• Stephen Burckhardt

I'm A Lucky Person!


This weekend was going to be all about starting writing Into the West: Most Wanted, or at least the first chapter. I have it plotted in my head and now I just have to get it on the page. However, Murphy struck again!

A storm front rolled into our area and the barometric pressure dropped. Every time this happens I end up in severe, blinding pain. I spent three days in bed and am just now starting to feel human again.

I'm sure at least some of you are thinking, "That doesn't sound very lucky to me."

The lucky part is being married to P.R. I was able to stay in bed and do what I needed to deal with the pain. For me, that means sleeping with my head on a heating pad with a cold towel or ice pack on my forehead. It helps but doesn't get rid of the pain. The pressure was so bad this time that it affected my eyesight. That is not unusual.

I had extremely blurry vision and had to put one pair of reading glasses on top of another or use my reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read anything. Whenever this happens I always have a little bit of fear that it will not clear up. That is a possibility but as the pressure is letting up now my sight is clearing up a bit. I'm back to just one pair of glasses. Thank goodness because I looked seriously goofy with two on.

Why do I share this personal information with you? It's not to garner sympathy or to give excuses for why it can takes me so long to get things done on my blogs and books (well . . . okay, maybe a little for that) but mostly it is to share what I work to overcome on a daily basis to produce my work. There may be someone out there who was like me. Someone who's doctor is telling them that they will never be able to accomplish their dreams because of where they are right now.

Don't listen to them!

I had many doctors tell me that. I have had six brain surgeries, I am brain damaged. I have three debilitating neurological conditions that all come with their own set of issues I have to overcome every day. I found a way to go after my dreams in spite of all of that and I am no one special so I know you can too. You may not be able to go about it the way you had planned. You may not be able to do things the way everyone else on the planet does them but you can find your own path. Blaze your own trail and make your mark in this world.

I am still not making a profit from my books. Honestly, I am so far in the red at this point I would need Ellen to feature my book on her show just to break even. I cannot get people to post reviews to save my life. I am just now up to 61 subscribers to my website, 228 followers on my Facebook page, and surprisingly 595 followers on Twitter (not sure how that happened but I'm thrilled) and I have been working at this since 2015.

But am I discouraged? Yes . . .

To be honest, I am discouraged a tiny bit but for the most part I'm happy. I don't have many reviews but the ones I have are great. They are all five stars except for one guy who rated one of my books just three stars because it was "too short, and cliffhanger." I found that review amusing considering I market my books as a cliffhanger western novella serial. A novella being defined as a short book between 30,000 to 60,000 words. This is a good reminder for everyone to read the book details before purchasing a book to prevent this kind of thing.

Beyond the great reviews, I love what I'm doing. I love writing. I love designing the website and promotional material. I love creating something that moves people emotionally. I have lost count of how many times readers have told me I made them cry because they got so investing reading about the characters. There is nothing better than that!

Okay, maybe all of that with a profit margin would be a little better but no matter what, it's worth it. It is worth every sleepless night. It is worth all the historical research. It is worth all the hours fixing my website and creating blogs. It's worth all the notes I have to keep so I can remember the names of may main characters I feature in every book and how to spell them correctly. It's worth every effort I have to make to keep doing this, to keep writing. I am doing what I always wanted to do with my life. How many people can truly say that?

Thanks for sticking with me folks! It is much appreciated!

Stephen

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