Before I decided to self-publish Fid's Crusade (Coming soon to Amazon.com, Barnes+Noble's Nook store, the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Blio and other eBook retailers. :) ), I'd been working on the book's sequel. I was more than a third of the way done. Learning about self-publishing and self-promotion, however, has taken a massive chunk out of my writing time.
I've had to edit and re-edit and poke and prod at Fid's Crusade, reformatting the manuscript so many times that my eyes would blur. I've spent countless hours fussing over the cover design, fiddling with fonts and colors and image sizes. Over and over, I've watched youTube videos explaining the intricacies of ISBN acquisition, of distribution, of promotion...It's been a lot of work, and there's still plenty of work to be done.
Last night, I decided to take a break and return to writing the sequel. I sat down in front of the monitor, pet the demanding cat that had jumped onto my desk, and set to work.
Eventually, I was able to make progress...but I was genuinely surprised how hard it was to get the ball rolling. Part of my brain was still focused on editing, on marketing, on all the things that I've been stressing over.
Every author, I think, faces resistance when faced with an empty page. I know that I do. The first sentence is hard, but fortunately the second is just a little bit easier. And so it goes. Once my creative train is up to speed, it becomes easier to make progress. The train has momentum!
Pausing for the minutiae of the self-publication process didn't derail the my figurative train, but the engines did cool down at the station. Instead of chugging along unhindered, I'm straining to get started. I'll struggle through, but honestly...it's been a little bit demoralizing.
So, here's my bit of advice to other writers: WRITE! Find a way to squeeze a little bit of time to keep your creative momentum going! The effort involved in starting and stopping is too much work and too much stress.
Hopefully, I've learned my lesson.