TAKE A LONG VIEW
Try not to get hung up on how a book does during release. If you’re saying a book is a flop after 2 weeks or a month… you’re giving yourself heartache for no reason.
That book has literally THE REST OF YOUR LIFE to do its awesome thing. It might even still be earning for your grandchildren, long after you're in your grave. That's amazing.
It’s okay to be bummed, but don’t feed that feeling. Ban yourself from looking at your analytics for a week. Stop checking your rank or looking at your reviews. Remind yourself of the big picture – your author dreams. Why you're doing this. Every book is one step closer to achieving that dream.
This single thing – stepping away from your data for a week – will probably help immensely.
FOCUS INWARD INSTEAD OF OUTWARD
I usually find looking at the success of fellow authors and reading stories of how they did it and checking out how great their ranks are super inspiring… except when I’m feeling low. Then it's the pits.
That’s nothing on them, because other authors succeeding is awesome and lifts us all – it’s on me and the way I feel. So step away from that for a bit, too.
Instead, focus inward at your own goals and dreams. Think about the books you're writing – are you happy with them? Can you picture yourself writing these books for the rest of your life? What's a dream project you've always wanted to do? Remember why you write in the first place – for the joy of telling stories. Hold your future author dreams in you mind - create an image of them and use that to guide you, instead of what others are doing.
REMEMBER THAT YOU'RE AWESOME
When making decisions about future books, start by reminding yourself who you are as an author and why readers come to you. Go read a few of your positive reviews – that helps!
Starting from a position of celebrating your voice and your achievements is a good place to make decisions about future books if something has gone wrong.
CHANGE UP YOUR PROCESS
You may find changing up your writing process will help give you a creative jolt, and stop you staring at the screen going, “What’s the point?”
You might try a new outlining method, or sprinting with other authors, or writing at a cafe instead of your house. You might try a completely different project or genre. Anything to get you excited.
TALK ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL
Don't bottle up all the doubts or they'll continue to haunt you. Talk about how you feel with other writers, or your family and friends, or a therapist or writing coach if that's your jam.
Sometimes you just need someone to metaphorically slap you around the head and say, “you’re doing great! You don’t have to conquer the whole world in a day, you silly womble. Sit back and ENJOY what you’ve achieved – you don’t have to push for more, more, more all the time.”
Accept that they’re right. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Have a hard talk to yourself about managing expectations and seeing how far you’ve come. I ordered all my books from Amazon and lined them up on a shelf in our living room and there are over 40 of them. 40! And I get to write stories for a living. Guys, life is awesome.
GIVE YOURSELF A GODDAMN BREAK
If you are reading this article in 2020, you are currently in a state of 'trying to work during a global pandemic.' You might be trying to work while worrying about finances, or with kids at home running wild, or with a partner or family member who is sick or who has lost their livelihood.
This year especially, do whatever you can to take away the pressure you put on yourself.
VIEW EACH BOOK AS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
Sure, your book might've been a disaster, but you learned things! You learned that this particular combination of factors = disaster.
And learning things in business and life is great, and you can apply the things you learned to your new series and new releases. A book written and published is never a waste. You’ll be earning from that series for years to come.
Having a long-term view of things really helps you get through the short-term disappointments.