I get it.
I totally do.
You’re a debut author with this AMAZING story to tell, it goes live, and you pray on hands and knees that someone other than the neighbor you keep bribing, buys it.
Because that’s what we do when we first start out with any new venture right? It can be books, it could be Rodan and Fields, LipSense, Tupperware–we all find those closest to us and go YOU MUST SUPPORT THIS!
And yes, we basically use shouty caps in order to get this across, because how else will they know about your excitement unless you shout?
I feel you. I do.
I’ve been there–heck most days I’m still there.
I’m literally the Beast from Beauty and the Beast going, “Won’t someone love me?” Meanwhile the book doesn’t sell and I go back into beast mode.
The cover’s ugly.
The world sucks.
*Grabs as much wine as a human can consume and puts on house pants (the stretchy kind)*
And then something strange happens, if the book for some reason doesn’t perform to your expectations….you start “the hunt.”
You click through Amazon furiously (after drinking that wine), you look at sales numbers, recent releases, AHAH! Wait, why is that book doing better?
Why are there so many Amazon published books in the top five?
Why am I not in the top five?
I’m literally ten billion dollars cheaper!
You keep searching.
You keep comparing.
You stay up until three in the morning agonizing over every single book that’s doing better than yours and then trying to find out where you went wrong.
After the hunting stage comes what I like to call–the green horned jealous seeking monster stage.
It’s after you’ve mourned the loss of book sales.
After you’ve unfairly compared yourself to JK Rowling.
Only to refresh EL James’ author page and go, “well she started out indie, why isn’t that that happening to me?”
Yup it’s even after that stage.
“The Green Horned Monster” stage is basically when an epiphany happens in your brain.
Those books? The ones doing amazing? They’re clearly cheating the system.
Whether it’s a publisher dumping tons of money and marketing into them–or the Kindle First books that get crazy high sales rankings, to the KU books that you know are just playing into the algorithms.
You. Get. Angry.
And then you get sad.
Because as I’ve said in my last book (and learned from a philosopher way smarter than me, Krist Wilde/@KristWilde), anger is almost always rooted in sadness.
It’s actually not jealousy speaking.
It’s not even really anger.
It’s sadness and disappointment that you put your heart and soul into something and for some reason, the world as you see it, rejected that gift.
I think so many authors new and old, allow jealousy and anger to take root because if they really stopped and looked within (this is me included) we’d realize it’s all based on this insecurity of not being enough.
Not being good enough.
Not being talented enough.
Just not being enough period.
And it’s not just authors, this is a human condition. It’s something we struggle with on a daily basis. It’s this constant battle of comparisons, self image, insecurity, worth.
And I’m here to tell you that nobody on this planet can validate you.
You hold the power to do something great in this world–with the talent you’ve been given.
Don’t let anger take root in your life, don’t let it suck you into jealousy.
Instead recognize it for what it is, and kick it in the teeth.
You published a book. Do you realize how hard that is?
You started your own business. Do you realize what a risk that is?
You did something that went against societal norms. Do you realize how brave that is?
So next time your fingers itch to Hunt…next time the Green Horned Monster makes an appearance (because none of us are perfect and it most defiantly will).
Tell it to shut up.
Look at yourself in the mirror and KNOW that you are validated by simply being you.