Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chill Out! The Author's Guide to Chilling Out!

Chill out!

This is your deep breath in... hold it, and now... let it out. There, now keep doing that.

I had some friends when I was little that used to say Chill Out all the time! Chill... it was all cool to say it so we did. But it is a good reminder to keep our heads.

What does this have to do with writing and publishing? Everything!

So many of us have our heads in an imaginary cloud, heck, we write made up stories and live in a dream world so it can be hard to get centered and grounded in reality again.

Here are some signs that you need to Chill Out!

1. Your way is the only way!
I read a post from an author who gets over a million hits on his blog every month. He was telling people that only stupid authors sell on Amazon because they are losing money and helping sell Kindles. I did a double take and read how HE says you should sell all your books and eBooks direct! Well, that works for like 4 authors in the world, but the rest of us need a store to sell our books, i.e. Amazon.

This is what I like to call OUT OF TOUCH! They think that the way they do it, is the only way and they lose touch with what is real. Many authors that sell really well can fall into this trap and forget how hard it was to build up to a good sales base. They lose touch. Other writers get angry at anyone selling as they think it should be them and in their Dream World they should be millionaires.

2. Impatience!
We all want the magic bullet, the lottery ticket. But that is not how it works. There are a lot of writers that give up because their dreams of fame and fortune are dashed as they struggle to sell their books. This leads to bitterness and they quit, not realizing that half of success is just showing up.

My Dad used to tell me that if I worked hard and was on time I would end up owning the company. I did not know how true this was until I saw that so many people can't show up on time and do not work hard. If you just work hard and show up, you will sell just because you are there! Don't believe me?

3. Overreaction! 
KDP Select! Price fixing! Big Bad Companies! Reviews! File Sharing!
Something new comes out and all the blogger's ring Chicken Little's neck so they can run around screaming THE SKY IS FALLING! Chill! A blogger says that Amazon is trying to murder little puppies and the world is out to get them or you hear that someone is saying mean things about you on Twitter. Really? Calm people, think, lets get out of our made up-world and remember: No one is out to get you. You are not that important. You really think all the big boys want to kill us all off so they can have their 10 books and burn the rest? This is where we need to stop and breathe... oh and CHILL!

4. Rule Nazi's!
Now this one is just personal, but what is with all the people running around making sure you follow every law and rule? It is like having my mom look over my shoulder to make sure that I color in the lines. Rules are meant to be broken, live a little! Oh, and this goes back to being important, I am not important enough for the CIA to go after me because I sold a book for under the price allowed by the online retailers. Try breaking a little online web rule, you might like it!

I think you get the idea.

Life is short, enjoy the ride.
Hang with people you want to be like.
Work hard, play harder.
Surprise someone with unnecessary kindness.
Admit you are wrong.

Now quit reading this crap and get out there and WORRY about something! =)


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.


  1. I couldn't agree more. Although I will admit, the patience thing was a big struggle for me at first. Not necessarily just to sell books (although that was there at the beginning too), but more so before I decided on self publishing.

    When I was going after traditional publication, I was in such a rush to write a "perfect" query, that I forgot to be original. I was in such a hurry to get an agent and get a million dollar deal that I forgot why I started writing in the first place.

    When I decided to self-publish and realized it was all on me, I forced myself to slow down and try to do it right. Patience is an ongoing fight with me, but I have indeed learned to to chill, if only just a little.

    Great post!

  2. Ahhhhh chill. I can totally do that. Totally. *twitches*

  3. Excellent post. Particularly liked the reminder that life is short, and we should enjoy the ride. We chose to write, so why not revel in our choices?

  4. Dude. This post ROCKS my face off. Maybe you could send me a "reminder" email every morning.

    RELAX. Chill out. Everything is fine. The sky will not fall if your post is not up at exactly whatever time or if you *gasp* don't post at ALL.*