Monday 29 January 2024

Tightrope Walking: Writing & Everything Author Life


Last week I talked about life hiccups and writing (piece found here) but this week I wanted to talk more about how much of writing and author life is a careful balancing act on a tightrope. I have been an indie author for eighteen years. In that time I've drafted over 45 books, published 21, and have built up my name, books and everything else mostly on my own.

I am chronically ill and disabled, and I struggle sometimes with that tightrope, because it feels like so much of author life, as in that way to keep yourself relatable and in the public eye is to forgo the writing part and focus completely on the everything else part. The marketing, the social media presence, the bringing out books is very much part of it sure, but for me the whole thing is very overwhelming and I really do struggle sometimes.

From the outside looking in, with my organisation, with my ability to do what I do month to month, it might look like I have it all down to a fine art, and you could say that I'm expertly crossing that tightrope. But in truth? When you see below the surface, that couldn't be further from the truth. Being an author is hard work, and pouring your time and energy into writing is only one part of it. It's the everything else that always trips me up because I can write story after story and never really find it impossible, but when you throw in the rest of it, that's when things get tricky.

Like right now, this time I'm spending working on blog posts is more part of author life than it is anything else. On Fridays when I post reviews, that's again time spent on author life, both showcasing other authors, and also learning and growing from what I read to bring about those reviews. There's so much of author life that is far removed from the writing itself that it can get very overwhelming and it's hard to navigate it, no matter how well organised you may be.

I know I've talked before on social media about the highlight reel that everyone, including myself, shows off whether intentionally or not, but it's hard sometimes to talk about the realities of that tightrope walk without coming across like you're trying to bring down the mood or trying to elicte sympathy from your readers. I like to think that when I do my Monday check ins, people realise that's me being real more than anything else. There are many times during the year and the month when I find it hard to really form the words to write out those posts because I know things haven't been good and it's hard to know how much to share, and how much to hide and keep quiet about.

I wish I had tips for you when it comes to how to successful balance both. I've done well with my own way of working in that I know what works for me and what doesn't, but that doesn't always translate for everyone else. I just wanted to acknowledge that it's not all sunshine and puppies. Writing is hard. Balancing between telling your stories and having a viable career is not easy either. You have to walk that tightrope because that's how things work, but that doesn't mean that any of them actually go smoothly.

So yes, a bit of raw honesty for you today. Walking that tightrope can be easier some days than others, and no matter what kind of day it is for you, I see you, applaud you, and hope things are going well.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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