I refuse to quit but I need to learn. So… Help?

I’m coming to a realization. It has to do with my book, This Job Sucks. It’s a good book. But not good enough.

This Job Sucks cover art-page-001

I think that I have been trying too hard. I think I’ve made some fatal errors and I would love some opinions on this from fellow writers out there.

First, I jumped on the Vampire book bandwagon.  I should have known better. The market is saturated and I haven’t got a new enough angle on the vampire thing to make me unique enough. Except that I actually made my vampires traditional vampires.

Second, I started trying to do the Urban Fantasy Young Adult romance thing.

Third, I got fed up with the Young Adult romance thing and edited it all out making it into a one sided infatuation thing, more of a tragic love.

Fourth, I didn’t make it so gory you couldn’t sleep after reading it.

Fifth, my opening. I usually have great openings that catch your attention and keep you coming back, but in this book I struggled and struggled with the opening.

My characters are real to me, I hope others feel their realism but I have really gotten much feedback except from my mom and husband. The story is bigger than just this book and I have a second part I’ve started but now I don’t know if it is worth it. (Yes, Mom, I’ll finish it for you because it’s driving you nuts to know what will happen.) Perhaps the problem is that I wrote the wrong section of the story. Maybe I started too early and I should cover all that with flashbacks. I just don’t know.

So here I am. I have a fully finished book. Unfortunately, I have edited it too far, or wrote too little, or maybe too much and made it completely unmarketable in an already overflowing market. I should have know better. All the rest of my stuff is more like the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. I should just stick to my natural way of writing.

Of course, I have really condemned myself now because I’m ranting and complaining about how awful my own work is, but when you are a writer it is about learning as well as producing. Experience only comes from doing and getting it wrong a few times. I’ve been so scared of getting it wrong that I got it wrong. I think I need to be more risky. Really go for it if I’m going to blow peoples’ minds. I think I’m being too timid and I’m afraid of offending someone and that will hurt my chances of getting published. I think I have it backwards. I should be as crazy, or horrible, or amazing as possible otherwise who’s gonna care?

I’ve never really been published for anything but an essay here and there, or poetry, or newspaper articles. I’ve been to chicken to send things out. I’m just starting on this writing adventure. I refuse to quit but I need to learn.

Does anyone have some advice or even some constructive criticism if you read it?

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Envy and social media

Golodfish discrimination

 

A few days ago I read an article extolling the evils of social media. It stated that the more people use social media the more they are prone to that deadly sin of Envy. I realized after reading that article that there is a fine line between Envy and Emulation.

When I first started this whole author platform thing, I had no idea what I was doing. I was completely clueless. So I looked up other author sites to see what they had done. Now you must understand that I normally don’t stalk authors. I read books but I don’t research authors. If I like them I know their name that is about the end of it. However, now I must learn a new way and really dig deep.

The more sites I looked at the more depressed I got. I looked at my tiny little website and then at their massive complicated sites with their millions of followers and fans and that’s when Envy hit me. I wanted what they had. I wanted to be that well liked. I felt defeated. How was I ever going to get there?

Then I mentally kicked myself. I was being a complete idiot!

I could have that! I just had to be patient. They didn’t wake up one morning and have a million fans! IT TOOK TIME! And I’ve just started.

I realized that they had achieved what I wanted by sweating, crying, and clawing their way through the same turmoil that I am going through right now. They should be EMULATED not ENVIED! They were the actualization of my goals. They were people to look up to. What I need to to do was to learn from them, not hate on them and let wishful thinking push me into the dark holes of depression.

So every day I learn. Everyday I sweat and cry and tear my hair out trying to find the time to do what I love. Write. What I had envied had now become my measuring stick ticking off the steps to my goal. I don’t want what they have. I want to be like them in the realm of success but I will have my own success. I need not covet theirs. Ambition, emulation, and inspiration are the actions that will achieve goals not envy: that is merely passive ambition without a chance of success.

What am I doing?

I seem I have lost my way. I always said the just taking one step to the left would solve our problems. So I took the step. Unfortunately I think it was to the right not the left.
I have been trying so hard to set up my author platform. Get noticed. Get a readership. I got a job trying to earn some extra cash to pay the doctor bills that have racked up. I’m trying to be dad and mom, writer, housekeeper, gardener, researcher, counselor to my family, doctor for my kids, and find time to exercise to keep my pain at a manageable level. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
I haven’t written anything new for my books. I’m trying so hard to “get myself out there” that there’s nothing to put out there.
Is what I’m doing the right the thing?
Am I putting the cart before the horse?
I have a novel finished and I have been sending it out to agents but all I get is rejection form letters.
Should I self-publish?
I just put the first few chapters on Wattpad but will anyone read them?
Some people have thousands of followers. I don’t. Did I make a mistake?
So much if the writer’s world is uncertainty, never really knowing if you’re doing okay. It is so hard to maintain optimism when faced with giant chasms of unfamiliar territory.

Reality is TOO REAL

Have you ever gotten the feeling on being boxed in by what you are doing? I don’t mean literally like you accidentally stacked all the boxes from the closet you were cleaning between you and the door and you really have to pee and can’t get past them. No, I mean metaphysically blocked in.

For example, for the past few weeks I have been trying to learn the logistics of creating an author platform. AKA a way to reach potential readers. I’ve been slogging through “How to” guides like there’s no tomorrow, digging into codes and all the little nasty background computer things that exist on the web. Then I realized I haven’t written anything remotely fictional in all that time. I MISS IT! Reality is too real when it comes to the ground pounding, cyber weaving, networking phenomena that a person who is used to being invisible must accomplish in order to become visibly to the right people so the right connections can be made.

Now just because it feels too real and my brain is boiling over doesn’t mean that I give up. It only means that I need to learn BALANCE. In all things there must be Balance. It is absolutely important that you remember that.