For most of my life this has been instilled in me. I was raised to dream and work hard to make it happen. When grow up in a destitute area such as Chester, PA you need dreams and writing became my escape from reality. When you dream (well, at least I dream) you reach for more, the impossible seems more tangible. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming…it’s the waking up that sucks.
A few months ago I released my first novel into the world. After the years it took to finally hit that PUBLISH button my mind had come up with a million and one scenarios as to how my release day would go. I dreamed big or as big as my non-existent budget would allow. Release day came and…#101,000 in Kindle sales. For me that was sweet. A debut, self published author with no budget almost cracking into the 100,000s was awesome…then I started to obsess over the number.
Needless to say I allowed the Amazon algorithm to get in my head, to define me as writer as that number I had been so proud of plummeted hour by hour, day by day. Being competitive it was hard not to take that as a sign of how awful I was. But it has nothing to do with your skill. It certainly doesn’t reflect how hard you work to put out something you’re proud of.
What you can do at this moment when you bucket holding your confidence is punctured is take a step back. Take notice. See what worked for you. Was it advertising? Was it blog work? For me it was word of mouth and the little snippets offered up on Instagram. For my next release I’ll hit these harder as well as trying different avenues that I wasn’t able to the first time. This wasn’t a failure, just a learning experience.
Another learning experience was recognizing my competitive nature was not helping. Checking my ranking on and off left me stagnant. There’s still the rest of my series to get out. Watching the chart did not put words on the paper. I had to step back and let it go. Queen Elsa was right. Let it go! If it’s not supporting your craft let it go.
Keep dreaming big. Shoot for the stars. If things don’t go how you planned…Switch up! Learn from your stumbling blocks. Until next time have a writeous day!
Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.