And No One Will Notice…

I constantly get comments and questions from writers worrying about putting out a book that someone might hate, or that might have a mistake in it, or whatever other excuse they can think of to not take a chance and put a book out on the market.

All based on fear.

All excuses.

This sort of continues the last post about always wanting to go back and fix something you put out earlier. You think someone might care if you did that to your book, that someone might notice.

Or even more stupid, they might notice that you didn’t fix it. Gadzooks!!!

This area, among other areas, I call “The author problem.” The author is so close to their own career that they think everyone else on the planet is following everything they do.

Nothing is farther from the truth. No one (not even family) is following what you are doing that closely, and no one outside your family (and sometimes not even them) care at all.

I would say this belief (that the entire world is paying attention) comes out of ego, but I honestly don’t think that is completely the case. Sure, ego is a part of it, but mostly it is a lack of understanding of basic human nature.

A given. Every long-term experienced writer writes a book that doesn’t live up to previous books to some readers, but not all readers. Often that is a recent book and beginning writers almost always assume the writer got lazy or something.

Nope. Normally it is the experienced writer trying something new that annoyed a number of regular readers, or did something different (god forbid) and thus is an inferior book to those readers who wanted the exact same book as they read before from that author. While to the writer it is their best book.

So early writers might think everyone on the planet is paying attention to their work like they pay a bit of attention to a few bestsellers. That might be where a sliver of this problem comes from.

But the truth is that early writers have no career, no following, no real fans. Sure, they might have a few hundred or even a few thousand on a mailing list, and make decent sales, but trust me, those readers have other things to do than follow every detail of your career. If they pretend to follow any writer, it is their favorite mega-bestseller.

The only person who cares and compares books from one to the next in your career is you. No one else cares.

Let me repeat that: No one else cares.

And that should be the most freeing thing that you can realize, if you let it sink in.

That realization allows you to write the books you want to write and have fun. Allows you to not worry about having every word perfect, but instead just the best you can do at that moment.

It allows you to not think about fixing old books just because you learned something.

No one cares.

Now, one more side point. When you wrote a book and got it out, it was the best you could do at the time. Some readers paid good money for it and many liked it and bought more books from you.

So you go learn something and now YOU CAN SEE WHAT WAS WRONG. Before, those same words looked fine to you, but now you can see “the problem.” Oh, no…

But no one else can see. And no one cares that you have learned something you add to future books that wasn’t in older books.

Only you know. Only you care.

And one additional thing.

NEVER PUT DOWN YOUR OWN WORK. Especially older books.

Some reader might think your older book is the best thing they ever read and the last thing they want is to be insulted by you putting down their tastes in books.

Keep your mouth shut, keep learning, write the next book, and get it out. Repeat.

And if you really do realize no one cares but you, the freedom in your writing is amazing.

Go have fun.