It's no secret, I've been under a lot of stress. For those who just read my blog or occasionally see a Facebook post and detect anger, you're not wrong. LOL But, it's not about stupid reviews, or sales data, or even a heavy workload. Although, some of those things might be the trigger, they are not the root cause.
I'll try to sum it up without over-sharing or looking like a whiner. My stress levels have been extremely high for about 6 straight years. We've had several deaths in the family, along with other issues. About the time I got my first publishing contract, I lost my job to budget cuts. Honestly, it was one of the worst jobs I'd ever had, highly stressful, but it paid the bills. I was able to briefly find other employment, but lost 3 more jobs due to budget cuts. Needless to say, this took a toll on me emotionally and financially. It put a strain on every aspect of my life.
Writing was my dream, but that dream quickly became a must. I had to sink or swim. There was no in-between. So, I wrote like hell. Don't get me wrong, I didn't churn out books just for money. Hell, I only recently started making enough to live on.
I wrote what was in my heart. I poured pieces of my soul onto the paper and I sold it off, bit by bit.
I've put in many long days and nights and more hours of advertising and promo than I could ever add up. It is damn hard to make a living as a writer. I had to do it, as there were no other job options in the rural area where I live. But I had an advantage. This wasn't just for money. This was what I WANTED. It's who I am and what I am meant to be. So, I've worked my ass off.
It wasn't difficult for me to get my first contract. I didn't struggle with a pile of rejection letters. However, I did struggle to get my books in front of readers who would enjoy them. That has been my biggest challenge.
All that work did not begin to pay off until October 2013, when I finally made the Amazon Best Sellers list and began to reach a larger audience.
For the first time, I was connecting with people on a huge scale. My vampire menage collection is still in the top 20 in Dark Fantasy, and spent a whole month at #1. I am thrilled with this. :)
The unfortunate downside is, that creates a lot of pressure to hurry up and put out another book. LOL Yes, it's a downside that I'll gladly live with. I'll take earning a decent living for my hard work ANY DAY over nearly being homeless, working my ass off, and not getting paid.
The biggest challenge I'm facing at the moment is that my wrists are totally worn out from all the writing. I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome or anything serious. This is more of an issue of overuse. Like, consecutively writing about 4,000 words a day for months and months without a break. The most I've rested between books for the past 4 years is probably 2 weeks. I'm exhausted. I'm also typing this very, very slowly so as not to further aggravate my hurting wrists.
Currently, I have 3 things on my "To Do" list. 1. Finish After Dark. (That's the 7th Lilith Mercury book.) 2. Take time off. 3. Read some books. LOL Really, that's it. Simplicity helps me.
Since it hurts so much to type, I'm writing out the end of After Dark by hand. The book will still be out by it's scheduled release in January 2015.
So, if you see a post that seems as though I've flipped my wig, just consider that I'm really, really tired and I'm probably taking things too seriously at the moment.
I appreciate my loyal readers very much, and just wanted to give everyone an update.