August #AuthorTip: Maintain Your Zen

Continuing this post series with a tip for overworked, I-can-do-it-all Indies (like me):


Don’t lose sight of why you do what you do.

You’re a writer. That’s your thing. You may be a lot of other things besides that (cover designer, publisher, marketer, public figure, etc.) but when you write, you’re a writer, and that’s what matters most. Not the fame, not the paycheck, not author appearances, panel discussions, book signings, interviews, or any of that crap. What matters is what you put on paper: your stories.

Whenever I lose sight of that, whenever my focus shifts to all the things I can’t do and haven’t accomplished, it depresses the hell out of me for about 10 minutes. That’s how much time I allow myself to dwell on that crappy thing that happened, or the great thing I expected that didn’t happen. After that, I look at where I am, how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished. I look at a bookshelf of my printed books–physical proof of decades of hard work–and it makes me smile. Because I did that. There are thousands of printed pages on that shelf, and they’re all mine.

I can’t control how others take to what I write, or to me as the author, but I can sure as hell control what I write, and how I spend my time and energy. And in the end, that’s what it all comes down to. I can choose to complain about what isn’t, or celebrate what is. And I’ve always been a rather happy-go-lucky kind of person.

Celebrate your accomplishments. Learn from mistakes or failures, and then move on.

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