In writing this post I feel very much like someone at a Country Club complaining that my Arnold Palmer isn’t cold enough, right before I kick my feet up and look over the beautiful country side. You see the subject of this post is me complaining on how hard it is having a published series of books on Amazon, well not so much complaining about that but the expectations and work surrounding that.
A little over two years ago I published a book – After The Event. I had been writing all my life and wanted to finally have a physical book that I could place on my shelf. I had no expectations and while the book was the first of a series my thought was that I would publish one of so every few years while I worked on other things. As I have explained in other posts the book began by selling a few copies every day or so, and then for some strange reason blew up. At one time After The Event was the #1 selling Dystopian Fiction book on Amazon, and books 2, 3, & 4 were in the top 10. I would release a book and literally the next day I would have emails asking when the next book was coming out. As an inexperienced writer I freaked. I was writing as fast as I could meaning things such as blogging, reading and other enjoyable things were distractions that needed to be cut out. Needless to say the very thing I loved, writing, ended up being kind of a stressor.
Again, I realize I am complaining about having a published book series that people actually enjoy, but please hang in there. When I published my first book my son was barely two years told, he is now four and I have a one year old daughter as well. Anyone with children, let along two children around these ages, knows the amount of time they can take up. So I struggled, and to some extent failed, to juggle being a good dad and a good author.
So has anything changed?
My mindset has.
I owe it to my children to be the best dad I can be. I owe it to my readers to be the best story-teller I can be. AND I owe it to my story to be the best writer I can be. Writing takes time. You think someone who didn’t publish a book until he was in his thirties would have already realized this, but I’m kinda slow. Rushing a book out in order to satisfy my readers does them and my story a disservice. It takes time, it takes care and it takes patience.
For my last book I took my time. Every time I would feel rushed or stressed I would step back and return to why I write. I would dive into a good book, or read over my old notes. That allowed me to return to the place I was before the first publication or first expectation was set. My readers ultimately decide the quality of my books but I can say for my last one I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed writing the first two.
I am nowhere close to becoming a good author or knowledgeable writer but I’m more comfortable in my Author-skin then I have ever been. Writing is a journey, not a sprint and I will repeat that mantra every time I sit down and begin to type. Now excuse me while I get another Ma-Tai .