I had a goal: to become a published author. Along with that goal came the hope of connecting with readers.
It's a year later and I now have three books published, three ready for release, along with a novella, and a slew of story ideas bouncing around in my head.
I should be patting myself on the back. Instead, I'm constantly checking to see how many pages of my books have been read on Kindle Unlimited, taking online marketing classes, and reading material about self-publishing.
The result? I've overwhelmed myself to the point of I've had enough.
It was never my intention to go into the marketing business in an effort to try and become a bestselling author. Would I like to be? Hell yes! What author wouldn't?
But the time has come to refocus my energy.
Sure, it's important to set goals and strive to be the best we can, but it's also important not to up the bar to the point of setting unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. For me, the result of doing so has changed my outlook, seeing this entire writing process as a chore instead of a pleasurable escape. I have a day job that I get paid to do. Writing was never meant to replace that. If it does one day, that would be great. But for now, I consider writing a passion I'm feeding.
If I inspire one person, I've hit bestseller status. It has never been about quantity for me. It's so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of trying to be the best, wanting to be number one, but at what cost? It's more important to have peace of mind. All of this other, and yes, necessary marketing, has taken away from the little free time I have to write - the fun part. Well, I want to have fun again and not give up doing something I love because my focus has shifted.
What is it you've upped the bar of to unhealthy proportions?
Let's do the footwork to get the action done without jumping ten feet ahead of ourselves by setting unrealistic expectations. And most importantly, let's enjoy what we do.