Dear Diary,

It feels like I’ve forgotten how to relax. My brain resists being left in peace even for a day, let alone for a week. And that is right when I’ve decided to give myself a break: a week after I finished the draft of my book. It seemed a great idea to let it rest for a while before I begin editing. Alas, it hasn’t worked.

I’m irritated beyond measure, and I can’t shake off the nasty feeling that I’m just wasting the time I could spend doing something useful for my new book. The most frustrating thing about it is that I realise clearly that it’s not true. As far from the truth as it possibly can be. Yes, I don’t work on this particular book at the moment but indie authors know that there are millions of other things they have to do besides writing. And that list is endless.

Social media interactions, planning book promotions, updating the book and author profile descriptions on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, and everywhere, reading about new ways of book promotion. An indie author doesn’t know what “I have nothing to do” phrase means.

It’s a different matter altogether that not always these things bring pleasure or satisfaction.

Anyway, it’s not the lack of things to do that makes me restless. It’s that self-imposed necessity to always be doing something because “nobody will do anything for you since you’ve chosen the path of an indie author”. Dear Diary, I won’t lie: it’s not a nice feeling. It feels like you are alone in this huge, indifferent universe of millions of books published every year, and you don’t stand a chance to become more than what you are now.

I know it sounds pessimistic but I don’t have any grand hopes of ever “making it”. Whatever that “making it” means. I guess it’s different for every one of us. Some imagine fame and incredible fortune: their books being adapted for the screen and millions of money units rolling into their bank accounts. While others dream only about being picked up by a traditional publisher and seeing their books in local bookstores. All of these are huge dreams. And, alas, for the majority of indie authors they will remain as dreams. Yes, dear Diary, it’s a person who’d taken a Statistics course at the university is speaking from out of the depth of my creative soul now. That wound would never heal – the dispassionate cruelty of math has left a permanent scar.

What I’m struggling with is allowing myself the freedom to spend as much time writing and doing writing-related things as it is necessary. Necessary not to “make it” – earn money equal to what I could make doing something more “sensible” – but to be sure that I’ve done everything I could.

I have no idea if it makes any sense at all – this is a so-called writer having difficulties with putting her thoughts into words.

There are so many obstacles and difficulties an indie author almost inevitably faces on their path that sometimes I wish I could just succumb to the weakness of simply publishing my books on online platforms and do nothing further. In this case, I’d be able to say that I’ve published my books and anyone interested has a chance to buy them. So, theoretically, they are out there, not in my table drawer. And at the same time, I’d save myself from so much hurt and disappointment. For example, the hurt any author feels when they get a negative review.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged – no, not that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice) – that not every reader will love your book. During every discussion in the Writing Community on Twitter regarding reviews, this truth is agreed on by everyone participating. Take any famous and bestselling book and you’ll find hundreds or even thousands of negative reviews left by unsatisfied readers. But the difference between famous and bestselling and indie authors is such that the first have tens and hundreds of thousands of reviews while the latter have a handful – a couple of hundreds if they are super lucky and have cracked the algorithms of promotion.

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That quote belongs to Thomas Edison. I feel that it’s exactly what indie authors are doing every day – looking for ways to promote their books only to realise that none of them really works.

And still, dear Diary, I prefer to cling to another Edison’s quote: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” The most important thing is to clearly define what success means personally to you and don’t get intimidated by the generally accepted image that might be not what you want at all.

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