This week’s advice is that, no matter how much you listen to advice, no matter how good your intentions are, sometimes, shit happens.
Sometimes your computer crashes the day before your scheduled back up.
Sometimes you have no power or internet.
Sometimes you stare at the screen with writer’s block for a month trying to figure out where to go from here.
Sometimes you can do all the “right” things and you will be unsuccessful in your endeavour.
As much as I admire advice from authors/entrepreneurs like Ella Barnard, sometimes focusing on how quickly you can turn an idea into a product is not mentally healthy or physically doable.
Sometimes the commodification of being a writer, and ideas such as a 3 month turn around, depress me. When I can’t do it I feel like a failure, and like I’ll never be successful as a writer. As I already have mental health issues, it can quickly cause me to spiral.
Then other times I’ll write a draft and a half in a month…
If it’s one thing 2020 has taught us it’s that nothing is a given. So, enjoy your family, enjoy your work, and whatever else makes your heart sing. It doesn’t matter if you can’t stick to a short schedule, as long as each day takes you one step closer to your goal. Maybe you didn’t get any writing done but you made steps in marketing and networking.
Maybe you wrote a blog post about how you’re struggling with the pressure of 2020.
I mean, you still need a schedule, but sometimes getting bogged down in the minutiae isn’t helpful, and you need to be flexible (or allow for flexibility) in your planning. And, you need to be gentle with yourself. As an Indie Author you’re responsible for all aspects of your business. If you need a break you need to acknowledge that. If you burn out there’s no one to pick up your slack like there is in an office job.
Just be clear with your readers. Advertised that a book is due out on a certain date and you know you aren’t going to make it? Email your subscribers or put a note on social media. They may be disappointed in the short term, but it’s better than the release date coming and going without word as to why the book isn’t available (it’s a bit different if you do pre-orders on Amazon because of their rules though, keep that in mind). My whole life I’ve worked in customer service and 99% of the time disappointed clients/shoppers/fans are quite reasonable and understanding, if you just take the time to explain that there is a shortage/delay etc.
It’s when you don’t communicate properly and manage their expectations that you run into real problems. There will still be people that you can’t satisfy, but that’s life.
Just remember, at the end of the day, you need to take care of you. You need to focus on your health and happiness.
And lastly, remember to enjoy your life. What use is success if you work so hard you miss out on the other important things?