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The hardest thing about self-publishing

No, it’s not the writing itself. It’s not the planning. It’s not trying to run ads.

It’s mindset.

I work for myself. Every day, I have a list of things that need to get done for clients, my family, and myself.

Guess who gets the short end of that stick?

I try to take care of my clients – keep ’em happy. I step away to hang with my family and take care of them (though that’s also partially for myself).

When the chips are down and the clock is ticking away, the stuff I want to do for myself will get pushed to tomorrow.

As I write this, it’s 2:37pm. I wanted to build a Story Bible for my Hardwick series, hoping it will centralize a lot of the story’s information that will help me get the rest of Book 5 drafted.

I also want to start editing and revising the other series I had begun, because I’d like to release that into KDP and see what it does.

I’ve done neither of those things. I also haven’t written a word for myself.

It doesn’t matter that I know these things have to be done. I just struggle to hold myself accountable to it.

The successful authors that I know – the ones I follow, or the ones I can call “friends” or “acquaintances” – they all treat their writing like a job.

Me? I don’t. It’s a hard truth to admit, but I just… don’t.

“Oof, Mondays are hard to get on track because I have to take my son to school and pick him up later. Throws my morning off. Then I have to go work somewhere in the afternoon. It’s tough.”

“Tuesdays are always distracting because I finally have the house to myself. It’s okay to go easy on Tuesdays.”

“Wednesdays this month are interrupted by Advent services at church, so I’m on a short schedule.”

“Thursdays I work out of the office, so it’s good to take care of myself and enjoy being out of the house. Take it easy.”

“It’s Friday! Time to coast into the weekend!”

Lather. Rinse. Get frustrated that you’re not a full-time author yet. Repeat.

How do I build more accountability into things? How do I get myself onto the horse? How do I stop hitting these cycles of ineptitude and excuse-making?

I really don’t know.

I know that I will. I refuse to give up on any of this. Too many pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. I want better.

But how? I wish I had that answer.

Until I do figure it out, I’ll be looking at the calendar, ready to pull my hair out because another month has gone by without significant progress in my career.