How to deal with Post Publishing Stress?
Yes! Its a real thing! I did not know about it up until now. It doesn't even have to be a whole book that you just published. It can just as easily be a short story or a poem. When we write something, we invent characters and emotions. Sending it out to the world is equivalent to carefully placing a part of your soul in readers' hands, to be loved or to be torn apart.
First week after publishing is the worst. You keep seeing those statistics to know how your creation is doing out in the world. I would say its a good analytics feature from business point of view. You learn on ways to improve for future posts. But what about the stress that comes along with it?
Let me share some quick tips to deal with this stress. It worked magic for me. Hope it helps you too!
Log Out of those Stats for a while: Easier said than done... I know. But do this for at least a couple of days after you have published anything. Give it time to sink in with people. Nothing happens in a snap. People will get around to your work eventually. But stressing about it is only going to take a toll on your creativity.
Gain perspective of why are you doing this: Is there a perfectly figured out goal as to why you are doing this? For me, its all about being regular with my writing. I publish short stories to constantly make an effort to improve my art. Find out why you are doing this and work around it.
Get rid of those What-ifs: What if my story isn't good enough? What if people don't like it? What if nobody reads it? These are usually the triggers to Author Anxiety. The simple answer to these what-ifs is, it doesn't matter. A story is not made for everyone. Every one has their tastes when it comes to reading. So embrace this fact and move on. Story and reader is a tough match making process. If they fit together, nobody can stop them from reading your story. But if they don't then it was just not meant to be.
Get an Escape: Writing this in lock-down during a pandemic, so my escape pretty much is in some fantasy world. Either pick up your favorite read of all times or dive into a complete unknown plethora of written wonders. Better yet, work on telling another story. Be a lean mean storytelling machine (okay, maybe not mean!)
Embrace Imperfection: Nothing is ever perfect. So be gentle on yourself and accept that there will be certain flaws with your story. Find them, try to fix them. After all it's all about learning the art of better storytelling. The more you do it, the better it gets.
Don't look for Validation: It's your story! You can tell it however you like. So stop seeking validation from everyone! However, I do believe that feedback can do wonders. Look out for people who are ready to offer their feedback in a constructive way, without shattering your author heart into millions of pieces. Learn from it and write better stories.
Just keep telling your stories. World will listen when it does. But for now, think of your story as the missing piece to a perfect world (wink).