You are not a failure if you cannot live off your books.

“If you’ve FINISHED writing a novel you are amongst the elite!!! You ARE NOT A FAILURE IF YOU CANNOT LIVE OFF YOUR BOOKS. You only fail by NOT TRYING.” – Nadia Cornier

I needed to read that quote today.

If you’re a struggling author of your own book, I bet you needed to read that quote too.

Thing is, writing a book is an amazing feat in and of itself. You’ve just put together a whole entire novel of thoughts, emotions, visions, relationships, trauma, and cleaned it all up into a neat (or messy) resolution. You’ve played God with a bunch of characters who would never have existed if you’d never given them life. You’ve succeeded in creating something that has the ability to take a reader on a journey through the confines of your mind, allowing them a glimpse into what your dreams are made up of. You are one of the great storytellers, sharing a tale that could be told for generations to come.

Do you know how many people are unable to do what you just did?

So even if your 6-digit sales ranking appears to be mocking you, your friends have quietly stopped following you on Facebook to avoid hearing about your book any longer, and you can count on one hand how many eBooks you’ve sold this month, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. Stop distracting yourself with numbers, ranking, and dollar signs. It will come, but it just takes time. For now, pick up your pen, or log onto your computer. And then write. Just write. Because that is the gift you have for the world. And if you don’t write it, your story will never be told.


Crissi Langwell is the debut author of A Symphony of Cicadas.ย  Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


20 thoughts on “You are not a failure if you cannot live off your books.

  1. Christi May 4, 2013 / 7:00 am

    You’re absolutely right — completing a novel i s a feat in and if itself. Thanks for sharing that great quote, too!

    • Crissi Langwell May 4, 2013 / 9:05 am

      We all need a reminder of this from time to time, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Andrew Toynbee May 10, 2013 / 5:07 am

    Reblogged this on Andrew Toynbee's very own Blog and commented:
    This is so true. Even though it’s still early days, the idea that I may be able to retire sometime soon is still a distant dream. But it doesn’t mean that I’ve failed…

    • Crissi Langwell May 10, 2013 / 6:43 am

      Thank you for reblogging! I posted this as much for me as for anyone else. I think we all need to be reminded of this.

      • Andrew Toynbee May 10, 2013 / 7:56 am

        I know. I just posted something on Sunday that said how people keep telling me that they are ‘honoured’ to meet me. I just think ‘nonsense’ and try to shrug it off as silly, but there’s a tiny little spark of pride that flares when someone says it…

  3. ontyrepassages May 10, 2013 / 6:00 am

    That moment when the trials that writing can inflict have laid you low and then a helping hand appears…yeah, this post was like that. Thank you.

    • Crissi Langwell May 10, 2013 / 6:23 am

      I started making the mistake of judging my worth on how big (or rather, small) my sales numbers were. That’s like judging how good of a person I am by the number on my scale. It’s not a fair judgement! I mean, come on, I wrote a book! Anyone who writes a whole entire book needs to understand they’ve accomplished something HUGE. The rest will come with time. But don’t let anything take away from that incredible feat!

  4. JS Riddle May 10, 2013 / 6:37 am

    Completely agree!!! If you finish a novel, it’s like watching your child grow up and whether they succeed or not, you still raised that child from infant to adult. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Crissi Langwell May 10, 2013 / 6:43 am

      That’s an excellent way of putting it (says the mom of teenagers, lol)

  5. inkspeare May 10, 2013 / 9:32 am

    Somewhere, I don’t quite remember where, I read that for most indie authors, it will take at least 5 published books for them to start seeing results. I don’t know if that is true but it seems that indie who have made it on Amazon have published quite a number of books before they were noticed. Of course there is always the exception, but I agree with you, why worry about the sales.

    • Crissi Langwell May 10, 2013 / 9:47 am

      That’s good to know. Only means we should keep writing! I’m down with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. L. Marie May 13, 2013 / 4:57 am

    I really needed to hear that. I’ve been there and even waved bye-bye as the books were remaindered. So, thanks for the encouragement. Much appreciated.

    • Crissi Langwell May 13, 2013 / 3:27 pm

      I battle this constantly, daily! But when I stop to remind myself of what I HAVE accomplished (and that things will develop with time), I can calm down….for at least a few moments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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