2018 was an interesting and challenging year for me as an indie author. Following the release of my first book in 2017, I marketed sparingly and without much focus. Instead, most of my efforts were spent turning out Book Two in the series. After some editing snafus and a delayed release, I finally got it out the door a year and 6 weeks after the first book. But the months leading up to the release were trying mentally, emotionally, and to some extent, physically. “Burnt out” didn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.
Around July of 2018, I began taking marketing of Book One and the series much more seriously. I toyed with Facebook and Amazon ads. I whipped my website into shape. I dove headlong into Twitter, something I had been dreading, and put off since the release of Book One. I had no idea what I was doing, and I surely didn’t feel great about any of it. That said, I stuck with it. To my surprise, as soon as I introduced myself to the writing community, my follower numbers exploded. Honestly, I got obsessed. Little did I realize, that number means very little if you don’t engage with the community. I began doing this unevenly for a while, but then, I began to see some of the same people with really interesting and helpful tweets. I followed them and admired how they balanced self promotion with helping out the community. I wanted to do exactly that, but I wasn’t sure how.
That’s when I joined a Facebook group called the Indie Author Coalition, started by the experienced indie author William Aicher. It only had a few hundred members at the time, but the tips, posts, articles and even questions I found there were extremely helpful. It inspired me to play a bigger role in promoting others in the writing community.
I began the Indie Author Spotlight in late October 2018. It’s an area on this website for other indie authors to self promote in ways they may not otherwise feel comfortable doing. Best of all, it’s free. After promoting it on social media, I was delighted that ten authors signed up the first day. What happened next was surprising.
At the time, I was in a pseudo writing slump, but I was in denial about it. Needing to market Book One and release Book Two, maintain three WIPs, engage the writing community, and maintain my personal life, I often felt overwhelmed. I could write for only a few minutes at a time before getting distracted or disinterested. As down as I was, there was one thing per week that never failed to excite me.
While creating spotlight pages for each of the amazing indie authors, life continued to be put into perspective. We were all trying to make it as writers with varying definitions of success. They had inspiring bios and opinions about being independent. They had awesome book covers and blurbs. It has truly been an honor to dedicate a page to them on my website. After creating a few pages, a change was brewing inside of me that wasn’t obvious until the new year.
You see, not only am I still in that writing slump, but by all accounts, it’s much worse than it was three months ago. I’ve hardly even looked at my WIPs in 2019, and I am not sure when that will change. The only difference: I am finally beginning to embrace this phase.
If I have no desire to write, I want to put effort in other areas of my life: Improving my physical and mental health, spending more time with my family, completing projects around the house, blogging more, and better routinizing my daily life. More than anything, I’m looking forward to the next round of Indie Author Spotlights. I added a Sharing Agreement to encourage those who sign up to help me shine a bigger light on each week’s author.
I’m certain the things I’ve started in the new year will pay dividends soon enough, and the creative juices will eventually flow back into writing. For now, I’m going to stop worrying and continue loving the amazing writing community.