Really this post is about writing and expectations, but I had to make good on a threat, thus the title:)

I am going to do this entire post without swearing.

Duck it!

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So, writers…you know that place you get to after you have published your book, waited for the mass herds of millions of buyers to rush out and get it and a week later found out you’ve only had a few sales? We ALL do. This post is to remind us all why we do this in the first place. Do we write simply to sell copies? No. Chances are, if you are an author, you write because it is what you are meant to do, compelled to do and cannot help yourself.

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When you sit and focus on what you are not doing right every minute of the day, does it help with your motivation? No? Then why are you sitting there focusing on your lack of sales? Get yourself motivated again. Work on your WIP. Find a promotional opportunity. Read your own book. Sometimes this can help you feel better about the situation.

Be proactive and keep moving toward whatever your next goal is. I see a lot of authors blog about their sales. Some of them are excited about just one. Others have had hundreds but are disappointed. A lot of success, in my humble (right) opinion, is your attitude and expectations. Do not convince yourself that goals and expectations are the same thing. They aren’t. A goal is something you set for yourself to achieve. An expectation you have less control over. The type of personality we have, plus the life situation we are in strongly influences the way we feel about our own success.

An author who has quit their day job and is attempting to live and support themselves plainly on writing may feel a lot more pressure than the author who is still working to earn other income. A very organised individual may feel more pressure to succeed than a less organised person.

This does not mean that you have no control.

Mother Duckers.

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Here are some things to keep in mind:

No one is instantly successful. Even the authors that seem to have made it big overnight had to put work into their craft. Chances are good there were many failed attempts at producing something successful before anything really took off for them.

You are in control of what you do. If things are not going the way you had hoped, there are always new avenues to be explored. Cover art changes, new marketing choices, and so forth might make the difference you were hoping to see in your sales and figures.

Positive thinking is good for you. It can’t be overrated. If you feel good about what you are doing, you might just continue doing it and make your way toward the goals you have set for yourself. Being proud of small achievements
and remembering to count them as a step in the right direction never hurts either.

Don’t let one small stumbling block make you give up. Get a bad review? Had your book turned down for inclusion in a marketing campaign or rejected by a publisher? It happens. Remember that not everything that happens is your fault. It may be that it just wasn’t the right time for it to be included. It is not the end of the world.


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You will get up and write again tomorrow. This too shall pass. Do not lose sight of the forest through the trees. Enough Clichés.

Just Write.

Son of a

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106 thoughts on “Chris”

    1. Most definitely. I think as we get used to having books out there if we continually focus on what is to come rather than what is behind we will feel and be much more successful.


      1. It’s all about experience. I will admit that it helps when you lose internet for a day or can’t get near the computer. It’s a severe way to cut the cord, but it’s oddly effective.


      2. I guess I meant what if they can only think of the one book, but then there’s the marketing push. Are there any big authors out there that did one book and only one book?


      3. I’m the opposite (for once, I guess). I need music when I’m writing because it keeps me focused. It’s weird, but I think the music forces me to concentrate on my writing and it’s a distraction that I can control. It also drowns out the people around here.


  1. When we visualize positive success, we’re more likely to strive both consciously and unconsciously to work toward this end. When we’re focused on the negative, we’re less likely to be motivated to work toward our goals and it can show up in our facial expressions, tone, attitude, and so on. Positive visualization and confidence (minus arrogance) are really quite significant. 🙂

    (Seems like you were trying to duck the curses.)


  2. Nice post – seems like I get the most done when I’m busy. When I “have all the time in the world” I dink around until I don’t. 🙂


  3. I love the playfulness of the write as well as the obviously hard to e revise restraint used to keep from cursing, bit more than that I loved the message: keep writing. So, take your own advice and please keep writing. (You can probably resume cursing too as I’m not sure how much longer you can hold back…)


  4. Most insightful post! I don’t worry so much about sales numbers, but I have this perfectionist part of me that wants everything “right”. I have to be careful with that, it killed my mother. I simply love writing and don’t want to do anything much that takes the “fun” out of it. I am also learning that marketing can be fun. I am especially getting into that with my facebook author page. It is also nice to get those phones calls, “Susan, I love this book, can you come talk to my students, or group of whatever?”….that makes my world. Being semi-retired, I have a lot of time on my hands, and it is nice to get out and meet people.


  5. I usually write a chapter per day but I have been struggling with pain management. I developed osteo-necrosis (bone death) from steroids taken for asthma, kind of a rare side-effect. I’ve had some surgeries and bone replacements and sometimes the pain is pretty intense. Once I go two days without writing, I hit a huge wall. I have plenty of ideas and stories written in my head and I never get writer’s block. I get typing block. Just sitting down and typing it out is my wall.

    I finally overcame this a few days ago. My method, which might not work for everyone – I write three novels and two or three short stories/magazine columns at the same time. I was just trying to hack out the rest of the draft on one novel and could not force myself. So, I did some shorts which I know will get published in one of the magazines I write for, and I started doing chapters for the novels that come after this one in other series. Now I am back to a chapter or more a day (2,500 to 3,000 words) and I am making better progress on the novel draft I was stuck on.

    I am not suggesting everyone needs that same pace. I just set that in my head and feel I have failed if I don’t get it done each day. I feel much better about myself after I have “my chapter done.” I think moving from vampires, to steampunk, to adventure, to magazine fiction and non-fiction keeps my mind from feeling it is working. It gets to play and does not have to think about just one thing.


  6. I have been away so catching up. I really like the word duck. It immediately causes a smile if not out loud laughter. In fact I think it is a better substitute for the Anglo-Saxton word meaning social interaction (can you imagine saying duck instead of talk?) “She and I had a nice duck yesterday.” or “she asked me if I wanted to duck and I didn’t have the time.” Nice post.


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