Writing, Book Promotion, and Life: A Personal Decision

writing-and-knitting-needle-1169606_960_720This post is a very personal one, but also one that I think will resonate with other Indie authors.

For several months, now, I’ve been in a funk and having trouble figuring out why. I even thought of giving up writing entirely. Why? I looked at my life, how I spend my time, and realized that there seemed to be no time to do many of the things I used to enjoy, like knitting, sewing, and reading. At first I wanted to chalk it up to growing older. I don’t have the energy I used to. That depressed me.

I have always been a busy person and abhor just sitting around accomplishing nothing. Those last two words were the clue to my dilemma. I felt I was spinning my wheels and not seeing results. Continue reading “Writing, Book Promotion, and Life: A Personal Decision”

Self-Publishing Shouldn’t be Miserable

miserable depressed author despair-513529_1280Over the past few weeks, I’ve stumbled across a handful of blog posts where self-published authors lament how awful self-publishing is and say they’re giving up. I’ve also seen a few posts (perhaps in response) reminding people that self-publishing is a long journey, that it takes time, and that they shouldn’t give up before they get to the Promised Land.

While I’m personally inclined to take the latter view, I understand that people who’ve taken the former view — that quitting is best for them — may be making a good decision. Life is short. So, if self-publishing is making you completely miserable, if it’s making you dread writing, if  it makes you hate looking at your sales dashboard, if it is stressing you to ulcer level, then for real, give it up. Life is too short to do optional things that make suck away your happiness. Misery is insidious in the way it infects your life, going so far as to make you physically ill. Get rid of misery. Continue reading “Self-Publishing Shouldn’t be Miserable”

Writing, Madness, and Voice

brain sketch3A recent article on the Thought Catalog talked about the relationship between writing and mental illness that sparked quite a discussion. Our own Lynne Cantwell gave a very thoughtful and intelligent response here. For many of us, the most offensive paragraph (of several) in the original article was this:

The common theory for why writers are often depressed is rather basic: writers think a lot and people who think a lot tend to be unhappy. Add to that long periods of isolation and the high levels of narcissism that draws someone to a career like writing, and it seems obvious why they might not be the happiest bunch.

To my mind, this author made many ridiculous and unsubstantiated assumptions, but I’ll confine my response to two of them. Per his paragraph above,

  1. People write because they are drawn to isolation.
  2. People write because they are highly narcissistic.

I have a different theory. I believe people write because that is the voice that serves them best. Let me explain this through my own experience. Continue reading “Writing, Madness, and Voice”

Are you a writer, or just insane?

the scream by edvard munchA couple of my Facebook friends have linked to this blog post that more or less equates the writing life with mental illness. The author of the post starts out by mentioning the notoriously troubled relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda (who probably had some type of mood disorder), and goes on to name a number of other writers who have battled depression, among them Sylvia Plath. He then suggests that writers tend to be unhappy people because they “think a lot,” and also because of their “long periods of isolation and…high levels of narcissism.”

It was the comment about narcissism that got me. I’m a writer, after all, and I know a lot of writers, and I don’t know that I’ve met all that many narcissists. Just as a quick reference, here are the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, according to Wikipedia): Continue reading “Are you a writer, or just insane?”