Some of you know I have pulled METABYTE out of the Ngaio Marsh Awards this year.
It was a hard decision in some ways and yet easy in others. When you have very limited funds anything extra is almost impossible - so in that regard, it was an easy decision. I simply cannot afford it. I thought maybe I could but I couldn't.
It's hard not being part of something that's been really fun over the years.
And I won't taking part in the Murder in the Library events either.
It's just too big a burden, financially.
So, after considerable thought, I pulled the book. As much fun as it all is, it doesn't do anything for me as a writer. I can't say I've seen an increase in sales. And that's pretty important.
It may have increased my readership via libraries but that doesn't help me at all. I get no compensation for that.
Decision made. I thought I'd feel relieved but I just feel like a failure. To be fair there are a few other things contributing to that.
Spending my life raising kids and now having a really tough time because I spent my life raising kids is contributing. My kids are awesome but that doesn't alter the fact that even when I was living with their dad I was still a single parent and their welfare and so forth was my responsibility.
So I wrote. Because that was something I could do with kids at home and with a special kid and I could write around the kids rather than inconvenience anyone else.
Problem is, there's no money in writing. Even with 9 books and a real publisher.
Turns out all those words were a waste of time. Doesn't matter how cool a story it is or was or how good the few reviews are, it was a wasted effort. (An ongoing wasted effort, because stupidly I still cling to the hope that one day people will discover me and then everything will change. They won't. It won't.)
Then comes the bookshop. A not-for-profit bookshop specializing in kiwi authors. The only one of it's kind in the country. Awesome, right? Yeah nah.
Not-for-profits still have overheads and need to make money, and we need to eat.
For two and a bit years we've struggled to keep the bookshop open. We've had some major challenges thanks to eight months of roadworks which really set us back. Thank goddess that's over!
Upshot is, it's not making anything. We're still losing money. We're not getting paid. We still need to eat.
What really hurts is running a kiwi bookshop and not being able to have my own books in the store because I can't either have them printed (I am able to do that for the first four) or bring them in, because there is no money for that in my very tight budget.
I walk everywhere. The weather has turned to crap because winter is coming. That means trying to find bus money. Not possible today.
My shoes are wearing out (again).
Actorkid has no uniform sweatshirt (it was stolen last year and I can't replace it). She wears a normal sweatshirt to school. She's going to need new shoes soon.
I'm trying to save for college uniform, shoes, stationery, and fees all needed in Jan next year.
That money is coming from the grocery money.
The bills are paid, what's left is grocery money.
When something else happens like the need for medicines, doctors, shoes, clothes, that knocks my delicate plan out. (FYI my plan was knocked for a six over the last month.)
There's no point me relying on royalty payments to be able to catch up. I've always been able to use royalties to buy shoes, clothes, and stuff like that, the things we need that I can't budget for.
But, I haven't been paid since the beginning of September 2017 (for the first half of 2017) and that was only a third of what I was paid for the 2nd half of 2016. ONE FUCKING THIRD.
Hence it did not last long. (I have $1.45 left from the September payment.)
The bright spot on my horizon is my amazing boyfriend and that he brings me to Perth regularly so I can escape the stress of daily life for a bit and recharge my batteries. 38 days and counting.
Meanwhile, buy a book, they're not even expensive.
And it means so much to authors like me.
I am so fucking tired. So tired.