What makes you feel guilty?
Are you plagued with guilt because you did not get around to writing 500 or 1,000 words in your WIP today, yesterday? Last week? Or, did you write those thousand words and slap bologna sandwiches together for supper, instead of the roast you defrosted and meant to put in the oven? A Mount Everest of guilt right there. Perhaps a colleague told you she had written her best book ever, that it flowed like liquid silk and, catching her enthusiasm, you agree to read and review. You open it on your Kindle Fire and discover it composed like a business letter: double-spacing between every paragraph, no fewer than 14 adverbs on the first page and two different spellings of the protagonist’s name. Now, that is a lava flow of guilt because your colleague gushed over your last book, tweeted it, and interviewed you on her blog. Yep, might as well paddle on down the Styx River and be done with it. If you thought I was gonna give some advice about all of the above, you guessed as wrong as misspelling Czechoslovakia in Word and believing in auto-correct.
There ain’t no cure for guilt.
Here is what makes me feel as guilty as overdone sin. I don’t create and post blogs often enough. I don’t write warm and fuzzy memes to entertain my fans. I have been trying to find time to get into this Word Press page and compose something I.N.T.E.R.E.S.T.I.N.G. for weeks. I am drowning in guilt because every site I’ve visited recently tells me I need to have an effective
social networking plan. I need to e-connect. I need to e-produce. And every dang site that buries me in guilt, wants to teach e-how to write a blog. Three titillating tips on the page. Next, take a 14 hour virtual webinar course for $149.99 or just download the book for $9.99. I am wise to that hype, sit on my wallet, but the guilt lingers like skunk essence.
I haven’t written a word in my WIP for a month. I have not been idle.
- I administer eNovel Authors at Work in which our basic tenet is paying-it-forward. Forty+ authors and three or more always have books in promotion [spread the word], sitting for interviews [comment], need help with a blurb [pull my hair out].
- We meet 24/7 in a private Facebook page and there is always a new task at hand, new information to share and pick over.
- I administer two webpages, two blogs, three Facebook pages, two Twitter accounts and two Google+ pages. Well, three, but forgot I have the third. It is D.E.A.D.
- I also produce a newsletter promoting eNovel author’s books.
- I set up and arrange group events–book tours every month, Rafflecopters every month, hire banners built and distributed to members.
- Right this minute, I have three titles scheduled for promotion–two single titles and one in a boxed set with eleven other authors. One single title is in Bookbub and that is a major event. To compliment the Bookbub, an author must surround the Bookbub with other promotion, submitting the book to dozens of sites.
- A boxed set has its own rules and must be promoted in preorder, a promo service hired to create a Release Day Blitz and promotion slots reserved and paid for–all of which has to be coordinated and scheduled to the minute.
The past six months have been painful for indie authors. Sales are down, Kindle Unlimited hammers our royalties. We have to step up our game. To do this, I put out the word for translators for our bios in German and French in hopes of catching the bi-lingual reader’s eye. We found them, hired them and learned to negotiate those foreign language Amazon sites. I, along with other indie authors have ignored our print books. No longer. Those of us who can, have scheduled book signings. Not less than ten for me in 2015. That means designing and printing advertising posters, bookmarks and other swag. Some of us have registered and paid for conferences. I picked a convention in Las Vegas. Yolo!
Gosh. did I mention I’ve published three titles since September 2014.
I know I managed some achievements. It is right here in black and white, and I still feel fogs of guilt. The last two chapters in my WIP are shouting at me. I’ve left my poor characters hanging in the wind. Not the done thing.
And, all I want to do is go to Bingo.
Here is footnote. I read a blog a few weeks past about writer’s block. The blogger suggested authors should volunteer at hospitals or mission kitchens for a fresh approach. Huh? I looked the guy up. He has a day job, has never volunteered at a hospital or fed the hungry, and has not written anything new in a year or more. He is coasting. Here is a fact. Indie authors don’t suffer writer’s block. We don’t have the T.I.M.E.
I’m not alone, am I? What kinds of creative guilt do you suffer?