Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Doubting Success

Most of us have had those moments of doubt, usually when we're mired in our latest work and wonder if anyone will want to look at it.  It feels off, and our phone isn't lighting up with offers for sales and TV interviews.  Maybe it's a grey day outside and our fridge is bare.  We have yet to sell anything, or our last work was a total bust, so we start to doubt whether or not we'll ever make it.

Truth be told, as harsh as it is, most of us are unlikely to achieve great success.  Tons of writers are so obscure that they'll never amount to much.  However, if you go in expecting that outcome, you can be sure that's the outcome you'll get.

It requires a certain amount of both naiveté and arrogance to truly believe you'll be the one who makes it, but it's essential to chugging along on those rainy days when your friends are out watching movies and you're at your desk writing.  If you believe it's for nothing, your work will reflect that.

Believing in your success also hinges on the amount of work outside of writing you're willing to do.  Did you set up a marketing plan?  What's your strategy to get into publications for review?  Did you buy ISBNs?  Are you willing to sit alone in a bookstore for hours while no one comes by your table?  These things are dreary, but they make potential success so much more believable, for the true work of getting your stuff out there is in that.  Remember, writing is easy, but selling is boring...yet essential.

So go ahead and occasionally indulge in that fantasy of what it'll be like when you're the main speaker at your local writing conference.  Or better yet, what it'll be like when you're on Good Morning America.  Don't let it consume you, but it's okay to flirt with such things now and again.  After all, they can provide motivation as well, and the work that comes from that can lead to the success you seek.

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