Illustration by Henn Kim
I always carry this inside me, somewhere in a deep dark corner, but once in a while it decides to come up and make me scrunch up my face and sit and cry like a baby.
I'm not making enough money with my writing to be able to pay all those who help me make my books happen.
Right now I have to wait for Siren Suicides (Second Edition) to be reformatted after receiving the printed proof and discovering that the text was a little too wide, and Stuart is busy with a project that he's doing for a paying client, and I JUST CRIED MY EYES OUT because I can't adequately pay for the amazing work that he is doing for me and I have to wait when he has free time.
There is more.
After I got done crying about this, I CRIED SOME MORE because many of you have pre-ordered this book and I told you it'd be published in February, and here it's almost May and it's not published yet and that's bad business. I feel awful and yet I can't speed up the process, and now I'm terrified to even promise you anything about my future books, in case I miss those deadlines too. How can I expect sales when I can't keep a promise on my book launch date? So I cry. And then I bury myself in writing as this is the only thing I can do.
I also can't pay my editor Sarah for her editing, and I can't pay Anna for her cover design, and I can't pay Spencer for his proofreading. And all I want to do is JUST CRY. I want to shake a fist at the universe and order it to make people buy my books already, but I know it won't work like that. I have to write a book that's so good it will fly off the shelves, and I'm not there yet, and so I CRY.
I even had this very dark thought. Maybe I should just give up. Maybe I should just quit this whole writing thing and go find a job and be done with being poor. So I told Royce about that, and he said, "No way. I'm not letting you quit. YOU WILL KEEP WRITING, and that's that." And so of course I CRIED AGAIN. Because without his support I wouldn't have even started, and without him paying for most of our expenses I wouldn't have been able to write full-time, and without him telling me I should keep writing I probably would've already quit. I tried this in the past several times.
I guess I wish it were easy. I wish I could somehow just write and give my books away for free and magically have food appear on my plate and somehow keep a roof over my head, only it doesn't work like this, and I CRY AGAIN. Because all I want to do is write books, that's what I want to do with my life. I searched and searched for this for over 30 years, and I finally found it, and I don't want to let it go.
And so I CRY AGAIN. Angry tears this time. Stubborn tears. I won't give up. I won't. I will fight. I will keep writing and I will get better and better and one day you will see my book hit The New York Times Best Sellers list. You will remember this post then, and you will say, "Look at this! It really happened! Like she said!" So this is my promise to you, in writing, so I can refer to it when it happens and say, "See? I TOLD YOU SO."
Now, enough with this crying. I've got to go wipe the snot off my face and get back to work.
P.S.: To all of you patiently waiting for your Siren Suicides (Second Edition) paperbacks, THANK YOU. I will send you a special something with every book, to make you smile and hopefully feel compensated for all this wait.