When I first started writing, I thought I’d go the traditionally published route. I’d query an agent, sign a contract, and the agent in turn would sell my manuscript. My job was over the moment the art was finished. Sure there’d be rounds of edits, and I’d get to see what cover the art department of the publishing house came up with and go to signings, etc., but the business end would be left to the agent and publishing house.
Indie authors do much more than create stories and show up at signings and cons. We own a business. We contract workers: editors, cover artists, formatters, marketing services, website design and maintenance services, and accountants to file those tricky tax forms. That alone takes up a lot of time emailing and scheduling. We also have to create (or hire someone to create) and stock marketing materials: bookmarks, cards, table toppers, signs.
Ever go to a book signing? Everything the publishing house sets up for authors, indie authors have to manage themselves.
If you’re struggling to find the time to write or motivation, I highly suggest considering traditional publishing. Indie authors must dig into that well of creativity to produce on a schedule while diligently working on the management and promotion side of being an author, if they want to sustain their business.