I should probably warn you about what I mean when I say ‘happy’. To me, being a happy author is being fulfilled by your writing. So, whether you’re published or aspiring to be, whether you’re at the point in your writing career that you want to be or not, take a moment to think about that. Does your writing make you feel fulfilled? Does it make you happy? If your answer to those questions is no, perhaps you should look at trying to form these habits. (Which, I guarantee you, happy authors have mastered).
Habit One: Stop comparing yourself to others
I’ve written this in countless posts before, but it’s such an easy trap to fall into, so I’m repeating it again:
Stop comparing yourself to others.
I say this because I fall into this trap so often. And if I had a penny for every time I did, maybe I’d finally have the money I imagine those other authors are earning (*cue self-deprecating laugh*). The biggest way to combat this is to realise that you are the only person you should be comparing yourself to. Are you learning from your mistakes? Are you improving your writing skills? If your answer to those questions is yes, then you’ll get where you need to be in your career. Trust that.
Habit Two: Stick to your writing goals
I’ve written a whole post on writing goals, so I won’t go into detail about how important they are here. All I’ll say is that writing goals give you something to work towards. Something that will motivate you, and help you feel like you’re progressing in your writing career. So, set your writing goals and stick to them, okay?
Habit Three: Let negativity fuel your writing
It’s easy to slip into negativity in this business. Rejections, revisions, and poor sales can all contribute to you feeling blue about your writing career. But you know what will help with that?
You have to keep writing.
That’s how you’re going to get over your rejections, and get through your revisions. And the only way you can get over poor sales is to write another book (and another, and another) until one comes along that does sell well. So, use that negative energy to fuel your writing, and keep going.
(You know what really helps me? Singing Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing, like Dory does about swimming from Finding Nemo. You’re welcome.)
Habit Four: Be kind to yourself
Take a break when you need one. Get in touch with friends. Speak to your support group regularly. (And if you don’t have one, find one!) There are going to be countless things in your writing career that you won’t foresee. And while you don’t have to anticipate them, you have to be kind to yourself to face them.
Sometimes that might entail staying off social media for a while. Or ignoring what you think you should be doing as a writer. You might need to do affirmations, and tell yourself every day that you are a good writer, and that you can do this.