In a recently writers’ group meeting the five of us who are fighting the battle of the indie author discussed why we feel that we’re “not doing enough.” When you’re an indie, there’s just you. You make all the decisions, and if your self-publishing program falters or flounders, you may feel that it’s all your fault.
Every author has times when life gets in the way of your writing. You’re just too busy, and too stressed, to write.
The indie author guilt trap: you can’t do everything
I have a full-time job in marketing. I had high hopes for my self-publishing efforts in 2017, but we’re approaching the middle of the year. September will arrive much sooner than we think, and then the focus is on Christmas celebrations and gift-buying. Your day job gets even busier.
My day job and family commitments have gobbled up my writing time this year. Yes, I could have found writing time, but exhaustion won out.
The other indies in our group have similar challenges. One author is caring for her elderly parents, in addition to managing her five children, and full-time job. Another author’s child was ill several times this year. She felt too stressed to write.
We all feel guilty, but we shouldn’t. Life happens, and nothing is permanent. Things will change, and we’ll be able to focus on our writing again.
We discussed ways to get over feeling guilty, and to survive until we can refocus on self-publishing.
You’re a busy indie author: tips to survive stress
- Read. Even if you have little time to yourself, carve out some time to read for 30 minutes each day, even if it’s in your lunch hour. Reading isn’t writing, but reading will build your motivation and inspiration;
- Promote your current publishing catalogue — spend ten minutes a day on Facebook or Twitter to promote your books;
- Revamp your current books. If you’ve wanted to commission new covers, do it. Edit your books’ descriptions;
- Are you a member of a writers’ group? If you feel alone, reach out. You may find a group locally, or find one online. You need your own cheer squad;
- Realize that whatever challenging situation you’re in, it will pass. Before you know it, you’ll have time to write again.
Life hasn’t changed after our group’s discussion of how guilty we were about our self-publishing efforts this year. We all feel better however. We know that we’re maintaining our self-publishing business, and are planting the seeds of a more productive time when real life stops intruding.
Is the indie life a challenge for you too? Courage. 🙂