In January my first novel, The Log House, was published by Unbound. I was ecstatic, I still am in fact. Being a published author is everything I’ve wanted since I was seven or eight years years old. I want to write books, and I want people to read these books. However, I am also a writer that suffers from depression.
My depression comes and goes. Most days it’s manageable, other days I find it hard to get out of bed, but it’s always there. As a result, my self esteem is not often the best. I have to fight thoughts of my work not being “good enough”. Of being mediocre. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, but up until now I have been the only reader of my work and I could ignore these thoughts by passing them off as being caused by my depression.
Being published has changed this. My work is now not only my own. People have seen it, have offered me their thoughts, whether good or bad. The negative reviews can be bad enough, but it’s not the worst.
I am lucky that my publisher has a private group for its authors. People share their thoughts and successes, their hopes and enthusiasm. I’ve seen countless authors discuss how excited they are for their 100th review, or their prize nomination.
I’ve seen works published after mine do amazingly well.
And my novel… hasn’t.
I’ve had mixed reviews, and very little in the way of exposure. The Log House has been lost in the ether of the publishing world, and as much as I want to say “but being published is its own reward”, the black thoughts in my head are quick to take over.
I am jealous of these other authors. I am jealous of their reviews and prolific readers. It’s difficult to want to continue to write, it’s easy to feel like a failure.
But I’m not these people. I am Baylea, and my publishing journey will not be the same as theirs.
It’s okay to be simultaneously jealous and happy for someone.
It’s not okay to stop writing.
Several months back I toyed with the idea of giving it up, but even if I never gain success I want to carry on writing. Because for every ten people who hate my work, there is one person who tells me they loved it.
And that’s worth it.