Independent authors wear many hats.
We write. Right?
That’s where it begins.
One day long ago you had an idea for a story. You summarized, analyzed, and plotted. You developed your characters and created some snappy dialogue. You researched your genre and read everything Stephen King had to say about writing. You obsessively followed Grammar Girl, determined not to make any embarrassing mistakes.
You bonded with your keyboard, day after day, pouring your soul into the lives of of your characters.
Then, one day, you finished the book. Happy day! The rejoicing and celebrating was epic. Carnival in Rio paled in comparison to the glee you felt at accomplishing this literary feat.
You summoned courage from deep in your bowels and sent the work of the ages to beta readers. They read it and gave you good feedback. And bad.
You tried not to hate them for being honest.
Then you shoved your book in the proverbial drawer—maybe even a real drawer. Probably you slammed it closed with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. You were done.
Finished. Why did you think you could write in the first place? You finally realized you were a Sargent First Class Hack.
You hid from your book. Ran from your characters. Cursed everyone you’ve ever met and their future children. You despaired because your book wasn’t what you wanted it to be, imagined it would be.
Chances are good that there was some Netflix binge-watching and not enough showering involved as you tried to outrun your book, your creativity, your hopes. Yourself.
You saw a quote somewhere that reminded you to be true to your art. You remembered who you were and you dug deep.
You owned that book. You edited like a boss. And now, now you have a masterpiece.
And it really is, right? You just know it will skyrocket to the top of the bestseller lists. But. Then you looked around at what is still on the to do list and have a panic attack.
Cover design, book blurbs, formatting, marketing. Increased heart rate.
Bloggers, Twitter, Facebook. Sweaty palms. Shortness of breath.
Pinterest. Now Periscope. Full on hyperventilation.
Wait. Periscope? Is the t a thing? You just barely figured out Tumblr and now you have to go under the sea to find readers.
For. The. Love.
Wait. Don’t give up. Here’s a paper bag. Breathe deep and slow. You got this.
Remember, everyone has their thing. The intuitive bit of genius that comes naturally. Do that. The thing that you are good at it automatically. The thing that gives you joy. Do that.
Hire out the rest. Ask for advice. Read articles. You won’t be a ninja at everything. You aren’t Superwoman. Well, maybe you are. But everyone has their Kryptonite. Even superheroes have bad days.
Slow down. Watch a series or two on Netflix. And then get back up, put your cape on and be your own superhero.
You can learn everything you need to rock this self-publishing gig. Remember, you created a masterpiece with hard work. You didn’t quit.
Maybe you are still wondering what your thing is?
You are an independent author. You face long odds everyday and still show up at the computer to march defiantly into a future that you know is fraught with challenges. Steep learning curves and not enough showers taunt you from the sidelines, but you have a dream. A dream that lives in you that won’t let you be. So embrace it. Tackle it. Sit on it and wrestle it into submission.
I’ll say it again. You got this!
Whatever it is that you choose to do next—whether it’s mastering Twitter or owning Photoshop—you are amazing.
That’s your thing and nobody can take that away.
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