Hi everyone, we’re back! Welcome to this week’s installment of Utopia2016 Resolutions! Ashley from Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous and I had such a good time bringing you resolutions for 2015 that we are back for 2016. Every Tuesday from now until the conference, we are taking turns hosting a Utopia2016 attendee, be it an author, blogger, publicist, editor, fan, etc. This week, I am happy to feature author M.H. Soars.
M.H. Soars, Author
First time attendee in 2016
I signed up to be part of the Utopia Resolutions feature many months ago, but I never got around to sit down and write my article, mainly because I didn’t know what to say. This will be my first year attending Utopia Con so I had no takeaways from previous years from which to build any type of resolution. Life got in the way, and I ended up forgetting about it.
But then something happened last year. When I decided to become a writer, I didn’t know what I was signing up for. I don’t think anyone does. All I wanted was to create stories, give life to the characters in my head. No one tells you about the low points in a writer’s life, the moments when you just want to quit because the pressure is too high.
The lowest point for me was when I found myself turning into someone I loathed. A person filled with insecurities, envy, and anger. I started looking at other authors as competition, comparing my journey to theirs and getting upset that they were experiencing more success than me. Like fellow author Aria Michaels mentioned in her blog post, I was comparing my beginning to other authors’ middles. There was darkness in my heart and I didn’t know how to get rid of it. But one thing was clear to me — either I found a solution, a way to kill the green monster for good, or I was done writing. I didn’t want to be the type of person who couldn’t appreciate other people’s success just because I hadn’t gotten there yet.
I found the light at the end of the tunnel when I began paying it forward. I signed up for projects where my contribution was to give other authors advice, help them in any way I could, sharing the knowledge I’ve gathered so far. The more I helped, the happier I became, and slowly, the darkness began to dissipate.
Now I can say I feel true joy when other authors rise to Amazon’s bestselling lists, when they receive praise for their hard work, and if I contributed just a little bit to their success in the shape of a Thunderclap campaign support, or a Facebook share, even better. Helping others is an amazing and heady feeling.
So you can say my resolution is to keep doing it, lift as I climb. The struggle for authors is real, regardless if they are independent or traditionally published. The enemy is not the successful independent author who has sold millions of copies, nor the prolific one who can publish a new novel every month. You can’t perceive the author sitting next to you at a book signing as competition or try to hog the spotlight. Divided we accomplish nothing. We can only succeed in this perilous and exciting journey if we stand together.
As part of my resolution, I’ve created a website (Your Next Book Crush) with the sole purpose to promote authors, help them connect with new readers and develop their legion of fans.* It’s a free service and I’ll try to keep it so for as long as I can. This is just the beginning. I have big plans and I hope to be able to share more soon.
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