Toiling in anonymity. For a writer, it's the worst thing that can happen.
I've made certain choices in my relatively young writing career that have no doubt aided in this sad state I find myself in. The question now is: can I lie in the bed that I've made and be content? I'm happy to say that, yes, I can! Good ol` optimism, eh? Simultaneously mankind's greatest strength and weakness.
I'm optimistic for another reason, because I know that my relative obscurity and "lack of success" can be attributed to me and me alone. At least 90%. Why? Because it's all about what I haven't done. I remain optimistic, because I know that this part of my writing career, like the actual writing itself, is entirely under my control.
All I do now is write, and even then I am 100% certain that I could write more than I do. So, wake up and write more, you lazy dummy! This is something under my powers of control; whether I want to do it is up to me.
I also don't do nearly enough marketing or social networking for it to even matter. So why should I bitch and complain that nobody knows who I am or what I write? That's not their fault, it's mine. Again, something I can control. All I can do is put out the best stories I can and market them the best that I can. If I've done all that I can possibly do and have exhausted every last bit of my time and talents and still no one buys my books, then I might have a reason to feel a little self-pity. But if all I do is write and publish and nothing else and still whine about not getting noticed, then I have absolutely no reason to complain.
It's all on me—no one else. Can I do my part to help bolster my reputation rather than just sitting and waiting for things to fall into my lap? We shall see if I actually smarten up, or simply become another casualty of the self-publishing environment.