Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Tortoise and the Hare...

The biggest piece of advice I can give to any author or writer anywhere, including myself, is this:

You are NOT in a race. This isn't about who gets published first, who writes the most, who has the most readers, who has the most sales. Honestly, it isn't. If you find yourself getting caught in the trap of, "So-and-so is doing really well - I need to step up my work and catch up," then know that the only reward for that sort of thinking is misery, burn-out, and more jealousy.

If you aren't happy where you are right now, what makes you think you'll be happy with just a little bit more?

How to convince people, though, that what they're doing--what they're capable of--is enough? That their honest effort, even if it isn't as much as someone else's, is what counts?

You must measure hustle, not sales. The effort you are putting into your work NOW is what is most important. Stop thinking about how everyone else is doing! You'll never be happy if you're constantly in competition with them.

The satisfaction you feel when you look back on a month of honest effort is something to journal about. And make sure you do, because those journal entries will become words of strength when you're struggling.


Getting off of my soap box. :-)

Oh, one last thought: slow and steady wins the race. Don't act like the hare; be the tortoise. :-)


  1. As my kids would say, "Everything is a competition."

  2. Great post Andrea!

    So last night I came to a realization (correct me if I'm wrong). That "getting a book out there" is the just the tip of the iceberg. There's marketing, selling, etc. Now I'm not averse to doing all that. In fact, I really enjoy it if I believe in what I'm marketing. But I wondered if it's okay to have a book out there simply to say it's there and if people want to buy it, great. Is that loser-ish to think that? I just decided there's too much in life I don't want to give up to put into book energy that is just a small part of who I am. And also I am getting too caught up in the publishing end of things that I am forgetting I used to love crafting stories for the sake of crafting stories.

    I would love to hear your perspective on this.

    1. You're right - it's just the tip of the iceberg. The problem is, there's always something more to do, once the book gets published. Personally, I like to publish, do ONE promotion, then let the book sit. It's totally fine to put the book up and then not stress about spreading the word. Honestly: readers find it when they find it. Would they find it earlier, if you talk a lot about it? Possibly. But if you burn out in the process, was it worth it?

      Burning out is horrible. Going the speed you need is better. Sometimes, pushing to do more is good - it gets you over blocks. But pushing when you really can't do more is not a good thing.

      How many books do you have published? I wouldn't really stress about marketing and promoting until you've got at least five out.

    2. Thanks Andrea. That helps me out a lot. When I look at other successful self-pubbed authors, it seems like they have a million publicity things going. And good for them, but I just can't picture myself doing that right now. I like the idea of one big promotion instead of a ton of activity. It's not that I don't want to put in the effort, but it's the most realistic scenario since I'm running a memoir publishing business, too. I really appreciate and admire you. You're super nice and helpful to other writers. I hope this karma comes back to you tenfold. Have a great day!

    3. Oh, and I haven't published yet. But I am taking the steps to get one of my babies out into the world. :-)

    4. Yay for moving towards publishing!

      Oh, and yay for karma. Hope there's enough to go around. :-)

  3. Glad to have been invited to your blog.