A child comes to you with a new drawing, crayon in hand, beaming with pleasure at creation and proud of the result.
Do you say, “There are too many drawings in the world and this is no good. Stop creating immediately.”
Or do you say, “That’s brilliant. Why don’t you draw another one?”
Your creative self is that child. When you start to constrain what is possible to create, that child will cower in fear and stop creating.
Some in the industry say that there are too many books in the world.
That you are competing for a small pool of readers.
That you shouldn’t help your fellow authors because they might get ahead of you.
I shall use the term ‘poppycock’ since we are in polite company and I’m British, but there are other less polite words you could apply to these thoughts.
If you believe that there can only be a specific number of books in the world i.e. those that are judged worthy by a few privileged gatekeepers, then you are crushing the voices of unheard people in every culture, as well as your own creativity.
I bet you were a reader before you were a writer, as was I.
Perhaps your parents read to you at night when you were little.
Maybe you read under the bedclothes as you got older.
Maybe your idea of fun was sneaking off to the library every lunchtime.
Perhaps books are your hobby, your passion and your escape – as they are for me.
I don’t know how many books I’ve read in my 41 years of life so far, but I can tell you, it is many thousands more than I have written, and many more than I will ever be able to write in my lifetime. The most prolific authors, like Nora Roberts, write as many as twelve books per year, but you can bet they still read more than one a month.
One author alone can never satisfy a reader’s appetite.
Writers are readers first.
Understand that every person who writes a book, or wants to write one, will end up buying far more books than they can ever create themselves. So, if everyone in the world wrote a book, fantastic! All of them will read many more than they write. So encourage all your friends and family to write immediately 🙂
Cultivate an abundance mentality and you will be far happier. Find authors in your niche who serve the same audience as you. Read their books and recommend them to your readers. Give without expectation of receiving … and get on with writing your next book!
This is an excerpt from The Successful Author Mindset. Out now in ebook, print, workbook and audiobook formats.
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