Indie Author Reality #45: Not Taking Risks
I'm a toe dipper. I wrote a book, set it off into the world, and waited. Waited for it to be discovered by someone who just so happened to fall upon it. I expected instant success by just putting the book out into the Universe, not knowing that I actually had to work toward getting it seen. Once I learned what it takes to immerse myself in the Indie world, I went full force. However, I still felt like I was swimming against the strongest of tides. I've often thought about ending the struggle and letting myself sink into the abyss. Yet, I couldn't stop fighting. There are times, like now, where I just stop swimming and I just wade in the water despite the current pushing me even further away from my goal. I remain in this ocean, softly kicking my legs and looking around for someone to save me or a stillness in the current so I can once again swim. Regardless of my tactic, there is no such thing as standing still in this business. You are either moving forward or being swept further away. At this point, I am sinking because I'm not writing my stories and I'm not promoting my work. In trying to build my reserve energy to tackle more writing in the future, I essentially stopped everything.
One thing I haven't learned to do is to take more risks. I have so many directions I want to take my novels and writing, but I choose to be complacent with what I have. I have connections to people that can propel my work further, yet, I want to keep this little piece of me a secret and do it all by myself. I want to help others, who I fully support and believe in their work, and take them to the pinnacle of this business, but I can't make that move. It takes just one phone call to lead me to the next person and then the next, until I get to the six degrees of separation which can fulfill my dreams. But I won't make that move. Why?
I'm afraid to fail. It is convenient to just be here; after a year-and-a-half of publication with three sales under my belt after four days of no movement, this is good enough. If I take the risks I know I should take and I fall, the pain at the bottom of my descent will be crippling. And it will mean that I will take no more risks for myself or for others. I thought I feared success--that it would somehow change me, my friends and family, or my lifestyle. But it isn't that. I see the successes of others and I'm jealous. I'm so heated with envy that I can implode. Now, I'm not talking just the book world. I have friends, family and acquaintances who've achieved their successes and I've lived vicariously through their risk taking. They have achieved success in their respective careers and I'm jealous of how they've taken risks, worked hard, and have earned money and fame or acclaim. Not only have they garnered success, but they don't seem to stop. They create new goals and work even harder, maintaining relevance in their field. And all it took was pushing themselves past their level of comfort.
Like the characters I write, I want to push myself past my limits. I'm gearing up to do just that with a work-in-progress. I will work toward getting representation and hoping to sell this piece to a publisher. I will make that phone call and see if my connections can help with finding an agent to look at my work. But with this piece, I won't quit at the first 'no' or even the thirty-seventh rejection. I will push and take the risk I fear to take with my Erotica. In turn, I will further support my fellow Erotica authors and encourage them to achieve their goals, even if it is a frightening prospect to publish outside of Indie. Essentially, "Why not me?" I want to answer that question by pushing myself until I get what I most desire.