Perfectly Imperfect…

I recently read the success story of a cozy mystery author. I’m not going to name names, but he pulled in $63K in the month of January. I want to be clear from the start that he isn’t an overnight success, and he has many books to his name. Self-publishing isn’t a great way to “get rich quick.”

Other than the astounding amount of money he’s made, other things about his story struck me:

  1. He’s never read a cozy.
  2. He doesn’t read at all really.
  3. He self-edits his books.
  4. He works incredibly hard and writes 2 books a month.

When I say that your author journey is truly your own, I mean it. This author has essentially broken all of the “rules” and went against every guideline that I can think of, but he’s making it work.

Now, please don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t going to be a “if he can do it, you can too” type of post. What I gleaned from his story, (and I hope you will too) is sometimes your best is good enough.

A single terrible review recently knocked the wind out of my sails. In my defense, it was more of a personal attack than a thoughtful criticism, but in any case, it made me almost incapable of writing.

I became so caught up in the idea of polished perfection that meets every reader expectation out there, that it was too stressful to write. I even went as far as writing to all 2000 of my newsletter subscribers to ask what they wanted out of book 4. While some might not recommend this, It was my most responsive newsletter to date, and I had some really meaningful conversations.

I know this mystery author does good work and puts out quality books. I think that one of the reasons he’s so prolific as a writer, and therefore successful, is that he writes the stories he wants to write.

Sometimes when we let all of the noise of the business side of things get in the way, out work suffers.

The key, as with everything is striking a healthy balance, and manage your expectations.

If you keep writing stories YOU want to write, you might end up making 63k or you won’t.

If decide to write more to market, you might find your stride or you might stress yourself out, and therefore become blocked.

We’re all just bumbling our way through this journey. Sometimes though… very rarely those two paths/ideas collide and your own version of perfection is formed.


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