We've all come across pep talks about writing and how to get your book out there. I haven't come across too many accounts of what happens after.
By after, I mean after initial reviews come in, after you run a few giveaways, after you've shocked people who "know" you when you tell them you've written a novel. After your novel is on the shelf, then what?
Easy, write the next one.
Too much? Okay, then blog.
Tired of the social networking gig? Okay, read.
Stop checking your numbers every single day. Fight the utter frustration of the dozens of readers who fail to post a review. Keep writing.
Shakespeare once wrote "Expectation is the root of all heartache", and broken hearts fail to produce.
Of course none of us is made of stone...okay, maybe most of us aren't made of stone and the creative ego is as fragile as gossamer in a hurricane. We all start out expecting everyone to like our stories but when those copies sit on the shelf for a few weeks, doubt inevitably sets in. It's okay.
Don't blend expectation with belief.
Believe in your voice and trust your writing instincts. Nothing can crush belief except for you.
Expectation paints scenarios that get you giggling from the pure joy you'll experience but when that expectation is dashed, the anger, the agony, the resentment, the utter sense of defeat makes your voice as audible as a scream in outer space.
Success in writing depends on an insane amount of luck, another person with an audience you manage to impress, but realistically time and talent. I'm not looking for an agreement, but it's what I feel.
So write the next novel. Make it better. Learn more. Read more. Create more. Bleed your soul onto the page and be patient. Just think, by the time you become the next great American novelist, your adoring audience will reap the benefits of your belief by having three, four, maybe ten novels to delve into, and all written by you.
Believe, don't expect.
And don't believe in gaining fame and riches from your writing.
Just believe in yourself and all the tales and characters you create.
Javier A. Robayo