I’m having an existential writer moment. At least I think it’s existential. Hell. Basically, I’m just throwing a tantrum. I get so tired of promoting all the time and then when I see my sales report (abysmal) it’s really hard not to take it personally. It reminds me of auditioning…even dating…where somehow you’re never quite good enough. To wax old-gold-digger: Tarnation!
I guess this is the modern life of a struggling writer, or any artist really. You have to produce work, believe in your work, constantly put it out there, and hope that it catches on. I wonder though, sometimes, at what point do you just give up? Not that I’d ever give up on writing, but I do think sometimes of giving up on trying to get a big publishing house, or even promoting my current work.
I just sent out a dozen free books to people in hopes that they’ll help spread the word about my work. There’s no telling if it will work. That all comes out of my pocketbook. I had to buy the books to give them away. Ouch. And I paid for some advertising. Promo stuff. Etc. etc. And now I’m looking at doing a reading/signing at St. Cecilia. I couldn’t get Schuler’s to call me back. A reading is a great idea, but it will probably cost me about $500 with food and promo materials. And there’s no guarantee that anyone will show up. (See the onion spoof here. It’s funny because it’s true.)
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been swept up in some massive scam that gets writers to pay for promotional material and even their own books. Then I immediately stop thinking about that because it’s too sad.
Wah. Wah. Wah.
I think this is just another temporary setback. I’ll get over it. It just comes at a time when I still don’t know if my teaching contract will be renewed and I’m not sure how many more voice over gigs I’ll get. If teaching tanks and I’m not selling books…dear god…what will I do then? It scares me. Deeply. Probably not the best time to watch the first episode of Mildred Pierece where she’s all starving and looking for work. I do not want to be a waitress again. I really don’t.
I’ll get over this and my tight pants. I’m not dieting, exactly, but I am upping my workouts. I probably need the endorphins. And I have wonderful friends and family who read my work and love it. And, of course, I’ve got my kiddos and Kealoha. It’s just sometimes I get tired of all the work and I want to see the fruits of my labor. And by fruits I mean ‘income’ and by labor I mean ‘writing’. That’s my dream, I guess. To one day see my writing pay off, literally.
It might never happen. So…guess I’ll just continue doing what I do. I might bitch about it every now and then, but sheesh, I’m endlessly flawed and human. And my zodiac sign is Cancer, so what can you expect really?
And Mildred Pierce eventually made some kind of fortune out of pies or something, didn’t she? I haven’t watched the whole thing. I’m afraid maybe she has some kind of confrontation with her daughter involving wire hangers. (I could be mixing up old movies here.)
I’m hoping all this will blow over when it’s finally sunny outside and I can get over my angst and put on a sundress and a pair of sandals. That’s all I really need. OR…I could pretend I’m in a 1950’s melodrama. I sort of like that idea. Let me go get a hanky so I can flit it around while crying dramatically, and without tears.
I leave you with some melodrama. Enjoy.