Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,
Good day writing wise. Was almost done on WARRIOR when faced with an unpleasant truth. When you have success there will be all kinds of people around you.

There will be those who are proud of your accomplishments but not really see how hard you work to make it happen. Those people are my parents. I expect that from them. I’m in the small press. They have jobs with salaries, benefits, secure income. I’m lucky if I see $30 every three months in royalties. That’s with me promoting my tail off. Using what I can afford Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, websites, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon. Then there’s the out of the box ideas like a prelaunch event showcasing other people’s work while promoting mine.

I know as a small press author my reach is, to some degree limited to what I can afford to do to promote. And when those efforts are stymied by an outside force it can be very frustrating. It leaves you thinking, what am I supposed to do? Clearly I’m not an A-lister. A brand author. I mean, that’s the eventually the big picture goal. But I don’t even make the alphabet.

Other people are genuinely happy for you and just want to be successful for themselves. And as my best friend Missy would say, ‘me too, me too’. Others struggle with feelings of envy and jealousy. And are honest about it. Still others, others are just snarky and out for themselves. Tell me, how do you deal with this?
I don’t particularly care what people think about me. And in a lot ways I don’t concern with other people’s actions, I figure what they do reflects on them, not on me.

I had a publisher tell me once publishing was a business, writing is personal until you hand it over to the publisher. It’s still art but it becomes a product at the same time. All I know is that writing is a personal act for me. Editing is not. I have to divorce myself from my work if I don’t it’s hard to look at it objectively.

Thus with the promotional efforts stymied I find myself at a big crossroads. What to do to promote? I feel as if my hand has slapped hard and I’m being punished for being aggressive in getting my name out there when I see other authors doing the exactly the same thing in exactly the same place. Like there’s some kind of secret code that gets them in but leaves me out.

I have never been one to let anything keep me down for too long. If I can’t promote there I can’t promote there and that’s the end of it. All the wishing, and hand wringing, and tantrum throwing won’t change that fact.

I mean, when I measure everything against one another this one bump in the road isn’t going to kill me or my career. I was just told no. Which is fine. I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone with my posts. And it isn’t like it’s the last time I’m going to be told no.

People have told me no in some fashion or another as I’ve grown into an adult. First they said, you’re book isn’t good enough. So I wrote and submitted until I couldn’t be denied access anymore. I found a publisher who would nurture me and my voice until was strong enough to be heard above din of all the other writers struggling to be heard. I have a piece of the pie. An admittedly small piece of the pie at the moment but I know hard work and strong story win out over those who would sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

MuseItUp Publishing is a wonderful place, as are my other publishers. But Muse is who took me from a struggling writer and honed me into one who now has the courage to put her out of the  box marketing ideas to work.

I have a voice. I won’t be shut up by those around me, whether well-intentioned or not. It’s not my way. I’ve worked too hard. I feel like the girl in my LAST WARRIOR series, Bella Morte. She is destined to become a trained assassin. She’s only fourteen and the life she has led is a precarious one. She has survived against the odds. I have 8 books to figure out her journey. Maybe when it debuts in September I can send you a signed copy to show you what you inspire me to do when others hold me back. (Today wasn’t nearly as bad as it felt. International Bestselling Author Alicia Bessette liked the blog, so I must be doing something right!)


Amy McCorkle

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