If you are an author, you have “up” days and “down” days. Unfortunately sometimes the “down” days tend to overwhelm us and as most authors will confess, myself included, there are days when we wonder why we do what we do. It’s easy to be discouraged when we dwell on these things. Here is a practical little list of things NOT TO do as an author.
How to Feel Miserable as an Author
(Or, what not to do as an author. Underline any that currently apply.)
1. Constantly compare yourself to other authors.
2. Talk to your family and friends constantly about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
3. Base the success of your entire writing career on one book.
4. Base the success of your entire writing career on book sales.
5. Undervalue your expertise.
6. Let money dictate what you do.
7. Fret over any negative reviews and rejection letters.
8. Bow to societal pressures and write what the world wants instead of what God wants.
9. Stop writing.
10. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals, to be accomplished by tomorrow.
Conversely here are some practical suggestions on what you should do as an author to remain encouraged and positive.
1. Network with other authors. It is important to network as much as possible with new and seasoned authors alike so you can learn from their successes as well as their failures.
2. Spend time with your family and friends. Don’t sequester yourself in your office, or in front of your computer screen all the time. Live life!
3. Read. Read a lot. Enjoy spending some time immersed in a good book. If you are a Christian, spend time in studying and reading the Bible. It’s nice to take the focus off of your own writing projects once in while.
4. Think of practical ways you could bless someone with your writing. Write a card, email, or a note to someone, or leave a positive comment on someone else’s blog saying how much you enjoyed their posting.
5. Give yourself away for a day. Speak in a classroom, go to a library and offer to read an excerpt out of your book. Encourage another writer.
6. Bless someone with a free gift of your book/e-book.
7. Focus only on the positive, not negative reviews. Take your best book review, photocopy it, frame it and keep it handy for encouragement.
8. Stay focused on God. Remember He is in control. Pray, and seek His will in everything you do.
10. But don’t push yourself beyond your limits. It’s okay to take some “you time” to rest, relax, and refresh yourself. The emails can wait, and the deadlines can wait (for a few days anyway).