This is for all the authors having serious doubts about writing, dreams, careers, and the future of life as we know it. Bookmark this page and reread as necessary.
Listen to the glittery princess: DREAMS COME TRUE.
The world does not have a finite amount of readers in the world. If you write a book, people will read it.
There are not a finite amount of bookshelves in the world. If you write a book, there will be a place for it.
The world of publishing is not going to fold up into a black hole and vanish. If you write a book, there will be a place to publish that book.
There is not a finite amount of happiness in the world. Someone else's happiness and good news does not steal happiness and good news from you. Your happiness is still there.
Chin up, kiddo, you're going to make it.
Writing is a crazy art form. You work and slave in silence and isolation for weeks or years at a time and you get no feedback. Maybe you have a good crit partner who cheers you on, but for the most part you are telling a story to the nothingness between stars and it is HARD.
It's hard not knowing if anyone will get your jokes. It's hard not knowing what readers think until after you've written the book. It's hard to remember why you're writing a book at all when you're looking at the middle of a rough draft and it's off track and horrible.
That's all you need to do today: keep writing.
Publishing is not a nice, smooth road without bumps and bruises. This isn't 10th grade essay writing where the teacher only cares if you used a legible font and spell check; this is the big leagues.
Even if you take the simplest road to publication - short story, edited by a friend, make your own cover, self-pub an ebook - you're going to run into problems. Formatting won't work, you won't love the cover, the title is taken, whatever. Even if you're publishing a book just to share with friends and you never want to make a dime out of it, writing and editing are hard. When you aim higher, offering your book to more than just your immediate friends and family, publishing gets harder.
Writing a book is the first switch back on the roller coaster. It's hard to write a full story, but it's not the hardest part. It might not even be the funnest part. If you want to publish, that needs to not matter. You need to climb onto the roller coaster, strap yourself in, and take the highs with the lows. Prepare for the slow uphill slog and the terrifying, stomach-clenching drops. Some days everything will move at a glacial pace, other parts will fly by.
If you fall down, that's cool. Stand up, brush off the dirt, wear the blood, and sweat, and tears as your war paint. Keep writing. Keep going. Don't give up. The only way you fail is if you quit.
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