Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG: Like a Yo-yo on a Roller Coaster



It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for

I’ve been trying to be more upbeat lately with my IWSG posts, more supportive, more positive.  But this month, I’m finding that a bit more difficult.  I think it’s just me getting tired, like being at the midway point during a marathon. 

My whole life, it seems, has become all about my book, the weekly, daily, and minute-to-minute ups and downs of how it’s selling, being reviewed, or how it’s ranking.  Everyday, it’s something new, an excited reader or a position shift on an Amazon list.  Just something.


And right along with these shifts, my mood soars or plummets.  I would liken it to a yo-yo on a roller coaster.  One minute I’m up and the next I’m down.  I take it all in, the reviewer progress reports on Facebook and Goodreads, the hourly rise and fall of my Amazon US ranking versus Amazon UK, and ugh, the reviews.  Most are good, but not all.  So even if I do get a good one, I let the not-so-good bring me down, only to pop back up when my title moves higher on a Top Rated list.



It’s never-ending and is seriously making my head spin.  And I cannot afford to be distracted or sidetracked right now.  I’m making huge progress on my next book, like two to four thousand words a day, so much that I have to take weekends off so my brain and psyche can recover from the emotional overload of writing this tale. 

It’s easy to just say, “Don’t look, don’t pay attention.”  But I know that won’t work for me.  Yet still, when I, all of a sudden, realize I haven’t checked some form of social media or Amazon in over eight hours, I realize how calm and focused I feel.  That should tell me something.  To stay away.  Don’t look.  So why do I continue to torture myself?  





27 comments:

VikLit said...

I think it is human nature to look, even when we know sometimes it might be better for us not to. Curiosity is natural! Perhaps you could limit your checking sites time to particular times of the day so you know you'll get to see but can enjoy the calm in between or something?

Cynthia said...

I wouldn't let the negative reviews get you down. Even really good authors get negative reviews.

Remember it's okay to take a break every now and then. Stretch and have some chocolate.

Azia said...

isn't it strange how we put so much more weight on the negative? humans- we are silly creatures, no? I think it would be a constant battle of the mind to not be checking those outlets... I know I would be obsessing over it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree with VickLit. It's human nature to look at reviews and rankings. Just try to limit it. And it's awesome how much progress you're making.

JeffO said...

2,000-4,000 words a day is awesome! Keep it up!

It's natural, I guess, to check and recheck and recheck, like pressing an elevator button over and over and over again. Easy to say "Forget about it"; not so easy to do.

I know how you feel about ups and downs. I think it might be partly due to being in the butt-end of winter. Once you start getting actual spring winter out there, your mood might picki up a bit. Hang in there!

Kyra Lennon said...

Seriously, take a break! I know when my first book was out, I became a little obsessed with checking my sales, and my reviews, and being torn apart by bad ones and hyped up by the good ones. But it is so not a healthy way to be. Try to find some way of limiting yourself from checking because it's an easy way to drive yourself insane!

Remember, you've had some amazing reviews and they are the ones to concentrate on. Some people out there simply enjoy tearing others down. Keep smiling because YOU are fabulous!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

When the book is doing well, we want to look! We just have to be prepared that not everything we see will be positive. In the long run though, do the little blips really matter?
Now, keep up that writing pace!

Matthew MacNish said...

I imagine it's a kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing.

Siv Ottem said...

Sometimes when we know we should not be doing something we just do it more. If you allow yourself to look whenever you want and not be so hard on yourself, maybe you won't need to. Sounds to me like your writing flow is going along fine. Remember how lucky you are for getting this far!

Andrew Leon said...

It's like when you lose a tooth and you can't keep your tongue out of the hole.
But, yeah, not checking is better.

Mark Means said...

You're still leaps and bounds ahead of some of us. I'd love to have your problems because that would mean I finished my story and it was published :)

To quote on of my favorite lines from Peanuts....Dr. Lucy to Charlie Brown..."Try to relax...five cents, please" :D

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I used to be addicted to rankings and such, but somehow I broke free. Yes, I still check for new reviews about once a week. But I quit checking the ranks (and comparing my rank with friends...yes, I was bad!). It was getting in my head and ruining my mood and giving me insecurity.

My time is better spent writing and marketing...the rest will be what it will be. We can't change that, so walk away.

Cherie Colyer said...

It is hard to stay off social media and other online sites. There are days I just promise myself I won't look until I meet my word goals.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Time to stop looking at those Amazon charts, Nancy. You wrote a wonderfully exciting, well-crafted book. Now write another one.

Rena said...

People peek. That's just the way it is, you'll never stop looking. I would recommend though that if it drives you a little too insane, keep three jars and label them "good," "bad," and "ho-hum".

Every time you get a review put a penny in the appropriate jar. Then you'll be able to be more objective about your status with reviews and stuff. The rankings won't last forever, but the reviews will. (I bet you'll fill your "good" penny jar).

L.G. Smith said...

That is tough. I'm afraid I would be the same way. I know the best thing is to step away from it and just concentrate on writing the next novel, but that's hard to do when you know this other thing you created is out there getting attention. But, wow, three to four thousand words a day is amazing. I do that much in two weeks. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Why do you continue to torture yourself? Same reason I continue looking at real estate in NB when we haven't even sold our place here in BC. We don't do it to torture ourselves, per se. We do it because the results may change the course of our lives and we obsessed with the possibilities, maybe? Or we're simply expecting that if the numbers are good, everything else will be too.

I stopped weighing myself a few months ago. For years I weighed every single day. And I mean years.

Something had to give, so I started weighing every Sunday morning, and then the first day of the month, and finally I stopped. Sure I may weigh myself again out of curiosity. But never again will the numbers dictate to me who I am.

In the past, if the results were good, then I was good. I was worthy. If the results were bad, then I was bad... and unworthy. How crazy is that? Yet, we've been doing that to ourselves for what feels forever.

Start small, Nancy. Look first thing in the mornings only. Then Tuesdays and Fridays, then maybe the first and the fifteenth.

I'm don't really know what to say to you other then to reiterate what you've already said. When you don't look for over 8 hours, you feel calm and focus. I think that's "You" answering your own question.

Stick to this and soon the numbers won't tell the world who you are. They'll simply be numbers.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't look - you'll just make yourself batty.

Melissa said...

Don't look, Ethel!
:P

Seriously. Your reviews are great. Focus on your next WIP. ;)

Yolanda Renee said...

Such a wonderful question about human tendencies -- we all do, have done it and will continue to do it. Why, why, why -- such a small word with such huge implications, contradictions, and usually no real answer!

Great IWSG post!

Heather M. Gardner said...

It's not your fault. You're only human after all.

Just remember the struggle it took to get here. You've paid your dues. Don't worry about the comments and statistics. It's out there. It's being bought and read.

Keep writing. Keep going. It's all good.

:)

HMG

jamieayres.com said...

Oh, the wonderful life of a writer!! Take each day, each sale, as a gift and live with a spirit of expectancy for more blessings to come. Rest assured that not everyone will love your book, that sales will go up and down, and that's okay. It just means your story wasn't meant for that person . . . it doesn't mean your book wasn't AWESOME:-)

Julie Musil said...

I agree that it's human nature to look. Part of me wonders if I'd have to stay away from reviews, because I would be so wounded at a bad one. You have accomplished so much, and have so much to be proud of. Chin up, girlie, and give your brain a breather :)

Tia Bach said...

You nailed it... it really is a yo-yo of emotions. When I see poor reviews or get negative feedback, I just try to remember all the positive moments and move forward. Well, after a good dessert!

My IWSG Post

Chris said...

First of all, I don't think anyone would blame you for fighting a (losing?) battle with your rankings and reviews. It's got to be soooo tempting to find out how your work is being received, and if I were in your position I'd probably do the same thing almost hourly!

that being said, my second (and most important) point is one that would be even harder to obey: do not let those bad reviews get you down! There will always be differences of opinion, people who didn't like it or didn't understand it or think they could have done better. If they have constructive criticism you can take that under advisement for your next book. If they're just haters then shrug 'em off and move forward! :-)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Doesn't your son have spring break soon? Maybe you can plan some fun activities to keep your mind off of this. You should be proud of all you've accomplished, and the fact that you're still writing at a great pace is much to celebrate.

Julie

Liza said...

The writing life is always a roller-coaster! But if you are writing 2-4K a day, I'd say you are sitting at the peak! Good for you. Keep going and do your best to ignore the reviews...they can't change the past anyway. All you can do is write your best for the future.