I’ve been doing this for a while now. I’ve been writing since 2002, making money from it since 2004, blogging since 2005 and self-publishing since 2011. It was 30th November 2011 that I hit publish on The Tangled Web and I knew as I clicked that button that my life would never be the same. I like to reflect every year on St. Andrews Day and since I’ve been tidying up my blogging presence and moving old posts over to RockPaperSpirit, I thought I’d share a paragraph from one I’ve now deleted. It’s from Hogmanay 2011 and I was proudly listing all I had achieved in my first month as an indie author. It makes amusing reading for me now.
“In four weeks, as Lacey Dearie, I’ve had viewers from 14 countries, (Russia bizarrely being the biggest viewer!), 359 total viewers (all genuine, none of them were me) and I’ve now got 384 Twitter followers. I’ve sold 16 books (ok, one was me) and received five 5* reviews on Amazon.”
I dreamed of number 1 chart positions, lengthy portfolios, connecting with readers and writers from all over the world, doing radio interviews and book signings, quitting the day job and telling people my occupation is “writer.” It all happened. Not quite as I had imagined, not always with me smiling as I ticked off those achievements and quite often with a few tears, but it happened. I believed it would and I made my dreams come true.
This year has been one of my most difficult. Sales have been poor, I’ve been writing under a new pseudonym just for my own amusement and I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, wondering if I have a future as Lacey. The answer is yes. I can’t see my future as anyone else now and in the next year, I plan to just keep going. It doesn’t matter what I achieve or whether the work I do is successful or fails. I just plan to keep moving forward.
As an old hand at this now, if someone asks me about being an indie author, my one piece of advice is keep going. That’s the difference between those of us who become established and those who just float around. Notice I’m not saying anything about success or wealth, because both those things have eluded me! But yeah, keep going. Build a reputation, write lots, talk to everyone and take the rough with the smooth. Because there will be bad days. So many bad days, so many disappointments and so many critics and doubters. But keep going.