Writing’s Got Me Down

Before I start, I want to make it perfectly clear that this post is not meant to make anyone feel sorry for me. There’s no reason to feel sorry for me. I have a job and a family who loves me. I can’t ask for more, and why would I?

No, this post is meant to shake some negative feelings loose from my head so that I can get my nose back to the grindstone and finish up some books already.

I want to talk about Speed Bumps. Things that keep me from being the successful writer that I know I should be.

I have to big speed bumps that slow me down and keep me from reaching the level I want to reach. The first one is money.

I have none.

Again, I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I have money to pay the bills and buy food so I’m good. What I don’t have money for however, are the expenses that come with being a self-published writer.

What expenses are those?

Well, I am one who has jumped into the writing pool with both feel without first checking to see if there were any pointy objects waiting for me just below the surface. I’m sure I’m not the only one. But when you do such a thing, you learn quickly that there’s more to self-publishing than just being able to write.

Did you know that you needed a book cover for each of your books?

I didn’t.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I mean, I knew that I would need book covers, I just didn’t think about it until I had my first story “ready” to publish.

Well, here’s the thing, unless you know what you’re doing, you’re either going to have to use a template (which believe me, looks like you used a template) or you’re going to have to pay someone to do up a professional-looking cover for you.

Luckily for me, I know a little bit about covers, and I have friends who know a lot and are willing to help and answer questions.

So I dodged that particular expense bullet for the most part.

But then comes the editing.

Wait, you mean I can’t just edit the book myself?

Sure, you can do that, but unless you are skilled in the art of editing, and you can distance yourself enough to truly edit your book, then you aren’t really doing yourself any favors.

Well, guess what. I cannot, at all, in any way, afford to hire an editor. It’s just not going to happen. So that means I have to edit myself with the help of family and friends.

So am I setting myself up for failure from the outset? I hope not.

Here’s the thing. I know, I mean I KNOW that I need to use an editor. It’s just that I can’t. Not now. Not unless something changes. But I refuse to just give it all up and not try.

Speed Bump #2: Patience – or lack thereof.

I have often been told that I have an infinite amount of patience. And to a certain extent, that’s true. I can wait in traffic for hours, I can wait in line for as long as it takes, I can even sit at the DMV with a smile on my face.

What I can’t do is write something and then sit on it.

I have to put stuff up, and that’s been working against me. I have to be better at waiting until the story is right, waiting until I’ve worked everything out, waiting until the proper amount of people have read it over before I put it out there.

I’ve put up each one of my books before I should have, and I’ve suffered because of it.

When is the right time? When do I know a book is ready?

No clue.

I think what I’ll do is when I’m ready to put a book up, I’ll wait a week. Then I’ll go through the book again. Then I’ll wait a few more days.

I don’t know. It’s not an exact science.

Speed Bump #3: Time.

I barely have time to write much less try and market my stuff. Just read my bio:

Steeven R. Orr lives as a recluse with his wife and three children somewhere in the hills of Eastern Kansas. When he's not helping with homework, or running errands, or paying bills, or working, or spending time with his family, or sleeping, or eating, or using the bathroom, Steeven likes to write.

All of that is true.

So what can someone like me do? What are my alternatives when I can’t hire an editor, can’t hire someone to do my covers, and don’t have time for marketing?

Well, maybe I’m one of those people that should try for a traditional publishing deal?


The whole reason I went with self-publishing in the first place was to avoid the query letters and rejection letters and all that.

 So really, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

I’m going to keep writing and trying to sell books. Then hopefully, after a couple of years, I’ll start to make enough to hire editors and cover artists and then take my writing up to the next level.

Or fail miserably.

Either way, I get to write … right?

If you haven’t grabbed up my first five free short stories, you should go ahead and do that while you’re here:

Or you can just go to Amazon and get the five story collection for 99 cents:

You should also join the mailing list. I have big plans for the list. I have an itching to write an epic tale set in an alternate future where animals have evolved and have been anthropomorphized and run the planet with no humans in sight. But they’ve only advanced to the point where the world is like the Old West. And I plan on giving that story away, piece by piece, each week, to the folks on the mailing list.

It will be published later, once it’s complete, but that may take a while. So join the list and you won’t have to wait:

No Freebie Friday this week. I’ve taken the week off.


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