Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Expectations Kill

We are all familiar  with disappointment.  Disappointment is born when there is hope or expectation. Yes, we all need hope to keep moving forward, but I believe that expectation is a whole lot steeper than hope.

I've lost my sights on why I've become published. I became obsessed with marketing my book to the point that I was losing my soul to it! I'm with a very small publisher and it's up to us to promote our own books. That has been a struggle with me because I have a family to tend to as well, and then there's real life that comes with it.

It became so bad that I've had to force myself to take a break for a whole week straight. I found that I had SO much more time open wide for reading, being me, and playing with my kids. I really enjoyed it.

It's been two days since I've returned to my writing career. This time, it's different. I've set aside specific times in my day so that I don't let things rule my life again.

As an aspiring author, I had expectations for my book--but that's like saying a little girl expects to live happily ever after once finding her knight in shining armor.

I had no idea what I was really in for--being published is simply the business side of writing.

Being published doesn't mean all your problems melt away and you're set for life--it's like with any other career out there: you still have to work at it but wisely! You don't stay at your current job 17 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, do you? It's so easy to let that happen with your book because you love it, you're home doing it and it slowly cooks you alive if you're not watching the water boil!

Just like with any relationship gone sour, I need to remember why I started writing. So I'm getting back to the basics:  Discovering the pure joy in writing, and remembering the love of sharing my heart's work.

As a rule, authors never talk about the hardships of their careers, and it makes me wonder why because it is there. What struggles are you facing now?

36 comments:

  1. can i say... i love you without you taking it the wrong way? i agree with you, i have worked so hard so many things without much notice. i feel like it just doesn't solve my problems, i think we share different accomplishments, but the same types of goals. i keep moving forward in a clean effort to someday, somehow, someway make it... somewhere.

    Jeremy

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  2. Great post, Elizabeth. I think your honesty is everybody's honest, except you came out and said it. I sometimes think publishers are the pimps and writers are the prostitutes. Publishers have fancy names and fancy promises but it's the writers who bring in the loot, with the publisher getting a lion's share for looking good. My hub's in the corporate world, a minnow in a sea of big fish, so to speak. He says that in the corporate world publishers are the vendors and writers are the clients, with the latter having the power. But this has been turned around, with the latter having to say 'how high' when the publisher says jump.

    Take time for yourself and write when you can. That's the best any of us can do. And bravo for speaking out!

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  3. Wonderful post!
    I'm struggling with writing my sequel and a ton of other stuff lol. But as long as we keep in sight what we want and what we're doing this for, then everything should be fine!

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  4. Jeremy, of course I won't take it the wrong way. I really appreciate your honesty, too! I guess all we can really do is pace ourselves and always remember to "stop and smell the roses". Thanks for leaving a comment!

    Kittie, tell me about it! It's crazy and I don't know how or why it has happened. Imagine if every author decides to revolt? What would the publishers do then?

    Jess, you and me, girl! I started Darkspell's sequel and have struggled so much with it! I put it aside and wrote another book. Sometimes it helps to step away to gain a fresh perspective. If you'd like to bounce ideas off of me, email me!
    elizabeth.mueller.authorATgmail
    *hugs*

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  5. Thank you. Thank you. I've watched as Cindy Hogan's been spending so many hours marketing her books, and I keep wondering if I'm really up to that part of it. The writing and social media platforming already take a lot of time, and I work full time. *sigh*

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    1. Donna! Hi! It is crazy doing so and I'm still dreading it. I've created this new schedule where I'm only to stick to it about 2 hours a day. It's SO hard to see emails coming in that need to wait for the next day's marketing session.

      We'll have lots to talk about LTUE weekend! <3

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  6. Very true. Things are never easy because then they wouldn't be worth it. It is good to have a reminder of priorities. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Yes! Keeping priorities in line is very important to remember! *sigh*
      You're welcome, Jessica!

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  7. What a great an honest post! I believe you back on the right track now,I wish you the best of luck!

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    1. Brenda, thank you! I hope I stay put now! :O

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  8. Elizabeth, you are awesome. Making time for life other than writing seems to be ignored by most of us writers. It is vital to our careers and growth as a writer.

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    1. So true! I really hope that I keep this schedule up because I didn't like who I was becoming!

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  9. I find myself struggling with the marketing side quite a bit, but also with the balance between my own writing and the ghost writing I pursue for a career.

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    1. I wish there was a magic button we can all hit to make it better. *hugs* I hope you can find balance soon...

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  10. Thank you for sharing this!! At times, I don't feel like I do enough marketing--I'm published with a small company, too, and I've self-published as well, so there's lots of marketing to do. I don't want to lose sight of WHY I write, though, and then I sometimes feel caught up in everything. THANK YOU for this, so very much.

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    1. Laura, my heart goes out to you with a big hug! I don't like that feeling at all. We need to stick together because we need each other! <3

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  11. Lovely Elizabeth! I hope you continue to find joy and happiness with your writing - I hope the thrill will never leave!! Here's to going back to basics in 2012!

    I struggle with the blank screen and my most recalcitrant muse!

    Take care
    x

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    1. Hi, Kitty! *hugs* Here here--Back to Basics 2012!

      I hope your muse starts behaving...
      <3

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  12. The business side caught me by surprise! The marketing part was a struggle, although I think I'm getting a handle on it as I approach the release of my second book. It's easy to get caught up in all of the excitement - and work.

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    1. Alex, yes, it is... I'm glad that things are falling under control. :) Thanks for dropping by!

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  13. I typically raise my expectations too high only to be disappointed, but I think that's a part of anything you do when you really want to succeed.
    Family comes first, but success also requires sacrifice. It's a tightrope walk.

    My biggest struggle is trying to make it as a writer/blogger with no steady income stream. I don't know how long my wife will put up with it.


    Lee
    What is dynamic flow?
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Lee, that's how I feel my writing--no steady income stream. But I guess I need to remember why I started writing to begin with... I hope you find a balance so your wife won't say anything. <3
      :)

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  14. It's not always easy to strike the correct balance, but with the correct mindset, a can do attitude and the love and support from those around you anything is possible, oh and not forgetting a little bit of luck! When reading blogs I look for honesty, I found it here.

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    1. Thank you for this reply. So true. We need the support from those around us we do... I'm glad you enjoyed my post. :)

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  15. This is actually a very profound post. I'm sure there are a lot of aspiring writers out there who are experiencing exactly this same thing - letting the promotion of your book take over your life - even your writing. I sometimes feel like this is me, and I have forced myself to take a break, too, as you shared. thanks for your transparency. I think it helped some of us breathe a sigh oif relief. We aren't alone!

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    1. Tracy, my heart is touched with how many here have found this post helpful. It's painful to see that this is common. I wonder if there's something we can do together? ;)

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  16. It's like you're reading my mind. I did a little look inside recently and am stepping back a little from the stress of promo, promo, promo and getting back to writing.

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    1. Susan, I wonder what a healthy, but effective balance is? Especially when my books aren't available in bookstores...

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  17. I really understand this. And you have worked very hard and have done an awesome job getting the word out on your book. But you're right. We have to have balance in our lives. Great post, Elizabeth.

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  18. Kathi, I'm happy to see you here! Thank you for visiting. It's the balance that I need to remember to always keep!

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  19. Great post! All writers struggle at one point or another. Right now, I'm struggling to balance writing and editing (for my job) and everything else that goes into preparing for my due date which is in less than 6 weeks.

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    1. Yikes! Six weeks is flying up... I would set up a to do list and see what your schedule is like, then check things off your list according to urgency. Edit for two hours in the first part of the day, then write for another two hours in the second part of the day! Or edit like a madwoman MWF and write like crazy Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday...

      I wish you the best. *Hugs*

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  20. It's good to hear a realistic perspective from someone going through that experience. Thanks.

    It's also spooky that I've seen so many blog posts recently where people are reassessing their priorities, whether they be promoting, blogging, revising, etc, just to get back to what they love doing.

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    1. I think that the beginning of a new year attributes a lot to the spook factor! ;)
      I really hope that everyone gets to go back to what they love...

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  21. My biggest struggle is usually just me, putting myself out there, allowing others to read what I'm writing, making the time to write. I hope you have good luck with keeping the business side down to a reasonable level and finding that joy again. This is a good warning to those of us who haven't gotten there yet, or who may be in the thick of it. Thanks for the honest post!

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    1. Thank you! It is quite crazy. I've spoken with other debut authors and they are facing the same thing I am.

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