The path of solitude

"Pyle pirate marooned" by Howard Pyle - Pyle, Howard; Johnson, Merle De Vore (ed) (1921) "Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main" in Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates: Fiction, Fact & Fancy Concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main, New York, United States, and London, United Kingdom: Harper and Brothers, pp. Plate facing p. 26. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Pyle pirate marooned” by Howard Pyle – Pyle, Howard; Johnson, Merle De Vore (ed) (1921) “Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main” in Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates: Fiction, Fact & Fancy Concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main, New York, United States, and London, United Kingdom: Harper and Brothers, pp. Plate facing p. 26. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Writing is a very lonely affair. Sometimes even more than you’re able to bear. You feel trapped inside of the four walls that surround you, with no one to listen to you but the buzzing fridge and the cold, bluish glow of your laptop’s screen. And although you used to hate some of your work colleagues, you start to miss them. You start to miss that everyday craziness of a normal office.

Sometimes I wonder if the effort of quitting my day job and plunging into this life was worth it. I spend most of the day staring at my laptop, trying to come up with stories that I enjoy in the hopes that people will also like them. When I’m not writing, I’m browsing social media and spreading the word about my book. Marketing is an essential part of any author, but when you’re self-published you have to do it by yourself. You have to get people to know you and the best and most cost-effective way is to use social media. Problem is there are lots of groups and websites so you end up spending a couple of hours on this. You also don’t want to publish in dozens of Facebook groups at the same time or people will unfollow you because you’ve just become a spammer.

So, before you know, you’ve spent all of you day on this, jumping between writing and marketing your books. And by day I mean 12 to 15 hours because you’re your own boss now and there are no office hours. You work the amount of time you have to. It’s not easy to be all by yourself doing this, throwing words into the digital ether in the hopes someone will reply back and make you feel less lonely.

Sometimes the only way you have to deal with it is to just leave the house and walk for a bit, catch some fresh air. But then you feel guilty for not being in front of the screen writing, because you depend on the books you sell to make a living. And you need several books to make ends meet.

Between the guilt and the exhaustion, is it worth it?

Most definitely yes. Because it only takes the kind words of one happy reader to remind you of why you’ve started writing in the first place. For me it was the need of putting into digital paper the words I couldn’t hold inside of me anymore.

So thank you all for your kind words. They are more important than you know to fuel this writer in the making.

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