At the end of last year, I gave this year two priorities: production and publicity. As the year progressed, the strength of my focus on these priorities started to fade, and I believe this is what caused me to start feeling disillusioned about a writing career.
Production is important because I want to put my work out into the world – this is why I am publishing my work. Publicity, or ‘getting my name out there’, is equally important if anyone is going to hear about my work. I enjoy connecting with readers and other creatives, going to craft markets, and sharing my ‘writerly life’ with children. So what got me off track?
I had sales goals and social media goals that were supposed to be subsidiary to my priorities, but they became my focus. The fact that I was actually reaching my sales goals got me all excited – I had set them higher than I really thought I could reach, so it was a thrill to see it happen.
But I got *too* caught up in them, for several reasons. One was, as I said, that it was exciting to see them climb. The other was that my self-worth was a bit low, and so seeing numbers, and support, and lovely people being lovely became coping strategies.
When I was focused on my long term goals, building the base for a career, and actually producing creative work, I was happier than I am now, and the business side of things flourished naturally. Art-making comes first, sharing my work comes second, and everything else builds organically from there.