"Plus, everyone seems to forget that he had the world dropped in his lap when he was YOUNG. And, judging by how other suddenly-famous youngsters do in the same situation, he fared pretty well. Even when it went wrong, he seemed to keep a self-deprecating, long-view philosophy about the burning freak carousel he'd found himself on.
And then what happened? I mean, he'd fallen from a HEIGHT. You know what happens to 95% of people who weather a descent that steep? They come apart, fray at all of their sanity nodes, and give up.
But then there's the 5% who embrace crushing defeat and see it for the gift it is. And here's the gift: when you fail, and fail UTTERLY, you wake up the next morning and see that the world didn't end. And then the fear of failure is gone. And you're free. You're free to proceed on your own terms and pace -- if you have the ego that permits you to.
Ben brushed himself off, realized he'd kept his eyes open on the movies he'd done, and started directing. And he's become a damn good one."
Starting out in the publishing world, we are riding high after high. We finished a novel! We let people read our novel! People liked our novel! We're going to publish our novel! (Or someone wants to publish it for you--which can be a much bigger high than just doing it yourself.) We're scheduling our blog tours! We're getting likes on our Facebook pages! People are adding our books to their Goodreads lists!
Then what happens? We hit "publish" and hopefully don't hear crickets. But chances are we won't be overnight success stories. The truth of gaining any footing as a published writer is that it takes time and perseverance. It takes getting one star reviews and watching sales dwindle. It takes more than one book, most people say. In a lot of ways, our first books can feel like failures, unless we have realistic expectations. And even then, can we fight against the hope those expectations will be surpassed by a long shot? I'm not sure I can, no matter how many times I say I'll be happy if I just sell ten copies.
So what do we do when we feel like we've failed? Like Patton Oswalt says: We wake up the next morning, realize the world hasn't ended, and move forward with a since of freedom. We are artists. We are here to express ourselves. Sales should come second to that, and it's important to keep that in mind as we venture forth to our next books and keep riding the roller coaster of the literary world, embracing every up and down along the way. And maybe even squealing like the little Geico pig all the way to our next release.
|From astridonacid's tumblr|