f I could summarize some of my best or perhaps favorite blogposts into one sentence it would be: Lessons I learned along the way in self publishing. Some of them are lessons I wish I’d learned before I decided to self publish, but I write about them now, so hopefully authors after me will not make my same mistakes. I think it would be impossible not to make any mistakes in this business, self publishing is tricky at the best of times and the process by which you do it is different for everybody. Nobody’s journey is the same, but there are probably going to be some things we will all have in common, and in that respect, whatever advice I can give to help my fellow authors avoid some of the pitfalls I tripped headfirst into, I will.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned and really this applies for writing on the whole: If you can try not to have any expectation of how good or bad you’re work will do.
This may sound contradictory to what a lot of people will tell you, putting positive vibes into the universe and all that, but the problem is, if you’re like me, you were hoping for the stars and so naturally when that didn’t happen, you’d be disappointed. If you have almost little to no expectation, any sale is a blessing. (Surprisingly for as much as I like to dream big, I actually tried not to have any expectations for books 1 and 2 and so I’m always excited when I get a sale, regardless).
The second lesson and this is perhaps one of the hardest for writers is: It’s not for you to decide whether or not your good.
Artists are our own toughest critics, as I evidenced in my blogpost a few days back MDNA & Me. All artists, everywhere second guess ourselves, question whether or not something is good, and we’re almost never happy no matter what. But eventually there’s a certain point where we have to say (at the very least) that was the best I could do at the time. It doesn’t mean I can’t do better now, or that I won’t grow, but… it was the best I could do at the time, and if you can say that and mean it, then nothing else matters. Ultimately you have two choices as an artist. You can spend you’re whole life debating whether or not something is good enough to put out there, or you can just do it, and you know what those who will love it are going to love it regardless and those who are going to hate it, would have hated it no matter what. You have too much to do to live in fear of what-if this or what-if that. It doesn’t mean that fear just goes away… but courage is not the absence of fear, it is the realization that there is something else more important than that fear.
Finally, and this is just as important: Have a support system.
This isn’t so much something I’ve had to learn the hard way as much as it is common sense advice. This can be a lonely, isolating world. Writers isolate themselves for the sake of their art as a matter of routine and sometimes all that alone time can lead to depression and self doubt and worst of all self loathing, you have to remember to get out, hang out with friends and people who love you and most of all people who support your dreams, because there are always going to be people who will say you can’t do it, and feeling as though you’re the only one who thinks you can, isn’t fun nor is it healthy. If all else fails however, just remember, that I believe in you.