So, I have a new book out in the world. And there was much rejoicing. And there’s also much angst. Will it get good reviews? Will it sell enough copies? Will it satisfy my readers? The answer to those questions is a solid, “I have no idea.” Hence, the cause of my angst.
Here’s the problem - I have no control over those things. I can’t make people like my story, I can’t coerce anyone into writing good reviews, and I can’t make people buy the books.
At the end of a game, we’ll often ask one of our sons, who is a pretty competitive athlete, if he left it all on the field. Meaning, did he give it everything he had, regardless of outcome. Did he practice hard with the team, stay fit, and eat healthy. Did he bring his best attitude and best form to the game? Because those are the things he can control.
I apply a modified version of this question to my creative life. Did I do everything in my power to tell a good story? Did I do my best to bring it out into the world and promote it to readers?
A few days ago, I got to hold EQUINOX in my hands for the first time. As I browsed through the pages, reading over my favorite scenes, I had a moment of real satisfaction. I know I wrote that story to the very best of my ability. I’m constantly working to improve my writing craft, surrounding myself with professionals and learning from their expertise. I listen to feedback from trusted beta readers, and my work is well-edited. I spend time building my author platform, communicating with readers, and designing marketing plans.
I’ve left it all on the page, so to speak. What happens next is out of my hands, and that’s okay.