81 – Year Two in Review

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This week, I’m taking an introspective look back on my writing career and reminding myself not to only count the failures, but remember the success. 

81-Year-Two-in-Review

The Hard Numbers:

Total Downloads: 5956 (table below does not include August 2016)

Total Dollars Earned from Book Sales: $842.99 (Does not include Adword or Affiliate marketing revenue)


Sales by Book 2014 2015 2016 Total
“C” is for Apocalypse42327
Choices239825194505367
Consensual Tentacles1147058
Dinosaur Alien Invasion2210840
Fallout337417124
It Happened in Georgia73780
Last Call11213
Purpose211637
Summons14471475
The Alchemist & The Arena112
The Glaosheimr Situation714122
The Moenchurian Candidate21113
Tragedy411354
You Can’t Stay Here1111
Grand Total249329045265923

Episode Script:

 

I’ve lived in other worlds my entire life. I started writing about them when I first became literate. I began defining myself as a writer in High School. I decided I wanted to figure out how to make money at it in my twenties. I’m about to turn 33 and so far, I’m still working on the last step.

I started writing online when I discovered Livejournal on April 27, 2001.
Nine years later, on September 22, 2010, I decided to create a real blog and try to become a professional.
I published my first kindle book on February 21, 2013.
I started this podcast to track my professional writing career and help expose other struggling authors on August 27, 2014.

So far, in my entire professional writing career, I’ve made about $1000.

The journey is far from over.

The lessons I’ve learned over the last few years have been excruciatingly painful. For one, I’m not nearly as talented as I thought I was.

Big fish from the tiny pond, Meet the ocean.

Honestly, looking back on my writing career, it is apparent to me now I never really intended to be a writer. I always had some other goal in mind and writing seemed like the best way for me to reach that goal.

Some of those goals were pretty stupid. Like becoming a millionaire by running a free Live Action Role Playing game with a handful of dedicated and beloved players.

Some were insanely egomaniacal, like creating platforms for legions of diehard fans who would help declare me the Pharaoh of Earth.

Some were more realistic but much more painful than I imagined, like becoming a go-to talking head for the world of politics.

I didn’t really do any of those things and I don’t really want to do any of those things… except become Earth’s Pharaoh. I’m still down for that if you’re interested in having a global election.

My goals have never been real or concrete. They’ve never been achievable.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar.

I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know I have no idea what I’m doing. You might even be tempted to say I’m a washed up has-been… or never-was.

You could be right.

I haven’t published a new book since August 5, 2015. That’s more than a year ago. A painful, long year ago.

I was tempted to think of myself that way, too. This year has been pretty sucky.

I tried and failed a lot of things this year:
I failed at writing a space opera.
I failed at writing a young adult superhero series.
I failed at writing a SciFi adventure epic.
I failed at writing Book Six of the Seven Keys saga, which I’ll talk about more next week.

Mostly, I failed to advance my book publishing career.

But… I also succeed at new things, things for which I should give myself credit.

Some of them come from my day job. I don’t think I give myself enough credit for those accomplishments.

I’ve written white papers.
I’ve written dozens of newsletter articles on things from high school baseball teams to national awards.
I’ve written technical guides and how-to manuals.
I’ve translated complex documents into plain language.

Those weren’t easy feats.

And, of course, I should give myself credit for the accomplishments I’ve made in my writing career, too.

I’ve written and published 20 short stories in as many weeks.
I’ve written seven drafts of a book because I’ve learned when my writing isn’t good enough.
I’ve made friends with some amazing writers. I’ve learned from them and I like to think I’ve helped them in other ways.
Since February, 2014, I’ve had my writing picked up by readers 5956 times.

These aren’t small things. They aren’t easy things.

I should give myself more credit for them.

If you’ve been listening to this show for the last year, you know I’ve been sucking butt and whining about it. I’ve become a bit obsessed with my own failure and I’ve let it get in the way of figuring out what I really want.

And, as grandiose as some of my desires are, I should figure out practical ways to work them into my career.

Because, that is how to move forward.

If you want to see my hard numbers, I’ll toss them up on NewWriterPodcast.Com.

They aren’t impressive, but I know what it’s like to think everyone else is ravaging the indie author landscape and you’re not.

If nothing else, maybe my crappy numbers will tell you, you are not alone.

Thanks everyone for listening for the last two years. Next week, we’ll start year three by talking about what to do when you realize you are a talentless hack and everyone is secretly giggling behind your back.

In the meantime, why don’t you let me know how you feel about the show by leaving me a review on iTunes or sending an email to mbrotherton@gmail.com.

You can also check out MABrotherton.Com. You’ll find info about me, my books, my short stories, and if you really dig into the archives, my theories on what the NSA is really trying to steal from our hard drives. Hint: It isn’t security related.

Thank you, again, for listening. Have a great weekend. I’ll see you next week.

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