Writer Survival 101
By Lisa Reynolds
The life of a writer is one of hard work and trying to get your work noticed. In such a highly populated field so many works are passed over simply because readers can only read so much at any given time. But if you keep going, you never know what is around the corner. So “Writer Survival 101” is not so much about how to get your books sold but more about how to keep going even when the sales are not what you dreamed they might be. The following is five tips to keep you smiling (and working!) when the chips aren’t rolling your way …
1. Remember Why You Began Writing In The First Place
OK, this tip is not going to be much use to you if you began writing with the main goal of becoming a best-selling author like Agatha Christie or James Patterson but it will if it wasn’t your first reason for entering the world of writing. Many successful writers including the two writers I have mentioned here didn’t achieve major success straightaway.
But something keeps writers doing what they do even when their writing isn’t exactly financing enough Cornflakes. Usually it’s a love of the craft and especially a love for the characters they create. Nine times out of ten if a writer hasn’t this love, they don’t last very long. If money was the main aim after all we’d all have went into the business world or something. So when you are feeling disappointed with how things are going, remember what it is you love about writing and why you were attracted to it in the first place. It usually puts the fire back in your belly to keep going with your chosen craft.
2. Don’t Put Down The Achievements You Have Accomplished
As humans, many of us have a tendency to look at the glass as being half full. Instead if we think positively, we’ll find that we have accomplished a lot more than we first thought. For example blogging or publishing a book are accomplishments in and of themselves without the books being a worldwide hit with their covers pasted on the side of buses. The latter would be nice of course but dwelling on what you haven’t achieved won’t do you any good. Be proud of the things you have achieved and continue with a positive attitude to continue building your achievements. Try not to look at the negatives.
3. Write More, Think Less
Instead of thinking about the last book and how it’s success is going, start into the next book. As writers we go off in our own world when we’re writing so that would help rid yourself of any negative thoughts regarding sales or your work not being noticed. Many of us worry that we haven’t marketed our books enough when in reality it’s often more because there is so much choice and competition out there that our books are often not at the top of everyone’s list. But I was given this advice from a fellow writer and, I’ll share it here, to not worry about marketing past books and to just get on and finish the next one and get it out there. And I think that’s advice worth following.
4. Cherish The Readers You Have
You might want lots and lots of people reading your work and it would be great if there was. But remember that the people that are reading your work, however many that is, are taking time to do so. And time is the most precious gift one can give. So appreciate their time and support. Value them as readers and be proud that you created something that these people out there liked. And the more you write, the more people who will become familiar with your work too so keep writing and keep valuing every new reader.
5. Don’t Envy Other Authors
By this I don’t mean things such as ‘I wish I was as successful as they were’ or ‘I wish I could write like that’. That’s more of a compliment about fellow writers and it’s grand as long as you go back to your work after and continue on. What I really mean here is procrastinating and being so envious that it makes you think that your own work is worthless and that you aren’t a good writer. Or alternatively that you copy these writers and that doesn’t work well either because a writer always writes better when it’s their own writer’s voice, when it’s from the heart. Admire other writers, be playfully envious of their talents but never let it get to a stage where you give up on your own talents.
Remember that whether huge, in-between or small success is in the future that you have a voice and so much opportunity nowadays to get your work out there. Don’t give up on that. Though it might not seem it at times, you have a gift. Share it and don’t deprive the world of what you have to offer.
I hope you enjoyed this post “Writer Survival 101.” If you did, do let me know what your “Writer Survival 101” tips would be in the comments below.
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