I think it's very easy to get discouraged as both an author and a blogger. In fact, a big part of what keeps me going here is my success with my other blogs. If I didn't have the experience, if I were purely doing this in a vacuum, it would be exponentially more difficult to stay enthused. But I've felt the ups and downs before. I'm out here experimenting on my own because of those earlier success. As humans, we build and learn, right? But lessons are often hard-won.
My top two posts, traffic-wise, on this site are the two cheater posts that I wrote linking to other posts. That's right, they're insubstantial crap. A paragraph of nothing with the express purpose to point to something else. I have no idea why they're racking up the hits. I must have hit some magical combination of search terms and am probably sending a lot of googlers away frustrated.
I shot myself in the foot with my pricing. It was stupid to raise my pricing for a month. Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking. Sales have pretty much bottomed out. Instead of freaking out, though, I know what I need to do: I need to get more stuff out there. It's very, very, very hard to do well with a single item for sale. It would be unreasonable for me to expect more. But the knowledge doesn't always keep me from feeling frustrated.
I feel like I'm basically sitting here, hanging out in my little corner of the Interwebs, shouting into a void. Occasionally someone listens, but more often than not, I'm just talking to myself. Babbling incoherently. We all feel like this sometimes, right?
I've felt this way before. When first starting my gaming blog (and at times since), it felt like this. It takes time to build an audience of any kind. It takes time for people to find you. Despair lurks out there in the darkness, swishing about your feet. But I have a pen-light, a tiny beacon of hope that I cling to as the waves of life buffet me. I know I can write. I know I can succeed with strangers in providing an entertaining story. I may not be a pro, but I have something. A spark, if you will. And I believe in myself.
That's the hardest part, right? Believing in yourself. How many writers struggle with that? I know I do.
I guess the point here is that there are going to be setbacks. There always are. You're going to make mistakes. Things aren't going to get done as quickly as you'd like. Looking at numbers can be quite depressing. But it's not all about that. It can't be.
At some point, I've written a story that someone has enjoyed. Take away the talk of "sales" and "marketing" and "publishing." I'm a writer first, businessman second. Read that first sentence again: I've written a story that someone has enjoyed.
Nothing can take that from me. And to that I say: "mischief managed, damnit."