I have a painful obession, and Misery, thy name is Amazon.
Since I’ve been published, ~dramatic pause to look at watch ~ about 28 minutes ago, I have developed a bit of a horrible habit of forever checking Amazon.com/Amazon.ca to see where my book is rated. When it first hit Amazon.com it was sitting about 100,000. Within a week it plummeted to close to the 2,000,000 mark. Then, I’ll sell one book and it’ll skyrocket back up to the 100,000 mark.
Yesterday, at about noon, my book was at #60 in the Amazon.ca horror rankings. Two hours later it was down to #85. Two hours after that it wasn’t ranking it all, but I was giving myself an anyeurism checking every two hours (this is what I do when I have too much time on my hands, and really should be writing).
This has become a horrible, terrible, consuming issue for me, and I really need to seek help.
That help came, yesterday, when my wife and I joined two of my dearest friends – in fact, friends as true as I’ve ever had in my whole life – who are also writers, for dinner. They both explained to me that small sales, and tiny beginnings are the curse of the fledgling writer. Everyone starts out in the same place (Unless you are EL James and inexplicably sell a few gagillion copies of your awful book). It takes time to build an audience/readership, and will likely take years to build up to any success.
The important thing, they told me, is to write, not for monetary gain, but for love of the story.
If you’re like me (and if you’re reading this blog you must be at least partially interested in the reading/telling of stories) then you see stories everywhere. In every situation: experiences at work, the crazy dude in front of me at the grocery store, my slightly odd neighbor who refused to make eye contact and has me convinced there are bodies in his basement, I see as ideas for my next story.
The telling of the story, not the possibility that I might make beer money from the finished product, is what keeps my fingers flying across the keyboard. Positive comments from people who have read my work, and enjoyed it, is a far greater reward than the money I will receive from their purchase of it.
It would be nice to one day make a living from storytelling, but it is not currently a realistic expectation and that is just fine (I don’t hate my day job and make a good living from it). Right now, the important thing is telling the stories that are constantly bouncing around in my otherwise empty head.
And, be damned, I’m loving it.
Speaking of which, I have stories to tell.
Thanks for reading them.