All right, look. I know that I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record at this point right now, but…
I find myself disappointed with the current state of my life.
I think it’s mostly down to some kind of lie that we tell ourselves as humans that life is a struggle, but that it’s always getting better or something like that. When truthfully, life just is. It happens, and we interpret it in certain ways, making it either good or bad or exciting or disappointing.
I’ve been doing my best to try to see things in a positive light. Over and over again, I’ve tried to remind myself that I have managed to support myself solely from my writing for two years, and that’s a big, big accomplishment. I’ve tried to assure myself that I’m actually doing better than a lot of other writers out there–maybe even better than most writers. And I’ve tried to remind myself of all that I’ve accomplished.
I still feel disappointed, though. I don’t mean to. I really don’t. I realize that I sound melodramatic and stupid. I’m like that girl we all knew in high school who was a size four but always only talked about how fat she was.
I recognize that people probably want to punch me.
I don’t feel like being chipper. I don’t feel like counting my blessings. And I don’t feel like a success.
Honestly, while I’d love to tell myself that the reason that I feel like crap is because of the way I’m interpreting the circumstances of my life, it does not feel that way. It feels to me like the circumstances of my life are on a steady decline, and that with every passing day, things are getting worse.
Sunday: I worked for basically thirteen hours straight to get Gasp out, because I felt guilty for taking a weekend when I needed money like yesterday, and I had this survey that I’d made asking people if they would buy the book the first day it came out. 62 people had responded to the survey saying yes.
Now, I’m not an idiot, so I knew that 62 people would not actually buy the book. But, in my naivete, I thought about half of them would. So, I was expecting a first day in which I sold 30 copies, which would probably get my book into the top #10,000 on Amazon and get it some decent visibility. I also had put the rest of the Jason and Azazel series on sale for that day at $.99. My theory was that the visibility of Gasp would drive new customers to the other books. They would see they were cheap and they would buy them. Then all the books would have some decent visibility and might pick up in sales for a few weeks.
I thought it was a solid plan. I thought it might work. I really wanted it to work.
Monday: So, Aaron has pneumonia, and we don’t have health insurance. My writing is the biggest chunk of our income. He has a part-time job that helps a little bit, but it doesn’t have insurance either. (He’s lucky to even have a job at all. He works IT, got laid off from a previous job in 2010, and struggled for years to find anything, so being employed is a big bright spot.) Anyway, we’d gone to Urgent Care, a walk-in place on Friday, but then his grandmother said she’d pay for him to go his regular doctor Monday, because he still wasn’t feeling better.
So, Monday, I took Aaron to the doctor, and we visited his mother and played with her new tiny kitten.
And then I came home.
And saw that Gasp had sold like seven copies.
But, you know, Monday wasn’t over. And it was Monday, and which was probably not a great day to sell books. And a bunch of people were leaving notes on my facebook wall saying they had to wait until they got paid on Friday to buy the book and stuff.
And I get that. You know, I don’t have any money either. So, I completely understand not feeling like you can spend extra money on entertainment. I’m definitely not angry at anyone for not buying the book. People don’t owe me anything, and I could never be angry with my fans for anything, ever.
Tuesday: So, I had basically gotten nothing done on Monday, only one planning session on my new book. So, Tuesday, I resolved to sit down and really work on outlining.
But Aaron forgot his lunch, and it was raining like crazy, so I said I would bring it to him and drop off his prescription for pneumonia medicine. (He was at work because he wasn’t contagious anymore after his first round of antibiotics and because the department was understaffed, considering that someone else had a death in the family. But he was exhausted, and he didn’t really feel well.) Anyway, the prescription was ridiculously expensive. And this is after we already spend tons of money on the Urgent Care visit and the prescriptions they gave him, which didn’t work.
And–at this point–I’m starting to feel like I’m getting chest stuff going on too. But it doesn’t seem to be pneumonia. Knock on wood. Because I can’t afford to take myself to the doctor, really.
And the book? Well, by this time the book had sold 14 copies. The sale had helped a little bit, but mostly with Shudder and Falter, who briefly hit above #10,000 in the store. Nothing spectacular, however. And they were now back to regular price anyway.
So, I’m trying to work on outlining this book, and I managed the sit down part. I sat in front of my computer for about five hours, and I did a lot of research and googling about things that ostensibly had something to do with the book.
And then I gave up in disgust, because I was getting nowhere. At all.
Wednesday: So, I was really going to figure out this fucking book. Because I wanted to have it outlined, so that I could start drafting it Sunday. (A silly dream I am still holding onto, even though I don’t know if I’m going to be able to outline it today.)
But I still got nowhere.
And I ended up falling asleep in the afternoon, around 3:00, and not waking up until 6:30. At which point Aaron was coming home from work, having taken the new antibiotic that I paid out the nose for yesterday.
So, apparently, this antibiotic can cause hallucinations and seizures, and you’re meant to not operate heavy machinery until you know how you’re going to react to it. Of course, neither the doctor nor the pharmacist told us this. Admittedly, we should have read up on it, but…
Anyway, Aaron wrecked the car and barely drove it home (but it’s going to need a lot of repairs. Expensive repairs). And then he couldn’t breathe. So, I called 911, because I was convinced he was going into anaphylactic shock. Let me tell you, there is nothing scarier than holding your practically-passed-out significant other, who is only getting a breath every ten seconds and isn’t really conscious while people on the phone try to tell you to get him on his back. But you can’t move him, because he’s on his stomach in a very tiny bathroom. And it’s not like he’s a big guy, but you’re just not very strong. And you’re sobbing, and you’re envisioning him just… dying. Right there. In your arms.
Well, anyway, he woke up right before they got there, and he started breathing. And because we have no insurance and because our financial situation is not great, he refused to let the ambulance take him in, because that would be really expensive. Anyway, then I called my mother, who is a nurse, and my best friend, who is a nurse, and we determined that we wouldn’t go to the emergency room, since he was breathing and everything, and we didn’t know what they’d actually do for him.
Aaron stays home and rests.
I drive four and a half hours to New Jersey to see my family. I have dinner and hang out. Then I drive four and a half hours home.
I usually do this with another driver and it’s not so bad. But all by myself, it was pretty exhausting, and I’m still sore.
So… that was my week.
As of today, Gasp has sold 21 copies. It still hasn’t made it to 30, which is what I thought it would sell the first day. So, that’s disappointing.
We are now down to one car until we can get Aaron’s fixed, and I really don’t know how much money that’s going to be.
And he’s still sick, so I guess we have to go back to the doctor and pay more money for yet another antibiotic.
And yesterday, I sold six books across all forty-something of my titles.
And I know how this works. Once books get on a slide like that, they keep sliding unless they are acted upon by an outside force.
I applied for a Bookbub ad for Breathless, but they denied it, even though they’ve featured the book before.
I don’t know what to do.
Technically, I have enough money to live for two months, although I don’t know what fixing the car is going to do to that. Aaron will pay for some of it, and I got some money from my grandparents in an early birthday present, so maybe it will work out okay.
I have an “acceptable debt” scenario in which I’m able to hold on until March or April and hope that things pick up. (They have in January, in the past. But that’s been due to: 2012: A POI feature for Breathless; 2013: A Bookbub ad for Breathless and Slow Burn taking off. So, it’s not like it happened organically, you know. Things have picked up because I got lucky. And I’m not feeling particularly lucky right now.
And I guess I should just suck it up and go get a job, right? I mean, here I am complaining about how hard my life is, but I picked this shit. I was the person who wanted to be a self-employed writer. So… I made this bed. I could have a much easier life if I towed the line, got a fucking real job with health insurance, and started following the goddamned rules.
I really have no one to blame but myself.