When you work for yourself, as authors do, there’s no “boss” telling you what to do. Even if you write for a publisher, while your publisher may provide you with promotional opportunities or share the information with you on how to promote your book, the bulk of the work is still up to you. And that puts you in a situation that for many of us, we’re not used to being in–there are no wrong answers.
Okay, I suppose in terms of promotion the only wrong answer is to do nothing, but even then, there are authors who tell you that they do quite nicely not doing a thing at all. Now I’d suspect there are systems in place that they use or set up that they don’t think of as “doing anything” that are. But for the most part, there are no wrong answers here.
That means authors need to trust themselves. It can be difficult. When we’re looking around, comparing what we’re doing, how we’re ranking to others, it can seem hard to trust ourselves. Are we doing the right things? Do we have all the information we need?
However, if instead of looking at things in terms of right and wrong, pass or fail, and instead see it as a journey of exploration. One that we’re on and willing and excited to discover new things and new outcomes, then we start to trust ourselves. Think about your publishing as an experiment. A grand one in which you gather data, refine, and try again, over and over again until you feel you have the right recipe for you. Trust that you are going in the right direction. Just as you don’t see your destination when you first start out on a trip, eventually you’ll pass landmarks and see that you’re well on your way. Someday, you’ll even reach that destination and decide whether you want to stay there or keep going. The choice is yours. Trust yourself; there are no wrong answers here.
Learning to trust yourself begins in small actions. Trust your writing. Trust the process. If you find yourself fretting over a decision (release days are often things authors fret over), make a decision and run with it. See what happens. Grow and learn.
Most importantly, tell yourself that it’s okay to trust yourself. It’s okay to go with your gut or run with your hunches. You’ve got this. So what are you going to trust yourself on today?
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