I’m just here to complain about being an author

Published On: 05/18/2023Categories: Writing644 words3.2 min readViews: 267

I’ve been working on my latest book non-stop lately.

Oh, you didn’t know? You didn’t hear me COMPLAINING ABOUT IT AT EVERY TURN? Suspicious, if you ask me.

I’m enjoying the process/pulling my hair out. Swings and roundabouts and all that.

I’m writing a post to take a break from looking at my manuscript for the billionth time. I figure it’s a way to de-stress and unload, whilst still being able to consider it ‘work’. I’m not sure that’s true, but I really don’t care right now. I don’t know who I am or what day it is.

I am here to complain about being an author.

Yes, indeed. If you came here for uplifting words, this ain’t the place for you. I also don’t need anyone telling me no one’s forcing me to do this. I don’t need reminders that I chose to do this either. I just want to complain and then get on with my day. Stick around if you’re down with that.

Do you know how hard it is to write a book and organise beta readers, and do all your own marketing collateral and develop a marketing strategy, and scrounge enough money for editors and cover designers (who are worth EVERY penny), and plan a book release and make reels and come up with content that’s interesting and not repetitive or too salespersony and make sure you get ARC readers and reviews, and format your book and get it online and spread the word it’s available without experiencing five hundred mental breakdowns?! DO YOU?!

I know other authors do. Even traditionally published ones do. You may not have to publish the book yourself, but the amount of tasks, and back and forth, and things that must be done are exhausting. Not only that, many of us are working and doing boring things like CHORES outside of that. Some of you are raising children for God’s sake. It. Is. Hard.

So, why do we do it? Why do I continue to do it?
Fuck knows, Karen. I ask myself that every other day. Mostly on the days when I grip my hair by the roots and sort of pull at them until pain sears into my scalp. Oh, just me? Fine then.

I guess I continue to do it because I want to. Even when I want to give up or need to take breaks from burn-out, there’s something there that pulls me back. It’s something I can’t shake off. It’s because when it’s good, the feeling is marvellous. It’s extraordinary and uplifting. It’s like your purpose is happening and playing out right in front of you. Now, I’m not into hippy, universe shit, but I believe that when it comes to writing. This is what I want to do, despite the pitfalls and the slugging and the rejection and the seemingly never-ending list of tasks.

I guess what I’m saying is that even when it’s really tough – it’s still worth it. Even though, sometimes, it feels like it might not be. Sometimes giving up and packing it all in seems like a great option. No judgement either on anyone who has. It can be all-consuming and sometimes, you need to step away from it. Whether it’s temporary or permanently is up to the individual and I totally get how it can go either way.

PHEW. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Really just wanted to have a whinge and let all other authors out there know that I SEE YOU.

Anyway, gotta get back to work. If you hear a woman cursing alongside lots of clickity-clacking sounds, it’s just me stabbing at my keyboard.