Truth #1: You won’t always be on page one.
The writing process can be so emotionally draining at times, and some days, when we’re faced with the blank page of doom, it can be hard to remember that we’ve survived page one before. Remember that. Hell, look at some of your other page ones if you need a deeper reminder.
Truth #2: You don’t need to be perfect today.
We all have those days when we feel like nothing we write is ever quite good enough, but that’s not the reality. Here’s the truth: you will have brilliant days, and you will have hard days. But on none of those days are you ever expected to be the best author in the world. Perfection shouldn’t be the goal—being perfect is a job for robots.
Truth #3: No matter how hard today is, you are not alone in your struggles.
One thing that’s great about the author community is that there’s millions of us hanging about. Some of us might be ahead of you, behind you, or somewhere between there. But, if anything is true, it is this: we all understand what it’s like to struggle with your words or with feeling confident in what you’ve accomplished. You’re going to get there, and we’re here to cheer you on to your goals.
Truth #4: You do not have to be as good as _____.
Whoever it is you’re comparing yourself to, you will have a much easier time if you stop doing that. You’re not expected to be anybody but who you are, and trying to be someone else will water down the beautiful and creative person you were meant to be. Look in the mirror. Smile. And say, “I’m a bad m — — f — — — — !” Because you are. (Watch the video if you need more motivation.)
Truth #5: You got this.
I’ve had so many days as an author where I’ve just felt like it was worthless to try because I just couldn’t get anything right. Now, when this happens to me, I always know that’s my depression talking, so I let it ride and tackle the next day with a new purpose. But this doesn’t always work for everyone. Whenever this happens to you, just remind yourself that you’re more than capable of tackling this challenge, and when you’re done, you’ll have a huge party to celebrate that you stuck through it.
Truth #6: Everyone has to start somewhere.
Stephen King didn’t come out of the box on top of his game, and I’m willing to bet that neither did you. We all have to start at the bottom—whatever that bottom represents to you—and the only thing you have to do is try your hardest to reach the goals you set for yourself. That’s it. Everything else that happens is a bonus.
Truth #7: You will receive a bad review (or a rejection) at some point in your life.
My advice? Just deal with it. Accept the hard truth now that not everybody is going to fall in love with your work and be okay with that. The art you create with your words is subjective; it’s not going to be for everyone. That doesn’t mean you’re a sh*t writer; it simply means you’re not that person’s cup of tea. Let them go find their coffee or whiskey or whatever it may be and move on with your day.
Truth #8: There’s always something positive to learn from a negative experience.
So, you got rejected by a publisher . . . so what? Stop and think about what you can learn from that experience, then figure out how you’ll improve for the next submission. Everything we do in life has some sort of lesson attached to it. Sometimes it’s positive, and sometimes it’s negative. Whatever it is, acknowledge it and strive to stay on course.
Truth #9: You don’t have to be a good speller or a grammar expert to be a great author.
Besides, it works better for the wide world of editors if you suck at those things because we need job security! But, seriously, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t know the 100 rules for when to use a comma. (Just kidding . . . sort of . . . but, to be fair, there are a lot of comma rules!) Do your best, and there will be somebody out there who can take you the rest of the way.
Truth #10: You’re a bad-ass author!!
Writing a book is not easy, and the fact that you’re even trying makes you a bad-ass alone. Let the reality of that flow through you to help you grow in the confidence of you are—an amazing author with the entire world ahead of you. You will have up and downs, but you will always survive whatever those might be.
What other truths do you want to add to this list? Leave me a comment!