Nurturing the Author’s Soul

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I can’t speak for every writer out there, but I know that for myself, I have a love-hate relationship with this profession. It’s just how my creative process works. One day I’ll be flying high, confident in my ability to use words to paint pictures. The next I’ll be rolling low, fighting with myself not to trash everything I’ve ever written. Some nights I can stay up until 3am plugging away, lost in a world of my own making. Other nights I fall into fitful sleep convinced that I’m a hack who should do the world a favor and hide under a rock.

It’s not exactly a steady-as-she-goes gig, this writing thing.

I’m not looking for sympathy here, and this isn’t a not-so-subtle cry for you to tell me how fabulous my books are. This is more of a Public Service Announcement.

If other writers are like me (and I suspect many of them are…we’re a goofy sort-of similar bunch), when we find ourselves at those low points, one of the things we do to buoy ourselves up is to pour over the kind words we’ve gotten from those who dig our work. Words like, “I stayed up till 3 am, I couldn’t put it down,” and “When is your next book coming?” have a sort of nutritional value to the writer’s soul. They give us strength, the kind we can’t provide for ourselves.

This is one reason why reviews are so important. Of course they’re fantastic for helping to sell our books – reviews are guideposts to for new readers to follow, and they do – but along with that, a good, honest review has the power to keep an author afloat when they’re flailing in a stormy sea of self doubt. A good, honest review tells the author – Look, you did it once before. You can do it again.

Today, think about an author you love. Indie pub, self-pub, trad-pub, it doesn’t matter. Pick one, and go leave an honest review. It doesn’t have to be a five star review, it just needs to be honest. And while I think that all reviews – even negative ones – serve a a good purpose, make today about positivity. Find an author who deserves a good word, and lift them up a little. There will be plenty of time tomorrow for negative reviews.

Big love,


p.s. If you’re feeling super ambitious, copy and paste your review on multiple sites. Amazon is many people’s go-to place to leave reviews, but Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, iTunes and others like them are great places to drop a line or two, also.

p.p.s. The voting is still open for IndieReCon’s 2014 Best Indie Novel Award. If you haven’t voted yet, please go here and cast your vote. Voting ends at 7pm on the 27th. Thanks!



4 thoughts on “Nurturing the Author’s Soul

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Yeah, we writers can be interesting on the roller coaster writing adventure lol!
    Reviews are very helpful and something else that has been helpful is things like the Insecure Writer’s Support Group that I LOVE. Just wanted to mention that just in case… 🙂

  2. jansenschmidt says:

    I write reviews all the time. At the very least I’ll give it a star value. Those matter, too. I think lots or people pay attention to those reviews, too, so it’s important to get them out there.

    And i know what you mean about the highs and lows of this writing business. It’s rather like a tempestuous ocean. Some people like to ride the pounding surf, while others like the gentle lapping on the sand. But you can’t have one without the other. So ride it out and, as Dory says, “just keep swimming.”

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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