Writing your book will not change your life. Many first-time authors expect instant satisfaction, piles of money or critical recognition the instant they publish or self-publish a book. In reality, this is the first step in a long, solitary and often frustrating journey.

When self-published novelist Arthur McMahon released his first book, he posted a frank confession on Reddit: “I wonder if this is why so many authors are depressed drunks. Completing a novel didn’t change my perception of life like I expected it to. It filled no gaps in my soul or heart, and may have in fact widened them. Still, onward I go.”

We appreciated his honesty. All writers encounter this depressing feeling when they finish a book and wonder what to do next. Do any of the veteran authors in the audience have advice for coping with these feelings?