The most destructive question we can ask is "How did she (or he) do it?"
"How did she become a USA Today bestselling author?" "How is he selling 5000 copies of his book a day?" "How did they become so successful?"
We need to stop asking these questions. (And the dozens of others we repeat mantra-like on a daily basis.) You know why? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how 'they' did it because they aren't us. And to be quite frank, they might not know themselves.
Okay, for clarification purposes I'm not suggesting we stop asking questions altogether. Learning from someone who's been down the same road we're traveling is a gift. One we should never take lightly. All of the education in the world doesn't hold a candle to real-life experience, in my opinion. And listening to other authors' suggestions on the best way to get a Bookbub deal or which cover designers do the best work are worth their weight in gold (or whatever the standard is today).
...we need to stop comparing ourselves to every other author out there. Because what worked for them won't necessarily work for us. While we all share a similar vision, the journey (and destination) for each of us will be ours alone. And that's a good thing. We're supposed to create our own experiences. Be responsible for the victories - and mistakes - we make. And we need to stop beating ourselves up when we discover we're not standing on the same square as that author who just (fill in the blank).
Wondering what we're doing wrong is counter-productive. It eats at the very soul of who we are, creating doubts where none should exist and crippling our creativity. And we're the only ones to blame.
I've used possessive pronouns throughout this post because I've spoken to several authors who indulge in this mindset but I'm also able to own these thoughts. Hell, I might as well charge them rent for as much space as they take up in my head. I need to stop being self-destructive. I need to stop worrying about what and how other people do what they do to get where they are. I need to make this journey my own.
|Picture and quote courtesy of Kristine Raymond|
Just remember, instead of asking "How did she/he get there?" ask yourself "How do I get there?" Carve your own path. Create your own destiny.
See you at the top!