11 Things Happy Authors Don’t Do

Rachelle Gardner

Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

Some authors are mildly successful but still happy. Some aren’t even published yet, but they’re still content with their journey. Other authors have great success, yet are still pretty unhappy. What makes the difference? How do we avoid behaviors and circumstances that rob us of joy and steal our contentment? Here are a few ideas.

Happy authors don’t…

1Book pages heart …care more about their sales than their writing.

Of course, everyone wants to sell books. We write because we want people to read what we’ve written. But when you’re spending more time checking your Bookscan reports than working on your latest book, you might be off kilter. When you’re so worried about your royalty reports that you can’t even write, something’s wrong. Keep first things first. Be primarily a writer, a marketer and salesperson after that.

2 …reject the idea of marketing.

Getting people to buy your books takes marketing effort, and you’ll be unhappily swimming against the tide if you don’t accept it. Best to figure out what kinds of book marketing suit you, and focus on those.

3 …feel threatened by the editorial process.

Granted, not all editors do a great job. But the goal of editing is to make your book the very best it can be. So why not embrace it? The best writers learn something from every editing experience, even the bad ones.

4 …believe in writer’s block.

We all occasionally have a bad day at the desk. Sometimes the words just don’t flow. But to chalk it up to writer’s block is to perpetuate it. Instead, take a break. Get some exercise. Do other kinds of creative work. Do free writing. Use writing prompts available online or in writing magazines. And get back to work. Don’t be afraid to write some really bad pages – it happens! At least you’re writing.

5 …refuse to study the craft of writing.

The best writers are always learning and consciously improving. You can take classes or writing workshops. You can participate in a critique group. You can read books about writing. Perhaps the most valuable yet under-utilized way to learn is to do your own in-depth analysis of a favorite writer’s prose so you can understand why it works. Never stop studying your craft.

6 …believe everything their friends tell them.

Information about publishing flies fast and furious out there, and so does misinformation. Check your sources. Get multiple opinions. Understand that everyone is biased. Ask a lot of questions and stay well-informed.

7 …think the publishing industry is a vast conspiracy designed to keep them out.

This frame of mind is a recipe for bitterness. It’s not true – no one’s goal is to keep you out. But if you hold this view, you probably don’t believe me anyway.

8 …expect that being published will be completely life-changing.

Fulfilling a big dream is a wonderful milestone, and it’s possible that some areas of your life will be different.  Reaching that goal will feel GREAT. But you’ll still be the same person. Your friends and family probably won’t like or respect you more. And you’ll still always get into the slowest line at the supermarket.

9 …complain about how hard it is to be a writer.

When you’re tempted to whine, think about the really hard jobs. Oil rig workers. Dairy farmers. Parents. Then count your blessings and write some words.

10 …allow themselves to be derailed by rejection and disappointment.

Every worthwhile pursuit will have setbacks. Contentment (not to mention success) depends on the ability to bounce back.

11 …spend too much time in comparison.

You already know how toxic it is to compare yourself to other writers. Your journey is your own. You’ll always be able to find people better than you, and people worse than you, so what’s the point? Comparison is the best way to take the joy out of your journey.

What keeps you a “happy” author?

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97 Responses

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  1. Thank you.

  2. Heather says:

    I love this. I think writers sort of go through stages. I’ve gone through the “I don’t need edits” stage (yeah, that was REALLY early in the game), the comparison stage, the “publishers don’t get me” stage…and then, at some point, your vision gets clearer. You realize you’ll either keep on writing or you won’t. You realize you’ll never look exactly like another writer. You realize good edits make your writing stronger. And you realize you can’t quit, even if you wanted to. I don’t know if that makes you incessantly happy, but it does bring a measure of peace. Here’s looking at all you authors who have stuck with it, grown, and won’t give up. It is a grueling job sometimes, but like any other difficult job, it can yield a richer sense of satisfaction in the end.

    • leah says:

      Heather that was a great response and most writers may have had similar feelings. Happiness is not a constant, but a fleeting moment to look back at occasionally. More of a state of mind…as peace and contentment but satisfaction is something palpable as I now remember the “Beatles” song.

    • It’s a peace that surpasses all understanding. Well said, Heather.

  3. lisa says:

    Wise and true words. Thank you.

  4. Lori Benton says:

    I agree that complaining about hard work isn’t productive. But I have found that, when the work IS hard, that hearing from another writer, “I know. I’ve been there/am there, too, but you can do it and I’m praying for you!” makes a huge difference in my attitude. It makes me feel I’m part of a tribe, and that someone is lifting my weary hands, as I’ll do for them when the seasons are reversed.

    • leah says:

      Well said Lori, friendship and love bring comfort to the soul. Even the struggles have a reward when you out of it and see your strength to overcome it.I often think of Max Hermann Desiderata: you are a child of the universe, have the right to be here, like the trees and stars…

    • Heather says:

      Yes, Lori. There is something to be said for commiseration from fellow authors. I know other authors (like you!) have helped me keep trudging through those valleys, just by sharing how you’ve come through the same types of struggles.

  5. leah says:

    Synchronicity: I was just writing about the power of perception, it can be heaven or it can be hell, it’s all up to you.
    We are magical being, the creator of our lives,changing perception changes the world.
    Love thyself above all and find your magic.
    Psychology is the study of the soul, that is where all begins.
    thanks for the suggestions

  6. Kathy says:

    Thank you for your post.

    I love editors but I’m still struggling to come to terms with marketing – really something that takes up lots of time. I have a question? What would you say is more effective – organising your own blog tour with fellow writers or going with a tour company that does it for you? I’m leaning towards the easy way, but maybe it’s better to do it myself and get the feel of how it’s done.

    And yes, it’s hard not to look at your sales and wonder why you work so hard! Maybe because I love writing so much, I will keep on doing it, no matter what.

  7. Jeanne T says:

    I need to start off by saying I have a GIFT for getting into the slowest line at the grocery store. 🙂 I laughed when I read that.

    On the serious side, I loved this post. A lot of this comes down to perspective. How am I going to view the various stages of the writing life? I have days where I stumble, but I’m able to get back up again, usually with the encouragement of a friend. The other thing that keeps me writing is knowing that God gave ME these stories to write. I want to do them well. When things are not going as I expect in my story, I take a step back, brainstorm with a trusted mentor and get back to work.

    I’ll be coming back to this post.

  8. Mehmet Arat says:

    My first response was:

    “I don’t think it is easy to be a happy author.” Each moment of writing is full of obstacles, difficulties, and labyrinths to be passed. Efforts are not rewarded in the way the writer needs and expects. There may be shiny moments, but how can it be possible to make them permanent?

    However, as I go through your list, I said “It may be difficult to be a happy author. But it is possible to be optimistic, to enjoy your writing process, and to defend life. At the end writing is living. And living is writing when the words are the main way of expressing yourself.”

    Thank you for the list. I may need to go through it when I feel tired and have difficulties to start writing again.

  9. Naomi Musch says:

    #9 So glad to be a writer! My sons are oil rig workers, we’ve been (goat) dairy & beef farmers,not to mention parents. Writing is work, but definitely the least taxing job.

  10. WOW! I love everything about being an AUTHOR! Feel so blessed to have this skill! Love the challenge of putting all the words together and to have them make sense and to have people read them and to feel the EMOTION that I was hoping to portray! I’m grateful every day for this gift!

  11. Alise says:

    Have happy authors figured out a way to not feel slightly ridiculous when they have to answer the “so what do you do” question? The condescending head-nod still throws me a bit and I tend to get all defensive which is not conducive to happiness. So if those a bit further along the path have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

    • Abra says:

      @Alise: When people ask “So what do you do?” they are not asking, “How do you spend your time?” They’re asking, “What do you contribute to society?” If you have a day job, tell them that. If you’re raising kids or keeping a household, tell them that. If you volunteer somewhere, tell them that. If your books, stories, or essays are available for purchase or reading, tell them that–but if they’re not, and you’re writing for yourself, not others, that’s fine, but “I write” isn’t an appropriate answer to the question, any more than would be “Well, I watch a lot of documentaries and like to cook.” That might be true and awesome, but not what they’re asking. Tell them what you do that contributes right now, then add “and I’m working toward publication” if it’s really that important to you that they know it. But it should come up when they as “What do you do for fun?” anyway.

      If your stuff IS available for them to read, I recommend a reply full of specifics: “Oh, I write [genre]. My last [whatever] came out [whenever].”

  12. Rick Barry says:

    You packed much practical advice into this post. Sounds like the bottom line for peace and contentment is still this: Do what God calls you to do, pursue it as well as you can, and don’t fret about details beyond your control.

    Thanks, Rachelle. I trust you just injected a dose of contentment into many writers’ hearts.

  13. Ruth says:

    Comparison is the best way to take joy out of anything!

  14. Micky Wolf says:

    Great post! Also made me wonder if many of these points aren’t also true of “things happy (fill in the blank) people don’t do” in a variety of professions/vocations? 🙂

  15. I wouldn’t say it keeps me “happy” necessarily, but the thing that keeps me staid — that keeps me going — is an inner peace that this is exactly what I should be doing. Comparison has by far been the largest challenge, since by nature I’m competitive. The thing I love about this industry is that it’s truly possible to be filled with joy for others who reach certain milestones. But that takes courage, especially when things aren’t happening as you want them to in your own career. But yes…focus is key.

  16. Great post…and it can be applied to much more than writing. Something to look back on when we feel stepped on by the outside world.

    This writerly world is a life journey full of seeking, listening, discovery, documentation, storytelling and expression.

    Who couldn’t be happy with that?

  17. Terrance Austin says:

    Thank you so much Rachelle. Toes feeling stepped on a bit… But I needed this post. In some form or fashion, I have had to wrestle with most of these 11 things happy authors don’t do. (Not even published yet). I am humbled by this post. And I know I will benefit in the future by heeding this information. BLESS YOU RACHELLE. You realize that you represent most of your blog readers(including me) with these type of post right?…. 🙂

  18. Terrance Austin says:

    Awesome!!

  19. Nicole Deese says:

    Thank you! This is a great list!

  20. Awesome post! Just awesome! 🙂 I’m thinking about printing it out and nailing it on the wall above my computer.

  21. Sue Harrison says:

    I love to write, and I’m not usually whiny about it, but today I also have to weed-eat a couple of yards, begin to cook for a week’s worth of company, and wash the dog… Thank you for #9 Rachelle!

  22. Rebecca Meredith says:

    The thing that makes me happiest is that I am who I always wanted to be, and am among those I’ve always related to and admired. We’re storytellers, lovers of language in all its many capricious forms. We build worlds and then sit back and see what happens within them and around them. No matter how the moment by moment is going, I always feel as if my eyes are on a very precious prize.

  23. Loved every point you made, Rachelle! We all need to print this one out and post it on our office walls. And refrigerators. And bathroom mirrors. And– Need I say more? 🙂

    This is GREAT!! Thank you!!

  24. For me, the writing of the story is so important, so enjoyable, so fulfilling…that I am completely content all day, everyday…
    And I also have a pet unicorn named Fluffy Boo-Buns.

    The first part of that statement is true. The true part ends at that whole ‘content’ thing. Ha! And you thought it ended at the unicorn?

    To be a happy writer, one needs a few other interests in life. Which, for some of us, is heresy.
    I have many other interests, a few obsessions and even a “this is my life’s blood” thing or two.

    Stay well rounded, and your work will show it.

    • Heather says:

      Good advice, Jennifer. Unfortunately the extent of my well-roundedness right now comes from playing Call of Duty video games and homeschooling my girls. NOT the most glam life…hee. But it’s a season, I keep telling myself. I might be telling myself that same thing when I’m 85.

  25. JLOakley says:

    Writing and then getting your work noticed after you get out IS hard, but I’m having the best time meeting people, loving my writing community near and far and am thankful for every small positive step in my writing life. Not afraid of getting edited (thank you all so much) and am content where I am right now with my novel’s success. I guess I’m a happy author.

  26. Love this and so true. BJ

  27. Great post! I’m always struggling against yielding to #10 and #11.

    A suggestion for #4: maybe it should be “…don’t chalk bad days at the desk up to writer’s block.” Putting out bad pages, or getting stuck for a day or a week isn’t writer’s block–but writer’s block, in the sense of being swallowed for months or years in an emptiness in which there are no words, *is* real.

  28. Jill says:

    Writers are stuck in their heads most of the time. I’d say action–any kind!–is the best way to stay positive. I think #7 was the one about bitterness toward the industry. It’s very easy to fall into that because of the direction the industry has taken. Before I decided to self-publish, there was no longer any guarantee of an editor or agent sending out even a form rejection for work requested. It was like sending out work into a void. That’s harsh. Feeling invisible is not what your average cerebral author needs. It doesn’t feel like a conspiracy, so much as it feels like a complete rejection of person rather than work. The only way out of this kind of self pity is action. Write more books, self-publish, change careers–whatever! Just act and do and redirect negative thoughts. There’s no guarantee of happiness in life, but a sense of accomplishment is a great feeling that shouldn’t be dependent on others.

  29. Sometimes when you make a list one thing pops out at me as the best. Not today. Every stinkin’ item was right on the money. Enjoy writing!!! It really is so much fun … and lots of work … and consuming, etc. But most definitely, lots of fun!

  30. Wonderful post, and very down-to-earth suggestions.

    I think that many people look for reasons to be unhappy, and this includes both ‘beginning’ writers, and writers who are at the peak of fabulous careers. If you want to be unhappy – you’ll find a reason.

    And if you make up your mind to be happy – you will.

  31. Jane Wells says:

    I had a wonderful conversation today with another author over life, the universe and everything – but mostly how does one write with school-age children in the house.
    Just knowing that someone else asks herself the same question made both of us feel better. Knowing I am a part of, and remaining connected to, a larger community of writers really goes a long way toward keeping me sane!

  32. Again, great advice from the fabulous Rachelle. Thank you!

    And what keeps me happy is a couple of things:
    1) An absolute belief that God is in control and will lead my journey as an author (And having friends who pray for me and help me over the hump when I temporarily forget.)
    2)Writing something either fun and fluffy or deep and beautiful-whether or not it gets published.

  33. Thank you for those words. I love sharing my stories with family and friends. When my writing has touched their heart, it fills me with joy. I may never earn my keep writing, but I’ll keep writing.

  34. Sharla Fritz says:

    Loved this! I especially needed to hear the advice about not complaining and not comparing–two things I am sometimes prone to do.

  35. Joel Arnold says:

    Good points! Another thing that keeps me happy is knowing that it’s okay to suck at first drafts – most of the joy I get from writing is turning the crap into something good!

  36. Great article! When I read number nine, I laughed. As an ex-chicken farmer taking care of over 20,000 chickens per house, there are worse jobs 🙂

  37. Tim Klock says:

    Thanks! Great and useful reminders, as always. Rejections, especially are really hard to not take personally. But the hope of getting published keeps me persistent.

  38. Rachelle, I know I keep beating the same drum, but my motto is God didn’t make us to be successful. He made us to be holy. And that means being happy doing our best with the gifts He gave us. The results can’t be counted in numbers, but in contentment, whatever He decides is best for us. Right?

  39. 12 . . . don’t forget to feed their dog!

  40. Melody Balthaser says:

    Rachelle,
    This was so helpful (and nailed me on a few points!) Thank you for posting this. I want to be a “happy author”!!

  41. Elaine says:

    As soon as I saw the title, I thought “Don’t compare yourself with other writers” and “Don’t just send out one thing and then sit around anxiously waiting for a response.” You certainly have some other good ones too.

  42. What makes me a happy author is chatting with my readers on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog. I love getting to know them and their worlds. Australia, New York, Scotland, France, Germany… Who know that I’d have readers all over the world? It’s wonderful! Who wouldn’t be happy?

  43. Lynn Johnston says:

    I am happy just writing. I am a member of Fiction Writer’s Guild and compete in their monthly short story contest on Linked-In. I love the awesome feedback. They challenge me to fine tune my craft and make me feel successful whether I win or not. Just knowing that someone else enjoyed my writing gives me purpose. My critique group members make me feel as if I have a gift as well. Being a part of these groups help me grow and gives me hope that my current novels will find their home in the publishing world someday.

  44. Peter says:

    Rachelle,
    I am happiest when I am writing something I am passionate about, sharing something I’ve learned, an empowering epiphany I’ve had… things that can inspire and impact other committed individuals.

    I realize the challenges of marketing are all part of the process and I embrace the challenges, because I know with each one I am learning and growing and will become more empowering to help inspire others as well.

    Write On!

  45. What makes me a happy author? Is that I accomplished a childhood dream to become an author. More, I self-published my book: “Winter’s Mystery-Time To Go within:Spiritual Journeying”. It taught me so much about discovering things I never knew I could do. It was a gift for reclaiming my power and true self. I came to have a relationship with my inner writer and found that I had much to share.

  46. What a great list! I’m trying my best to be a happy writer!! 😉

  47. Eric says:

    My daughters running down the hall with one of my self published children’s books for me to read, make me extratic. (Extra ecstatic)

  48. Rachelle, obviously you are a happy author as well as an accomplished agent. On the Books & Such Literary Agency blog you and your other agents keep posting helpful advice for authors and yet to be authors.

    “What keeps you a “Happy” author? My answer: thinking about the people who chose to publish my commentary in Psychology Today, The Christian Century and The Washington Post.

  49. My manuscript was loved by a well-known agent/publisher, however, I was asked to alter it a little. he said, “Stephani, if you will take out … and use… I can sell your book!” After a very heart-felt search, asking myself why I wrote the book in the first place, I’m declining his changes. I may be making one of the biggest mistakes of my life, but I want my book to be true. And, thank you for your post today, “Happy authors don’t… care more about their sales than their writing! Stephani Chance – http://www.DecorateOrnate.com

    • Elaine says:

      I think you did what you needed to do. If you think a change goes against what you intended to convey and you don’t feel good about it, you would probably always regret yielding. It’s not only about the money even though that is important too. Changes should make the book better. There are other publishers. I pray you will find the right one soon.

  50. Roxanne Sherwood Gray says:

    Rachelle, Thanks for another insightful post.

    By not publishing as early as I once hoped, I’ve learned most of these lessons over time. One thing I have to add is how writing is such an important outlet for me. When I was first widowed and couldn’t write or when the needs of my special little boy have taken up my writing time, I really missed the emotional outlet writing provides. Now that my world is balanced (I’m remarried and my child is older and requires less hands on time) I’m a pretty happy writer, but I’d still like the thrill of holding my published novel in my hands!

  51. Writing, keeps me a happy writer. When inspiration helps bring a thought to the page, and it ministers to me, and then later when someone reads those thoughts and leaves a comment saying it was exactly what they needed to hear – that is a true joy 🙂 also, envisioning a new scene first thing in the morning when I wake – that reminds me, I am a writer.

  52. Thanks Rachelle, for another great post. Appreciate you.

  53. Ann Cole says:

    Great post!

    I am still trying to embrace the marketing aspect of publishing with a smile. It’s rather time-consuming and leaves very little time for writing. I always feel like I have wasted my day whenever I get too little writing done and too much marketing done.

  54. For the past month I’ve been particularly plagued by #10.
    To bounce back I need to go outside, take the dog for a walk, watch a sunrise or sunset, deep breathe, garden, watch a comedy, pray, have coffee with friends.
    Connection keeps me happy.

  55. Pat Iacuzzi says:

    Trying to stay focused on the Lord for inspiration and guidance. Thanks, Rachelle for this reminder!

  56. Carol North says:

    I write. Just the process of writing makes me happy. And I spend time with my family and friends.

  57. Richard P. Moore says:

    I self published my first book after a friend sat down and read the draft while I watched. She laughed until she cried. Watching her laugh and cry was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done in my life and I wanted to have those good feelings again, so I self published. The scenario has repeated itself several dozen times and I still get that feeling of satisfaction. It helps that the book has been a financial success (At last check I had made $3.95), but the joy of seeing someone enjoy MY work is much more rewarding.

  58. Rachel – you are right on the money and I’m happy to report I don’t do any of those 11 – thanks for the post! 🙂

  59. What keeps me happy is to accept that the process to become published is often long, but good writing will eventually win out. In the meantime I work on the craft and write for the love of writing and influencing people through blogs, newspaper and magazine articles, and speaking.
    Prayer, persistence, and patience = published

  60. Seraph Stein says:

    Rachelle, thank you as always for another example of excellent advice.
    The things that make me a happy writer are no different from the things that make me a gushing mother or a proud physician. They are the small things, the subtle gifts offered in return for well-played words.
    They are the retweets of my newest favorite quote from the chapter I just posted. Just like the “thank yous” from my daughter.
    They are the tears I choke back as I read the monologue my powerful character has just given me an excuse to write so that I could learn a much needed lesson. They are the hugs from my patients no longer suffering their ailments.

    Writing is about being a person who connects to others through the words they offer up. Is that any different from anyone else? It is the value of the connection we celebrate. The sales, the publishing, the money is the side effect.

    So here’s to connecting, and moving, and motivating, and offering up lessons worth learning… esp for the writer.
    In light and joy- Seraph

  61. Lorraine says:

    Loved this post, Rachelle. We do need to think and act like mature adults and embrace the success of others who have worked very hard to achieve their goals. Anything worthwhile requires effort and patience. I’m always trying to improve my craft. We’re all in different places on this journey. We should look ahead and strive to be better, like those who have attained, and look behind and offer a hand to those who aren’t quite where we are yet. Your posts are blessings in my inbox. Thanks for your dedication and for sharing your expertise.

  62. Peter DeHaan says:

    That’s a great list — and mostly affirming!

  63. Lynda Lee says:

    Thank you for a great post, I really needed this today.

    To answer your question ”What keeps you a “happy” author?” — I mainly write to keep my head from exploding. Not having an exploding head makes me happy. 🙂

  64. Mark Kennard says:

    I think that most good writers just do all of the mentioned things without effort. If you know you write well, a good turn of prose inspires you. You have confidence in what you create, so criticism doesn’t bite as deep. You want to share your work. And above all, you enjoy the process.

  65. Sitting down and writing keeps me happy. If I have a jam-packed day, I make sure to write enough to fit inside a one inch picture frame (BIRD BY BIRD is my favorite writing book!) I don’t mind marketing – I’m just never sure I’m doing it right. So I keep plugging away – tweet by tweet. But it’s getting the words down that keeps me sane (and smiling) for sure.

  66. Candi Sary says:

    Appreciate all these great reminders. Thanks!

  67. Right now what keeps me happy as a writer is getting absorbed in crafting a blog post that I think my readers will connect with.

  68. Kori Miller says:

    Dead on. I posted something similar yesterday, and have addressed this in the past. Writers, write. That’s all there is to it. That, reading other people’s work, and chatting with other working writers, adds to my happiness.

  69. Michael says:

    Writing like crazy, editing, revising and polishing, thinking of new concepts and stories, and reading more wonderful books that others have written, keeps me a happy author.

  70. Nice post, as always, Rachelle. Basically, most of these attitudes apply to being happy in life, overall. Negativity, bitterness, fear of rejection, are all things to be deleted from our lives – period. I write for the pure joy of it and in the end, isn’t that what life is about?

  71. Frances Kay says:

    I don’t worry about the days and years passing. Writing is one of the rare crafts that gets better as you get older. Enjoy your maturity and celebrate your experience!

  72. You always seem to hit the nail right where it needs to be hit. As I engage with writers online and in real time, I feel distressed by the grossing and complaing about EVERYTHING. When I work with a new author/client, the first thing I try to do is establish a positive outlook and positive energy. Writing is such a joy and overcoming the obstacles is good medicine. Loved this post.

  73. Beth Camp says:

    Best comment I needed to read this morning: “Figure out what kinds of book marketing suit you, and focus on those.” This takes the dread out of marketing for me. Thank YOU!

  74. Peter Dudley says:

    Nicely argued. I think some of them come with time–stick around long enough, and the arrogance of youth eventually gives way to wisdom born of experience.

    I was going to argue #7. But then I realized you used the word “vast.” With the way the publishing industry is going, one could say that yeah, it’s just a “moderately sized but waning” conspiracy whose sole purpose is to keep people out. So I’ll give you that one on a technicality. 🙂

  75. Bobbi says:

    Great Post Rachelle!
    Not writing for me is not an option. Writing keeps me sane and happy, but, I let words not flowing derail my writing time to often.

    I do always enjoy your posts!

  76. Beverly says:

    Rachelle, thanks for your comments
    We all need someone like you to inform us once in awhile Just because we think we can write does not mean we know it all
    It is not writing but where to send it is my concerns because I write all kinds of poetry and I do not know what kind it is when they ask why does it matter?

  77. You are so spot on with comparison Rachelle! It’s a double edged negative sword in terms of both writing itself and marketing.
    If you compare yourself with others you come to one of two conclusions that kill the joy and therefore the creativity of writing:
    1. I’m better than such and such writer(s) so why am I not as successful as they?
    2. Why am I not as good as such and such a writer?
    Both lead to depression and frustration.
    Same with marketing:
    1. I’m marketing harder and more than others, why am I not getting the same results?
    2. Why am I not a marketing superstar like others?
    Comparison is the most deadly action for authors in my humble opinion. From it springs bitterness, despair, frustration, even fear. But it is also one of the hardest things to control due to social media, especially with authors posting their successes constantly. I think it might help to realize there are so many many authors who have access to publication now that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed but it does not necessarily reflect good or bad upon you as an author.
    Just my humble opinion.
    Patti

  78. Mirka Breen says:

    “What keeps you a “happy” author?”

    A: Writing.

  79. T.K. Thorne says:

    What keeps me happy is the joy of writing, of seeing something “in my head” get on the page right so other people can see it too. It’s magic!
    Thanks for a lovely post!

  80. Dana Huse says:

    Don’t make the easy things hard.

  81. Prem Rao says:

    Writing for the joy of writing keeps me a happy author. The sheer excitement of creating characters, weaving plots and crafting a story is joy enough. Thanks for a great post.

  82. Ash says:

    This is my experience with your above points. I agree with all except 4 of them. I don’t fully disagree, but I think there are really serious issue within those points that all writers need to be encouraged to ponder and discuss.

    I do all of the following:

    4 …believe in writer’s block.

    5 …refuse to study the craft of writing.

    9 …complain about how hard it is to be a writer.

    10 …allow themselves to be derailed by rejection and disappointment.

    I read Fearless Creating and am daily coming to terms with all the above, that’s what keeps me engaged and I can’t imagine writing any other way.

    After 20 years of being unable to write, yes I do believe in writers block.
    Having seen the results of creative writing school and being determined to avoid them at all costs, I do refuse to study the craft of writing as prescribed. There are other reasons as well, but CWS covers most of them.
    I always complain about how hard it is. I’ve had those other jobs and nothing comes close to the total commitment of writing a novel.
    I get dejected every day, and sometimes derailed for up to a week. So I can’t relate to that either. But I know you mean total and final dejection, so I’m perhaps splitting hairs here.

  83. Ray Bradbury once advised you should ‘focus on your passion – burn it with your glance.’ That’s my secret to writing happiness: to block out the noise and nurture the passion.

  84. KC Klein says:

    Love it. Thanks for the great post. Very true, but so easy to get off course.

  85. Very helpful post. I also write now on pregnancy and fertility. You can see it here: http://conceivesuccess.com/best-over-the-counter-fertility-drugs/

  86. So true, I especially like point #7!!
    Oh and point #11 is another goodie!