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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

postpartum depression

Okay, book is done and up on Amazon as a kindle as well as paperback. I've advertised in several Facebook pages and sent out my newsletter announcing the new arrival. Then why am I so depressed?

Here are a couple of reasons why I think I have the blues:
1. psychic exhaustion
2. no sales so far even from my friends and family
3. I am not writing

To elaborate a bit on these. Psychic exhaustion and physical exhaustion seem to always hit me pretty hard after the stress of getting a book out. My excitement is high as I put the finishing touches on it and have it formatted. Then the uploading to Createspace and kindle is another invigorating process that I love. But then comes the letdown. It is no longer available to work on. My friends, who I've been close to for several months, maybe years, have gone their own way leaving me bereft.

No sales. I don't know what I expect exactly. I guess I want whoever sees it and knows me to rush out and buy it! And maybe a few who don't know me and like the cover--because the cover is fab! This is a ridiculous expectation. But this is what is going on for me and I have to look at it closely. It's hard to let go of expectations, especially after putting heart and soul into a book, even if I know it's unrealistic. And so I check daily and become even more morose. I've thought about putting the kindle up for .99 or having a kindle countdown but for pity's sake--can no one pay a mere $2.99 for the book I just slaved over? I HAVE TO LET THIS ONE GO.

I'm not writing. This is the biggest issue for me. My days are now spent feeding the birds, walking and lying around reading or staring at the wall. (or napping) When I try to work on something I feel utterly uninspired. I know it takes time to replenish the well--believe me I've gone through this before--seven times in fact. But here I am again knowing that this is a normal reaction and yet fighting against it tooth and nail. Without writing I'm an empty shell. Not only does it fill my time, it gives me a purpose and a feeling of worth. When I'm working on a project I'm immersed in something bigger than myself, something that requires getting out of the way. The muse is in charge. And I tend to make friends with my characters and find them amusing and interesting. This is why the same characters continue appearing book after book. In Bridge of Mist and Fog the two protagonists are the children of characters in my former books. It's as though they continue on with their lives after I've written about them and I can tap in and see what they're up to.

So what is the solution to this? I suppose it's patience. And faith. Because along with all this there's the fear that I won't be able to do it again.


  1. You are in the same cleft stick as a million other writers. The new publishing democracy lets us all publish, often very good books. But we have no market unless we shout and if we shout we are likely to be attacked.
    There is a weird psychology going on which attacks big companies because they advertise and thinks small is beautiful. But somehow when in comes to books you are followed if you are a big player advertising and attacked if you are insignificant.
    You are a great writer Nikki- What I suggest is a busman's holiday. Forget the novels for now- Join a short story group, or a poetry group. Experiment with something completely different. So a vacation yes, but one that frees a new seam of creativity.

    1. good to hear from you, Richard..you are so right! Yes, a vacation sounds good right about now.

  2. Nikki, you may find this blog post of interest, comments too. Stick in there http://www.veronicasicoe.com/blog/2015/06/self-published-by-choice/