Being an indie author is exhausting. It means that everything is on you. Not just the writing and the editing and the rewriting, but the packaging and marketing, and oh don't forget that you have to write the next book.
I spend almost every free moment I have trying to figure out ways to connect with readers.
All that is part of the deal. That's what I signed on for when I decided to stop my search for an agent and go out on my own.
The workload is enough to be tiring but the thing that really takes a toll is the cost of putting all that heart and soul into these efforts with not a lot of payoff.
As an indie author with a day job, I have the luxury of not relying on my writing to pay the bills. The point of how hard it can be to pour everything you've got into something without seeing the return you'd like was echoed in a Facebook post I saw today from a chef/restaurateur lamenting the end of her business. I teared up reading it because I identified a lot with the sentiments about just wanting to do the work (cooking for her/writing for me) instead of all the constant hustling and marketing that goes with it because the passion is so clear and so pure. It made me wish we could all not just honor each of our passions, but be rewarded for it. And the sad reality is that the vast majority of people don't get either of those things.
So, what to take away from this? Well, to always focus on the work when the other things start to drag you down - that is where the passion and joy lives. And as far as hoping to see some return on the work, as an indie author the best thing is to just keep your head down and keep at it. Every so often, it seems like I need to remind myself of this message. I need that "reset" button. I think everyone probably does to some degree. That chef was feeling relief from admitting that it had all become too much. She wasn't ready to quit cooking or pursuing some type of restaurant but she was aware of needing that clean break in order to start again.
So, here's to starting again - in ways big and small - and never really giving up!