The breaking point.
The Point of No Return.
Eventually every writer must face a major fork in the road, the point where he must choose between continuing to struggle in the writing/publishing world, or hang up his pen and give it up for something less fulfilling and more lucrative.
I am at that point.
Every day I check my blog stats and analytics, my book sales and ad campaign numbers. There is a word that describes them all perfectly: incremental.
Slow progress. Is it even progress, when movement and sales and growth are so slow that you wonder if you’ll be 90 before the success you seek is at last achieved? I’m not sure I care anymore. It’s hard to. You grow numb, after awhile. When your family fails to encourage you, when the few friends you have are utterly useless, when even your God just doesn’t seem terribly interested in helping you along the path, you grow numb to it all.
It should devastate me, but I don’t cry. I’m not sure I can anymore; my skin has grown so thick, my spirit so anesthetized against neglect. Why do I continue, then, if all is so bleak, forlorn, and empty? Why continue subjecting myself to the blank empty nothingness of a world that doesn’t even seem to notice?
Perhaps it is simply dogged stubbornness. Perhaps it is because I love writing; I love stringing words together, crafting worlds, imbuing characters with personality, and then watching them all interact, live and love and struggle and fight and sometimes even sacrifice themselves in acts of nobility rarely seen in reality.
Or perhaps it is because I feel that there are more writers like me out there, struggling, suffering even, who would be encouraged by my story. Maybe I am trusting that they will stumble into my little corner of the Web here, be inspired by my tenacity and fire, and feel the stirrings of inspiration take hold deep within.
Screw Google Keywords
You’ll notice I did not use any Google-rific keywords in my header, and that there are no links in this post. If everything is incremental for me, then I see no reason to play the game their way anymore. Here I pour out my heart. Here I say, I will continue writing, only now I will do things in my own peculiar method. I will forge my own path, every incremental step of the way.
AMS Ad Campaign
My ad campaign for my YA fantasy W.A.N.D. has achieved nearly 10,000 impressions and numerous clicks in only 3 days on a miniscule budget. And yet still I need sales and reviews. Maybe I should give up already. Why do I continue punishing myself, putting myself out there, for a pittance?
I do it because I love it. I love writing. I believe in the quality and uniqueness of my books and brand, even if the world has not yet noticed. A tiny flickering flame of hope lingers inside my soul. While it remains, I push on.
You keep working at it. Nothing good is achieved without struggle, I suppose. No great career was ever forged over the twinkling of a single night.
It will be worth it, eventually.
This is my raw exposed heart, for what it’s worth. I hope that if there are others out there, struggling in similar straits, that God will guide them (you?) to this post, and that they will find within it the heart to carry on. If you believe your work is worthy, then you owe it to yourself to keep working at it. Show the world. Maybe one day the world will finally get up off its butt and ‘discover’ you.
Best wishes, and keep writing.