Stereotypes are annoying. They are often untrue and offensive.
I think stereotypes are even more annoying when they are accurate.
I've been trying to blog lately and have found it difficult. Perhaps that is because I have a lot going on in my life. My fiance and I are looking to move into a new place closer to his work. We're trying to figure out how to save up for our wedding. I'm critiquing several novels and receiving critiques on one of my own as well.
And most of all, I am living an author stereotype. Pain breeds art and I've been struggling a lot.
I've seen many authors share some of their personal lives. Of course some things are inappropriate to share, like I'm not going to tell you about the last fight I had with someone close to me or rant to you about the time one of my friends annoyed me.
But I do want to be honest because I've seen other authors be honest about their struggles. And I feel closer to those authors than I feel to the authors who don't share anything.
Sometimes, as authors, we are given the advice that it's bad to share because people can be cruel on the internet. You can't erase what you post online, so people censor everything they blog. People can be cruel in all of life and you can't undo what you tell people in real life either. If you hide every time there's a possibility of that, you'll never connect with anyone...
I have struggled my whole life with various types of anxiety and depression. I've had panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder. Social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and other problems I'm not comfortable talking about.
And lately, things have been hard. I seem normal to most people, but my fiance has seen me cry and hugged me in the middle of the night.
The more books you write, I think the harder it is to write another book. You don't want to recycle old ideas. You also want to make sure every book you write is an improvement on your last book. You have the thoughts and dislikes of your readers hanging out your head, influencing how you write in the future. You put a lot of pressure on yourself to make this next book bigger and better than the last.
This is definitely not the only anxiety in my life right now. Things, like the fact that my fiance and I have a low income make moving into a new place difficult and scary, for instance. But worry over my writing is a very frustrating anxiety to have. Because it's sometimes how I vent frustrations. To some degree I've been struggling with writers block both on my blog and in my writing.
I'm critiquing right now, sure. But that's partly to try to help me with all the anxious thoughts that prevent me from writing what I want to. The fact is, I want to please my readers. Of course you can't please everyone and I don't expect all my reviews to be stupendous. I think success in writing is more about sales than your reviews. Lots of people hate Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey for instance, but I consider Stephenie Meyer and E.L. James to be much more successful authors than me despite the amount of criticism they receive. Because everyone has read their books. They are a part of pop culture. I don't expect that kind of success, especially in self-publishing, but I do want to sell more books than I sell right now.
Not to mention that I was recently given advice by authors that I look up to that you need to write a certain amount of books per year to get anywhere.
And that puts a lot of stress on me. I want to write for fun and I do still have fun when I write, but the thought "Is this going to sell?" is always on the back of my mind. And I keep saying,"Hurry! Writer faster!" And that causes my brain to shut down completely on occasion.
And I think that's leaked some into this blog. I've tried to write this post at least five times in the past two months and every time, I delete it. It's time to just write my posts, write my stories, and learn a little more each time. They're not perfect. I'm not perfect. I can't always write a blog on time. I can't always give you the story you want to read. But I will try and I have to accept that as good enough.