Stress Monkey – The Climb #223

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Stress Monkey – The Climb #223

Friday 1st September 2017

As a writer you dream of a day when you might land a big publishing deal and be able to write fulltime.  You imagine the freedom of being able to write when and where you want.

The downside of that dream is that as the possibility of getting a deal becomes more likely, so the reality kicks in.  The monies of an advance get split up depending on publication and handing in of a number of manuscripts (most deals are for multiple books).  So whilst a £30,000 advance might sound fantastic in reality it could be spread over four years.  Still fantastic, but it won’t pay your mortgage.

On one hand, I’ve written in my spare time up until now, and being paid to write anything is an amazing privilege that few get afforded.  So a £200 advance is still £200.  But on the flip side, even some of my traditionally published friends have marvelled at how hard I’ve worked on this book.

And so, I find as the possibility of deal gets closer, so I get more stressed.

Whilst I spend a lot of time learning marketing and am capable of putting an ebook together, there’s a reason I have an agent.  I hate dealing with money.  I had a time when I was unemployed and had very little, and it’s left me feeling slightly anxious even when I pay my credit card.  Whilst there are some self-published authors who have done incredibly well, I think the money aspect would be something that would just stress me out.  I also think that whilst traditionally-published is harder (in some ways), I think if you can get traditionally-published you’re more likely to see a better return.

An agent will up your advance more than the cut they take, so I figure it’s a wise investment.

But I totally understand why some people feel self-published is a better route for them.

So it ends up that instead of feeling that I might be close to fulfilling my dreams, I find myself getting stressed as I try and work out, just how much of an advance I’d need to be able to write fulltime.  Conventional wisdom is that you probably need 3-6 books out before you’re earning enough.  But the one thing about publishing is that it’s often far from conventional.  That said, I think my first calculation meant I’d need the sort of advance that’s never been seen by a ‘debut’ author (because debuting is weird as an author because it happens several times, depending on where you are in your career).

I think that all the time I’m working, I’m fine because I have the ability to control things, to make the novel better.  But, the moment it gets sent I lose that control, and I can’t help wonder just how much the last two years of hard work have been worth (and I don’t just mean in terms of money)

The other thing that happens is that day jobs become even more of a chore.  Everyday annoyances become larger and I think that’s why the day job is really stressing me out at the moment.  I know I’m stressed as I had a couple of minor tasks to do today and it felt like such an uphill struggle.

But I’m not sure if the work stress is causing or just contributing.   I’m just glad that I’m having September to rest.  Either I need to be busy to destress or I really, really need this break.

There were some good things that happened though.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it on The Climb but I’m going to Romania later this year.  I’m going as an instructor for an event out there, and I’m both excited and nervous.  Teaching Bolognese for six months means I think I’m a decent instructor, and others have commented how I am really creative with my lesson plans.  I also think I know more about rapier than sword & buckler, but I need to have a chat to find out what it is that I should be teaching.  But they’re flying me out there and I’m really looking forward to it.

World of Warcraft is also going well.  I need to do some work on my alts but I’m actually surprised just how many 110s I already have.  It looks like this patch has a new hidden mount that involves a tailoring recipe, so I spent the evening destressing by farming for it.  Still haven’t got it though.  I want to be quick as I reckon there’s good money to be made from it.

Yet things like doing the invoicing for School of the Sword filled me with stress today.  I’m going to blame the day job as that was a bit stressful this week, but I suspect that the novel is playing it’s part.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-09-03T01:41:31+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|Health, Publishing, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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