How many times have you found yourself questioning why you continue to stick to an industry that seems impossible? Why continue to put forth the effort when it seems the payoff is never going to happen? As a writer who has been in the industry for six years, let me share why I continue to stick with it. Because it’s my dream.
Yes, it’s frustrating.
Yes, I have my moments where I’m on the verge of walking away but I know I won’t. I won’t because when I do, the only person I’m giving up on is myself.
It all boils down to remembering why you started. You started because it was your passion. It was your dream.
We are writers. It’s what we do. However, it’s easy to lose sight of the writing when we get sucked into everyone else’s success. We compare ourselves. We read our work and think it’s not good enough. But look back throughout history and the writers who were told they would never amount to anything and now we consider them legends.
They may have thought about quitting – I can almost guarantee they did – but then remembered why they couldn’t.
Recently, I reached out to a few authors who I admire. They all have multiple titles published and been in the indie business for quite some time. Here’s what they wanted to share with writers who feel like they’re in a slump.
Don’t get stuck in a rut.
“The very same week I won the Utopia Author of the Year award, I was told that a book I was pitching to various publishers wasn’t of “mainstream” quality. So, yes, I absolutely know what a fickled and frustrating industry this can be. Why then do we keep on? Where do we find the motivation? We find it in the beauty of pursuing our passion and doing what we love. That is a path few get to follow. My advice? Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a rut. This is an industry that demands change and evolution. Be vigilant in trying new things, exploring fresh ideas in both your writing and marketing efforts. Seek out writing retreats, or author signings as well. Connecting with our community is a fantastic way to reignite your enthusiasm to write.”
~ Stacey Rourke, Author of the Unfortunate Soul Chronicles
Stay the course!
“If a person gets the opportunity to chase their dream, that’s an amazing and epic thing. That dream for me is being an author. As writers, we get to create worlds and characters, to bring our imaginations to life. As most of us aren’t independently wealthy, we want our dream to be profitable or at the very least not break the bank.
The market is always changing. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up and easy to be discouraged. But being an author and writing books is a marathon, not a sprint. If you were fortunate enough to find early and huge success, that is awesome. But for the rest of us, it’s our habits that will make or break us. The best advice I’ve ever heard in this industry came from Katy Regnery. I listened to her speak on a podcast called The Connective Collective a few years ago. The podcast isn’t around anymore, but her words stuck with me. “Keep your head down and write,” she said.
And it is that simple. Make good habits. Write some every day if you can. Set hours if that’s possible. Join a writing spring group or get a buddy to write with you. Find friends and authors who can uplift you. Avoid negativity and drama at all costs. Keep your head down. Write the book you want to read. Keep querying if you want to go the traditional route. Keep learning. Get better at what you do. Learn how to market. Learn how to make successful ads. Listen to podcasts. Go to conferences if you can. But most of all, enjoy what you do. Because if you love what you’re doing, it’ll show in your work. And it’ll pay off in the end.
Stay the course.”
~Casey L. Bond
“Hi, all! I want to thank Brandy for asking me to contribute here, and quickly introduce myself. I’m Tish Thawer, bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance author, best known for my Witches of BlackBrook series. When Brandy asked me to share advice for authors who’ve been at it for a while, but may feel like throwing in the towel, my first thought was… “How would my advice differ for authors at others stages of their career?” And the answer was… it wouldn’t.
My advice is for all writers, whether you’re just starting out, been at it for years and feeling as though you’re still “in the slump” or break-through authors who’ve finally had their big “I’ve made it” moment and that advise is… just keep writing! I know it sounds cliché, and you’ve probably heard it a million times. And while it is true, my reasons may be a bit different than you think.
Yes, we’ve all heard the adage, “Your best marketing tool is your next book” and while I absolutely believe that, for me, the suggestion to ‘just keep writing’ has more to do with your state of mind than your numbers. Let’s pause here…
I was once on a panel at RT where I proclaimed that my idea of success was probably very different from others on the panel, mainly because I didn’t write for the money. Well, as you can imagine, that got a lot of varied reactions. Some of the panelists agreed, while others graciously did not. Saying, that if they couldn’t make money at it, then they wouldn’t be doing it. I’m here to tell you, either is OKAY… and that’s the point. Write because you love it, even if you haven’t honed your craft yet. It will come. Write because you have a character in your head that just won’t go away. The story will come. Write because you are looking for financial gain. The money will come.
Success may not happen fast and may require extra steps like reading a “How To” book to perfect your sentence structure or listening to an online marketing course to gain the understanding of how to reach those readers, etc. But if you invest in yourself and just keep writing… it will come.
Now, that’s not to say you have to force it. I’m definitely not about that! In fact, I once wrote an article regarding the exact opposite that you can read HERE! What I’m saying is… find things that continue to inspire you and just keep going no matter the reason. You cannot become a prolific writer if you stop writing halfway through your journey.”
~ Tish Thawer, author of the Witches of BlackBrook series.