The Five Stages of Becoming an Author?


With all due respect to the well-documented five stages of grief, I’ve been gauging my feelings lately, and realize those stages can kind of apply to my situation. While I’m not dealing with a loss, I am dealing with a pretty significant change since going public with this writing thing.

It’s certainly a positive change, and something that has been steered completely by my own hand. But that doesn’t mean I struggle any less as I adjust to my new “author” responsibilities.

Those aforementioned five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Anger is the topic for this post, because it most closely describes my current state.

I’m not angry with any person or thing in particular. It’s more like fed up, and if I had to pick a thing for its focus, it’s probably the Internet.

I’m fed up with certain bits of advice I’ve gleaned from the Internet and felt compelled to follow. My thinking has been: since I’m in uncharted territory, what do I have to lose?

Really, I still am in a spot of “nothing to lose,” except my sanity. Because balancing my paying job—which funds this expensive hobby of publishing; with marketing my debut novel—which has been a money pit so far;* with continuing to write—which is my ultimate priority. Well, incomplete sentence aside, I’ve been leaning heavily on all my Saints to keep the plates spinning.

The plate that’s lying in pieces is the marketing—I’ve not been as aggressive as I should. I could give excuses about paying job being really busy right now (it is); or committing to write an essay for a Star Trek: The Next Generation anthology (I did); but I won’t. Instead of just accepting that I can’t do it all, I’ve decided to get mad at the Internet. So here are the pieces of advice I’m not going to follow:

  • I’m not going to make every blog post from now until the end of my career as a writer about whatever thing I’m trying to sell. While I have a few more tie-ins to the cast and crew of The Incident Under the Overpass** planned, I don’t have enough to fill up the next fifty-two weeks. Attempting it would feel disingenuous.
  • I will not Tweet, and Instagram, and Facebook, just for the sake of it. (See above about being disingenuous). I’ll endeavor to continue to use these mediums when I have something interesting to say. Or when I’m doing some sort of Kindle or local bookstore promotion. But I will really try to time these in such a way so that they don’t become onerous, bellowing, cackles out into the ether.
  • I’m not going to work myself up anymore over whether the images I use in these posts are cleared, or fair use, or whatever. But I’m not meaning to go out of my way to infringe on anyone’s copyright, either. So I’m hoping whoever created the meme I used for this post is okay with it 🙂

There you have it. Sorry for the minor rant, but I feel better for getting it off my chest. So, thanks.


*The money pit comment was not meant as a complaint, merely a statement of fact. And I used the qualifier “so far,” because while I always anticipated spending more than I will earn in the beginning, I also anticipate that this will turn around at some point. I’m just not sure when.

**See how I still included a link there? Sneaky!

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