Wednesday, April 12, 2017

REAL TALK: Failing When You're Winning.

Hi everyone! How has your past....*checks calendar* five months been? A little up? A little down? A little like the whole world getting smacked in the face and then slammed onto the mat? Or like you woke up from a party you don't remember going to, in some one else's dorm room with a tie around your head?

Yeah.

I feel that.

But I'm not going to bemoan the political world right now--because that's not what my title implied, now is it? No. Today we're going to talk about that wonderfully awful thing all artists (well....most artists?) have:


SELF-DOUBT! 

Oh yes, you've found the right place my friends!

I hear you right now. But Katie, you're published with a real digital publishing house! You...you have blue hair and a booktube channel that you never update anymore! You have tons of self confidence and reasons to have the self-esteem of  J.K. ROWLING.

And logically, you're right.

But my brain and my emotions are two different creatures, and I honestly don't know how they're even living in the same body, guys! 

Me, every time logic and my emotions collide

I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Because technically, I'm winning. I'm published. I've got a plethora of talented artists (or is it a gaggle? What do you call a large amount of artists coming together, actually?) who gave their advice, talents, time, and vast amounts of patience to help make my debut novel *shameless plug* make as big a splash as it can without 5.3 million dollars to back it up.

I've got friends who put up with my 3 am panic attacks of "I don't think I'm doing this right! I think I'm failing!" and depressed mopes of "I'm never going to be an anybody. No one's even buying my novella. Look at all these authors getting book deals with the Big 5, and movie deals, and hobnobbing with other famous authors at company parties, and being invited as guests to ComicCon. I'M NEVER GOING TO BE THAT."

Seriously, how are my friends still friends with me after hearing that? How are you still reading this!?

But that's what I mean.

I've got horrible self-esteem issues. I doubt myself at least fifty times a day in between manic moments of "I'm doing great!". I'm winning, but I feel like I'm failing. Every time I feel like I've gotten back on my feet and regained a small portion of self-esteem, my eyes catch hold of news of an author signing a movie deal. Or that they're going to be signed with a contract that will enable them to never need to worry about whether they can feed their cat again, or look for *shudders* an office job to pay bills.

My self-confidence plummets. I look at myself and think "what are you doing with your life? You're not trying hard enough. You're not being enough. You're not going in the right direction."

And basically, every self-doubt in my head comes back full force and I end up like this for days.





A friend recently, and rationally, pointed out to me that I was "just starting out." and that this was only my "first book".

And she's right.

I'm just starting. My logical brain agrees, but my emotions don't. I feel like I'm doing nothing. I feel like the things I'm doing aren't, or won't be, enough.

And maybe, maybe, this feeling of ineptness I have--this feeling of not being or doing enough, will be like the time I sobbingly wrote a Facebook post about how I wasn't sure I was ever going to make it as a writer only to get an offer for my book less than two months later.

Maybe.

Maybe I'll look back in three months at this post with a pay check signed to me for a million dollars and laugh at my past self's doubts. Maybe!

I know you're not supposed to compare your beginning to other people's middle (or ending). But it's so hard to do that when everyone around you seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of you at younger age. It makes me feel like I haven't been trying hard enough regardless of the fact that I'm only just starting.

My last post was about how I felt like I wasn't an author.

I still kind of don't. It feels clunky and weird in my mouth when some one asks me what I do and I say "I'm an author". I feel like I'm not.

Hell, I haven't written in basically 3 weeks because I've felt so stressed out about it all. As an author trying to--you know--make a living as a writer, that's not exactly a great thing to not be doing right now.

And, on a personal note (because clearly, this post isn't personal enough), my day job ends in June. A job that I actually really, really loved doing, and that I haven't really put into action, a plan for finding a new job (because book sales will be fine, right!?). And at the same time my job ends, I'll be getting a pay check with all my earnings from my debut novel right as summer hits.

I have to pray to the writing gods above that whatever meager marketing ideas I know how to do, were enough that I don't have to worry about finding another job for a few months while I hammer out the second book in my series.





I'm a published author. But I still feel like I'm failing even when a lot of the signs say I'm winning. So why doesn't it feel like I'm winning?

I'm still trying to figure it out. 

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