Stress Toy

I was talking to John last night and I asked him if he thought I’d been more unhappy since we started the press. It might seem silly to have to ask someone else but it’s hard to get perspective on something like that because when you’re frustrated everything looks bleak and when you’re elated everything is grand. But he says, yes, I’ve been more unhappy, especially lately.

When we started out it was a lark, an experiment. How much could people expect from us just starting out anyway? But I think maybe we did too good of a job and expectations are running high. We’ve tried really hard to make everything look as professional as possible and I think we’ve had good success with that. Plus the works themselves are absolutely top-notch. We’ve done everything on a shoe-string budget but it really doesn’t show. However I think it’s created pressure for the company to perform at a level that maybe isn’t within our reach right now. Maybe I’m just doing it to myself and expecting too much but I feel like so many people are counting on us to do great things and I don’t want to let them down.

Actually I think that July has been our best non-convention sales month so far. Oddly it’s the first two titles that are really picking up in sales now, a testament, once again, to how long it takes to get the word out. It’s all about perspective I guess. When we started out I was surprised when anyone bought a book, now I can visualize what it would be like if we had a good chunk of money to work with. Really the company is doing well but I need to strike a balance. I’m struggling keep things fun but instead it’s become work. I need to concentrate on what we’ve done instead of what we haven’t or can’t do. I have to realize that no matter how hard we work sometimes things are going to go wrong and that sometimes no amount of time and effort can make up for a lack of money. Turning fun things into work is a problem I’ve always had and would be dealing with publishing company or no. But I definitely need some new strategies to keep myself from stressing out. That’s got me thinking about Arnzen’s story Stress Toy…but I really don’t recommend his version of a stress toy as a good solution.

Raw Dog Bite #31
John is found of referring to people as Hellmongers. There really are a lot of Hellmongers out there…especially on the roads.

current mood: stressed