Failure, Tenacity, and Elves
Yesterday, a workout instructor challenged us all to speak to ourselves like we would talk to our sister or daughter. Ironically, at the moment she said that, my internal monologue was running at full speed, lamenting the many ways I’m currently failing at life. Would I ever say such a thing to my daughter? Heck no. I’d praise her for her efforts, remind her that she can control her actions and not how the world receives them, and I’d compliment her tenacity.
I’ve always considered myself to be tenacious. When I set my mind to something, I latch on so tightly that hurricane-force winds won’t sway me off path. And this whole dream of being a writer…well, I’ve held on to it since early childhood, since before I could even physically write.
Never until recently have I so seriously considered giving it all up.
2020 has been hard so far. Bone achingly hard. And I don’t use the word ‘hard’ lightly. I’ve birthed four kids, graduated law school, run marathons…yet somehow, this feels different. Harder. Maybe some of you reading this are having a similarly rough year, or maybe you’ve already endured one. I’m not writing this to complain. We ALL have trials to overcome, and mine probably aren’t any harder or worse than yours. I’m simply sharing this so we can all motivate each other.
I never assumed it would be easy to make a living as a writer. I’ve written twenty books and was well aware of the challenges there. I did loads of research before launching my own publishing company, pen name, and cover design business (yep, Crazy Cakes over here started THREE businesses from scratch in a single month and is now whining that it ain’t easy).
I set realistic goals, or so I thought. I established a reasonable timetable for my businesses to stop hemorrhaging money, or so I thought. I prepared myself for setbacks, or so I thought.
I was wrong. You can’t prepare for every contingency. You can work literally around the clock for days on end and still have overwhelming to-do lists. You can follow every single guideline from the hundreds of industry manuals and books you’ve read and still, your entire book launch can be derailed by a massive glitch with Amazon books.
Okay, maybe that last one is just me, but you get the point. I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t. I anticipated working eighty-hours a week for zero profits the first couple of years. I expected the occasional bad review, stiff competition, and countless challenges. What I hadn’t envisioned was the other sacrifices I would be making—the fact that I now have virtually no time for my friends, my husband, my children, my hobbies, or even menial tasks like housework and cooking. I hadn’t realized how guilty I’d feel every time I sit down at my laptop instead of helping my youngest practice her pencil grip or overcome her sensory challenges. That is hard. That is the kind of crushing feeling of defeat that makes people abandon dreams. That is the kind of choice that makes me question whether the dream is worth it.
To be honest, I’m not sure. But I told myself I’d give it two full years, so I am.
So, I need some motivation.
Winston Churchill said “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Theodore Roosevelt said “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” And Serena Williams said “A champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.”
I have four more amazing books coming out this year, and while I may be too broke to buy pencils by the end of 2020, I’m certainly not going to let Amazon technical difficulties keep me from clinging to my dream. You all deserve the opportunity to read these books and I won’t let you down. This year, you will get to meet two seductive British rock stars, an alpha male elf that will have you questioning why you haven’t read more fantasy books, a Hollywood heartthrob who falls for an ordinary girl, and the sexiest mobster you could imagine.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I truly do appreciate my loyal fans and all the friends who’ve supported me along this insane journey. If you haven’t yet read The Brothers’ Band, I highly encourage you do so. I’m confident you’ll love this story—and the Parker brothers—as much as I do.
And for those who have asked what they can do to help indie writers like myself, it’s easy. Buy an ebook for less than the cost of a latte or a paperback for a little more. Drop a quick review when you read our books. Share our newsletters with friends and family who might enjoy our work and ask them to sign up. Even simply posting a short comment on our social media posts helps boost visibility.
Finally, in case you missed it on social media, here is the cover for my next book, The Awakening, the first book in the Legacy Trilogy.