Keeping tabs on yourself

Writing is something that I never thought would become my mainstay in life. It’s something that really helped me to establish myself as a person, to put my thoughts on paper and to develop my skills to eventually become the novelist and blogger that I am today. But one thing that’s always really stuck with me is that I will, and always will continue to write for myself.

When I was still a member of several writing groups on Facebook I always seemed to run into the same discussions with people who aspire to become bestselling writers. One of the things is that they’re all hellbent on writing the next big thing and seemingly want to figure out what the golden formula is to do so. Then you would see several others joining in to share all kinds of articles about writing do’s and don’ts. To me, that was always a bit of a strange thing. Surely, there’s a world of difference between excellent and bad writing, and most of the time everyone who can read can tell you if something was written well or bad. But many rules just didn’t make much sense to me and I was always able to come up with several really good books that sold millions that would break at least a couple, and sometimes a lot of said rules. In other words; writing shouldn’t be about rules, but more about what you think feels right for you. Because if you write a book for yourself, then it’ll be good enough. It’ll be something you wanted to write, to help you cope with something that has happened in your life, or it’ll be an epic scifi story that you wish existed, but didn’t until you wrote it. That’s what I did with my series The Shaedon Resurgence I just wrote what I wanted to see in an epic trilogy. I combined elements from fantasy and scifi, two genres that are really close to one another, yet very far away.

yoshi keyboard

Whenever I see people online complaining about how miserable they are as a writer because their books don’t sell I always wonder what the real cause of their misery is. What are their expectations? Do you write because you’ve seen bestselling writers live a life of luxury and extravaganza in a hut in the middle of nowhere? Or is it just that you find your own life so dull and meaningless, that you keep holding on to that “dayjob”, just so you can once make it big? Of course, I’d love it if I were able to live off my writing, but the chances of becoming a bestselling writer is about the same as becoming a successful singer/songwriter, or scoring that hit with your indie band. It’s all about the same things: timing, quality, network and a bit of luck. If all four are in perfect sync, then you’ll have your hit, but without any of those, you’ll have to deal with joining all the other millions of aspiring artists, writers and musicians who want to have their fifteen minutes of fame. I know I’m in this for the long game, so I’ll just continue doing what I love doing and that’s writing, but it helps if you don’t have any illusions about “making it big”, because that in itself is the worst goal you could probably set for yourself and is one that will only lead to you craving even more success after the first, which is a great way of setting yourself up for failure.

For now, I’m going to continue writing on my next novel. I’m having a ton of fun with it, and I’m really hoping it’ll become something I can be proud of again. 🙂

Happy writing!

~Jeffrey

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