The Importance of Self-Love

We hear the term “self-love” bandied about, but do we really know what it means? In the simplest terms, it’s about focusing on your own well-being and happiness. It’s not about being selfish or greedy, it’s about taking care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This can come in different forms for diffSelf-Love-Equals-Successerent people, or multiple forms for the different areas of your life.

For writers, self-love is wrapped up in layers of literary success. Of course, everyone has a different definition of success. But just for the sake of conversation, let’s say that success means selling lots of books and getting a lot of attention/feedback on social media.

It’s easy for popular authors who sell lots of books, win awards, and get lots of likes on their Facebooks pages, hits on their blogs/websites, and followers on Twitter. Right? I mean, with that kind of validation, they’re already miles ahead.

But what if your sales are not that great, and your social media profiles get relatively little attention? It’s a little bit harder to keep your chin up, isn’t it?self love

That’s where the self-love part comes in. Now, I can go the Stuart Smalley route just tell you to repeat to yourself, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me.” Well, if that works for you, then go for it. But what I’m going to tell you to do is the opposite of the woowoo thing. I’m going to tell you to look at the basic reality of the publishing industry.

Getting traffic and sales is HHAAAAARRRRRRD.

Yep, that’s the technical, industry term. And that’s all you really need to know. Stop beating yourself up when your royalty checks are smaller than you’d like. Don’t feel bad when very few people like your posts or retweet your tweets. And just because no one comments on your blog, that doesn’t mean no one’s reading.

It may seem like little consolation when your ultimate goal is to be a full-time writer—or even if it’s just to make enough money to put a down payment on a pair of shoes—but, really, when you think about it, it isn’t a reflection on you, your talent, your skills, or your intelligence. It’s about many fish swimming in a small pond, fighting for the same food. A lot of it is luck.Lucille-Ball-Quote

So, in order to maintain our emotional, mental, and, ultimately, physical well-being, we need to remind ourselves that despite a less-than-satisfactory performance on our books, blogs, etc., we are still good at what we do. We are worthy of being a part of the literary landscape. And we have the right to put our words out there. There’s a serenity to be gained from this way of thinking.

With serenity comes growth. And with growth, maybe even more sales. But what’s important is that at the end of the day, we’ve done the work we were really meant to do. And that’s a beautiful thing.

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10 thoughts on “The Importance of Self-Love

  1. Good one, RG. Those of us lucky enough to be blessed in other ways may be able to cope with the apparent lack of success, but it must be so hard for others for whom many aspects of life are a daily struggle. Everyone should have an encourager like you.

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  2. Another excellent blog, R.G. Yes, a writer may never know the impact their writing has on another person, and a reader may just not have the time to post a response or a review. I know I have a few I want to write, but sadly, making a living intrudes on that time. It can take half a day or more to read all that I want to read. It is tough, but this blog was just what I needed to make me put just a bit more effort in responding or reacting to things I’ve read. We are so used to quickly hitting that ‘Like’ button as a way of acknowledging that a post has been seen, that it seems to take too long to actually sit down and type out some words. Lazy, I know, but all of us have more and more demands on our eye-balls and what everyone wants us to see. We are drowning in abundance, and we are blessed with this abundance. Like a deer in the headlights, we freeze at all there is to respond to.

    That being said, I really liked your words: “We are worthy of being a part of the literary landscape. And we have the right to put our words out there.”
    This is absolutely true! Hopefully, any writer will take the joy in creating something of their own making as a large part of their reward system. Outside critiques, sales numbers, and yes, those blessed ‘Likes’ do act as guides that one is on the right path to providing stories that appeal to more people, but the pond that people have to choose from is getting bigger and bigger every day. You are right, too, in saying that the process of letting people know you exist IS hard. The most wonderful talent in the world might get missed in all the noise and chatter, but I hope the process of creation at least partially makes up for the lack of recognition.
    Thank you for making your contribution to the world. We are out here, reading, listening, enjoying…..even if we don’t always make the time to write back.

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