In the past four years, I've made the journey from solitary writing in my private corner to researching the book industry, querying, being rejected, blundering onto KDP Select, getting to know the indie author community, editing, improving, tearing my hair out, signing with a publisher, reading all I can about writing, publishing, content marketing, writing to market, setting goals and mapping out plots, and... whew.
It's been a long journey, and I most definitely haven't "arrived" yet. And somewhere along the way, I lost the pure joy of creation, the poetry and maps and drawings of dragons, and all that allowed me to become a writer in the first place. I got so caught up in word counts and deadlines, in content marketing and selling, in being grown-up and businesslike, that I forgot that in its basis, my writing was rooted in my refusal to ever grow up. I might be the mom of a large family, the dish do-er and diaper changer, but at the end of the day I still enjoy boarding the Hogwarts Express together with my children.
So recently I've decided to let go. I have worked so hard and learned so much during the past couple of years, and it's so very important, but I can't go on writing if it isn't FUN. Writing has always been my creative outlet, my place of freedom. Giving that up means I'm left with NO creative outlet, and it isn't healthy for me. And let's get real, I'm not making that much money anyway.
Next month, I'm planning to release my first Middle Grade novel, Dragon Diplomacy. It was written, like so many other children's books, to amuse my kids. I know this is unlikely to turn into a huge bestseller, but if I can share the joy of magic, dragons and fairies with a few more people, it's enough. There will be a sequel, even if the first book doesn't sell. Just for the fun and joy of it.
After this project is done and I emerge from my writing cave, I'll think about Amazon algorithms, book marketing and budgeting for covers and promotions again. But for now, excuse me while I charge my creative batteries.