Three years ago, on this same day, I received my first proof from Createspace. The first novel I had finished writing, the first book that had my name on it.
It’s almost impossible to describe what I felt as I held the very first copy of my debut novel. I felt invincible. And for a while, I was.
It didn’t matter that I had given up on almost everything to write and publish the damn thing. I’m mostly a realist, but not when it comes to my dream of becoming a writer, one that I have nurtured for the past 10 years. So I took the plunge, armed with nothing but hope.
And I failed. Simple as that. I sold 2 e-books and 2 paperbacks in four months. From January to May 2011 I received a four star review on Amazon and a two star review on Goodreads. No reviews on blogs, no interviews, no real presence on social networks.
At the end of those four months, after I sent dozens of e-mails to book bloggers, other indie writers, and wrote hundreds of comments on discussion boards, forums, and online communities, I decided to “unpublish” my novel.
I was devastated. It didn’t matter that the novel I had written was, in fact, rubbish. It was not even a real novel. Or a real story. It was filled with the philosophical musings of a twenty something. But it didn’t matter. I gave up writing. I gave up everything.
Then the extraordinary happened. My father’s business went bankrupt, which meant that he could no longer support me.
And that meant that I had to do something, anything, to make ends meet. I worked at a waiter during that summer, then I spent the following autumn and winter starving, more or less.
Soon I began writing again. Mostly because there was nothing else for me to do. Alone, bitter, and poor, I had no other occupation but to write.
I like to believe that out of all that suffering and bitterness something beautiful emerged, even if it’s just a handful of paragraphs from Jazz, or something funny in The Writer. Or maybe something from my blog posts, something that helped someone when they needed help the most.
I started this blog in April 2012. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to becoming a professional writer. Things are happening. Slowly, but surely… the more titles I have for sale, the better they all perform.
But I need your help to make ends meet. I need your help to keep on writing, to keep on blogging.
If you want to help me out, you can do so here, where you can also buy special perks which will get you more exposure to a bigger audience.