Thursday, 15 June 2017

Goals and Dreams as an Author

When I was sixteen, I dreamt of being a bestselling author. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote to achieve my dream, only I made the mistake of writing fantasy in Finnish.

In Finland, fantasy as a genre is regarded fit for children under 12. I’ve spewn 16+ fantasy all my life, so my dreams were quickly decapitated. As I found the realm of self-publishing indie authors, I dared to dream again.

I started writing in English, and published my books via Smashwords. I hit the first wave of self-publishing, got lucky, and made a few sales. As numbers started going down, so did my self-esteem. My ex liked to put me down every chance he got, so I was pretty used to thinking that failure had to do with nothing but me not being good enough.

I should have seen that my biggest failure has always been me sucking at marketing. As the number of books published grew daily, mine went unnoticed because I didn’t have the courage to push them out. I thought the hard work that everyone was fussing about meant writing, writing until your fingers bled. And I did.

And all the while they were talking about marketing.

I still dream of being a bestselling author. It would be wonderful to have a proper book launching party, and to go on a book tour and meet loyal readers. It would be wonderful to just write and write and not have to do anything else. Just write, and live on it.

To achieve dreams, one needs goals. I hesitate setting goals for myself, because I lack the courage to follow through with them. I make plans, and I think “yes, this’ll work, it’s a really good plan, and it doesn’t even require that much of me!” and I follow along for three days and just quit, not because it’s hard or not rewarding, but because it might lead to something.

I’m consumed by lingering self-doubt. “What if they don’t like my books?” “What if they hate my patterns?” “What if they hate ME?”

I’m turning 40 in a few days. It may be time to face the fact that someone will hate me no matter what I do. And there’s nothing I can do but to accept it, and move on.

I can’t please everyone, no-one can. All I can do is to please me, and those around me when I can.

So my goal is to blog, if not regularly on set days, at least weekly. My goal is to write more, and to publish a book by the end of the year. My goal is to find out ways to market the upcoming book, and those that already exist.

Becoming a bestselling author isn’t easy, and maybe it will remain only a dream, but at least I can write, and meet the goals I set for myself.

Life is about over-coming obstacles, after all, even if they are the ones we set for ourselves.

Until next time.

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