Authors, What to Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

Welcome to Artist Entrepreneur Fridays, where we focus having a successful author career from the business and strategic perspectives. This week I have another guest post from Matthew Ashdown, a personal empowerment coach and author, best known for his work as a GratiDude, speaking and coaching on the power of gratitude to transform business and life. This month he shares about what to do when you’re feeling stuck or down in your author career.


When you step into your vision and begin running forward into your new self, life and your ego will create reasons to stop.

Some of those things might be out of our hands and some are created by us, whether consciously or subconsciously.

The resilient and purpose-driven author will continue forward despite setbacks to create the success they desire.

 “Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
— Vicktor Frankl

It is how you choose to respond to the situations life throws at you that will determine whether you are able to move beyond them, or get stuck in them and let them drag your book dreams down.

Here are my top five suggestions in those situations of getting stuck: 

1) See challenges as opportunity for growth.

On your journey of writing or promoting your book, you will come upon challenges. They could come in the form of rejections with your book, or low sales, or business struggles. You could take them as a reason to believe that there is something wrong with you, or you can take them as an opportunity to step into a new version of yourself.

Ask yourself, “What is the gift in this situation?”

2) Know that change is constant.

Who you are at the beginning of your book business is not who you will be at the end of it. If you want to have the success that you are looking for, then you will have to change some of who you are. Many people believe that change is hard, and therefore make it hard.

Change can be easy, provided you are willing to let go of who you are now, to become who you want to be.

Instead of focusing on what you will lose by changing, focus on what you will gain.

3) Know what you are in control of and what you are not in control of.

There is nothing like a rapidly changing book industry, ever changing Internet upgrades, and more and more authors coming forward to challenge people’s ideas and expectations. For the control freaks out there, it can get very challenging. In these times of change you have to get clear on what you have control over, versus that which you do not.

You have control over what you personally endeavour to do each and every day, and you have control over your choice in each and every moment.

You do not have control over customers’ buying decisions, or the trends in the industry.

If you decide that you are not going to get on social media because you don’t like it, but that is where all your customers are, then you are probably still trying to control the wrong things. And if you boast with pride that you are a control freak, then it will most definitely get in your way.

4) Be grateful for the small successes.

Many of us want to see our books on buses and billboards, and I am all for encouraging big dreams. But people create roadblocks for themselves when they are so focused on the dream goal, that they forget to gratefully acknowledge the steps along the way. She who is grateful for every book sale will stay much more in the flow than she who is waiting to sell 5,000 books before they decide to be grateful.

5) Tune out all distractions.

There will always be those who need your time, and you will have to decide whether giving that time will help you achieve your highest purpose and the highest good of the other person. There will be tons of possible distractions on the path.

The authors who succeed are the ones who choose wisely. People who have relied on you will have to learn to deal with the new you.

When you are focused on your higher vision, you will uplift many people.

6) Fall down, get up again.

I haven’t met an author who did not fall at some time. Unfortunately, I have met many who did not get up after their fall.

The authors who go on to achieve the success that they desire keep getting up. They are not discouraged by failure, but are in turn inspired by it, recognising that it is only a slight detour with valuable lessons when the right questions are asked. This can apply even if the success is not with their first book, but with later books.

People and situations may try and bring you down, but it is up to you to decide if they do.


Matthew Ashdown is a personal empowerment coach, best known for his work as a GratiDude, speaking and coaching on the power of gratitude to transform business and life. He is also an avid writer, currently working on his first novel and lives in Victoria, BC. More information about Matthew and his services at

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2 Responses

  1. LK Watts says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Great post! I think some people are so impatient these days and expect to run before they can walk. People want to have instant success and when they don’t have it, they give up. But instant success is rare so if you’re really determined about things, you can’t have this mindset.

  2. Matthew says:

    Thanks L.K. Persistance, passion, and patience and some of the key virtues that get us through. And really defining what success means to us is important. To me, success is loving every step of the journey, as well as the destination. Being my best in every moment. So it can be instant in an internal sense, when we choose how we feel, which requires us choosing to feel that way independent of outer appearances. But in terms of the outward manifestation of our desires, yes, we have to go through a process to demonstrate to ourselves how much we really want it.

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