Feeling like a Failure

One of the things about depression I hate the most is that feeling of being a failure. I think of all the symptoms this is the one that drags me down the most of all.


I can handle, for the best part, most of the other symptoms except the negative ones. Always in the back of my mind is that little voice chirping away at my insecurities. In many ways I wish I had not published books because I am constantly checking for sales and seeing none makes my feelings of failure and worthlessness grow.

There has been sales though that’s the annoying thing about it – although not as many that I can start to employ a team of staff to cater to my every whim.

Below is an image of my smashwords dashboard which shows sales from my books


This does not take into account sales from Amazon or paperback sales which are all done separately  but as you can see Diary of The Depressed Moose has sold 13 copies since 10th August. However all my brain focuses on is that it has been downloaded 50 times. With smashwords you can preview 20% of the book and that counts as a download, this means that 37 people have downloaded the book and previewed it and then not purchased it. This makes that little voice scream failure.

Stepping into the Light has sold a lot more copies but 35 of them were free copies given to people who submitted poetry.

Try as hard as I can the positive fact that 13 people have purchased the book does not seem to get through to me.

I should be screaming from the roof tops with pride that I have sold 21 books overall shouldn’t I? so why can’t I do it?

The same logic applies to my time job hunting. In 18 months I applied for over 400 jobs and was only selected for 2 interviews! Failure or rejection do not work well in the mind of someone suffering from depression!

As you know I am attempting to write a novel, it is a romance one so would appeal to a wider audience but if the truth be told I am scared of completing it and self publishing it. The fear of it failing eats away at me, in the previous two weeks I had written an average of 10,000 words a week, and yet in the past 8 days I have written 2000. I am scared of what happens after I finish. I will have no other project to work on to take my mind away from depression, as well as my obsessive need to check sales reports several times a day!

Too interested in numbers is my curse, not being able to read between the lines and see the positive is my problem.

But the good news is I am not in denial of my issues 😀

I guess I am just too damn needy for my own good. Always seeking reassurance and validation of my writing will only drive me and my friends mad.

When I am low I am needy. Receiving praise seems to work wonders for me as it would anyone I guess.


18 comments on “Feeling like a Failure

  1. I understand that obsessive need to check, buy you are doing really well so far, and done much more as far as publishing and sales go than many people. And another one on the way, you deserve a good pat on the back for what you’ve achieved so far, well done!


  2. You should definitely try seeing how your books are doing on Amazon instead! I know a lot of people that don’t like buying ebooks because they like to have the real article in their hands (I’m one of them, tbh), so I expect more have sold that side 🙂

    When I downloaded my free copy, I downloaded two different versions of it – are you sure that doesn’t count as separate downloads as well? Maybe the people who are downloading are getting it in more than one format. That’s a much more positive idea than thinking people just previewed it and fled.

    I also bought a paper copy of “Stepping into the Light” recently! I wanted to own it but haven’t actually had time to read any of the poems in it yet because I’m swamped with other books I’ve been sent to test. Have a little more pride in yourself!


  3. that is part of being a writer,artist, or any talent that is put on display. If you want to write then you have to not allow yourself to over think the numbers. You did a great job Garry!


  4. Just the fact that you published not 1 but 2 books is in its self a huge accomplishment. You stepped up and did something a lot of people (like me) would never have the courage to do. So pat yourself on his back! 🙂


  5. Like Red said…. take pride in the fact you published a book AT ALL. Your book isn’t going to be available for a limited time only… it is still very early days… I actually think the number you have sold is pretty impressive! But then I’m on the outside and don’t have Mr Feeling of Failure on my back with regards to you. You do good, Garry. Even on songpop :p


  6. Are you sure all your downloads are tried & didn’t buy on Smashwords? On the Dashbooard it states, “Downloads: How many times your book has been downloaded here at Smashwords.com. (Includes free samples, and when a customer downloads more than once, or more than one format. Excludes copies you downloaded yourself.)”

    Since you have multiple copies of your book uploaded, perhaps people are downloading it more than once to get the changes? Not that this is going to make you feel less of a moodical moose but at least it would mean less people viewed your book without purchasing. 🙂

    My suggestion: read “on Writing – Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King. Great book on the task of writing! It is not your run-of-the-mill don’t use adverbs & a comma goes here boredom! Mr. King tells his story as he helps you learn – and I did learn a lot. I have to listen to my editor now because honesty his insistence on reading some things have helped me! (I adore a good Stephen King read even if he isn’t making the cross-hairs stand up on the back of my neck.)


  7. You really are doing great. Like Bourbon says – it’s early days as far as the books go and I think you’ve done well so far.

    You have to plug away at these things and just keep on going. Trust in yourself and your awesomeness 🙂

    WeeGee xx

    PS – one of my many talents is CVs and job apps. Happy to help out – you just have to shout up and I’ll be there xx


  8. Moose you are doing great!! I know only too well how the negatives stand out much more than positives, and the feeling of failure is horrible, sorry you’re feeling low at the moment. 😦 However, (and this will be pretty hypocritical, but still good advice) try to look for the good in situations instead of the bad…you’ve written and published TWO books, working on a third, you’ve got a great blog with lots of followers…I know book sales aren’t going as well as you had hoped, but you’ve sold some, and like the others have said, it hasn’t been long since you published them so stick at it! xx


    • thanks sweetie. I did a count of all sales today over the 3 sites and it cheered me up no end. Despite the fact someone has listed one of books on amazon for £17.60 lol thats nearly 3x what I charge..


  9. Well, you could always start another novel, like me. I’ve got three, none of which are near being complete. Only one of them has a finished draft. And I’ve just decided that my newest idea will probably be the best one to release for a first-time author, so now it’s almost back to the drawing board. It’s hard to motivate myself sometimes because I don’t know if it’ll be good, and I don’t know where it’s going.


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