I’ve heard from people and movies about how when running a marathon there’s always a point when one hits “the wall.” It’s the hardest part of the run, and it takes a special kind of endurance and fortitude to get past it without quitting. Well, working towards becoming a full-time writer is definitely a marathon, and last month I hit the first wall (I’m sure there will be others along the way). I knew I’d get past it, I wasn’t worried about that, but I was wholly unproductive, and wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about nothing. Thankfully, I’ve got some of the best damn humans ready to talk me out of it.
I had set myself up for this rut right around the turn of the new year. I had three big reviews coming out, and I told myself that book sales were going to take off once they got posted. I also stupidly told myself that I had to start making lots of money soon so I could help a couple of my loved ones with their financial struggles. I put way too much pressure on myself. When those reviews posted, sales were barely affected. That took a little wind out of my sales.
What made things worse was when I got hit later in the month with an unexpected invoice from Thomas-Shore. At first I got really mad at TS and tried to blame them for the snafu. But after a couple of hours of rational thought, I realized that I had done it to myself. I knew I hadn’t paid certain fees because I never saw the invoice for it, but instead of investigating I ignored it, and then stupidly I spent the money I had budgeted for the fees on the dentist, and Christmas presents. Well that bit me in the butt. Paying that invoice wiped out what little savings I had. My financial insecurity was an intimidating wall to face.
Luckily, I have a great part-time editing job that has been giving me more hours. More importantly, I have super supportive people in my life. Last week, my dad called twice and said such encouraging things, urging me to keep writing. He showed so much enthusiasm for my work. That’s a big deal. What’s more, Brooks gave me a really great, supportive pep talk, and shared with me some encouragement he had gotten from his best friend as well as his sister. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
So I beat the wall. The wind is back in my sails. I’m working on a new plan for book sales, and Brooks and I came up with an ingenious idea for some promotional videos to make. Plus, I’m working on a series of short stories about Alchemist’s Theorem characters to submit to children’s reading magazines. It’s all very exciting, and I have my loved ones to thank for rallying my spirits.