Why I Feel Like a Polar Bear in the Jungle

After close to a week, I am finally back in the land of the living, and I will tell you what, it is a damned strange place. I am not used to taking it slow, to taking my foot off the gas. Every day, I am up early and I work, at something, until I go to bed. My only down time is when I am playing with the kids, or the hour I watch TV with my wife.

writing 11Being forced to take a full 6 days and do next to nothing, was a big shock to my system. I didn’t write anything, I didn’t read, I didn’t even open my laptop for close to three days. I was out of it. The weirdest part was that I was only fully sick one day. The rest has been two days of a horrid lingering stomach ache and the rest has been simply a case of recovery. It wasn’t even an overly serious case of the flu, but it knocked me for six two deliveries in a row (I apologize for the terribly British cricket reference).

As horrible as I found it, to be completely useless and disconnected from my usual way of life, I am finding my current position even more terrifying.

I was on a roll, I was ahead of my writing schedule, I was working on two novels, blogging regularly and generally busting my ass in every way. All of this, while covering the cracks. Cracks that were lower sales, lower than at any point since I first published Highway to Hell. My blog stats are lower than my first year of running the site, and I feel somewhat lost in my fiction. It’s not that it’s not going well, that the words are not flowing, and it is not that what I am writing is bad, I just feel somewhat uninspired by it.

Now that I have been brought to such a forced halt, I had nothing but time to have these issues bounce around inside my brain.

I’m not looking for a sympathy vote, nor is this my preparing to quit.

This is merely my first blog back after a break, and I need to use it as a place to dump my thoughts. To empty my head of allWriting 9 of these thoughts so that I can get back up and running again.

I am in this for the long run. I am not looking for an easy route to the top, nor am I looking for an excuse to quit. I will keep plugging away at it until the day I die, but I cannot help but think I am moving backwards. Last May I was number 1 in the British Horror Charts on the US Amazon site. I was on a roll. Now, I’m lucky to sell one book a week.

What changed? Well, I left a publisher – a long story that is now resolved, hatchets have been buried and everything is good – but something cannot be undone. I cannot go back and make things as they were back then. So I need to look for a way to keep moving forward.

I have come to realize that I am not a writer that can excel at self-publishing. I am a writer that needs a publisher. I know that in the modern world, it does not make any difference, a writer is required to promote themselves, regardless of who is publishing their books. I understand that I would be essentially giving away part of my profits to a company for potentially little in return, but I don’t care. I need a publisher. I need people who I could turn to for advice, or assistance, people who have a vested interest in me. That may be selfish, it might. I mean, I want people to have a genuine interest in my success, not the kind of interest friends have, but a more business slanted interest. Maybe it is the coward’s way out. Maybe I am looking for a reason to run away from the stresses of trying to promote myself. Or perhaps, I am just being honest.

I love the current writing scene. I really enjoy the freedom we all have. Everybody can make something of themselves. Everybody can take the chance to live their dream. I just don’t think it is for me, and there is nothing wrong with that. The movements being made will benefit us all, whether we use the ability to self-publish or not.

So where do we go from here.

It is simple. We keep on fighting. We fight on, push on, and refuse to give up. That is all there is to it. My schedule has been interrupted, and I feel bad about it, but I will get it back on track, and I will be stronger for it. It is merely a sign that it is a time for me to change things.

Writing 10I will be looking for a publisher for my new book, which is currently with my editor, but I will not pull my current self-published titles. I mean Highway to Hell and Diaries of the Damned have been published and unpublished more times than can be healthy for a book. I am busy putting together a mailing list for a weekly newsletter I want to send out. It is a work in progress, so will likely change about for a few weeks before finding its true form, but I am really excited about it.

I like the books I am writing now, and that spark I needed, is in me. I think the issues with my back, not being able to go to the gym, then the stomach bug got me down more than my writing did. I am just transferring it there, because at least I can do something about writing.

I do however think I am going to maybe work on a few horror shorts. Just for fun. Really let my wild side of the leash for a little while.

The rest of everything, well, I just need to get a little more organized and a little more purposeful in what I do. I have found myself sitting back, trying something a few times, and then sulking when it doesn’t work. My effort in promotion needs to improve. I need to cast a wider net and get back to pushing myself around as much as I did this time last year.

Well, that’s a nice weight off my mind, thanks for reading. Now it is time for me to head back into my vampire novel. I’m looking forward to this, and depending on how it is received, I already have two more novels in a series planned out, roughly, in my head.

Thanks again for reading, and don’t forget to share this post around with anybody you think might enjoy it. The more the merrier, that’s what I always say.

Do you fancy giving one of my books a try? Come on over to my author page on Amazon and take your pick. I have novels such as Highway to Hell and Blood of the Tainted, through my chapter book zombie series, Diaries of the Damned.

The majority of my books are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program, so if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read them for free!

Blood of the Tainted ebook cover

6 thoughts on “Why I Feel Like a Polar Bear in the Jungle

  1. Ugh, that doesn’t sound like fun, Alex. Hope you’re feeling back to normal soon, in all ways. But at least the stories keep coming. That, is the single most important thing. 🙂

    1. Thanks Meeks. Yes, they are still flowing. I will get there, I know it, and the struggle is part of the fun. I firmly believe that these roadblocks are just there to test us. To make sure we are still hungry enough for success.

  2. The fact is that sales fluctuate. I promoted quite widesly for a while and saw little in the way of results. The, I suddenly got a sales spike for no good reason. Weird.

    1. It is a very strange world out there for sales. There seems to be no way to predict what will work or what will not, it is completely random. But we push on. Time to adapt and try something new for a while.

  3. You have this blog for the purpose of writing what you need to write. If you need to vent, if you need to share what is really going through your mind, don’t apologise for it. I am in a very similar place at the moment, feeling the frustrations. Why can’t I just write my novels and earn a decent wage from them? Is that so much to ask? Apparently it is… But like you say, Alex, we never give up. That is the difference. We keep going, we do what we do, and we reap the rewards when they do come. And by the way, I think your illness was your body’s way of forcing you to take some rest. But you probably knew that anyway. Have a good week!

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