My friend, Elyse Salpeter, posted a great comment on Facebook. It was an affirmation. It was a pep talk. It was well-needed for not only me, but so many others. It read:
Just a little pep-talk for myself and other writers still "trying to make it
work." First, please remember this: YOU ARE AMAZING for writing books, and
finishing them and the work & $$ you invested getting them ready for
publication. Do you have any idea how hard this is? We've written not 1, or 2
but 4, 5 & 6 novels. You should be so proud of this accomplishment, but I
think we get mired in the fact that we are now immersed in the social media
aspect of marketing and selling. This other aspect seems exquisitely set to
diminish our amazing accomplishments. So I implore you, for even a single moment
today, please forget that your success is not linked to sales, but linked to how
amazing you are for your perseverance, your dedication to your craft, and that
you will be leaving your mark on the world. You are all superstars.
Years ago, on Saturday Night Live, one of the staff, Al Franken, created a wonderful character: Stuart Smalley who was very quick to let the audience know that was NOT a licensed therapist but, instead, relied upon the credibility of his own experiences as a non-professional. He would normally close his segment of the show with "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And, doggone it, people like me!" I loved that part of the show because I'd repeat it with him. What a wonderful mantra.
As writers, we are constantly bombarded with 'critiques' of our writing. Yes, we ask for them and for some strange reason, we are constantly shown the 'wrong' or 'bad' of our work — but never, ever the good parts. Those segments of sheer excellence that makes the story memorable.
We gaze at our sales records and consider ourselves failures. Our royalty check comes in and it barely covers the cost of decent cup of coffee, or maybe, just maybe, it is enough to treat the spouse to a night on the town with dinner and a movie.
I was busy writing, fixing and editing short stories and novels. My eyes had the equivalent of horse blinders. It was a constant write, write, write. Finally one day somebody said "You should create a web page and put your content out there for others to read and purchase." Hmm? At first my mind rejected the idea because, well, I wasn't really published. At least I didn't think so. The request continued to niggle at my mind and on a lark, I decided to update my web page and list my stuff.
I was shocked!
I was published. Published all over the place and some of them I'd totally forgotten about. I tried to reconnect with all the links but some had been lost or phased out. It was then I truly realized that I was a published author with several books out - either with my name alone or shared.
So, what I'm telling you is simple. Stand back and look at what you've accomplished. You have written many stories and/or novels. Maybe you've even had some of them published. Don't short-change yourself. As Ms. Salpeter says - don't get hung up on the marketing and selling.
Again, you are an amazing person. You are a superstar. Say it with me —
I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And, doggone it, people like me!
Until next I ramble on...