It's natural to bewail the sales numbers when we compare what we're selling now to what we sold a few years ago.
7 Pieces of Wisdom for Writers
1. Learn everything you can about marketing and pick what you can do in that arena without sacrificing the writing. Yes, we must market and promote, but find an ad venue that offers results. Do your homework rather than shotgun it--scattering your dollars around thoughtlessly. Pick one or two social media sites you enjoy rather than trying to be on all of them. That way lies insanity.
2. Write and keep improving. Never let a day pass that you didn't write something--even if it's just a few sentences. I come from the old school of calculating how many days it takes to write X number of pages.
What is a novel? 4 pages a day for 3 months, or roughly 90 days which is 360 pages. At 250 words/page (which is how publishers always computed it), that's a 90,000 word novel. (4 X 90 = 360 X 250 = 90,000)
Nothing you write is wasted. Even if you cut it from a manuscript, you learned something by writing it--and then editing it out.
3. Discipline yourself to write a manuscript from beginning to end without going back to edit, polish, etc. That's the secret of producing more. When you get to the end, that's when you edit, proof, and polish.
4. Strive to publish at least 2 books a year to keep growing your audience. In today's highly competitive publishing environment, those who produce often do have an edge.
5. Learn to ignore bad reviews because you will ALWAYS get them. There's no avoiding them. Just read some of the scathing reviews the biggest names in your genre, and you'll realize that there are a ton of people who don't like the most popular names in your genre!
6. Focus on the good--making sales even if they're few and the good reviews you do get.
7. Adopt the attitude that you're in a marathon, not a sprint. Tomorrow will be better and brighter.
Write--often. Write--a lot. All writing is practice.
I'm sure your parents told you the same thing mine told me. Practice makes perfect.
Writing, writing, writing. That's the practice that will make you a better writer--and produce a big inventory. Then all you have to do is edit, polish, and proof. *g*