A Good Twitter Thread

I am that weird person who does not actually have a Twitter account but also reads Twitter daily via a series of bookmarks of people I like to follow on there. And today one of those people who I started following because they’re a nurse but also like to read because they’re a writer, had a good Twitter thread.

I’m going to link to it because it’s one of those emotionally raw threads the author may choose to delete later so I don’t want to create a permanent record of something they may not want to be permanent, but here it is: Cassie Alexander on a new release and writing and life

There are so many good parts to this thread it’s worth reading the whole thing starting around post seven.

I did take a screen cap of this part. (Which if she reaches out and asks me to delete I absolutely will.)


It is hard to be a writer. It takes a relentless sort of optimism to keep going at this thing. Because almost no one makes it right out of the gate. It is decades of effort to get somewhere that’s just the starting line.

And that’s really challenging to talk about. Because you have to be vulnerable and admit to not being as successful as you’d like to be. Or sometimes not being successful at all. And we live in a world that does not reward that vulnerability.

Fake it til you make it. You’re supposed to make things look absolutely effortless and fun and enjoyable as you sail into the sunset. But that’s really not the truth of it.

I enjoy every single day of my life right now. I enjoy the writing and the fiddling with design and the publishing books and even the advertising. But there are days when I have that dark moment of the soul.

Because how can it be that you can make good money just showing up and doing the job as X but you turn around and do something far more challenging that takes real dedication and effort and…don’t make money. Or not near as much money.

And I know that feeling she talks about of hoping but not hoping with that latest release. I mean, I just put out book eight of a cozy mystery series in December. I had to squash every single positive thought I might have about that book. Because it’s book eight.

It’s not going to take off and make my career. It will sell less copies than book seven. Or maybe as many copies. But not more. And being book eight that number of copies is way less than book one sold.

I just had to think of it as another brick in the wall of publication I’m building. It’s slow grinding work to stack that next one on there and not be able to see that everything is (hopefully) working to create something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

Part of my issue with the idea of publishing a new fantasy series is that whole, “maybe this will be the one” idea. Because I know it won’t. But I know I need to do it anyway to keep building this writing thing.

It’s hard not to hope and then be disappointed over and over again. But that’s the business.

I tell myself, “You can’t lose until you quit.” And the small wins do keep me going. There’s always some little glimmer of hope. But, man, some days…

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is a former securities regulator, registered stockbroker (although only briefly), and consultant on regulatory and risk-related matters for large financial institutions with expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering regulation, mutual funds, and credit rating agencies. Since 2013 M.L. has also been a published author under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

2 thoughts on “A Good Twitter Thread”

  1. This definitely hit me right now. With book 2 of my urban fantasy trilogy less than a week from release, reading Cassie’s twitter and your blog today is like….yeah. I feel every bit of this right now. I want to hope. But the hope I felt for book 1, and even the glimmer of hope I got on day 1 of its release with the most pre-orders I’d ever seen, only for it to completely crash every single day after that? And now book 2…do I even hope that I’ll get as many pre-orders as book 1?

    This really is a brutal industry. And maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like an author can’t put out a good work without investing a large part of themselves in it, without making it a part of themselves. So I get the whole ‘clinical insanity’ thing. We do it knowing how much we have to invest, knowing how much it’s going to hurt every single time. But we do it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya. And I know it’s hard to do, but try not to get let down by the sales right now before the series is even finished. Just put your head down, do the best you can do, and get the whole thing out there. Only then as you promote the whole series can you really see what that series was.

      (At least that’s how it works for me. My current series readthrough on the fantasy series is actually really good, but I didn’t see those kinds of numbers until the series was done and there for people to just read right on through. My books aren’t so engaging that people remember me and come back months or years later for the next one, you know? And it takes enough books out to have momentum with the readers who do love you. And that starts over with each subgenre.)

      As for the investing a part of yourself thing…I don’t know. I mean, everything we write has a part of us in it as well as the time spent writing it. Even my billionaire romance short story series still had my twist on dating a billionaire. (Not a rescue fantasy, but a meeting of equals at the end of the day.) But that first story that I dashed off as a fun little thing to do and publish in a day sold almost a thousand copies before I put it permafree. And the collection has sold almost a thousand copies since.

      One could argue it wasn’t a “good work” because no one is going to be talking about that story for more than it takes them the time to read it, but I do think it’s possible to write things that will sell without “bleeding on the page” so to speak. And sometimes the stories that you dash off for pure fun are the ones that work the best because they don’t have to effectively carry that emotional weight.

      Liked by 1 person

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