Yesterday I woke up feeling defeated. I didn’t get enough sleep, up for a large part of the night with a stupid pain I get once in a while. So maybe my sense of defeat came from the lack of sleep and the stubborn pressure pain in my lower back. Be that as it may, I felt like an utter failure.
We all want to make a difference in the world, one way or another, right? I’m no different. As a woman I wanted to be successful at my job, be it as a wife, a mother, a teacher, or a writer. We all want to leave a legacy of some kind. I am now sixty years old so my mortality is calling and reminding me that I have nothing to boast about, nothing to be remembered by when I leave this world.
I feel I failed at everything I did including being a mom and a wife. And I most definitely failed at being a writer. I have now twenty published works and I still don’t make enough money to keep up with my coffee habit, much less to make a living off of it. Every attempt I have made at marketing my work has failed miserably and the worst part is, I don’t understand why. I follow the advice of experts and friends alike who had at least some reasonable success with their marketing. I spend hours coming up with effective graphics, videos, whatever it’s needed, only for them to flop big time. I can’t even get people to download my free bonus materials.
I try to make sense of it and all I can think of is I’m stupid about these things and/or my books suck big time.
I have tried everything: Kindle Vella (not one free episode was downloaded), TikTok , Facebook, Instagram, paid promos, blog tours, free promos, videos, graphics, online events… by golly, I couldn’t even get other authors to help me with reposting my new releases (with some very notable exceptions. I do have a group of awesome online friends both authors and readers) which have been total flops every one of them.
It’s so bad that when I decided to do one of those Facebook fundraisers (not writing related) for my birthday to help a charity I have been sponsoring for many years, I managed to get ONE donation. One besides my own. It all can make you feel very lonely and unloved.
Yes, this is a whinny, self-indulgent blog but I had to let it out. I feel better today and I stay positive (for the most part) but this feeling creeps up pretty often. I have quit checking my sales as often. I have pretty much given up on checking for new reviews. I can’t justify spending the amount of money I have spent in the past when I make close to nothing in return and I can’t justify the amount of time I spend besides my demanding day job as a teacher marketing and promoting my books either.
I will keep writing because I love it, always have. And I’ll most likely continue to publish my books because hope never dies, I guess. But I wish I could be successful at one thing at least. Is that too much to ask?
How do you deal with failure and/or the hopeless feeling of defeat?
Note: This is me venting on a day I woke up feeling smaller than a bug and just as relevant. Most days I don’t feel like that. I have “moments” but for the most part my rational side knows things are not that gloomy. I have wonderful friends, a small group of amazing readers who are super supportive, great writer friends who help me however they can, and my family who despite their flaws love me as much as I love them. I am also so fortunate to have an amazing publisher and a day job that, however exhausting and frustrating, keeps me fed, housed and which I love most of the time (love my students for sure. Not so sure about the education bosses of this world.). So take this with a grain of salt. Or two 😏