It’s been a worrisome week. I’ll not deny it. Two good friends, who happen to be debut authors, have fallen on hard times. Really, really hard times. My heart aches when I think about the impact these situations will have on all aspects of their lives. We’re not playing games with this stuff. It’s the real deal.
While I’m terribly concerned for their personal and families’ well-being, I am really bummed that these incidents add burden to what should be a joyful experience – being a debut author! They’ve worked so hard. They’re such deserving people. It just ain’t fair.
And, then, as I over-think their situations (a practice I often engage in), I have to wonder if the very nature of being a debut author, and all the trappings therein, contributed to their distress. Not that being a debut author is the primary reason trouble showed up at their doors, mind you. Instead, that perhaps, the stress and demands of preparing for their debuts may have played a role in their angst. I certainly hope not. But it’s possible. Right?
There’s got to be a way to strike a balance in this thing and I'm on the hunt to find it.
I truly admire the authors and illustrators I’m privileged to know who have lovely families and full-time jobs and are physically fit and publish on a regular basis! How, the heck, are they able to do it all? It’s amazing to me.
Some time ago I asked the very, very talented Nikki Loftin what advice she might have for an embryonic debut author. Nikki is an incredible mom, a loving wife, and a full-time author who is pulling this gig off in style (All that, plus she’s fun to be with and as cute as a kitten.). I want to know what someone as prolific as Nikki has to say, don’t you?
“So… my advice,” Nikki said, “would be to keep a journal/notebook/mental tally of all the GOOD things that happen in the first year (before and after pub date). The bad stuff will start to seem overwhelming at some point (bad reviews, missed opportunities, rejections of the next book or four), and it can be really hard to see the amazing things that have happened in the middle of all the mud.”
There you have it. Count blessings, even if they’re sloppy. Nikki’s not glossing over the issue that publishing your first (and preceding) books is and will be hard work. Instead, she’s reminding us that it is critical to acknowledge and remember the butterfly kisses along the way, too. Great advice!
In closing, my wish for you, my troubled friends, is that a monarch stops by and lays a big, wet smooch on the tip of your nose to remind you that you’re loved and cherished by all.