Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We write because we are inspired.  We have stories rambling around in our heads and we have this great desire to write them down, and share them.  We also have the desire and ambition for success.  We have goals to actually make money from our book sales.

After completing that first book - we are filled with incredible pride and joy.  We have every right to be.  Unfortunately, those feelings don’t last all that long.  An impending question pressures us into asking, “What next?”

A feeling of doom and gloom consumes us.  Why?  We are filled with mixed emotions; excitement, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, and even frustration.  The proverbial question that is most daunting; “What if no one likes my book?”  It’s our insecurities that haunt us the most.

So many people say they are going to write a book – and never do.  You’ve done something fantastic. You were committed, worked hard, and sacrificed to accomplish this one thing.  Yet, you are allowing self-doubt, anxieties, and even fear, take you from euphoria to downright depressed.

Shake it off and step back.  Take time to compliment yourself on a job well-done.   Celebrate!  Nothing will feel like finishing that first book.  Take time to feel pride in yourself. Take time to share your success with your family and friends.  Take time to plant this feeling in your mind – so you can revisit it in the future.
There is no greater joy than to experience this sense of creativity, then sharing it with others.  The moment we think of asking, “what comes next,” deflates our exhilaration and changes to being overwhelmed – the excitement turns to uneasiness.
You’ve finally written that book – now don’t let the panic of taking the next step stop you.   It’s often the fear of failure, the frustration of not knowing which way to turn, and even the dread of being told that what you just poured your heart and soul into is – crap.

Remind yourself, you didn’t work that hard or put that much love into a story to fail.  Don’t be satisfied, or settle for knowing you wrote it – and nothing more.  Learn what comes next, follow a plan and start submitting that book for reviews.  Take the feedback and comments that will make the story better (toss the others away) and rewrite.  Then move on to the stage of finding an agent or publisher.

Let me point out here that not all writers are as successful as Dean Kuntz or Catherine Coulter.  That does not mean you are not successful.  I don’t feel I’m a failure just because I haven’t sold millions of books.  My main goal was to see my name on the cover of ‘a’ book.  I now have fourteen published books!  I’m so proud of that success.  I refuse to tarnish that feat by comparing myself to writers who have accomplished more.

Don’t let a miss-guided sense of success take away from the significance of what you’ve accomplished.  Step back and remind yourself of the ‘joy’ you felt when you typed ‘the end’ and finished that first book.  Ask yourself why you write in the first place - this should determine the value you place on success.  Find significance in what you create and celebrate it – book after book.

(Note:  Yes - I did receive the New Covey Award.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great reminder. :)

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