A few days ago I received an email from my wife. You see, I've been a bit down about my writing lately. The second draft of my current novel is taking longer than expected, and I've been having those neurotic writer's spells where I feel like every word I type is utter crap (should I use crap here? Isn't there a better word I could use? Stop that!). And as always things are moving W A Y . . . T O O . . . S L O W for my liking. As soon as I perfect my Straight-From-Brain-Downloading-System I should be able to pump out half a dozen books a month. I'm almost there. The test monkeys have stopped exploding and now only sizzle.
Sorry. Back to my sensitive mental state.
I usually get this way when I read one of those ultra successful authors whose books are so good it should be criminal. I start comparing my work to theirs and it's just an epic shame spiral from there. In the past my melancholy has stemmed from King, Koontz, Rice, Saul, McCammon . . . you can see a pattern here. Lately I've been reading the Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin.
Although I hadn't really said anything, my wife could tell I was down. This is what her email said:
A Game of Thrones is a huge hit but it wasn't always that way. It took almost 15 years from the time it was first published to the time it reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. It didn't happen overnight but it did happen.
This is from Wikipedia: " A Game of Thrones is the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 6 August 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award, and was nominated for both the 1998 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. In January 2011 the novel became a New York Times bestseller and reached #1 on the list in July 2011."
If you keep going and doing all the awesome work you're doing I'm sure it won't take that long for you to see the success you deserve. Love you babe!
Pretty cool lady, huh?
That's the thing about those divine writers. Even though they bring an enormous pile of self-doubt to people like me, they simultaneously drive me to write better/harder/smarter (dang! what word should I use?). And just because my novels aren't selling great today doesn't mean they won't be bestsellers tomorrow.