Give Yourself a Hug and Lick Your Wounds

by Ron Vitale

 Sunrise on a cold and snowy morning.

Sunrise on a cold and snowy morning.

I'm often asked the question: "How do you get all the work done that you do?" It's an interesting question because the answer is so much more than giving a list of the things that I sacrifice. I wanted to pull the veil back a bit and to let everyone in to see the downside of being a writer. It's not all fun and roses. I've had a particularly rough last few weeks.

I went from the high of seeing the third book in my Cinderella's Secret Diaries series go on sale to frantically trying to work on preparing all my books for various platforms (Nook, Kindle, Kobo and iBook) as well as working full-time and trying to not be too cranky when I was putting my kids to bed (and wanting to fall asleep myself). The extra work and stress has taken a toll on me and I am tired. Not just physically tired, but soul weary. Yes, soul weary is the right phrase I'm looking for tonight.

When I look back at all the work I've done on my current series, it all goes back to 2010. That's when I started writing the book and knew that I wanted to try this experiment. Over time I wrote two other books in the series. Now I look at all the work that I've done (writing, editing, re-writing, reaching out for reviews, giving copies away, marketing, social media, talking with people, interviews, etc.) and I'm exhausted. The writing is done but now I need to promote my books because no one knows about them. (Well, not no one, but only a small group of people.) I've written about my experience in indie publishing and it's come down to countless hours of hard work. I've given more than 10,600 copies of Lost: Cinderella's Secret Diaries away and have received some extremely positive reviews, but not many people have discovered the other two books in the series.

Tonight I'm tired. I'm just downright wiped out from all the hard work and I have doubt. What if all the hard work that I've done is for nothing? I've tried really, really hard and have failed? There's this little voice inside that says that I should give up, throw in the towel and call it a day. I've tried and now I need to just let it all go and move on to something else. This is the moment that I often think of when people ask me how I get so much done. It's not easy and it's not all fun and games. Frankly, sometimes it just downright sucks. That's not an elegant way of putting it, but it's the truth.

And that's why I wanted to write this post. It's for me but also for my readers. I doubt and fall just like anyone else. It is definitely not easy to work so hard and not have your books purchased. It's disappointing. With limited time and money, I work as hard as I can but then I also need to pull back, give myself a hug and lick my wounds. I cannot go on anymore and I need to rest and take care of myself. The good thing is that much of the struggle I write about here is in my books. Cinderella goes on a pretty damn interesting journey and she falls on her face at times. But she doesn't give up. She believes in love and in doing what is right. Along the way she discovers herself and I am happy about that.

Tonight it's dark. Although it's Spring, we had snow yesterday and tonight is going to be extremely cold with it getting near breaking a record. I'm worried about my books not selling and I am feeling anxious. I have done so much work over the last four years and have so much more to do, but I am going to stop now. I'm going to put out there how I feel, face my fears of failure and to embrace all of it. It is okay to doubt and worry. But it's also important for me to rest and then feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

I took the picture at the beginning of this post. During one of the recent snowstorms, I stopped shoveling and looked up. I caught this beautiful moment of the sun rising and of it glowing like a magical orb of light. The rising sun gave me hope that all will be well. And I wanted to share that with you: I'm going to take care of myself now and rest. To let go of the rest of the work I need to do and just regroup and relax.

Have a good night.