Sunday, July 15, 2012

Between a rock and a dead horse.

That's exactly what it feels like at the moment.

This year has been exceptionally difficult and it's not getting any easier - and that has nothing to do with work, except that it does because the worse the year is personally the more it shines a light on other areas that aren't so flash.

Stupidly I kinda looked forward to this year - 2012. My lucky number is 12, because I was born on the 12ht of the 12th and also because I was born dead... so, you know, it's my lucky number. (I obviously didn't stay dead... or did I?)

Ignoring the death and illness tossed about this year by the universe (who isn't as funny as it thinks it is) and just looking at work...

Tonight on Facebook I posted this status:
I'm trying to find something in the last three and a half years that means I haven't wasted my time and to make it worthwhile writing for the next 3 or so and you know... it's not easy.

It pretty much sums up the last week.

Let's look at this logically (no that's not even possible, shut up and read...).

Things that make me VERY VERY happy:
1. Writing.
2. Talking to people about writing.
3. A Writer's Plot - where I talk to people about writing.
4. Readers telling me how much they love my books. (sue me I'm human)

Things that make me totally and utterly miserable:
1. Not writing.
2. Marketing (also known as smacking my head into a brick wall)
3. Promotion (or ritual blood letting)
4. Not knowing if anything I am doing actually works ^ see 2 and 3.

So I'm stuck.

My dream was to be a published author. I achieved that four times now with novel length works and about 16 times with short stories (to be honest I lost count).

Thing is, it used to be enough to be read.
It's not now.

I want more.
I want a bigger audience.
I want to be in the running for awards... not just any award. I want to be in the running for a Ngaio Marsh and the Booker Prize - because I am a kiwi and therefore my work is eligible to be entered by my publisher into the Booker. (As if my publisher has that kind of cash sitting around.) But not just because I am eligible but because I actually have a shot at winning.

Lately I have been doing more not writing than writing. I obviously can't do that. It fucks with my head. It also makes me very stabby (in case you haven't noticed).
I'm a writer.
I know very little about marketing and promotion.
What's more trying to find my way in that murky shark infested water messes with my ability to write. Not just time wise but head space wise. I can't write if I can't see the movie reel playing and promotional/marketing stuff simply shuts that down.

I think what's happened is I've simply run out of ideas to try - because so far NOTHING has worked.
It's demoralizing.
It makes me wonder why I bother at all.
Worst of all, it keeps me up at night - and I am not someone who can go without sleep.

Possibly the very worst thing of all is not knowing if I should pull the plug on the whole thing or stick with it.
Either way I send a shitty message to my kids.
If I walk away - I'm telling them dreams aren't worth having.
If I stick with it - I'm sending a weird message about flogging a dead horse.
Because right now - all they're seeing is a very unhappy mum because pretty much all my time is taken up with things that truly make me miserable and there is not enough time left for the dream part - you know - the bit where I get to be the WRITER.

And what really guts me... I've scrapped the kiwi novel. Don't have time to write the byte books let alone work on something else of any length - I never really fell in love with the characters anyway.
And one last thing - I will NEVER WRITE YA.
I write adult books. I'm not interested in ever writing a 50k YA story. I'm not a kid, I'm not interested in reading or writing YA.

Also - I get very tired of feeling like I'm doing this alone, but that's what it amounts to these days.

What would happen if I just stopped trying and went back to writing? As in - no more Twitter, Facebook, regular blogging, interviews, guest posts, searching for reviewers, no updating profiles on zillions of sites or updating my website... just writing with a few tweets when I need a break.

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