The secret of my unsuccess

May brings many eventful days that always make it a highlight month for me.  There’s Mother’s Day, a long-time favorite even without Mom around anymore (plenty of other Moms still available for me to send cards or greetings), there’s the traditional Memorial Day weekend (not so significant a break these days) and, of course, my month-end birthday (more on that as the month progresses).

Throw in “Doctor week” next week (coincidentally having multiple regular check-ups scheduled in the same week), some nibbles on job inquiries and the “deadline” for finishing “What Next?” and I have a fun-filled active month ahead.

To the last point, I have been browsing some writing forums across various online sources, focusing more intently on independent authors and their paths to success (or lack thereof).  It has been interesting and informative, but in an odd way, not particularly helpful.

I find the same characteristics within these so-called support groups that I found within Corporate America, that is, those who are purportedly successful offer little tangible suggestions to those who are trying to become successful.

Not that I fault them.  Who wants to give advice or help to someone who might supplant them at their position (or on the book shelf)?  Of corse, the flip side to that is you get an underlying tone of patronism or condescension when you appear to be helpful while withholding any truly helpful information.

Another commonality I seem to find is that some of the successful individuals in these groups do not sound as if they are successful enough to be self-sufficient in their chosen craft.  That begs the question of the definition of success and whether it’s all relative.

When reading the comments of all the people posting, they come off as passionately engaged in the art of writing.  The hubris and hope that are necessary to have enough confidence to publish your own work is evident in their words.  They want very badly to succeed at what they are doing and genuinely look for suggestions to make their writing commercially successful as well.

I guess that’s where I’m different from that group of writers.  Or perhaps I’m simply more self-aware.  For me, the pleasure is in the writing.  I have little interest in personally engaging in the active marketing of my book.  It’s not about laziness, it’s about values.

I like writing.  I don’t like marketing.  If my life is about enjoyment, then I will keep writing and continue to do little or no marketing.  Would I pay someone to market for me?  Maybe, but that’s only to get more people to read the book.  If my goal was to be financially successful writing, I would be hard-pressed to do so with the niche writing I’m doing now.  Maybe I could do a self-help book with vampires?

On the plus side, while I set certain “deadlines” for myself in completing my trilogy, there is no requirement to hit that mark.  While I feel a constraint to the small audience I have earned, we do not have a contract with an expected release date.  The only contract I feel we do have is that I produce the best book I think I can.  Should you still care to read it after all that time, I will be pleased by your continued interest.

In the meantime, I’ll maintain my status as an unqualified unsuccess.

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