When I opened my blog to start this post, it was with great disbelief that I took note of the fact that my last one was way back on September 24. I didn't realize how long I had taken off. The time flew by. Time seems to do that more and more as I age. But there was never any question that I would be back. I enjoy this blog whether anyone actually reads it or not. So it will continue, but I needed some time away. Away from the blog, away from writing, away from selling my books and feeling like a huckster for trying to sell my books.
So I stopped. All of it. I stopped writing for over a month. Not a word. Didn't carry my trusty little blue notebook with me. Didn't write any short stories, didn't write any poems, didn't write or even think much about my latest work-in-progress (except for when it crowded its way to the front of the line occasionally). I did write a couple of articles for Clutch, but I didn't really, unless I just wanted to resign from there--if you can resign from a job for which you receive no money--have much of a choice in that. But I also quit updating my Facebook page and my website and checking my Twitter feed and all the other social media things that I felt like were taking up all my time and energy.
Why did I stop? Well, that's a good question. It wasn't a fully conscious choice so much as a spontaneous response to just one too many disappointing author events. I had a pretty good string of those. Days of building up the psychic energy to go out there and smile and say hello and hand out bookmarks and ask people to buy my books and maybe sell a book or two or, more likely, not sell a book or two. I read somewhere once that a good salesman will receive at least nine rejections for every one sale. I feel like that's a bit low. Actually, a lot low. And that's not something I really enjoy. Part of why authors become authors is that they are often socially awkward and express themselves more comfortably in writing than they do in person.
I know that seems contradictory from a teacher, but you'd be surprised by how many teachers are completely comfortable in the specific setting of their classroom with their kids but wouldn't want to work with the public in any other setting ever. I'm really one of those people. I'd be glad to go to a reading and read and talk about my books with people who want to hear from me and I would be completely content answering all the questions anyone could ever think of, but going up to someone and trying to get them to be interested in me and my books is just not something I really enjoy doing at all.
But I'm not complaining. It just comes with the territory when you're an indie author. So it's either this or I just write these books for myself and the idea of writing an entire series of books and being mildly proud of them and then not trying to get people to read them is just odd. I guess I could give them away, but that will hardly provide me with a living when I retire from teaching, will it?
Sorry if I seem like I'm rambling. It's been so long that my fingers are suffering from some from of digital diarrhea, if you'll pardon the rather indelicate metaphor. To sum up, I was suffering from a touch of burnout and I was just kind of tired. I needed to step back, enjoy some time with my friends, take care of myself, and re-evaluate whether I wanted to maintain this activity, which many indie authors will likely agree is often not much more than a really expensive habit. And the answer is yes. Yes, I do want to continue. Yes, I do want to write and even sell books, hopefully for the rest of my life. And I hope you are here for all of them.