A Bump or a Dip?: The Ups and Downs of a Writing Career

I’m sure every career  has its ups and downs. This holds true in writing. You have your good days, where everything is coming together and you simply cannot type fast enough, and you have your days when being a bagger at a grocery store would be a better use for your time. There are also times when you just can’t tell if you’ve hit a spurt of good fortune, or just took another nose dive of bad luck.

Unfortunately, these bumps and dips are not restricted merely to the writing process. In fact, I think they get worse once the book is done. Looking for an agent, finding a publisher, and getting published is a lot rockier than it is when it’s just you and your characters fighting for life on a laptop. Even when you reach the “I’ve Been Published!” peak of the road, there are still bumps of good luck and dips of bad luck ahead.

I’ve been very lucky to get Universe of the Soul published, and soon it will even be available for e-readers such as the Kindle and the Nook. It marks the accomplishments of one of my greatest life’s ambitions (the biggest one, by the way, is to see my book adapted as a movie. Wouldn’t that be awesome?) But I thought, quite naively, that once the book was out in the world, I would put it behind me and move one smoothly to my next project. That has and hasn’t happened.

One of the agreements I have with my publisher is that if Universe of the Soul sells X amount of copies in the first year, they will be quite willing to publish the sequel. Now, I have a lovely vision in my mind of a series of my own books, with authentic binding, ISBN numbers, and price tags lined up on my bookshelf, so I really do hope that my sales reach that quote. So these first few months of being published, I’ve watched my sales list eagerly. However, the list is only updated once a month, and the printer is currently backlogged with order invoices, so the publisher has been unable to update author’s sales lists for a while now. So I really don’t know how I’ve done. Is this a bump or a dip?

In the meantime, I’ve been slogging steadily forward with the editing of my latest completed work, hoping that someday it too will grace my shelf. Now, I have said before that editing is one of my least favorite parts of the writing process. So I have to cajole myself into working on it. “Let’s see if I can finish the first major edit by June! Let’s see if I can get this done be the end of May! Maybe I can finish before I get my first complete quarterly sales report!”

Well, I finished the edit (the first major overhaul of a 191 page labor) last night. I still don’t have my report, so…I won? Did I hit a bump or a dip?

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