It is easy to become exhausted by this business. The wearying ego question (as per my last post), the struggle to succeed at every step of the process - Do I have talent? Do I have enough talent? Is talent enough? Can I really write? Is my story complete? Is it as good as it can be? Will a publisher accept it? How much editing does it need? Do I like the cover/illustrations? What will I do if I don't? Will the critics like my book? Will bookshops like my book? Will buyers and/or readers like my book? Will other countries want to sell my book? Will it sell enough copies? Can I ever write another book as good as the first one that got accepted? Let me tell you folks, the list goes on and on and when you think you finally feel okay about where you are at you look at what is happening with other peoples books. Why are they selling more? Why did they like his/her book better? How come they seem to have a closer relationship with their agent/publisher/editor/janitor? How come they got shortlisted or recommended or....infinity other questions. And then the playing field changes. My head is now feeling seriously heavy and my comfy bed with the plump pillows is looking jolly nice all of a sudden. It is easy to be overwhelmed and feel a little drowny. Go wallow in some good stuff I say. Re-read some good feedback, look at the fab friends you have made and the wonderful things they have said to you, the work you have completed and how much you have learnt about how the book industry works. Think about the writing skills that now come easier to you. And for any failures you have had, realise how much you learnt from the experience. Boy, I won't do that again, and if I do, at least now I know what the risks are. I am the all new improved version of me.
Maureen Crisp, the nimble internet sleuth, has unearthed another pearl which looks at 5 things more important than talent and I pass it on to you all for your edification. We can't always control the way things are going to go but we can control how we respond. Making sure our goals are really the ones we want, keeping them in our sights, and doing the work required to achieve them are all within our control. Looking after ourselves and refocusing to see that half empty glass as half full are within our control. Its nearly half way through the year people. Time to pat yourselves on the back for surviving 2011 part one, and time to take stock and see the year as still half full. Make sure you plan some fun things for 2011 part two!