In case you haven't noticed, Amazon's Bookshelf Reports haven't been updating properly this week. If you've seen next to nothing in sales, don't panic. They promise that they're tekkies are working on the problem.
I noticed this yesterday when my Report showed only a couple hundred sales within the last 24 hours. I nearly had a heart attack. If you're a writer, you know that the first thought that entered my head was: "Oh, dear. The party's over. Everyone who ever wanted to buy my books has bought one. That's it. I may as well close up shop. I'll never sell another book."
Writer, Thy Name Is Insecurity
You may laugh, but writers are such insecure creatures. Like my friend Cindy Wicklund said just this morning, "It's always so scary." The it being writing. She was referring to finishing up her latest book, In the Garden of Deceit which is to be published this month, according to her own deadline.
Cindy is correct. Writing is always scary. You dive into the unknown, pulling words from your brain to create something that wasn't there before.
Since I'm in the process of writing Old Enough To Know Better, to also meet my own deadline of publishing it this month, I'm in that scary place too. I never know if, when I tap that creative well, I'll find the well has dried up. No words to be had, or, plenty of words, but just not the right ones to tell the story as I see it in my head and feel it in my heart.
Shore Up The Ego
When people feel insecure they usually do something to make themselves feel better. Writers are no different. We will read the good reviews that tell us we succeeded with some reader of our work. Sometimes, we'll just cry on a friend's shoulder.
Yesterday, when I was tired from writing, and the scene just wouldn't come together, and I knew I just didn't have it in me to write another word, and (forgive the string of clauses) Amazon showed my sales had ended, I looked at the rank of my books.
Top 100 Paid, Contemporary Romance
Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones is #17.
The Trouble With Love is #33.
Just One Look is #48.
Still The One is #53.
Romeo and Judy Anne finally made it onto the list at #83.
Even my nonfiction, Written Wisdom, is #37 in Bestsellers, Reference, Quotations.
WOW! Some readers, somewhere, like me. They really like me! *G*
Instantly, I felt better. I also felt a renewed blast of determination: I can write another book. I can do this. Again. And again.
Sure, I knew I was in, what I call, the middle of the story doldrums, but this helped put getting over that hump once again into perspective.
All writers, at some point in writing a new book, get the feeling that they just can't do it. That's when you have to shore up the writing ego, convince yourself that you did it before so you can do it again.
Go for it. All out, kick ass, go for it. That's what is usually required to get to the two magic words all writers adore: THE END.