The Four Things Your Protagonist Needs In Your Story

I’ve been re-reading Screenplay by Syd Field lately as I gear up to write my first screenplay (I’m currently in the early developmental stages of it). Now that I know craft as well as I do, I love to read badass books on craft, because it really refines and clarifies and expands my current understanding of how stories work and how to write them.

Creating characters–and especially your Protagonist–is one of the big reasons why I love writing stories. I have a deep desire to understand the human mind and the human condition, and why people do and think the way they do.

And a story is nothing if not a study of the human condition.

But this is where a lot of fiction writers fall off track. Because while a story is about a character, that’s not the whole story. There’s so much more to it than that.

If you don’t know this or haven’t implemented it properly in your story, what you’ll end up with is an episodic narrative that gives the day-to-day account of a character’s life. Almost like a journal.

The reason it’s episodic narrative as opposed to an actual story is because there’s no definitive end point. You could just keep going, writing forever about what happens in the character’s life.

But that doens’t make it a story (OR a series of stories).

What makes it a story is that it has a character who wants something, another character who opposes what the other one wants, and a journey ensues toward a resolution.

And that’s just the starting point.

Your character needs to be three-dimensional, so they feel like a real person and are believable as a real person. Otherwise your reader won’t be able to empathize for them.

Without reader empathy your story is dead in the water.

As I’ve been reading Screenplay, I’ve loved gaining further clarity on creating a character–in this case, a Protagonist–and how to really bring them to life.

There are four essentials to creating a three-dimensional character and making them compelling and someone readers can empathize with.

1. Goal–this is what your Protagonist wants in the story. It’s the whole enchilada. This is the reason we’re even reading the story or watching the movie to begin with.

The main character has a goal and we want to watch and cheer them on as they go up against an Antagonist to achieve the goal (or have another goal introduced by the Antagonist, which then causes the character to have to overcome that before being able to achieve the initial goal).

2. Point of View–this is the internal landscape of the character. It’s what they believe about the world and themselves and their backstory. This is where you really have to go deep on what makes the person tick. And beliefs are the core of what makes up a person.

It’s true that what you believe you become, and the same thing works in fiction. So what beliefs does your Protatonist have and how has this shaped the way he sees the world and himself?

This is also where the character’s inner demon will come into play.

3. Attitude--this is the external aspects of your character. It’s how he presents himself to the world and the opinions that he holds. It’s his mannerism and way of being.

This is where you’ll figure out how your character acts or would act when presented with certain scenarios and situations.

4. Transformation–this is the overall change the Protagonist makes in the story. It’s when they’ve finally overcome their inner demon(s) and defeated the Antagonist.

This is the other thing a reader comes to a story for. To watch a character go through hell and come out victorious or at least changed for the better.

What transformation does your character make in your story? And how does that transformation stem from dealing with and overcoming the inner demon and Antagonist?

Creating compelling, interesting, engaging and empathetic characters is what will bring your story to life on the page. But you can’t just write a day-to-day account of their lives or even a specific time in their lives.

You have to write about a character with a specific need or goal they must achieve and the journey that ensues toward a resolution when another character steps into the story and tries to stop them from achieving the goal, or creates an entirely new goal for them to have to acheive before they can achieve the original one.

Do that and you’ll have yourself a story that’s actually worth reading.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. I’m currently accepting new email story coaching private clients. Spaces are very limited. If you want to work privately with me to plan and develop the idea in your head into a fully fleshed out story plan that you can use to write your first draft–or you want to rework a story you wrote that’s not quite working yet–send me a PM right now and I’ll send you more info about how you can work with me.

It’s Time To Stop Being So Hard On Ourselves

Growing up I was conditioned to associate dinner with dessert. My family is big on dessert. So after dinner every night, my mom would always let us have dessert.

Sometimes it was a waffle sundae, other times fried dough or sometimes it was a franken-snack like Pop Tarts, cereal, toaster pasteries or whatever sugary treat my brother and I decided we wanted to eat.

And while that association between dinner and dessert was great when I was kid–I mean, seriously, what kid doesn’t want to eat sugary snacks that taste delicious!!–it’s not so great today, as an adult who wants to be healthy and live life free of the ailments that plague so many.

Because no matter how hard I try, I always want to eat dessert or snacks after dinner. Even when I’m not hungry. The habit is that strong for me.

And for the last few years it’s a bad habit I’ve struggled a lot with. Because I hate it, and yet I still want to do it.

So anytime I decide to have dessert or I cave and eat a ton of sugar, I give myself a hard time about it. Sometimes it’s all I think about all day… you got to stop eating dessert or you’ll end up with diabetes or worse… do you want to be healthy your whole life? or do you want to be like all those people who believe that falling apart and bad health are just part of getting older? … you’re not gonna be able to maintain your body weight much longer if you keep this dessert-eating habit up…

On and on the negativity in my head just streams, like a song playing on repeat. And when I’m giving myself a hard time about something, it makes me feel demotivated and drains my energy.

So I decided to take my question to my mentor, someone who’s overcome some seriously bad habits around food. I asked her, “How do you break a habit that is super engrained in you… like needing to have dessert after dinner. This is one of the worst habits I have and I want to break it but feel like it’s so deeply engrained that it’s damn-near impossible.”

And what she said to me was, “I think you need to stop looking at it like a bad thing and stop giving yourself a hard time about it, and instead reframe it. I enjoy having a treat at night. I wouldn’t want to give up my after-dinner dessert, but I just choose to eat healthy things that I know will make me feel good, like raspberries with almond butter or Greek yogurt with coconut and berries.”

Sounds so obvious when I hear her saying it, and yet my mind never went there. My mind never said to me, “hey, how about instead of eating cookies or chips, you have some berries or chia pudding?” Eating berries and chia pudding as my dessert wouldn’t bother me at all, because I love that stuff and it’s good for you.

So rather than giving myself such a hard time about the “bad” habit, I just needed to reframe it. And this exercise works with anything.

I reframe stuff all the time, until it feels good to me. For example, last night my husband and I went out to dinner and then to this old-school video game pub I recently found (yes–an old-school video game pub!! My novel SoundCheck has come to life!!), and when we were leaving, our car wouldn’t start.

He got frustrated and started worrying about not having the car the next day for what he needed to do and how long we’d have to sit on the side of the road waiting for AAA to show up, etc., and then after I called for roadside assistance the car suddenly started right up. Which is pretty damn annoying and inconvenient.

But rather than see it that way, I reframed it for us… maybe it was Divine Timing. Maybe if the car had started when we first tried it would’ve put us in a bad situation on the road and we avoided it completely by the car not starting.

When you look at it that way, it makes it not feel so bad that we had to sit there and waste time for 20 minutes.

That’s the power of a reframe. It can change your entire mindset and way of thinking and feeling.

And it can help you stop being so hard on yourself.

When you look at the things in your writing life and life in general right now that you don’t like or that you’d consider to be “bad,” you can ask yourself, how can I reframe this? How can I shift my perspective?

Do this exercise right now. Think about something you usually give yourself a hard time about.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Got one?

Now I want you to think of how you can reframe it into a positive perspective.

Do it right now, either in a journal or in your head.

Got your reframe?

Great.

Now stick with it. Use it whenever you’re giving yourself a hard time.

And realize that the more things you reframe, the better you’ll feel, which is the whole point. You’re meant to feel good. Feeling good is how you create the positive, uplifting energy you need to bring your dreams to life.

Plus, it feels pretty damn good not to be so hard on yourself all the time about every little thing. If you have bad habits, it’s not because you’re bad, and often these habits are serving you in some way or you’re getting something out of it.

When you’re nicer to yourself and don’t constantly give yourself a hard time about everything, you’ll actually build up your confidence and start to feel good about who you are.

And confidence is what you need if you’re gonna go after your dream writing life with everything you’ve got.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. If you need to stop giving yourself a hard time about everything and build up your confidence muscle, there are still a few days left to join us for the Writer’s Confidence Boost workshop.

People see me as a confident writer, speaker and creator. And I am. Now. But that’s definitely not where I started.

I’m an introvert and incredibly shy (almost painfully so at times). It took serious practice and commitment to create the confident author you now see before you.

And I’m going to show you how I did it.

If you want to be successful as a writer, you need to build up inner strength and confidence and fully believe in yourself. The Writers Confidence Boost 14-day virtual workshop will help you do exactly that.

And right now you can get in for 93% OFF the full price!!!

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/confidenceboost

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The Worst Book Marketing Myth Ever (And How To Defuse It)

If you’ve ever published a book, or are in the process of writing and publishing one, you’ve likely thought about marketing and what you’ll need to do to make book sales. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Selling books.

And while that’s not totally wrong, it’s also not totally right.

Selling books is the goal, yes. But it’s not what the focus of your book marketing should be.

That’s where I see so many authors getting it wrong.

And that’s why when you go into writing groups on Facebook or Google+, a lot of times it’s just a promo fest of people drive-by sharing links to their books. Or you see people’s social media accounts just covered in promos, but without any real value to be found.

Totally worthless and the worst way to try and make a book sale.

Why? Because of two reasons:

  1. People aren’t on social media to buy stuff–social media is supposed to be for being social, so people aren’t reading stuff or watching stuff and thinking, “I need to buy that right now.” They’re there to engage and connect with other humans, and also to be entertained.
  2. There’s not enough value in a book promo on social media to get someone to open their wallet–and on the off-chance that someone does buy directly via social media, it’s because the value being presented in the post (written, video, etc) is so awesome that they can’t not buy.

So, if you’ve been trying to sell your book by posting promos on social media (or in Facebook groups) and it hasn’t worked, it’s time for a new strategy.

What Actually Sells Books

When it comes down to the core of what online marketing is, you’ll find two things:

1. Relationships–online marketing is all about building relationships and making connections with other people, both potential readers and industry-related.

2. Valuable content–at the core of online marketing is content. Content is what helps you make the connections and build the relationships that will earn you a readership. Now ‘value’ will be defined by you and the type of book that you’re marketing.

For example, if your book is a humorous novel, creating content aligned with that makes the most sense for adding value. So sharing things that make people laugh is a good way for you to connect with your readership and get them interested in your novel.

And these two things–when combined–are what sells books.

The worst book marketing myth is that it’s all about selling books. It’s not. And believing that is what’s keeping you from selling books.

Especially if you’re trying to market your books online (which most authors these days are).

People go online for one of three reasons:

  1. To learn something
  2. To be entertained
  3. Both

And that’s what you need to be thinking about when you do your book marketing.

Book marketing is not about selling books. It’s about being an interesting author (with an impactful message) who teaches potential readers something, entertains them or both, and because of that connection and that relationship with the potential reader, they will buy a book from you.

Your New Book Marketing Strategy

From here on out, you’re no longer allowed to do drive-by book promos on social media. (And I know YOU wouldn’t be doing that anyhow, because that’s not how a pro writer thinks or acts, right?) You’re no longer allowed to only post things that just promo your book.

From here on out, your marketing strategy is the following:

  • Build connections with readers and with industry/genre-related people
  • Create valuable content that your ideal reader wants and needs
  • Share your author message, in whatever way makes sense for you

There’s a lot more to it than that, but these are the foundational pieces of being a success author and successfully marketing your book online.

I got where I am right now with my publishing career because I spent 8+ years of my life building a following, connecting with others in my industry and delivering valuable, kick-ass content (on a consistent basis) that my ideal readers want. I’m now living my dream writing life, and it just gets better and better every day.

If you want to create your dream writing life, where you can write and publish books and actually sell them and make money, you’ve gotta be in it for the long-haul. And this is a long-haul book marketing strategy.

No, it won’t make you sales immediately overnight (unless you’ve already got a bit of a following), but it will help you build an author brand that will make sales–and, eventually, enough sales to support you in being the full-time author you’ve always dreamed of being.

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How do you get the word out about your books?

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Are you ready to sell more books?? Doors to my upcoming live-virtual “Sell More Books” workshop will be opening soon! Join the waitlist to be the first to know when the doors are open.  

Are You In It For This?

A common complaint I hear from writers is this–why does it take so long? 

And when they say that, they mean: why isn’t my book selling? Why am I still revising when I want to be published? Why have I been looking for an agent for a year now without any bites?

And, most of all, when am I finally gonna make some money?

I know it’s tough. You’ve been at this for years, possibly even most of your life so far. You’ve dreamed about it, you’ve set goals around it. And yet things just seem to be moving like molasses.

And here’s what I always say to the writers who make this complaint: I feel you, but it takes as long as it takes. 

Because the truth about this whole being a pro writer thing is that it’s long-term. Being a writer and having a successful writing career doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of hard work, commitment and consistency to start seeing the results you want.

So you either have to be in it for the long-haul, or you may as well get out now. 

Because, like everything in life, writing success is a journey, it’s a process, it’s something that builds over time. And you may not see it at first, but when you look back 10, 20, 30 years down the road, you’ll see how far you’ve come and how long it actually takes to create success.

No one does it overnight.

I started freelance writing professionally in 2007, and launched my writing blog in 2008. I wrote and published my first nonfiction eBook in March 2010. Since then, I’ve written and publish 7 other books, including one novel. And it’s only since mid-2016 that things have finally started to take off for me.

This year, I’ve written and published more books than I ever have before. This year, I had 2 of my books hit #1 in multiple categories over multiple days on Amazon. This year, I’ve started making real money from my books, anywhere from $400 to $1,000+ per month, and growing.

But I had 8 years online and another 7 years before that learning and training and practicing and working toward the moment when I would hit a tipping point and my writing career would finally take off.

It happened this year. 

And if it happened for me, it can and will happen for you. But you’ve gotta give up the idea that it’s gonna happen fast. It’s not. It’s gonna happen when it happens.

For now, you need to keep going and do whatever you can to create good writing habits, get in alignment with the goals you have, and be as consistent as possible. Because it’s in the consistency over an extended period of time where results really come from.

When you look at the stories of successful people, you’ll see it wasn’t just one thing that got them where they are today. They didn’t find a magic bullet that changed everything.

No, it was all about the daily habits and actions they took, over years and years of their lives, that got them where they are today. 

Because that’s what it takes. Daily: Consistency. Commitment. A never-give-up attitude. And some serious elbow grease.

So, again, I ask you: are you in it for the long-haul? 

Are you willing to stick with it and do whatever it takes?

Even if it looks like it’s not working?

Even if it looks like it’s never going to happen?

Even if there’s barely a shred of hope left inside you?

Did you answer “yes” to those questions? If you did, congratulations. You’re gonna make it. You’ve got what it takes.

And yeah, it is gonna take time. Some days it’ll feel impossible. Other days it will feel easy like Sunday morning.

But every day you show up will feel worth it. And eventually that worth-it feeling will grow into more than just a feeling. It will grow into an actual writing career where you get paid to write and put your words out into the world. 

Because you can’t not get where you want to go if you show up every day and keep going no matter what. It’s literally impossible. 

It might take blood, sweat, tears and time, but it will happen. That much you can count on.

And whenever you find yourself freaking out, panicking or worried that it’s all for nothing, I leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes, from the book, A Course In Miracles:

“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” 

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Are you in it for the long-haul? Say YES in the comments! 

Why I Decided Not to Publish My New Book

This week was supposed to be the week I published my new eBook. I set a publish date for Tuesday (that was yesterday) and then I re-set a date for Thursday (that’s tomorrow).

But something was up. Something wasn’t feeling quite right.

At first I thought maybe it was just Resistance. That happens sometimes, even to an author who has hit publish 8 times.

Except it wasn’t that.

Yes, I was Resisting finishing the book… but not for my usual reasons. Usually if I Resist it’s because I know I need to put the book out there.

But this time felt different.

Something was going on deep inside me. I had that feeling I often get when I’m on the verge of a revelation or a major shift of some kind.

I felt annoyed and pissed off. I couldn’t sit still. I felt like there was something bubbling inside me that needed to come out.

So I sat down and I did some journaling. And then I finally discovered what was going on.

I was Resisting because… THIS ISN’T THE BOOK I’M SUPPOSED TO PUBLISH.

I knew it was true the minute it came up, because it felt right. I felt like I immediately got back into alignment with my writing dream.

For 17 days now, I’ve been writing an eBook about how to write a really good eBook. And yeah, it was a decent start. But it just wasn’t feeling right to me.

And that’s because the topic is not in alignment with who I am and what I’m meant to be writing books about.

I’m meant to be writing books for writers about alignment, motivation, inspiration, mindset and getting shit done. All of the books I’ve written so far–and all of the ones I’ve had become best sellers–are aligned with those topics.

All of them.

And that’s not to say I shouldn’t step out of my comfort zone. I should.

But there’s a difference between stepping out of your comfort zone on something you know you’re meant to be doing… and forcing yourself to do something that’s not really in alignment with who you are.

This book made me feel stuck and not in flow, which is the complete opposite of how my books make me feel.

And yes, I can absolutely teach someone how to write an eBook. I’ve done it 8 times now. But my journaling last night led me to one very simple conclusion: I DO NOT want to write books about how to write books.

So I decided to let it go. To go with my gut and listen to myself.

Yes, I did mention the book to quite a few people and I will have to explain to them my decision. But regardless of what they think or the reasons they think I’m doing it… I know the truth.

I choose to create my dream writing life all on my terms. And that sometimes means trusting your gut and knowing what you’re meant to be doing. (Or not doing.)

The outside world will tell you that this is wrong. That you should never “listen to your gut” or “trust your intuition” when making business decisions.

But that’s how I roll. It’s the only way I can roll.

Because here’s one thing I do know… You can’t be a successful author writing and publishing books that aren’t aligned with who you are.

Why It’s A Good Idea to Have One Website, Even When You Do Multiple Things

Hear me out on this one. Because I know up front it seems like it makes total sense to keep all of your creative work and projects separate from each other by having different websites. The books with the books. The artwork with the artwork. The whatever with the other whatevers.

Logically it does makes sense. Keep everything separate and contained in one place, so that it’s nice and neat and no one gets confused.

Here are the arguments I often hear for having multiple websites:

  • People will get confused if I have multiple projects on one site
  • People will get distracted
  • Readers don’t want to see information about your writing services and writers don’t want to see information about your books, etc.
  • It will be harder to get people interested in what I’m doing/interested in following me if I have too much stuff on one site that doesn’t go together

And, yes, all of those arguments are totally valid. Having multiple websites, one for each project or focus you have, is the traditional way of thinking about marketing.

But there’s a better and much more effective way to think about it: the Digital Age way.

In the Digital Age, there is power in being YOU. There is no one else in the world exactly like you–there never has been and there never will be.

Being you makes you unique, automatically.

So rather than try to separate or compartmentalize all the different things that make up who you are and what you do (which is the traditional way of doing it), put them all together with YOU as the thing that ties it all together.

I’m better with examples… so here’s a quick graphic I drew up to illustrate what I’m talking about:

FullSizeRender-4

The black-marker drawing is the old way of thinking, that everything you do has to be separate from each other. The blue-marker drawing is the new way of thinking about it.

I call it the “Authorpreneur Brand.” What that means is, you as the writer/author are the “umbrella” that everything else falls under. Think of it like a celebrity brand. A celebrity has her movies and her music, her makeup line and her haircare line, etc. But all of it fits on the same website because the thing that brings it all together is her as the celebrity.

Yes, you can also have separate websites if you prefer, to let people find out more or go deeper. But you can still use one website as the “home base” for all of that (and then just connect your main website to all the sub-sites).

One of the bigger arguments I hear for having multiple sites is that people will get confused or readers don’t want to see your writing services and vice versa. But here’s the truth: by being you, you will attract your ideal audience, and your ideal audience will buy into YOU, not into what you do.

Meaning, people who love you and love who you are and who resonate on a deep level with you, will want to know everything that you’re doing. They’ll want to follow all of the stuff you have going on. (And the rest of them don’t matter!).

Makes it a lot easier for them to do that when you have one website, right?

So that’s my reason for recommending you have one main website for everything you do as an authorpreneur.

I’ve done the multiple website thing. I used to totally believe that you had to keep it all separate. So I had a website focused on motivation and inspiration for writers called Procrastinating Writers; and I had a website focused on creative wellness and the writing life called InkyBites; and then I had a website for my author brand and coaching services called JenniferBlanchard.net.

Problem was, I was spread so freaking thin trying to keep up with all these sites that I wasn’t being effective in any one area. I was making very little impact. And I’m here to make an impact on the writing world.

In order to do that, I had to suck all those other brands up into one brand: Jennifer Blanchard. Me, as the authorpreneur, at the center of everything.

So many of us writers are multipotentialites, meaning we’re passionate about multiple things, not just writing. And it’s totally OK for us to be this way. But it does make marketing a bit more challenging.

One way to make it easier on yourself is to find a way to make yourself the brand and build everything else from that.

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How can you pull together all of your interests and passions under YOU as the brand? 

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You Can’t Let This Go To Your Head

My new eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset, debuted yesterday, and I’m super excited about it. It’s a book I’d been wanting to write for a long time and now it’s finally here.

Last month, the eBook I published, Align Your Writing Habits to Success, became a #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon and sold almost 600 copies during the month of May. I could have stopped there, rested on it and tried to coast. Or focused all of my time on marketing and promoting this book.

But instead I decided to keep going. Keep writing and keep putting books out there.

Because you can’t just rest on one success, even a big one.

You have to keep going and keep creating. That’s what it takes to be a pro writer who self-publishes.

So that’s what I’m doing.

And that’s what you need to do after you successfully get a book out there too.

There’s no point in waiting. Yes, you have to take some time to enjoy it and celebrate it. But then you’ve gotta get back to work on your next one.

I think this is where a lot of authors get stuck because they have a momentum built up, but instead of continuing to build that momentum by writing another book, they rest on the book they just wrote and spend the next year or two marketing and selling it. (Or not doing anything at all.)

And yes, you do have to do that–you do have to market and sell your books. But you know what really helps sell a book?

Another book.

At the end of each book, you add a teaser for another book that you’ve written. If the reader gets that far, there’s a very good chance they’ll buy and read another one that you wrote.

So rather than focusing and spending all your time marketing one book, instead market all of your books, in general, choosing one specific book to focus on each day or week.

Now this is just my opinion, but I feel like so many badass authors just don’t write and publish enough books. I want to see multiple books every year from my favorite authors.

Maybe I’m alone in that opinion.

But since that’s what I want to see from my favorite authors, that’s the kind of author I also want to be. Because it’s very likely that the readers who are attracted to my stuff are readers who, like me, prefer to see multiple books a year.

This is how you build a self-publishing career. And it’s important to note, because a self-publishing career is much different than a traditional publishing career. In a traditional career, you can get away with only writing and publishing one new book every few years.

But in self-publishing, you’ll stand out a lot more if you publish frequently and especially if you publish a lot of books all in the same category (this is known as “authority publishing”).

Having multiple books is also the best way to actually make money from your writing. Because one book will sell the other, and vice versa.

Which is why I say don’t let the success of publishing your book go to your head. Absolutely celebrate it and be proud of it, but do not stop.

Keep writing, keep publishing. Keep going.

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How did you/will you celebrate publishing your book? 

If you want to create an unbreakable mindset that will set you up for success in your writing life, check out my eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset: What It Really Takes to Be A Bestselling Author, available now on Amazon.

Image courtesy of GotCredit 

The Truth About Being A Professional Author

There’s a question that’s been on my mind lately: do I have what it takes? Do I have what it takes to achieve all the writing dreams I have and to really get everything I want?

It’s an important question, because the answer will make or break your writing dream.

Do you have what it takes?

Like, really have what it takes?

Only you can answer that.

The Truth About Being A Pro Author

There’s something kinda scary that no one really talks about, but that needs to be said right now.

You may not have what it takes. 

Not everyone does. 

Not every writer is meant to be a pro.

It’s scary to say that (I felt panicked just typing those three sentences).

But it’s true.

And the reason is simple: most writers won’t do the work. 

Sure, most writers may actually write. Get blips of inspiration and sit down and start writing.

Because you can’t just write stories and be a professional. Not even if you write 100 stories.

Being a professional means you’ve actually finished something, published it and put it out into the world.

And not half-assed either. (Self-published authors who put their books out there without editing, Beta Reading or some kind of vetting process are not professionals.)

A professional author not only does the work and finishes, but also invests in (or barters for) professional services to do the self-publishing (an editor, a cover designer, a layout person, a story coach, whatever they need).

And the cold, hard, real truth is that not all writers have it in them to finish. Or to show their work to someone who knows what they’re doing and accept feedback that will improve their story.

Pro vs. Most Other Writers

Here are the main differences between a professional author and most other writers:

A pro author:

  • Finishes. Period. (Most writers have tons of half-finished or completed drafts that they never revised or have been revising into oblivion and never getting anywhere.)
  • Publishes. Period. (Most writers don’t actually publish anything. They talk about it and they may even say they’re working on it. But you never see it.)
  • Shuts up and does the work. Period. (Most writers have whiny complaints and excuses about why they haven’t finished or can’t finish or haven’t written their novel or don’t have the time or life is falling down around them or they are procrastinating…)
  • Hires help when they need it. (Most writers think they can do it all themselves and they can’t.)
  • Takes constructive criticism and uses it to make their writing better. (Most writers will shake off any kind of criticism. Because they’re right and they know what they’re doing.)
  • Has what it takes. (Most writers don’t.)

Having what it takes just means having the brass ovaries to get over your shit and do the work. No matter what is happening around you.

And you’ll know the answer as soon as you ask it.

I have HUGE writing dreams. And I refuse to stop ’til I get there (and even then I won’t stop).

But I had to ask myself if I really have what it takes to achieve everything I want.

And looking back on all I’ve accomplished in my life, I know that I absolutely have what it takes. I show up. I do the work. I put myself out there. I take huge risks. I just need to give up all excuses, be more consistent and keep doing the fucking work.

I’m committed to all of that now. So I know my dreams are a done deal.

Now you need to ask yourself: do you have what it takes?

If you have what it takes, I’d love for you to become a part of my membership site and community, Students of Story, where you can get over your shit, learn how to write a kick-ass novel, and get the support and feedback you need to finish and publish your book. Learn more here.

The 4 Contexts of Character

In this Periscope, I share all about the 4 contexts of character, including:

  • What they are (Orphan, Wanderer, Warrior, Martyr)
  • Where they fall in a story
  • How they’re used in a story to help the Protagonist change

Share With Us

Which character context is your favorite one to write?

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Do you want to be a more effective storyteller and cut years off your learning curve, so you can write a kick-ass novel and get it out into the world in the next 12 months? Join me for a free Clarity Call.