August 18, 2016

And then I’ll be happy…

This is a post that’s been weighing heavily on my mind the last few months. I’ve actually started this a few times and I usually talk myself out of posting it after only a few sentences. But this is me, taking my own advice to just do it.

 

And then I’ll be happy…

 

This is a sentence I’ve said or thought so many times in the last few years.

“If my book makes it into the top 1,000 then I’ll be happy.”

“If my book makes it into the top 500 then I’ll be happy.”

“If my book makes it into the top 100 then I’ll be happy.

“If my book does <insert whatever you want> then I’ll be happy.”

 

But then I’m never happy and my accomplishments are never good enough for me. I’ve always been a highly competitive person, but never with other people, only within myself. I always want to do something better than I have before. Therefore, I’ve forgotten how to enjoy it when I do accomplish something. It simply becomes, “oh cool, how can I do it better next time.” So my then I’ll be happy doesn’t actually exist, because I don’t take the time to appreciate it. I’ve forgotten how to be happy with my successes. I don’t want that to make it sound like I’m ungrateful, because that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I’m not the most emotional person, but I do get a little teary-eyed when I think about the fact that I get to live my dream. MY DREAM. So many other people don’t get that chance and I have it, and that is amazing.

 

I’m making this post for one reason only.

 

I don’t think I’m the only author out there saying and then I’ll be happy.

 

It’s not healthy and it’s downright draining the obsessiveness we can develop with our sales numbers, our ranking, reviews, ratings…the list goes on and on.

 

Stop. Just stop. Because what I’ve finally realized is: it doesn’t matter. We’re driving ourselves into the ground and it’s not okay. We have to let the other stuff go and remember why we write to begin with—because we love it. Because we can’t breathe or live without it. Writing beats inside our chests just as much, if not more, than our hearts do. When we obsess over the numbers, and goals, and bestsellers lists we dull that beat. We’re suffocating our own creativity.

 

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you—do I want to make a bestseller list? Of course, more than anything. I think we all want that. It feels like the stamp of approval that we’re doing something right. But here’s the thing, we’re the only ones that care about that. Readers? They don’t care. They don’t care if you hit #1 on New York Times one hundred times in a row. It makes no difference to them. Surprisingly enough, it took my thirteen-year-old cousin to make me realize that. She was staying with me and picked up a book that said New York Times bestselling author and she asked me why that was printed on so many books. I explained and do you want to know her response? “Oh, huh, that’s funny. I don’t care. That’s not going to make me want to read a book so I don’t know why they bother putting that on the covers.” A light-bulb went off in my head and it suddenly occurred to me how I’ve been beating myself up for never making a list and coming so, so, so close on more than one occasion and readers don’t care about that.

 

This is me letting it all go. None of my obsessing and figuring and trying so hard is going to make anything happen. Instead, I’m going to write the best books I can. I’m going to write from my heart and write what I love.

 

I’m going to stop saying then I’ll be happy.

 

Now, when good things do happen, I won’t be obsessing over it and what comes next. It’ll be unexpected and it’ll feel so good and I really will be happy.

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16 Comments:


  1. Jenny Rose said:

    I love this!! Good on you. <3

    Reply

  2. reginabartley said:

    I love you so much bestie! I’m so happy to hear you say these words. You’re amazing in my eyes and I want more than anything for you to be happy!

    Reply

    1. micaleasmeltzer Post author said:

      LOVE YOU! I’m going to be so much better and I’m going to write so fast my fingers fall off…well, maybe not that fast because that would be bad.

      Reply

  3. Amanda Anderson said:

    Love this and you are amazing writer and person. Keep up the amazing job you do for us all to read. Hugs and love..

    Reply

  4. Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews said:

    I agree with your cousin. I see that on books and I don’t really care. It just means people bought it. Does it say it has great ratings or that people like it? No. It only says people bought the book and that’s it. I could guarantee that most of the people that bought the book haven’t even read it. So having that on a cover means nothing to me.
    You’re a talented author and you should be happy with all of your accomplishments. Take the Willow Creek series. I love those characters as if they were real people in my life. You made them feel like family to me. So few authors know how to do that but you managed to do it. You’re a fantastic author and you shouldn’t doubt yourself at all.

    Reply

    1. micaleasmeltzer Post author said:

      Aw, thank you so much, and that’s something I truly strive for to make my characters feel REAL and like FAMILY. And it’s funny, because as a reader I’ve never cared about seeing “New York Times bestselling author” and I still don’t, but yet the author side of my brain has never been able to let it go but I am now. It’ll happen when it happens and in the mean time I’ll be hanging out with my characters and getting my groove back.

      Reply

  5. Victoria Smith said:

    You’re an amazing person and I’m so glad to have met you in this crazy writing journey! Stay strong sista. We’re all in this madness together!

    Reply

  6. Aubrey said:

    I’m only a reader and wondered myself what number one New York’s best is. Every time I pick up a book, I look at the cover and see what catches my eye then I read the back, your books are amazing always catch my attention and when I read the back I have the urge to read it. You are an amazing author don’t forget that

    Reply

    1. micaleasmeltzer Post author said:

      Thank you. I’m finding my happy place again. <3

      Reply

  7. Kathy Ferguson said:

    Your need to write is matched by my need to read…It is as vital as breathing…I am facing cataract surgery soon…and it terrifies me….With me it was always when I lose weight …then I’ll be happy….Both of us were SO wrong…!!!…

    Just one question…You say you are an emotional type of person….How then do you write so exquisitely of matters of the heart..??

    No need to keep competing with yourself…You won !! Every time your readers smile or cry over your words…you’ve won!!! Congratulations. !! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Kathy Ferguson said:

      Correction….The phrase “You say you are an emotional person”should read…You say you are NOT an emotional person.

      Apologies for the confusion.

      Reply

  8. Martha Mordin said:

    We don’t know each other. I taught Special Ed at Sherando, probably after you graduated. However, I read your blog and said to myself, “She’s finally figured it out.” Yea, you!

    Reply

  9. Stefanie Kral said:

    I love this! I know how much love and work you put into every single book and character you write. I’m in love with your stories and characters. Don’t change who you are and how you do your stories. Love ya girl!! Xoxox

    Reply

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Welcome!

Micalea SmeltzerHi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point.

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