I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while, but never could actually “talk” myself into doing one because of one reason or another. I don’t like looking at these feelings and they suck. So, there’s that.
But the fact of the matter is, I do feel this way sometimes. And it doesn’t matter how many people pat me on the back or tell me how much they love my writing. That’s awesome, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t change the fact that I get a bit low and feel negative about my writing and people’s thoughts on it.
Chances are, these feelings crop up when I see someone else seem to put less effort into their work and they reach the Amazon Bestseller ranks within the first week of writing. I’m told that means they have natural talent. But I have been told that too, so if that is really the case, what am I doing wrong?
Then there are the cases of seeing someone get praised for their work and it (in my opinion) doesn’t compare to some of the works I see and deserve an award. My books included.
Often times, I haven’t been sleeping well and working really hard on an MS (like now), and I just don’t feel so supported or even that if I am (and more than likely by authors worlds more talented than me), I feel like people are downgrading their standards for my benefit.
I know for a fact I’m not the only one who feels this way. Most, if not all, authors experience moments of no confidence. I think it’s just a fact of being a “starving” artist.
So, how does one combat these feelings?
Well, for one: sleep. Sounds like a no brainer, but I swear it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Seriously, have you been in the middle of something that has got you so emotionally invested that you just can’t pull yourself away from it? Yeah. It’s like that.
Two: put yourself out there more. Yeah, it’s a lot of work to promote yourself, but the thing is, the more you do, the more people will see you and become curious about you. That, in turn—hopefully—will lead to more sales and even more exposure.
Three: remember why you write in the first place. Okay so I need to take my own advice more often. CLEARLY. For me, it’s therapy, a huge release. Plus, if I don’t write, I tend to get moody. Nobody loves moody Samantha. Trust me. So to save my sanity, and the rest of the world along with it, I write.
The biggest point on this number is, yeah, it would be fantabulous to reach that bestseller rank, and clearly those people have what it takes to do that. But it’s not the reason why I started writing in the first place. I did it for me. Sharing my stories with the world is just the lactose free icing on the gluten free cake.
Do I feel better now? Yeah. I do. Perspective, you know.
So, the next time you are feeling down and out on yourself because of any number of reasons, always keep these tips in mind (particularly, if not especially, number three).