1. Remember that success looks different on everyone, it’s a long journey, and that social media so often skews what success looks like. Behind each success story is some drama, trauma or a fuckload of hard work and heartache, so you’re not alone, even if it seems that way.
2. Pay forward the love. I don’t often get jealous because I think (almost) everyone deserves the success they receive, but sometimes it’s inevitable. You can love a colleague or friend dearly, absolutely be so pleased for them and wish them the best, but a little voice might ask ‘why can’t I have that? I want that!’ That’s okay! It doesn’t make you a bad person. But just in case, why not write up some good reviews for those books you never got around to reviewing? Pay it forward to another writer, you never know when they’ll be needing a boost too.
3. Separate successes into different strands. Okay, I can’t buy a holiday with my royalties (just yet) but I achieved a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to do this year, including getting an agent, and writing in a different genre. I would love to hit the 100,000 books sold mark, but would I trade it for the review where a reader thanked me because my book made her feel better whilst her parent was in hospital? No. I might briefly consider it…but no.
4. Despite what your English teachers might have taught you – there are no ‘bad books’. Almost anything has some sort of redeeming feature, and the beautiful thing about the internet is that books that might never be considered, or are completely niche, have a chance to be found by the fans who want them. Just as there is someone out there for everyone, there is a reader out there for every book. However bad you think it is, somebody will love that bad boy.
5. Accept the fact that you might be a crap writer, but there’s absolutely no reason that will stop you being successful, rich or a bestseller. Also, it’s probably not going to stop you writing, because you can’t write without loving at least part of it. And if you’re crap, then you can get better. You’re still a writer, and that’s better than not being one.