Like many other indie authors, I sometimes find the business side of writing discouraging. Who wouldn’t when you realize that it has been a while since you made a sale or when your book ranking is in the 8-digit-realm? I’m sure I’m not the only one who faced with the dismal reality has ever wondered if it’s still worth the effort and the time to write another book. And if the numbers were telling me something, it was in the tune of who cares if there’s a next one so why even bother?
Those pesky thoughts have been in the back of my mind for a while and have put me in a lousy mood for writing when my friend Cathy and I had lunch the other day. We try to meet regularly to catch up with our lives’ news. There we were prattling about common acquaintances when she stopped in mid-sentence and said to me, “Sorry for changing the subject, but seriously, do I have to wait years before your next book is done?”
“Uh-ha,” I said, drawing the syllables slowly.
“Well, hurry up or I’m going to be dead by then!” she said, with her typical Type-A personality’s impatience.
First of all, my friend is quite healthy, but she can be a bit overly dramatic when she wants to. To some people, that could’ve come across as nagging, but I was feeling rather flattered by her remarks as I realized that even if I count my fans on one hand, each of them values my book and the story I’m telling. And they want to see more of it. They expect there will be more. And there is my challenge. The challenge is not about sales rankings, but about how well I can write the next chapter of the story. The truth is money has always been a poor motivator when it comes to my writing, yet after I published my book, I let the graphs and the sales reports speak way louder than what has always been at the heart of my craft. I let the dollar signs—or the lack of them, make me forget what I love about writing and why I chose being a writer. But now I’m hopefully back on track. I’m writing because like my friend Cathy, I too want to find out how the story goes and where it’ll all end.