Struggling authors, please read.

By Kyle Perkins.

 

So lately I have heard from a few people that they feel like they should just give up on writing because for whatever reason, they are feeling like it just isn’t worth it anymore. Whether they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention, don’t have enough fans, or whatever the case may be, they are wrong, and here’s why.

Writers and authors have a gift, and because we have that gift, we have an obligation, a responsibility to use it. We may “just” arrange words in such a fashion that people enjoy reading them, but a heart surgeon “just” transplants hearts, and astronauts “just” go to space. We need to stop treating writing like it is simply a hobby that “anyone” can do, because that’s not the case. We “just” take people to places they can’t go on their own, and give them a form of escapism they cant find themselves. We are imagination sherpas, guiding readers along new paths in an unmapped world. The world needs us as much as we need the trash man right up to spinal surgeons. We all have a certain skill set that is no more important or less important than any other skill. We need to stop selling ourselves short as a community of people, and see ourselves for what we are, which are artists.

Everyone has self doubt, even famous authors, musicians, and actors. Self doubt can be crippling, but it can only be if you allow it. The people that get by and make it are people that have that same self doubt, but release their work and keep going, never listening to that voice in their head that tells them that they aren’t good enough. All authors are “good enough,” we already put ourselves out there to the masses and left ourselves out to dry, weathering their criticisms and praises. If you’re an author and you’ve done this, the hard part is over. Now all that you have to do is keep writing. No matter what you think about yourself, or if that voice tells you that you’re no good, there are people out there that will think you are the most brilliant author that has ever lived. Those are the people you want. That’s your fan base. Some people will absolutely despise your work, and they let themselves be known, which is great! They are not your fan base, you are not writing for them. So, why does it even matter if they hate you?

If you can connect with one person a day, even one person a week as an author, you are doing fantastic. Being an author isn’t a race, and if you treat it like one, you’re setting yourself up for failure, because we don’t all run at the same speeds. Instead, take it slow, build real connections with real people, and they will love you as an author and be your fan for life. Hollow Facebook “likes” mean nothing over a true fan that admires you and your work, trust me.

I know a lot of you see some people on Facebook “making it” and you feel a little bit down about yourself when you compare your progress to theirs. Well, I’ll let you in on something… Facebook means absolutely nothing. Facebook is massive, the biggest social media site on Earth, however, the indie community isn’t. The Facebook indie community is an entirely closed circuit of the same people. People come and go from it, but it is pretty much all the same people. There are so many sites and avenues to take your work down, that you shouldn’t focus on what’s happening on Facebook and use it as a gauge for success. For the people that are doing great on Facebook, awesome! Never feel overwhelmed by those people, though. They are just like you, except they worked hard to build this presence over time, or have great marketing, but they are in the same closed circuit as you. They may have gotten these fans first, but they surely won’t be the last, and readers never follow JUST one author. So keep your chin up, your work will speak for itself, and though they may follow these people, it doesn’t mean they won’t follow you, just give them time to discover you.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that not having a million fans within three months of writing isn’t the end of the world. The important thing is that you keep writing, and coming up with new material for the fans you DO have. Those people, the true fans, they will be there with you until the end, and one real fan that you connect with, is worth a thousand hollow likes or contest wins. If you even have a single fan, you owe it to them to keep going, that’s someone that totally believes in you. Don’t let your own self doubt let them down. Also, don’t discredit your fan base because it’s smaller than others you have seen. You will get there, and those people will help you along the way. They are with you because you left a mark on their soul, don’t make it a scar. You owe it to yourself and them to keep going.

Our words inspire people and change them, but we need to set aside some time to inspire ourselves. =)

 

 

0 thoughts on “Struggling authors, please read.

  1. Grayson Perry once said, ‘You’re not going to make good art if you’re loading it with expectations of income or praise or respect. Expectations will make your art a burden, and most importantly, it must not become something that tortures you.’
    I love what you said about that one fan, if we write for them, than that’s enough, even if it’s my mum. Thank you.

  2. Reblogged this on Barb Caffrey's Blog and commented:
    I found this blog via Chris the Story-Reading Ape, and was glad to come over, read it, and now recommend it myself via this reblog. Kyle has some interesting insights as to why writers need to keep writing and I enjoyed his blog immensely.

  3. You just nailed it with this blog, dearest!
    Thank you for sharing it because your honest words means so much for other writers out there who are broken and frustrated as their future plan for writing are not as not as worth it as they want it to be.
    Years ago, I would have thought the same about writing, to which was a hobby in the first place, having the fun as a young girl to write diary or journal in the first place before plunged myself seriously in writing genre.
    Now, I write because I love it, because it is part of me, because it helps me in so many ways and I do not want to think too much about how many fans I got or not. But one never give up for not trying again and again to reach your goal.

    Yes, never give up on our dreams as it is already part of you!

    Thank you for this!

    (✿◠‿◠)

      1. You are welcome, Kyle.
        I think all of us had been through that same level of experiences as writer.
        But then, I did realized that to strive too much wanting the ‘impossible’ had made my own mind & heart towards writing the more Impossible than it was before.

        I keep on writing no matter what – because I just so love it and I am part of it. It helps me to be a better human being at the same time, helping me a lot better than any therapy, I guess (LOL) and heals me along the journey into the unknown.

        This blog nailed it right!

  4. Thank you so much for your post. I’ve been struggling with my share of self-doubt lately so this was a welcome read. I also reblogged it for my other writer (and artistic) friends who battle the self-doubt, too.

  5. Reblogged this on Sophie E Tallis and commented:
    This is SO true! All us writers are often plagued by self-doubt and from time to time we do feel like giving up, that we’re wasting our time and spilling our guts onto paper just for them to be lost in the ether amongst all the other millions of writers vying for attention. But is so important that we cherish our own personal journey and keep going, here’s why…

      1. Well, as someone who, although I have a novel published and several short stories, I have been struggling and struggling to finish book 2 (my publishers are beyond patient and have probably given up on me), I really needed to read this today. Thank you! I am SUCH a dreadfully slow writer, glacially slow, that while my friends and fellow authors whisk off one or two books every year and others seem to hit it big, I always feel I’m lagging behind, plodding away in the slow stream. It can be very difficult to stay motivated and keep that self-belief at times. So again, thank you!!!! <3

  6. Reblogged this on The World of The Teigr Princess and commented:
    Even authors who have been publishing their work for a while have doubts.

    There are times when the sales are non existent and the e-book parasites are getting more downloads of your books than you are…
    When the words won’t flow, or they flow but you’re certain that they’re rubbish.
    When you don’t have the money to pay for an editor and have to ask around to see if anyone will do you a favour… and you find yourself trying your hardest to produce a self made cover that doesn’t look amateurish, so that you can publish another book.

    Being an author isn’t easy to do – and when it’s hard, this is what you have to remember:

  7. From writing police incident reports, then legal motions, investigation reports, I co-authored a biography of a famous actor with his first wife. It went on to sell over 1.2 million copies (hardcover & paperback). I vowed never to write another book, especially the ex-wife of a celebrity. I chose to write about police and courtroom dramas, something I know well . . . murder and mayhem. However, friends and fans urged and inspired me to write a memoir of conversations between the celebrity and me. This turned into a four-year project. The books have received excellent reviews. Now, I can return to the police procedural, true crime genre I enjoy. THANK YOU, KYLE PERKINS for getting me back on track.

  8. Very helpful – I’ll have to bookmark this page and re-read it when I get discouraged.

    Some of us are authors who don’t use any social media…obviously, those who do already have a huge advantage. Then again, people who use artificial enhancements to win sporting events or beauty pageants are similar to people who use Facebook to boost their viewers.

    Just my $0.02 – great post!
    🙂

    1. That includes me. I’d be a hypocrite to pretend I am always up and feeling great about myself and my work, but I always remind myself that what we’re doing is important. More important than my insecurities. =)

  9. Indeed, Kyle. A writer *must* be a writer. It is not a matter of waking up one day and deciding “I’m gonna write a book.” It happens because a wound opens up, people crowd our minds and shout day and night, visions of other places and times mask what our eyeballs try to send our minds, and those vision become more real than the ringing telephone on the desk. It is because when we start writing and the sun’s up, we then marvel when we raise our eyes from the screen and keyboard, and look out at the window only to be welcomed by the moon.

    It’s not for any other reason than to make all those characters in our head stop shouting urging us to scribe their stories.

  10. Reblogged this on Pearls Before Swine and commented:
    Fav Post Quote: ” If you can connect with one person a day, even one person a week as an author, you are doing fantastic. Being an author isn’t a race, and if you treat it like one, you’re setting yourself up for failure, because we don’t all run at the same speeds. Instead, take it slow, build real connections with real people, and they will love you as an author and be your fan for life. Hollow Facebook “likes” mean nothing over a true fan that admires you and your work, trust me.”

    That’s what matters to me frfr. If I’ve reached ONE of you, I’ve done my job.

  11. The inspiration in this post really touched me. Being a blogger is definitely a journey and learn a lot about yourself and your followers. I think at certain points, we all struggle as bloggers, but it is important to continue to press on and deliver the content. I will say that after three months of writing, I credit my success as a blogger to my followers and those who come by to visit my page. I even wrote a post to show them my appreciation at: https://michaeljfite.com/2016/07/08/why-do-i-value-and-thank-you-the-reader/ I am happy you wrote this because bloggers need to be reminded to keep writing no matter what and trust in their abilities.

  12. This! I really needed to read something like this today. Lately, I’ve been feeling this way – thinking my writing isn’t good enough so I should just quit. Thank for inspiring me to keep on going.

  13. In general, we devalue ourselves as writers, because society does not consider the Arts valuable, as they once did. Now, its all about science. But what a dull world it would be if we took away all the writers, the painters, the musicians, the dancers, the singers, the movie makers, the sculpters, the actors, etc…

    Thanks for the inspirational and motivating post. ?

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