentially becoming a full-time author in the future! My hope is that this means I will have more books for you without the long waits, and that those books will find homes on new shelves, too.
Thank you for joining me on my writing journey!
If you're an aspiring author or indie author who'd like to hear about some tools/tips that have helped me make it this far, check out my YouTube series (the March schedule can be seen HERE ).
Want to vote in future polls?
The January schedule for Indie Author Behind-The-Scenes 2022 is here!
As we launch into the new year, and I receive more and more questions about being an indie author, I could not be more excited about starting this YouTube Live series.
From writing references/research to self-editing and self-publishing, and everything in between, I'll be touching on some key aspects of the indie author life I wish I'd had more information about when starting my own journey as an indie author.
And the good news about these being Lives is that I can chat with you guys and answer your questions real-time! (Don't worry; they're also recorded to view later if you can't make the live.) So hit the bell on the future ones to get a notification from YouTube when the live begins.
Here is the January schedule for Indie Author Behind-The-Scenes 2022:
I hope to see you on the lives!
Do you have a question about one of these topics, but can't make the live? Drop it in the comments here in advance and I'll try to include the answer to it.
And if you have questions about other aspects of being an indie author, feel free to drop those here as well. I'll be checking in on the comments for ideas for future videos in the series throughout 2022.
It's launch day for Down Falls The King: A Splitting Worlds Novella!
In what seems to have been a whirlwind six months since Down Falls The Queen (the first volume in Rei's duology of Splitting Worlds novellas) came out, it's so exciting to see this chapter of Rei's story shared with the world.
The story has honestly taken me by surprise in many ways. I cut and re-wrote my entire ending a month before release (thanks to superb editors). The ending you will read is so much better!
There's also a light hint at the special relationship between Rei and Natius (the Demon King), which has wormed its way into her heart as the beginnings of a romance which respects who she is at the same time (no steam is in this book).
Since it's launch day for Down Falls The King: A Splitting Worlds Novella, anyone should now be able to grab a copy exclusively on Amazon HERE.
Want to know where the Splitting Worlds series is headed next?
-Check out the cover reveal for Angel's Ascendance on Instagram HERE.
-Be the first to hear more about the upcoming Angel/Oracle duology of novellas in the Splitting Worlds series by signing up for my newsletter HERE.
-You can also receive a free copy of Splitting Dusk exclusively through my e-mail list; it isn't available anywhere else to purchase.
I look forward to sharing more of this world with you! Thank you for celebrating launch day with me!
-I edited A LOT of books for other people for work
-I reviewed some books for Reedsy Discovery
-I attended several lives with amazing writers
-I did a reading live for Down Falls The King
-I celebrated the one-year anniversary of publicly sharing my writing journey
And those are just the highlights!
If your writing is a long-term part of your life, you never really "cross" your finish line. Instead that line gets pushed back again and again and again.
So remember to be kind to yourself.
Show yourself the same care you show others.
And allow yourself to be human.
I lost one of my most beloved family members this week. A family member who shaped many of the core characteristics of who I am since I was a child.
Loss of a loved one is impossibly hard in so many ways and for so many reasons. Dealing with loss... as a writer... has far more impact than I realized, though.
And while the impact is brutally painful, and the reality is that my perfectly controlled worlds will never be carried over into the plain of existence I currently inhabit, the impact of a loss on me as a writer shows me positive sides as well.
Experiencing loss makes us human. The never-ending struggle with grief following the loss of a close loved one is exhausting, but it's one that most of us battle through.
Some days will be better than others. 'They're in a better place,' some say, and yes, in this case I personally agree, but I'm not here to argue religion. "They're not in pain anymore," others will do their best to console, and yes, you know they're right, too.
But where do we, Fantasy readers, often turn when societal norms seem to fail us?
If you're like me, you turn to books.
Books where characters struggle with life, death, love, loss, and more in richly-detailed glory.
Why is that?
Because the writer poured a piece of their soul into those pages. We find in their words a connection to someone else who at the very least imagines a pain similar to our own. We know someone in this world exists who understands us, who can truly imagine what it is like to be in our shoes.
And those scenes, the ones that really mean something to us as readers, don't happen on accident.
They are born out of the raw reality of the writer's own soul. They represent the heartaches and joys, the highest highs and soul-crushing lows of their progenitor.
So while writing is the last thing, emotionally-speaking, that I feel like doing right now, it is, perhaps, the best thing to do. I'll take a pause, work through the emotions and the memories, and then pour those emotions into scenes which may one day be read by others seeking the same comradery and escape that I seek as I read today.
Hold your loved ones a little tighter the next time you see them. Each day is a gift. And gifts are all the better when shared with those we love.
Are you new to my writing/self-publishing journey? Check out my about me blog HERE
Are you self-publishing savvy? Or self-publishing struggling? Or, quite honestly, slipping back and forth between the two?
Yesterday I had the great privilege of speaking with AutoCrit Editing about not only my personal self-publishing journey with The Vow That Twisted Fate, but also about the self-publishing process overall.
There are so many different approaches to self-publishing (or "indie" publishing), that I humbly share my experiences as a fellow beginner "indie" author with the hopes that it will provide clarity for other writers in my shoes.
While most of my blogs are brief and related to my projects and supporting other authors in the indie author community, the response from yesterday's live was too overwhelming to leave at that.
Here are the key points that I discussed on my live with AutoCrit:
1.) Writing inspiration (in my case, a dream hijacked my 2016 NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - plans) & my mentor, Lindsey (owener of Of Ink and Pearls Publishing)
2.) The five levels of editing (developmental edit, line edit, copy edit, proofread, galley proof) + Beta Reading & Self-editing using AutoCrit.
3.) Distribution Platforms (KDP, Barnes & Noble Press, Ingram) and Formats (AudioBooks, Print, etc.) as well as formatting/cover design
4.) Timelines (from revisions to print); what I wish I'd done sooner and why
5.) Budget (how much did it cost me to truly self-publish and what that went toward - overview)
6.) Reviews (trade reviews and reader reviews, what I did to set up review tours, and post-launch marketing)
7.) Marketing in general (*still navigating this part myself* - From pre-orders to Amazon bestseller to post-launch slow-downs)
For that reason, I am truly grateful for the money-saving, headache-relieving role that AutoCrit played in my self-editing process.
If you have any questions at all, or comments about your own experience self-publishing, feel free to drop them in the comments; I love hearing your feedback!
If you would like to try AutoCrit's self-editing software for yourself, you can do so by signing up for their Free Forever membership HERE.
Want to read the finished version of The Vow That Twisted Fate? It is on sale for only 99 cents (e-book) or $10 (paperback) on Amazon now thru October 4th 2021, so grab your copy today HERE.
My Written World
Here I share more about the worlds I write, lessons I'm learning as I strive to become a successful author, and my real-life travel and cooking adventures along the way.