The other day, I was looking through my Goodreads bookshelf at some of the things I’ve read recently (I really don’t read as much as I should, but that’s another matter.) Anyway, I looked through a few reviews I had written, and I came across a book by an indie author that I had read and enjoyed. I couldn’t quite get over how much the book was like The Hunger Games, but I liked it anyway. There were two more books making up her trilogy. I did not read them, though I suppose I had meant to.
This author had published her first book around the same time I published Nevermor, and though I don’t remember ever talking to her directly, I suppose that was a connection between us. When I saw the book on my list, I had a sort of ‘oh yeah!’ moment, and I thought I would see what the author had been up to lately, since I hadn’t been following her. I decided that I would follow her on Goodreads, only to discover that she hadn’t added any books (even to read) since late 2015.
I like to watch other writers, see how they market themselves and all the hard work they do as an inspiration to myself. This author’s book won an award, it was a ‘best-seller’ (but who knows what that means anymore), she did a lot of guest blogging and worked to promote herself for a while, and then nothing.
I decided to dig deeper. I checked her website, twitter, blog — nothing. It just made me start thinking. What happened? She finished out her trilogy, which had increasingly lower reviews with each volume (much like my own trilogy) and she released one other short book in between before she, apparently, threw in the towel. Maybe she simply accomplished what she set out to do with that one trilogy, and that was that. Who knows. Maybe it was something else. I don’t know her personal situation, but it just made me think.
I know it’s hard out there, and I’ve wondered over the value of it myself at some points, but I always come back and keep fighting. Because I want this. I’ve known since a young age that this is what I want to do. I want more than what I’ve accomplished so far, and while it isn’t much, I’m gaining more all the time. It shows, sometimes when I’m not looking for it.
Recently, I was contacted by an indie author just starting out who wanted to share some news with me. I had inspired him, and he’d found the drive to write a novel that he decided to publish, and dedicated it to me (among others). I was very flattered, as I always am when people share these things with me. I know that somewhere in the world, I am not invisible, and what I have done is a representation of courage that I’m not sure I even have sometimes. There are people who know who I am and love what I do, even if that group is small. I like to think that it’s ‘select’. 😉
I don’t want there to be any illusion — writing is not my full-time job. Oh, that it were! But it’s not. Maybe one day it will be. But there is another truth: I don’t want to disappear.
I’ve been working very hard recently, truly feeling the drive again. The words are music and I can’t wait to get up every morning and work. I’m writing and editing constantly, feeling more inspired than I have in a long time, and I don’t want to lose it.
I wrote this post, not to shame this author or any other on the verge of this difficult choice, but I’m going to use this as an inspiration to myself, but also to you out there: don’t forget about your favorite authors. If you enjoy their work, tell them so. Support them as you are able, even if it’s with words, because there may come a day when they are no longer there.