I’ve been thinking a lot about the support that writers get when they are trying to ply their trade. I’m not talking about agents and publishers, but the people who are there to hold them up. I remember hearing a story about Stephen King’s wife pulling his first draft of ‘Carrie’ out of the trash, which I guess has become my gold standard of author cheerleader. This is an endearing story, but I wonder if it’s common.
My fear of not being supporting comes from a specific encounter. I met another fantasy author a long time ago. This author was brought into a workshop to talk about publishing and I guess to talk to the lone fantasy author in the room. That would be me. He self-published and made his own cover. I really don’t want to talk bad about somebody, but it was not a positive encounter. He was a nice guy and was happy to talk shop with another fantasy author. Yet, he said he had to trade a copy of his book for a tank of gas, lived off a box of donuts a week, and he hinted that his wife left him. I couldn’t tell if he was brought in to make me feel good about my choice or to be a cautionary tale. I was a lot younger and much easy to rattle back then. I’m finally starting to shake that fear and build up enough ambition and determination to push forward with the dream.
This is really a difficult thing to write about, but I want to get it off my chest. For a long time, I felt like people were making me feel guilty about wanting to pursue my writing. It meant I would be a ‘burden’ on my family and there was no guarantee of success. Today, I’m paranoid about how many of my supporters will actually buy my books when I start putting them out. It’s the big fear that I’ve been fighting these last couple of months. I’m well aware that I won’t succeed if the people around me refuse to support me by buying my books, reviewing my books, and spreading the word. A reader recommendation holds more power than an author telling people to buy his book. I’ve done this road twice before with self-publishing and both times ended in utter defeat.
I wanted to end this with a question, but I have no idea what to ask. This is really becoming more of a soul-bearing, revealing my current fear post, which I’ve come to learn is a dangerous type of post to make. So, I guess I’ll just end it here.