(a language warning on this one, folks!)
Publishing is a funny business – one where it’s almost entirely about gut and instinct, where doing a great job doesn’t necessarily translate to sales, and hinging on the whim of taste, trends, and that all important (and yet fully undefinable) ‘discoverability’. It’s no wonder that it can be a bit of a roller coaster for everyone involved – from the author through to the final proofreader.
It’s all very easy to talk big, to pretend everything is OK, to know intellectually about what can and can not be controlled. But insecurity is a funny thing, and you are going to experience it.
So what do you do when it’s dark, and you’re alone, and tired, and the demons start to crowd in?
- Keep Your Friends Closest
Find your tribe – these are the people who understand, who’ve been there, who know whether you need wine, chocolate, a hug, or a swift kick in the butt. Find them and use them. Call them, lean on them, support them in turn. Make sure that you have people who love you and make them your first port of call when the gremlins come to play.
- Create and Maintain a ‘Happy’ Folder
It can be physical or it can be digital, but in it goes every positive email, every good review, every tweet, screenshots of every Facebook post or Goodreads 5-star review, every thing that you’ve ever seen or received about you or your work that made you smile. It doesn’t matter if it came from your dad, your fourth-grade teacher, or an anonymous reviewer on Amazon – it goes in the folder. This is not ego-stroking; this is your armour for war, and it needs to be as strong as you can make it. And when you need it, you take the time to pull it out and read it, to remind yourself of the people you have touched, and why you do what you do.
- Create a Kick-Ass Playlist
Everything you need to pump yourself up. I’ll kick you off with two of my personal motivation favourites:
- Create a Motivational Wall
Doesn’t have to be a wall – it can be a folder like your ‘happy’ folder, or a peg board, or digital wallpaper, or it can be an entire room. Fill it with words and pictures that inspire you, motivate you, make you smile. Then look at it.
Here are a few of mine:
Go forth and be awesome!