CT Mitchell

My Writer’s Life – 30 Months On

On the 27th February, 2015, my life changed
forever, something I did not know at the time.

That was the day I hit hit the publish button on
Amazon to launch my very first fiction book
Dead Shot (Rejection back then). I entered a
a writer’s life. I sat nervously wondering if
anybody would read this short read.

Well 50,000 downloads later, I know they did. But
I am not your typical writer. I am not a huge reader
of fiction preferring non fiction for my inspiration.

I’m not your typical moody, brooding type who agonises
over the correct comma positioning within a sentence.
My one and two star critics can attest to that. I haven’t signed
up for any better writing courses preferring to invest in
book marketing programmes instead. I believe in the ‘it’s
as important to be found‘ philosophy than to be a perfect
writer that nobody knows about. I employ editors to fix
my mistakes (although that can leave a lot to be desired at times).

I feel incredibly lucky

I’ve had good support along the way. My family have given
me two thumbs up to continue when the days are tough and
I feel like walking away.

I have a few close friends that have been my mentors over the
past 30 months. Don Reid is an astute businessman and got my
websites looking shmick. He’s also great for bouncing cooky ideas
off. Editor Renae keeps me on track when I start going down
‘another tributary’, pulling me back into the main river of crime
fiction writing and reminding me of my long term goals.

I just started to write

I had no idea where this would lead me. Back in February 2015
I never dreamed I’d be a 25 book author by August 2017!

I’d be lying if I said I am not motivated by money. I do dream
of riches and fame but not enough to make me some sort of
narcissist pig. I do want to be comfortable to be able to look
after my family though, plus a few luxuries. I don’t need ‘mansions’
around the world. I nice place to come home to and a
caravan ringside to the beach and Pacific ocean would suit me
fine. I reckon that caravan would be the birth place of some
epic Jack Creed novels.

In 30 months I’ve learned some lessons.

Have patience

The first three months were hell. $32, $48 and $66 was all
I earned. My negative mind was resurfacing with daily messages
of “here I go again – another failure”. By month four I had my first
#1 Amazon bestseller and my income went up tenfold!

Keep Grinding

It’s difficult being a solopreneur. There’s so much to do. You
lack a sounding board. Your inbox is full of ‘get rich schemes’
from ‘internet millionaires’ that fuels your self doubt as to why
you can’t crack $500 or $1000/month.

It’s hard writing a book that nobody reads. It’s lonely when you
put up a blockbuster video and you only get 9 views. Or you write
an earth shattering blog post and nobody comments.

But you have to continue on. Hopefully the next post will get
one comment and the one after two or three. Gary Vaynerchuk reminds
me that he started with no audience as well. Thanks Gary – I believe you
I think.

Taking care of myself

Writing requires a lot of sitting. I’m not one of those ‘stand up while
you write’ kind of guys. Writing is a mental game and you need to
to not only look after your mind but your whole body as well.

But weight maintenance and exercise have never my friends in my
58 years of life. It’s been a constant battle. Chocolate has been my
downfall. Actually even more than that. Chocolate is an addiction
for me!

But in 2015 I went on a calorie restricted diet and lost 16 kilo’s
(about 35 pounds) in just 42 days. I’ve managed to maintain most
of that loss although my love affair with chocolate is making a
comeback. Aaagh!

Solitude is hard

I’ve always wanted to work from home. The freedom of not having
a boss looking over my should has been very pleasing. But there are
downsides.

There are no work colleagues I can hang out with next to the water
cooler to discuss the latest episodes of the ‘Block’ with. In fact my
work environment is…………..quiet. Crickets are the only things
that break my silence some days.

You have to remain focused and that’s not easy. My wife reminds
me of another load of washing that needs hung out. The post office
box becomes an addictive early morning drive. And then there’s
the coffee shop that pulls my car over regularly breaking my journey
home to my writing den where I should be churning out another
masterpiece.

Creating Routine

I admire people who are disciplined. They have routine in their life.
Exercise in the morning, healthy calorie controlled breakfast, a full
day of productive work and so on.

My routine is more….flexible. I know what I need to do and just
go about doing it. Sure I’d like to be more in control but I won’t
beat myself up about it. Instead I’ve learned to go with the flow.

Not focusing on the competition

I look to see what other writers are doing but I never focus on them.
I’m running my own race. I know my weaknesses and choose to play to
my strengths. I write to entertain. I’ll never win a Pulitzer but I hope
to bring an escape to thousands of people’s lives even for just
30 minutes via a short read.

Having a why

I’m a strong believer in having something bigger in your life to
focus upon beyond money and worldly possessions. For me it’s
my family. I write my books as a legacy to my family. My author
pen name C T Mitchell is a combination of my kids names –
Calvin Taylor Mitchell.

When the days get lonely, sales are crap and the words aren’t coming
I think about why I started this journey. I soon get back on track with
renewed enthusiasm

Your turn

What about you? What has been your journey? Let me know by
posting your response here. I hope you’ve found my post helpful
in furthering your journey. Keep going. The world needs to hear your
story. Trust me – they really do!

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