If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you *think* about it. ~Mary Engelbreit
I know of writers who are paralyzed while writing, afraid of what others will think of their work. I'm usually able to get past that fear by turning up the music, turning off the noise of the internet, and letting myself get lost in the world of my characters. I've come to accept I'm not as good of a writer as I'd like to be. But I do my best. That's all I can do. Some people will like my writing and some won't. And that's okay. My job isn't to write a book *everyone* will love. My job is to write a book to the best of my abilities in an only a way I could tell it. I'm not saying it's always easy. Hell no. But I seem to be able to push through the fear, most of the time, and do what I need to do.
In THE BREAKOUT NOVELIST, Donald Maass says, "Having something to say, or something you wish us to experience, is what gives your novel force. Identify it. Make it loud. Do not be afraid of what's burning in your heart. When it comes through on the page, you will be a true storyteller."
I love that. "Do not be afraid of what's burning in your heart." Mmmmm... I will have to play that line on repeat when I eventually dive into revisions on my latest YA.
For me, the fear and worries come along after the writing is done. Long done. Usually, when the book is about to hit the shelves, which is sort of ridiculous, because at that point, there isn't anything I can do.
I'm trying hard to battle those fears and worries as the release date of THE DAY BEFORE draws near. How?
1) By limiting my time on social network sites. About now, twitter starts to make me crazy. Every tweet about a fantastic book trailer reminds me that I don't have one and makes me anxious that I should. Every tweet about a book released in June reminds me there are lots of good books coming out in June and makes me wonder how mine will ever get noticed. Every tweet about a starred review makes my heart long a little more for one of my own. I could go on and on. When social networking starts to hurt me more than it helps me, it's time to let it go and not feel bad about it.
2) By focusing on the good stuff, and saying thanks for them. Thank you for another book published. Thank you for my loyal readers (whether there are 4 or 4,444) who are excited about another book from me. Thank you for the opportunity to spend my days writing, and making an income off that work. Thank you, always, thank you.
3) By reminding myself of what I have accomplished instead of always thinking about what others have accomplished that I haven't. Easy to say. Harder to do.
4) By doing things that feed my soul - exercise, nature walks, movies, spending time with loved ones, and yes, writing. It seems some authors deal with the angst by being on-line more. Tweeting more, blogging more, giving stuff away, etc. etc. I don't find that works well for me. But you know, that's me.
5) By reminding myself that my worth as a human being is not tied up in how well my book sells. If my book doesn't sell well, it doesn't mean I am a bad person or even a terrible writer. There are too many factors at play for poor sales to really mean any ONE thing.
6) By celebrating the success of others. It is REALLY important to be happy for the success of other authors. I want to put that positive energy out there. It's good for everyone, me included.
7) By finding ways to help other people. I find when I'm stuck inside my head too long, the best thing I can do is look for an opportunity to do some good in the world. There are so many people with far bigger problems than I have, and I should be spending time trying to help some of those people.
8) And finally, by reading this quote, from author Sara Zarr, over and over and over again:
"A book is a wonderful, miraculous thing, but in some sense, it's also just a book."
Anything you would add to the list?
Thank you for a wonderful post! I'm bookmarking it to read and re-read as my book approaches release. Best of luck in June!ReplyDelete
Beautiful list, Lisa. I have nothing to add except my bestest wishes for THE DAY BEFORE. Be proud of all the beautiful things you've accomplished!ReplyDelete
This is a terrific post. Thank you!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this post. It brought a wise perspective.ReplyDelete
Beautiful post, Lisa. All great things to keep in mind regardless of where you are in the writing journey :-)ReplyDelete
I love this! I have a book coming out in June too. Ugh.ReplyDelete
What an awesome post! I look forward to checking out your book in June!ReplyDelete
Great post; and from one of your loyal readers, let me say your books ROCK!! Keep your chin up. You touch and help people everyday with simple words and verse strung together with heart and hope.ReplyDelete
I love everything about this post! I've come to the same conclusion often about point 5. Even if my books take forever to get published, it has no impact on my worth as a human being. We all need to be reminded of that one!ReplyDelete
And I love your book covers! So pretty! I'm new to your blog (clicked over from one of Holly Root's retweets).
I'm a newbie to the blog too, thanks to Jill's retweet! So glad I stopped by, Lisa--this was JUST what I needed today. I'm a few months from my debut release and have been feeling the spurts of angst. Your thoughts are so helpful. This one's a bookmark, for sure.ReplyDelete
Congratulations and best wishes to you!
Thanks so much for this Lisa!ReplyDelete
My book is coming out in June too and so much of this rings true. I particularly appreciated your advice to turn off the social networking, and go walking. And to find ways to give back, get involved or help others. Just to get perspective. Sara's quote was right on too.
Wishing you all the best for The Day Before.
One more: The book that really needs you is not this one but the next one. Devote your energy to it.ReplyDelete
I love this post...I really love this post.ReplyDelete
Yay! I'm with you here, Lisa. Great points, each one.ReplyDelete
Great post!! VERY inspirational!!ReplyDelete
I just found this blog thanks to a tweet from Elana Johnson :). I'm so happy that your book is coming out so soon!ReplyDelete
Excellent tips for staying sane, especially not wrapping your self worth up in your book. That's one that all of us writers need to remember.
Best of luck to you!!
Great post, Lisa!! I love your list! Thank you!! :-)ReplyDelete
Loved the post, but especially numbers 5, 6, and 7.ReplyDelete
Relax and enjoy your achievement!
Well said! I also think it's important to enjoy the moment. Let no one take that away or ruin that for you.ReplyDelete
Perfect post Lisa. This precisely describes my experience. Your advice about staying away from social media as much as possible is smart. It can really just be fuel for anxiety and jealousy.ReplyDelete
Beautiful, like you.ReplyDelete
Great post. The way I look at it is that you can be with a bunch of girlfriends talking about a movie and there are probably no two of them who like the same part or even like the same movie. Publishing is a big achievement in itself. I hope you can enjoy the ride.ReplyDelete
Fabulous post. I'm so glad Elana directed me to it. Congrats on your newest book release in June! :)ReplyDelete
I SO needed this! My book comes out in Sept, and I'm trying really hard not to freak out.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this post!ReplyDelete
What a helpful post! My first book has just come out and it seems I spend too much time worrying about sales. Thanks for the tips!ReplyDelete
Wonderful post, Lisa. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Thank you for this post, Lisa! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my panic. My book comes out--gracious--next week. And I'm a bit of a wreck with worry. Lots of deep breathing exercises help too. Have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
Fantastic post! Thanks so much for your inspiration! Love the quote at the end.ReplyDelete
A fantastic post! Thanks so much for your inspiration. Love the quote at the end.ReplyDelete
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