Writing success or failure; what do you do when you’ve failed or can’t replicate a previous success? Give up or keep writing. The answer is the same.
What defines success or failure for you?
Few authors achieve best-selling status or make a living just from their writing; many manage with a part time job to add to their income, but most authors will never be in a situation to give up their day job, and that’s fine if you’re not trying to be a full-time author. And why should you?
If you’re a full-time author, you have to keep producing books whether you’re inspired or not. For me that pressure would be a problem. Someone who’s not aiming to be a career author isn’t necessarily any less serious about their writing than someone who is. But either way, you’ll have some benchmark you imagine for what you might call success and what you consider failure. And I expect that a lot of authors don’t achieve the kind of success they may crave.
The reality for most authors is failure to get published by a mainstream publisher or even from a hybrid publisher like AIA Publishing. Rejection notices is the norm, and for self-published authors, the last statistics I read indicated that many never sell more than 100 books and the average income from book sales is around $10,000 US dollars a year.
Are you depressed yet? I don’t mean to do that to you, rather to give a healthy dose of reality and point out that feeling failure of some kind is part of being an author. The good news about self or author-funded publishing (if it gives 100% or 90% of income from sales) is that authors earn double for each book published than authors published by mainstream publishing houses, and in general indie authors are earning more than their mainstream counterparts.
Writing success or failure?
So you can earn big and you can earn very little. Your book might get a lot of good reviews or it might get enough bad ones to seriously affect sales. And somewhere in that sliding scale you’ll be feeling either success or failure, depending on how you define it. So what do you do when you feel you’ve failed to live up to your idea of success?
And how do you come back from overwhelming success? I expect we’d all consider big sales a success) How do you write your next book knowing that it’s extremely unlikely to be as successful as your big success?
It may surprise you to know that the answer is the same no matter if you’ve succeeded, failed or ended up, as most of us do, somewhere in the middle. Watch this 7 min video to find out how to keep writing no matter what.
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Charles Ray says
To stop writing, especially because of fear of failure, IS failure!
Tahlia Newland says
That’s a healthy way to look at it.
I stopped because I hated having to publicise what I wrote, but I’m writing again now because I have an important story to tell. Will it sell or not? I don’t care. Never say never again!