Self Care and the Indie Artist’s Regime

TL;DR- I spent the entire weekend looking after myself and not producing content. Are you mad at me?

I was sick. I managed to pick up whatever vile Lurgi seems to be doing the circuit these days, and it’s been my best friend and worst enemy for an entire flakkin’ week. So I did what I always do in these situations – stocked up on the ginger and garlic and spent most of my free time knocked-out asleep.

Which means that now it is 3AM on a Monday morning and I’m assuaging my guilt by writing this.

And it’s such a common pitfall for the Indie Artist(tm). If you’re not producing content, you might as well be dead as far as any of your followers are concerned. Which is ridiculous if you spend any amount of time thinking about it.

People on 9-5 get holidays. People doing part time get entire days when they’re not needed. The fucking President of the United States spends more time on the Golf Course than he does at his desk. Why should I, a person who gets paid so little for doing so much, not be allowed time off?

It’s the bootstrap myth.

I can tell you for free that the bootstrap myth hasn’t seen anything close to reality since sometime in the sixties. Where it was possible to work hard and get promotions from within. And as a child of the ’70’s [yes, I’m that old] I got to watch that dream die. Up close and personal.

I worked my heart out to get somewhere and it all went phutz on me.

And as far as the economics of my chosen trade is concerned – I have made more money trading in Bitcoin than I ever have with my writing to date. On the other hand, if I wasn’t writing, I’d have never had the wherewithal to trade in Bitcoin in the first place.

My secret – Write on Steemit for a year, gather Steem. Deposit Steem in trading account, use such to trade Bitcoin. With me? Cool. Back to what I was talking about.

The bootstrap myth is a seductive one. And a seditious one at the same time. It sells you that all you have to do is work hard enough and you’ll get ahead. While at the same time telling you that the reason why you haven’t been succeeding is that you’ve not been putting in enough work.

This has lead to more burn-outs than a tyre fire sale at a drifter’s demolition derby.

There is no shortage of talent on the internet. There’s loads of people who make wonderful things and are begging for money just to live another week. All you need to do is search for commissions on Tumblr to see so many graphic arts people underselling their talent for rent or grocery money.

And I’m pretty much doing the same. I write a fresh, free story for the interwebs every day, and call it my ‘advertising budget’ because it’s all I can afford to do. I put in five hundred words a day, four days out of the week, and do a thousand on Fridays so I can have my weekends to degauss. I’m open-sourcing my editing cycle because I can’t afford to pay for the pros.

All this whilst flinging my bread onto the waters -so to speak- by repeatedly attempting to court agents.

I’ve almost finished writing a third book whilst this process has been ongoing. And all I have to show for it is a collection of form rejection letters.

What I really need is People To Know. The people who get ahead in this world are the people who know People To Know. People in the business. People who can make things happen. And I needed to Know them before they became People To Know, because those kinds of people are the people who have heavy filters against the Hardy Perennial Suck-Up.

I’m a good writer. I know this. I certainly do more research than E. L. James and have better romance plots and relationships in my works than… deesh… any given romance title on the market. I can do multiple genres in multiple styles. I have a potentially limitless pet universe with a multitude of genre potentials. I’ve got good shit here.

BUT…

I’m a nobody. I don’t Know people. I don’t know how to get to know People To Know.

So I just keep on doing my thing. And taking self-care days because… well. If I burn out before I get anywhere, I’ll have failed.

And that’s why you’re not getting any exposition about Murder Dollhouse this week.

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