The Lesson You Learnt The Hard Way
Now, I’ve written about how hard it is to be a writer before in the past blog post Writing Is Hard… but today I am supposed to talk about a lesson that I learned the hard way.
Writing isn’t actually the hardest part of being a writer. Writing is a challenge. Writing makes you pull out your hair and scream to the sky asking for help from your ancestors to give you strength to continue on… but then you go back to writing because we’re all masochists and love causing ourselves pain…
Writing makes us over think, over analyze and lose sleep over the tiniest of pointless details but that is writing. Writing is hard.
I knew that from years of writing. I learnt that through writing and editing my book but that pain… that suffering doesn’t compare to publishing.
With writing you have control over your project. You know the outcome of the story. You understand your characters, setting, plot…
What you can’t predict is what will happen when you are finished with your work. You think – at least this was what my previous naive self thought – I publish my work online and that’s that. It will take care of itself. People will see my work, love it or hate it and
HA! What a fool I was!
Publishing feels amazing at first because your story is done. What you don’t consider is the work that comes after your book is done. It doesn’t matter if you’re with a publisher or your work is self-published, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
You now have to build your brand, you readership, manage your sales, find places to sell your work, find ways to sell your work… get/register your ISBNs with your country and send your work to your country’s Legal Library (self-publishing legal stuff for a Canadian at least).
Instead of reading about sentence structure and character development you’ve replaced that with Marketing 101 and Guru Publishing Posts. You need to learn to talk to people and talk about your book… which is a nightmare for a introvert. But come hell or high water you do what you can to get your book out there. Not because you want to but because you owe your work the right to be read. You owe your potential readers the right to find your work.
AND when a reader tells you that they love the story or they can’t wait for the next book, you realize it’s all worth it. That those nights staring at the ceiling trying to figure out who you need to email, call, ‘run into’ the next morning was all worth it. That those hours you spent reading blogs on marketing and searching for sites to sell your work wasn’t a waste of time. One by one you’ll grow your readers and the more you write/publish – you hope it’ll get easier. 🙂
That’s the hard lesson I recently learnt… but after all this hard work I’m still wanting to be a writer. As much as it keeps me up at night and forces me to learn about something I was never quite good at (marketing) I still can’t see myself doing anything else. So, if that’s not a sign I’m doing what I love… I don’t know what is. 🙂