I took a hard look at my writing accomplishments in 2014 and they’re mixed. I received a lot of positive feedback on The Case for Killing. I’ve also had strong beta reader and editorial support for False Guilt. However, sales of my first book have been modest; somewhat above average for a first time self-published author I think. And while I received some reviews, for which I’m very grateful, it’s challenging to get them.
That’s led me to ask how writers persevere. Here are eight thoughts for a writer to work with.
Recognize how perseverance contributed to other successes. My life successes have all involved dogged perseverance and its close cousin, patience. I doubt success at writing is different.
Writing gives pleasure. The challenges in writing are persistent self-doubt and finding a broad readership. But writers are not like Sisyphus rolling a rock up a hill for eternity. What they do is (or should be) enjoyable. Things like a fun plot development and seeing a character grow are significant rewards for all the pecks at the keyboard.
A writer is learning a craft. Another reward for all those pecks is that many writers will improve their writing ability.
There are writing successes to enjoy. Finishing research, an outline and especially a book are huge accomplishments that warrant chest-puffing. And if a reader says she liked your book, that’s a home run.
Learn to handle rejection. A writer shouldn’t expect to please all readers. There always will be critics and their viewpoints can offer learning. Also, if many people criticize a book, it means the book, not the writer as a person, is inadequate.
It gets easier after the first book. That’s been my experience anyway. It stands to reason that, like any pursuit, the learning curve of writing flattens.
Promotion can be learned…and enjoyed. Many writers view self-promotion as a necessary evil. However, promotion can be conquered using the vast, free online marketing resources available. And it often leads to gratifying contact with readers and other writers.
Remember how badly you wanted writing success. Pretty bad, right?
Any other thoughts?
Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze
Where to buy The Case for Killing.