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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