Today I’m ruminating a bit on the author life…
Author life in today’s internet-saturated era has unprecedented highs and lows. Authors get immediate feedback on books, from more readers than ever before. It’s a wonderful thing, reaching more readers–but it does come with a price tag.
If you ask anyone who knows me well, they’ll tell you I have mentioned at least once or twice (read: at least ten times) that I’ve considered quitting writing. As in, taking down the blog, the Facebook page, the twitter account, stopping in the middle of series and just walking away.
Why would an author even think this, you might wonder. Most of you are encouragers who tell authors you enjoy them and try to build them up. So what things would bruise a writer’s spirit so much they would consider quitting?
I’m sharing a couple lists below of five things that bruise and five things that bolster an author’s spirit, but if you’re an author, I hope you will please comment below and share about some of those extraordinary highs and lows. Something that always helps me get through is knowing I’m not the only author who has experienced these things!
Five Things that Bruise An Author’s Spirit:
-Finding several low reviews (1-2 stars) crop up the same day under your book on Amazon. Doesn’t matter if they didn’t make sense and are poorly worded. Just matters that you’re staring at several 1-2 stars…and so is anyone else who checks out your book. Also, to be totally honest, sometimes it only takes one to send you reeling.
-You discover you didn’t win those contests you entered…in fact, you didn’t even place. You kick yourself for spending money/putting your books out there.
-When an author “friend” stabs you in the back in the scramble to the top, or when authors form cliques you can’t even pretend to fit in.
-A family/household emergency emerges that has the power to derail you for months or even years in your writing.
-That day when you check your email for the 12th time, after a year of checking it every day, and you finally hear from that publisher who really loved your book, but wonders if you have anything else to show them?
Yes, days like these can definitely bruise an author and often make us want to quit altogether. Sometimes it feels like no one is “getting” our books or our writing style or…us.
The thing is, as authors, we are writing for readers, not purely for ourselves. So if we feel we’re missing all the marks, it seems like Game. Over.
But let’s ponder some things that bolster an author’s spirit (which is actually an artist’s spirit, when you come down to it).
Five Things that Bolster an Author’s Spirit:
-Readers who mention your books because they truly love them. They review them. They share them with others. They email you to let you know you rocked their world. Along those lines, readers who ask you when that next-in-series book is coming out, because they keep you accountable.
-Spouses/friends/children who love you and support you, no matter which hare-brained book idea you’re following at the moment.
-Author friends who stick behind you through thick and thin, ready to read your books and offer advice.
-Librarians and bookstore owners who are thrilled to support you/set up book signings.
-Other authors in your genre who enjoy your books and tell others or even endorse you.
So there you have it…what would you add to the list, author? Reader, what have you done that authors let you know made a difference?
Finally, here’s the conclusion of the matter: no matter how bruised you may feel as an author, no one can break you except yourself.