Courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism. (Dictionary.com)
I recently have had several very telling experiences in regards to my writing. I’ve had several different people tell me that the covers of my books look like they’re either women’s fiction or inspirational stories. Not what I was going for, but after a long hard look at both covers and titles, I guess I can see where people are getting that impression.
Now, here’s the courage part. Long, soul-searching and many discussions at home are making me wonder if this is what I need to do with my writing. Is it just that I’m writing in the wrong genre? Or do I simply need to branch out? Countless people have told me I need to add extra elements to my stories. Paranormal, suspense, hell even vampires. Which is kind of frustrating because that’s not really what I read on a regular basis. I don’t know if I could write it and do it justice. But in the last thirteen months, it’s become obvious that something is missing in my stories because they are just not selling. Yes, I know, you’re lucky if you become an “overnight success”. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. I was expecting more than what has happened.
Another part of the courage. I’ve been writing for 2o years. Half my life. Granted I only started taking it serious the last 5 years but I wonder if this is really where I’m supposed to. I would love to throw out the money to have books professionally edited and a fantastic, straight off a big press publisher cover. It’s not financially feasible because the writing hasn’t proven it can make back even close to the investment.
I just am not sure what path to follow. I’m confused, disappointed, and frankly a bit beaten down in spirit. The only thing I can take away from this is that I’ve made a couple of non-readers into readers. But that doesn’t, and hasn’t, translated into sales.
I’ll let you know what I end up deciding.
This Friday, I’ll be over at Natasha‘s blog talking about my experience at the Houston Authors Bash.