Creative work is never easy. Writing in particular is very isolated and frankly can get lonely. Hence the need to pester friends, family and sometimes complete strangers into reading your work – or work in progress.
Writing a book is a big endeavor – whether it takes you two months or two years to write it, you still put in the time. Usually hundreds of hours. Many of those hours are spent researching and then agonizing over word choices, character arcs, plot lines, themes, and the message. Often times you have no idea why you are so compelled to write the story. Why it is so important to you. But it is. It definitely is.
And when you finish, there is usually no one there to tell. So, you pour another cup of coffee and then drop off your dry cleaning or go grocery shopping.
There are always people along the way who help. Who offer support and encouragement. And God bless them because without them, a lot of writers might at this minute, be wandering through public parks mumbling to themselves about plot twists and causing strangers to hold their children close to them.
But here’s the thing. No matter how much your friends and family may say they understand, they don’t. They can’t wrap their wits around how important this thing, this book is to you. How much you care and the devotion you have put into it. Think about it, it would take the average person 8-10 hours to read what it’s taken you months, perhaps even years to write. Gives one pause, doesn’t it?
So when you are a nervous wreck while waiting for your file conversion, or lining up a photographer, a book cover designer or hovering your cursor over the publish button your friends and family are:
- Wondering what to make for dinner
- Worried about how much their kid’s braces will cost
- Scraping up the money to fix the car
- Trying to figure out why their lawn isn’t green enough
- Or – fill in the blank
They most definitely aren’t thinking about your book or your launch into self publishing. Some may even think you’re just enjoying a hobby.
So this is your life. The one you chose. And you can’t look to or expect others to carry the weight for you. To buoy you up when you’re dropping like a stone to the bottom. To give you a pep talk when you’re wallowing in doubts. You have to believe in yourself because:
- No one but you truly understands what it means to you
- Everybody else has their own life and worries
- They’ll be plenty more (and worse) storms to weather ahead
- If what you’re doing matters to you, what other people think shouldn’t matter
- If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will
In the words of the incomparable Chuck Wendig, “Art hard, motherfucker.” And that ain’t no lie.
But maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it. And afterwards, everyone who knows you will say they knew you could do it. And for the briefest of moments you can bask in the self-confidence that you rarely have a grasp on.