Swoon Author Danika Stone: Five Thoughts on Publishing ALL THE FEELS
A couple years ago I read an article where the writer (a successful author with a multi-book contract) said that publishing your first book wouldn’t make you happy. That you might feel the glow for the first couple weeks, but after that, your life would go back to normal. You’d settle in. Get used to the idea. Grow indifferent.
At the time, I was a struggling indie writer, hoping to sign an agent, never mind make it big! The claim seemed ludicrous. Why wouldn’t I be ecstatic if I’d sold a book? Wouldn’t my life completely change? Wouldn’t I?
The answer, I discovered, is both "yes" and "no."
In the last year, I’ve reached my goal of a traditionally published novel. There’ve been plenty of good parts, but many challenges too, leaving me to navigate my emotions along the way. Here are some things I learned in publishing All the Feels.
1. Don’t put off celebrating for one, massive goal. We all have ups and downs and life. Don’t assume that the “goal”—getting an agent, finishing your edits, publishing a book—will change everything about your life. It’ll impact some parts, true, but not all. Keep moving. Keep trying. Celebrate those little successes, too!
2. Happiness is a way of travel. Writing a book and getting it published is a marathon ordeal, not a sprint. You have to enjoy each part of the process, even if that process is *gasp* editing.
3. You learn from every mistake… (even embarrassing ones). I am grateful for all the crappy writing I did in the past because it paved the way for better writing now. I’m grateful for the decimating revisions because they taught me how to set up better plots. I’m grateful for years of (apparent) failure because I appreciate my current success.
See each setback you encounter as a challenge. A gift to try again.
4. Share your writerly love. Writing can be a terribly isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no better way to build a writer’s circle of support than to share your learning experiences with others. If you like a writer’s novel, shout it to the world. Offer to beta-read. Help promote.
The benefits will far outweigh the cost in time and effort.
5. Pass on the positivity: Don’t wait for a reason to trade favors. Support those writers who are both ahead and behind you career-wise. They’re on their own journey which is no less amazing than your own. Your support can make all the difference to them writing your soon-to-be-favorite book and giving up entirely.
In a nutshell, the biggest thing I’ve learned during the publishing process is: be kind. The world (and your own life!) will be a better place because of it.