Publishing: Cut Yourself Some Slack

I have a confession. I have a bad habit of comparing my productivity to other writers, and, darn it, if I don’t always come up short! Basically, I write during my spare time, which a busy household of six and work doesn’t leave a whole lot of (Yuck! That comes across as whining. Well, let’s call it for what it is: justified bellyaching. ;-)).

A few weeks ago, I finished the first draft of the fifth installment in Cassidy Jones Adventures. It took me nearly two years to write. Now, you’d think I’d be celebrating that accomplishment. But, no, not me. I enjoyed the triumph for about 30 seconds, before feeling anxious and guilty about the book not being published yet, because I should have had it done, like, over a year ago, and now I’m soooooooo far behind (Who am I behind? I don’t know.). But I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve totally blown it, because Miss Prolific Pants had managed to publish five books in the last couple of years, and Mr. Churns-Em-Out-Like-Butter must have published at least a dozen! How many book covers grace his Amazon page now? Fifty? Gimme a sec. I’ll go count, again…

I have to ask myself: When did this become a race? Oh, I know! When I started comparing myself to other authors, and when I inflicted self-imposed deadlines on myself (I’m a nightmare boss.).

Needless to say, I have ceased to enjoy the journey. My goal now: regain that joy. The only way that I can fathom accomplishing this undertaking is to take a deep breath, close my eyes (so they’re unable to count all of those book covers), allow a story to come alive in my mind, and write it, without letting my gaze stray to the date on the upper corner of my laptop.

Some of you are even worst off than I am. You have a story tumbling around your head that you won’t let your fingers set free on a keyboard, because there just isn’t enough blasted time in a day! Remember, there isn’t any such thing as an aspiring writer. You’re either a writer, or you’re not. So just do it. Write, even if you’re the tortoise (Wait! This isn’t a race. I forgot.). Keep at it, bit by bit. Eventually, you’ll have the satisfaction of typing “The End.”

Elise Stokes lives with her husband and four children. She was an elementary school teacher before becoming a full-time mom. With a daughter in middle school and two in high school, Elise’s understanding of the challenges facing girls in that age range inspired her to create a series that will motivate girls to value individualism, courage, integrity, and intelligence. The stories in Cassidy Jones Adventures are fun and relatable, and a bit edgy without taking the reader uncomfortably out of bounds. Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift, Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant, and Cassidy Jones and the Luminous are the first four books in the series.

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13 thoughts on “Publishing: Cut Yourself Some Slack

    1. Thank you, Michelle! That’s me right now— raw. 😉 Thanks for taking a look so quickly. I’m still skimming through for typos. But, true, we are very hard on ourselves. Honestly, I think the new way of publishing (and making money) has laid on the pressure. Churn those digital books out, as quickly as possible— if you want to get traction on Kindle Unlimited.

    1. Thank you, Lia! I appreciate your kind words and support. That means a lot coming from a (hilarious) wordsmith like you. 🙂 Like I said, I’m the one laying the pressure on me: “What is wrong with you?! Why do you write so slow?? Perform, perform! Write faster! Faster!” I can be a real jerk. 😉

  1. Hardest thing to do is not to compare yourself with other authors, Elise. Remember, you’re a PROFESSIONAL and PUBLISHED Author, and no one can take that away from you! There’s no room for beating yourself up in this field. Just do what you love! Cheers and great post!

    1. Thank you, Sharon! My frustration comes with feeling that I’m not doing it fast enough. That said, I don’t rush myself. I’d rather invest the time and put my best foot forward— I wouldn’t publish, otherwise. Now, if I could just type with more fingers than just these two… 😉

  2. That’s a great post, Elise! Here am I agonising over books 7 and 8 of the Princelings, left with a wide gap because I tried to get a new scifi series out. I can’t do that much writing. Well, no, it’s the editing that makes my mind turn to water, and I don’t even have the excuse of a family to herd. And who wants twenty books to their name anyway? That’ll only confuse your readers. Won’t it?
    Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Jemima. Frankly, that’s one reason why the latest installment took two years to complete. I tried to write the first book of a new series at the same time. My mind can’t be pulled in that many directions. 😉 Best wishes to you, and happy writing (and editing 🙂 )!

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