Sunday Surprise

NEVER PUT DOWN YOUR OWN WORK. Especially older books.

Some reader might think your older book is the best thing they ever read and the last thing they want is to be insulted by you putting down their tastes in books.

Keep your mouth shut, keep learning, write the next book, and get it out. Repeat.

And if you really do realize no one cares but you, the freedom in your writing is amazing.

Go have fun.

Dean Wesley Smith

What I can tell you is that I know less about writing now than when I began, and that my successes have been born of failures, and that my failures are made from just trying shit. All the time. It’s me constantly poking at this thing I do. Sometimes that means 2,000 words a day, sometimes it means 5,000 words in a day, sometimes it means no writing in a day because I’m lost in thought to it. Sometimes it means self-care. Sometimes it means I realize today’s self-care is just a crutch, and I can’t lean on it. But every day it usually means touching it, so to speak, just a little bit. It means looking at it, prodding it, not leaving the work alone. It means accepting that to do this thing I want to do, I need to do it, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and not always in one direction. Progress is not always in a forward direction. It’s too often sideways. Once in a while, it’s driving in reverse. Sometimes you go back to go forward, sometimes you spin in place for a while, just revving your engine. I don’t know.

That’s the point: I don’t know.

And nobody else does, either.

Nobody but you.

But to Delilah’s point above, there is no waste in your effort. That’s the key takeaway here — the goal is simply never to give up, and always to be doing something. Thinking, plotting, writing, rewriting, scrapping it, starting over, just fucking poking and prodding the thing. How you do that, and the form that it takes, is yours. But be assured that no effort is left on the floor. No part of it fails to teach you a lesson: even, and especially, the failures. To fail is to try. To try is to do. Most people write one book every never. Most people never even manage a paragraph, much less a scene, or a chapter, or a finished manuscript. The best thing I can tell you is to keep on keeping on. The tragedy is not in failing. The tragedy is in quitting. Persevere. And as I said before: persist.

Chuck Wendig

The manuscript you have just finished writing is not your story. Your story lives in your mind. The manuscript is a tool that takes the story from your head and puts it in my head.

The very best writers use that manuscript tool so effectively that readers can actually hear the writer’s voice as they read. That’s why so many readers have a visceral response to writers like Stephen King or Nora Roberts. (Oh, I hate them. They can’t write. Or Oh, I love them. They could tell me stories forever.) That’s why so many English students and unsophisticated writers will complain that certain bestsellers “can’t write their way out of a paper bag.” Those reviewers, students, readers, and writers are all reacting to upper-level voice, without realizing it.

Kris Rusch

We start by being happy first. Learn to be content with how things currently are for you. We often hear “don’t compare yourself to others”, and I think this falls in line with that idea. It’s hard to be content with how things are for you if you are comparing yourself to someone else.

I’m also going to say something that is probably going to upset quite a few people. It’s time to stop listening to others tell you WHAT makes an author successful. I understand that writers are looking to make money, but the pursuit of money does end up trapping us into the cycle I mentioned above. This post is talking about happiness, not money. You can have both if you learn to be content with the money you’re making. But what I find most of the time is that writers want to make more. It’s more and more. Even if they’re making a living, it’s not enough. And the marketing experts know this. This is why they sell courses teaching authors how to make more money. The illusion of money (aka success) = lasting happiness is a powerful one in the writer community, and there are some people out there who are taking advantage of that.

If your aim is to be happy for the long-term, you have to shift your mindset. I’m currently working on shifting mine. For the past couple of months, I’ve felt incredible despair about writing. I was thinking, “What’s the point in writing if I can’t sell books unless I write to market?” and “What’s the point in writing when my income keeps dropping?”

Ruth Ann Nordin

I know so many people who chase whatever worked for other people. They never truly decide what they want to do, and end up jumping from one thing to the next — trying to strike quick gold. And repetitively, they stop digging just a few feet from the gold after resigning the spot is barren.

No one will ever give you permission to live your dreams. As Ryan Holiday has said in The Obstacle is the Way, “Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.” Rather than hoping for something external to change your circumstances, mentally reframe yourself and your circumstances.

“When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.” — Wayne Dyer

You are enough.

You can do whatever you decide to do.

Make the decision and forget what everyone else says or thinks about it.

Benjamin Hardy

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