I never thought as a writer that I’d be jealous of my own book sales. It never crossed my mind 11 years ago when I was 16 years old and all I wanted to do was complete and finish books. Though I had always dreamed of being a “best-selling author” (whatever the hell that means), I never really considered myself a non-fiction author. Then I started writing on places like Huffpost, Thought Catalog, POPSUGAR, The Mighty, SCREENRANT, and numerous others… and even wrote my first book that I self-published: Full of Sound and Fury: Living With Misophonia. I will admit, I haven’t gotten rich off fiction or non fiction, but my non-fiction books do see regular sales.
And every single time I see a “ebook ordered” or “printbook shipped” I am excited, and a little giddy. And then I check by title and it’s usually my non-fiction, or my fiction that’s about misophonia (How We Survive Ourselves) and I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I get frustrated and feel disappointment. I hope this isn’t how parents feel when their step child wins awards or gets a good job, and their biological child doesn’t.
I know I should probably unpack why I feel so disenchanted about my non-fiction and my advocacy-based fiction. Surely some of it has to do with it being tied to my day job as an advocate. This isn’t something I do for love, or for craft, it’s something I do because I believe that there is information that the world desperately needs. As for street-racing mafia-fiction, I think we’re safe to say that Acceleration: A High Octane Novel is decidedly not a world-changing piece of literature. And yet, I love it! It’s commercial fiction through and through, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a fun experience to write. Not only that, I love each and every one of those silly characters, and I WILL cry at my own book when I sit down and read it over. My nonfiction? I might cry at the idea of having to read it again.
I know I need to be grateful for every reader of my work– and I am, I promise. I’m just a bit sad that I don’t have more people to share my insanity with. Advocacy is well and good, but I want to share books for the hell of it.
If anything, this has proven to me that I don’t give a crap about being a “published author”, I just want to write fun books. And I guess advocacy books.