An author friend recently asked me how much I worry about promoting my already published books. He asked me this because he admitted that he was stressed out about the fact that he wasn’t promoting enough. And then he was equally stressed because he felt like he wasn’t doing enough writing.
I know what that feels like. And I have a remedy. Start writing again. It’s what got him published in the first place.
The second thing he was worried about was fearing that publishers wouldn’t publish any new work that he did.
Hey, as published or pre-published writers we all worry about that. But stop it. Right now! And think about why you wanted to write in the first place. Do you love telling stories? Are you in love with language? Do you love distilling emotion? Place? Hearing voices in your head and transferring them onto the page? If the answer is yes, then get writing. Stop worrying. Be happy. Yes, I’m sounding like Bob Marley, I know. And that’s a good thing (said by the woman who went to Jamaica on her honeymoon).
Look some anxiety is also a good thing. It’s what might compel me to work on a publicity campaign for a book and to think about that speech I need to write for a conference where I’m speaking in July. But too much worry isn’t good for the writer’s soul. Honestly, I have a tendency to do a big promotional push for a new release and then after a year or so I don’t stress about it. Well, a little. But not too much. And afterwards, I try to do a school visit here and there. And a few conferences but for better or worse, I concentrate on new writing. I find I only have so much energy. And I don’t worry about not getting a publisher interested right away. I just keep on with new projects, believing that one will flow for me. One will work. It just takes patience. Just believe in yourself and stick to what makes you joyful. Once as writers we start stressing then I feel like the prose tightens up and we are not writing from our best place. Concentrate on what speaks to you, and a way will eventually open up for you to share that with a larger audience.
The anxiety rut. It’s something everyone goes through no matter what stage you are in your writing career. There are peaks and valleys just like anything else. Trust that when you are in a gulley you will climb right out and get to the views on the top of that hill. But hills are sometimes hard to climb. But don’t concentrate on the huff and puff of the climb. Concentrate on the birds and the trees as you trudge up the hill because there is a LOT of hill climbing in this business.
Maybe that’s why my mother named me Hillary lol. She knew what was ahead of me.
Keep on keeping on as long as it’s giving you joy and, if it’s, not rediscover what made you joyful in the first place.