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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Feeling Real About Writing

As indie authors we can sometimes feel like we are just writing for ourselves. It seems surreal to put our work online for people to purchase internationally, even though we do have proof this happens as we check our weekly sales.

From time to time this feeling does occasionally bother me. I do countless hours of work each week and yet I feel the only person who knows this happens is myself. Now I'm not complaining about lack of recognition here; the people buying my book obviously know I'm a writer, or a serial traveller. Or maybe a bit of both! But as indie authors I think this is a feeling common to many. Because we are not liaising with people on a daily basis - agents, designers, publicists and publishers, we can sometimes question our own workload as we have no one watching over our shoulder to check all our daily tasks are completed.

Whilst writing, I can spend a year or so having no contact with anyone outside in the real world, apart from my friends and family. And the only time I do have contact with someone who works in another profession is the time when I am hunting down an editor and cover designer. This is totally different from my past jobs: working in a hospital I used to have daily contact with at least fifty different people, or sometimes more.

Having to network with people is increasingly difficult when you work in such an isolating job. Obviously, as writers, we need to network with our target audience so I spend a quarter of my time socialising with people I will never meet. And in my future works of fiction, I will write about people who don't exist and events that have never occurred.

So I guess what I am trying to say here it's no wonder things can feel a bit surreal from time to time. We make money from people who live overseas and potentially don't have contact with. We network with people who sometimes we don't even know the gender of, and we work day after day without seeing anyone else.

But there is one huge plus point to all of this. As indie authors we work for ourselves and this means no one else can ever let us down. The only person who can do that is ourselves.


  1. I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes it does feel like I don't have a "real job" even though I do make money. That is why it means so much to me to get reviews and feedback on my books from readers, that way I know that SOMEONE out there is reading what I'm writing!

  2. I can relate, especially since I only just started and don't many sales and no reviews. I just have to keep plugging away and hope it will pay off soon. I work from home for my "regular" job, so I'm used to doing everything virtually anyway.

  3. Good point, Velvet. At least with a few reviews - good or bad, you know people are actually reading your book. That being said, however, I do know a few writers who've had reviews posted about their books that are written in such a way that you know for a fact the reader hasn't even read beyond the first page. But luckily those situations do not happen very often.

  4. That's exactly how I felt when I first started. I hadn't a clue how well my book was going to sell, so I set myself a target of 50 books for the next twelve months. Eight months on I've sold 29 copies in just one month, and the month isn't even over yet! I've almost trebled my target in less than the year so I wish every success to you too and I'm sure it will happen. You have just got to give it time, that's all.