This week I read in a blog post that writers are never happy. I found myself nodding at the statement. For me, it started when my sixth grade teacher was doing a “writer’s workshop” to teach us the process of writing. I fell in love with storytelling. Being a true writer, I didn’t want to keep it to myself. So I shared it with my mom. That wasn’t enough, I wanted readers. I gained a few “followers” before I decided that middle school kids and a writer just don’t mix well. I hid my writing from my peers, but I still had that drive.
In the seventh grade, I announced to my mother that I was ready to publish (mind you my stories were only 50 pages by that time). She, being the sweetest mother ever, said maybe I should get my work critiqued first; her way of telling me my work was not ready. I think if she had come out and said my work was not publishable, my heart would have broken and I would have quit. But she encouraged me to talk with my English teacher; again, a teacher guiding me toward my dream. This pushed me even more. So, right after high school, The Curse of Atlantis was published. I was not happy. I needed readers and people kept talking about building a platform. So, I sold my books and counted my sales. Not enough. I wanted more. The Lord of Nightmares was published and I entered it for a competition. It didn’t win anything, but I did submit to Writer’s Digest, which probably is a little too big of a prize to win, but I have never dreamed small.
Next came the need to reach Kindle and e-book readers. That was an easy pursuit once talking with my publisher. This year, I focused on building my platform. I entered the online market. Set up facebook, twitter pages. I joined reading groups. I started this blog and my character blog. All in the effort to build a platform. I believe it has started to grow nicely. But it’s not enough. I want more. I’m not doing enough. Deep down, I know I’m working hard, trying to learn the crazy, ever-changing business of selling books. It’s funny how things cycle because now I believe I need to write more to have more books to sell to help build my platform, on and on and on.
I think it is good never to be satisfied. When I had to interview a friend of my mom’s for a school paper, she told me she never believed she could stop learning. I agree with her. I want to continue to learn and adapt. That makes life worth living. Otherwise it would be boring and stale. I guess I don’t want to be “happy” and “satisfied” with my life. If that day came, I might as well quit…or perhaps go into some other field. Maybe I’m just a masochist.