Recently, a friend and I were discussing the struggles of getting a startup company up and running. It matters not how much time we spend on social media, blogging, and getting the word out about our craft when the building frustration of trying to stay afloat while broke looms like an ulcer in the pit of your stomach.
If you haven’t come to grips with it already, like it or not, self publishing is a startup company, a small business, and can sometimes feel like a money pit. It is increasingly disheartening seeing dollar-after-dollar burn into ashes as you invest more and more into your startup without having seen any return.
Here is what I’ve already figured out I would do differently if I knew at the beginning of this journey what I know now . . . one thing:
Producing a children’s picture book can be incredibly costly. Since embarking on this journey I have invested a significant amount of time and money on the picture book alone – that is one picture book people! Since then, I have had all of these great ideas on ways to generate income in order to help fund the production of the picture book. I wish I had thought of these first. If I had it to do all over again, I would start with my other projects that require less of an investment, get them off and running, then start the picture book. That way, as I continue to invest in myself, I would already have something to build on.
I had a moment the other day where I just literally stopped everything I was doing and took a few minutes to lose my mind! A little kicking, a little screaming, nothing major. Just a small tantrum. This was sparked by my decision to try to register for a local writers conference. Oh I was so excited and proud of myself for having the guts to take my career (yes, I said career. Did you catch that?)) to the next level. I clicked on the registration application and flipped out when I saw the registration fees. I know, I know, the speakers have to get paid, the venue has to be paid for, blah blah blah. The term starving artist instantly sunk in and became very real. I was discouraged (but only for a moment). And no, I didn’t register for the conference. I don’t have any magic money dust to sprinkle and make it a reality. . . yet.
Now that I’m back in my right mind, I see that I have to be a little more creative with trying to work such things into the budget. The point is I had a moment. I’m human. We grow and we learn. I just need my pockets to grow with the learning.
Deep breath. Woosah. Im done. Back to writing. . . because the pockets stay empty without that.