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There’s No Such Thing As Competition (And Here’s Why)

I run a free Facebook group called the Emerging Novelist Incubator, and while some Facebook groups are promotion-free zones, I encourage people to share about their books, and their writing-related products and services.

Now, of course, this is with the caveat that they share valuable content and help people in the group more often than they promote themselves. But other than that, I’m pro self-promotion, because I believe writers need to learn and get better at sharing their work.

A lot of people frown on self-promotion, acting like it’s egotistical to tell people that you created something and are offering it up in exchange for money. And yes, I’d agree that if all you ever do is promote your stuff and never (or rarely) add any real value to people’s lives or give anything away for free, that’s egotistical promotion.

But when you’re a writer who participates on the regular and contributes to building the like-minded community in the group, I see nothing wrong with them posting information about their books.

We’re all here to support each other.

In my group, there are even other writing coaches and story coaches. They participate in the group and add value, as well as share their services. Several people got alarmed at first, and some even reached out to ask me how I felt about having coaches with similar services to me tell the group about their services when it’s my group.

A few years ago my reaction would’ve been a lot different than it is today. When I first quit my job four years ago to take my business full-time, I thought everyone was my competition. I thought we were fighting against each other, trying to claim readers as “ours” and out-doing each other in business.

So if someone was sharing their services in a group run by me, I may have gotten upset about it or worried that they’d steal clients away from me. But now I see things differently.

I don’t believe in competition. Competition does not exist.

There is no one in the world who can do things exactly as I do them or who can replace me. Because there is only one me.

Just as there is only one you. You bring things to the table that no one else could do quite like you can. And yes, there are people out there who might be “better” at stuff than we are, but that doesn’t change the value we bring by being us.

You are irreplaceable. And no one ever has or will ever have the same mix of experiences, thoughts, ideas, skill-sets and perspective that you have.

You are unique and so whatever you create will always be unique in and of itself. And there’s no one who can compete with that, because no one is you, except you.

If you put two (or more) authorpreneurs side-by-side and compare them to each other, you may find that they have similar skills: they all have a way with words, they all help writers develop and write books, they all offer up inspiration and motivation to get you doing the work.

But will they have the same message? No. Will the words they write be similar? No. Will the processes they use or the type of inspiration they offer up be the same? No way.

Which means they’re each putting out something different. And because of this they’ll each attract different clients. Some people will resonate more with one person versus the other and be attracted to or repelled by them.

So there is no such thing as competition.

When you publish your book and get it out into the world, it will stand alone as unique in and of itself, because you wrote it and no one could write it or tell the same story like you can. So there might be other books that exist in the world that are a similar category, genre or topic, but there will never be anyone in direct competition with you because there’s no comparison.

No one will ever be you.

And so I welcome authorpreneurs into my community, because I believe there is more than enough business and book readers to go around and we’re always stronger together than we are divided. Me getting new clients or new book readers doesn’t take clients or readers away from anyone else because we’re not going after the same ones.

I work with emerging novelists who want to create their dream writing lives (which includes writing a kick-ass book worth publishing) whereas other people who do what I do are focused on an entirely different specific group of people. I write novels for women who love chick lit and want an actual story with a love story wrapped around it, whereas other romance authors choose to make the love story center stage in their books.

If you’ve been worrying about how you’re going to compete with all the books out there or ever heard the thought (or had someone say to you): the world doesn’t need another book, throw that shit out right now and don’t ever think about it or worry again.

The world does need another book. It needs your book. It needs to see a subject/topic or a story through the lens that you create or view things through.

No one else will have that exact same perspective or tell that exact same story. So there is no competition.

Now when you enter a contest, that is the only time there is direct competition because everyone who enters is vying for the same prize(s). But in life, there’s no direct competition because there are more than enough clients, readers and customers to go around.

There are billions and billions of people alive on this planet and you only need a small number of them to make a living as an authorpreneur. There is no competition.

So believe. Believe that you’ve got something. Believe you’re meant to get your book out there.

Believe that the world needs it.

Because it does.

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What’s one thing you can do right now to stop viewing other writers as competitors?

If you’re ready to get your book out there, check out Students of Story, my membership site for emerging novelists who want to master the craft of writing novels and have support while they develop, write and publish their books. You can get your first 30 days for only $5. Learn more here.

Featured image courtesy of ThomasWolter

You Can Have Any Writing Life You Dream Of, But…

Every writer I come across has big dreams. Not all of them will admit to it. Some will tell you they just want to write and publish a book for themselves, so they can say that they did it and if they never sell a single copy, that’s OK.

But you can see a fire behind their eyes when they talk about it. You can tell there’s a whole lot buried in there that wants to come out and see the light of day.

Except you’ll never see it, because some writers just aren’t willing to step up and claim what they want.

But you’re not one of those writers. I know this, because if you were, you wouldn’t be here right now reading this.

No, you’re a writer who has big dreams. Who wants to be a New York Times bestseller and see your novels turned into movies on the big-screen with big-time Hollywood actors playing your Protagonist, Antagonist and love interest. And you’ll get to help with the script and have a cameo in the movie, as well as walk the red carpet at all of the movie premieres all around the world.

Or maybe it’s just me?

Either way, here’s one thing I know: you can have ANY writing life you want. ANY.

If you want the kind of writing life where writing is a hobby and you keep your day job, you can have that. If you want to write full time, you can do that. If you want a writing life as massive as someone, like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you can have that too. (Yes, REALLY).

It just comes down to a few things:

  1. Are you willing to believe it? Belief is the number one thing needed to make a dream come true. If you don’t believe or can’t believe in the writing dream you want for yourself, it will never happen.
  2. Are you willing to show up every day and do the work? If you’re not, you’ll never have the writing life you dream of, and I can tell you that with one-hundred percent certainty. Dream all you want, but when it’s all said and done, the successful writers are putting in the work, day in and day out.
  3. Are you willing to write your own rules and create your own reality? An important question, because if you’re not (and that’s OK), it’s gonna be pretty tough to achieve the dream writing life. And the reason is you’ll get stopped by or stuck in the societal norms of being a writer that tell you things like, you can’t make money; being a writer is a hobby, not a real job; writing is hard and takes a long time to be successful at; you’ll never make it to #1…whatever limited things you believe right now. Those things will hold you back and keep you from the success you really dream of. So you have to be willing to step outside what other writers believe and create a new normal for yourself.

Hey, if it was easy to have the dream writing life, everyone would have it. It takes work–both internal and external–to make it happen.

But it CAN happen.

Literally anything is possible in today’s world, so long as you believe it is and then act like it every single day. 

And just ’cause I love examples, here’s one for ya: let’s say you want to sell 50 books a month. That means you need to find 50 people a month wiling to pay money in exchange for your book. As long as the book is available digitally and easy to access (like on Amazon or BN.com), it can totally happen. And pretty quickly, depending on the work you put in.

There are billions and billions of people in this world. A very large percentage of those people are online. And you only need to find 50 of them. Fifty out of billions and billions? Seems pretty doable, doesn’t it?

And that’s the thing I love the most about being an authorpreneur in the digital age. The internet has dropped all barriers between the creator and the consumer and you can connect with people from all over the world and sell your books, services, products, etc. to the people who want and need them most.

This puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you total control of your writing destiny–where you end up and what you create along the way. Empowering, isn’t it? Kinda makes you want to sit your ass in a chair and write something right-freaking-now.

So it’s true, you really can have whatever writing life you dream of. But you’ve gotta believe it and act on it every single day.

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What are you going to do today to move closer to your dream writing life?

Featured image courtesy of LassenNPS 

Want to Know the Real Reason Why You Procrastinate?

If you want something, you have to believe it’s yours and then act from that place.

I was on a podcast this morning (I’ll post the link when it’s live), and one of the questions interviewer, Lorna Faith, asked me was: what can newer writers do to move toward their goals? And the response I gave her was something she hadn’t heard anyone say before.

I told her that you don’t want to move toward your goals, you want to move from your goals

And then I went on to explain. Because there’s a big difference between moving toward a goal and moving from a goal.

Toward says, I don’t have it yet. And there’s a distinct feeling that comes with it. It’s not now, it’s in the future.

That feeling is totally uninspiring and un-motivating.

But when you move from a goal, it has a whole different feeling.

From says, it’s mine. I already have it. And the feelings you feel are happy, positive, excited, inspired.

And motivated to take action.

Writers procrastinate because they aren’t inspired from the inside.

When you get inspired from the inside, you’ll automatically take action on the outside. And the right actions. The ones that will actually help you bring your goal into reality. 

And to act from a goal, you have to first believe that it’s possible for you to have it. You have to believe you will get it and that you are worthy of it.

Otherwise you won’t be able to take action from the place of knowing it’s already yours.

You get to choose what you believe. And if you know that you’re someone who will not stop, let up, die out or give up before reaching your goal, then it’s a done deal. Right? 

Eventually, that goal will be yours. You will have achieved it and you’ll be able to add it to your list of accomplishments.

So if you know that to be true, and if you believe it will happen at some point, why not act like it right now? 

I know, I know, this way of thinking is so contrary to everything society tells us we should think. We’re told we have to work hard and pay our dues.

But that’s all bullshit.

I mean, yeah, you do have to work hard, but the work you do doesn’t have to be hard or, most importantly, feel hard.

When you’re moving toward a goal, it feels really fucking hard. It feels like you’re working your ass off and you have the world on your shoulders and you’re still not making it happen.

But when you’re moving from already having reached your goal, you feel light and airy. You feel happy on the inside. You are so excited you can’t wait to work on your writing project.

You’re still working hard, of course, it just feels easier now.

Because the Resistance is gone. And you’re totally lit from the inside and inspired to do the work to reach your writing dream.

And the more you act from this inspired-from-the-inside place, the more you’ll believe that you already have your dream.

I’m better with examples, so here’s one from my life:

I recently committed to taking on a whole new level of content creation. I did this because when I asked myself, “what would a bestselling transformational author, novelist and go-to story development coach be doing every day?” the answer that came back was: they’d be out in the world creating and sharing tons of content, spreading their message and moving forward on their mission.

So that’s what I needed to be doing.

I needed to start acting “as if” I have already achieved all the goals I have for my writing, my business and my life.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing ever since. This is the fifth blog post I’ve written this week (and there’s only been 5 days in the week so far).

Already stuff has started to shift in my reality. I’ve been getting contacted by people who want to interview me on their podcasts. I’ve gotten a bunch of new clients that I’m thrilled to be working with. I’ve sold a bunch of books.

And I’m happy. I’m insanely motivated. I’m inspired from the inside.

Which is by far the most important thing.

If you want something, you have to believe it’s yours and then act from that place.

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What’s your writing goal? And how are you going to start acting from it, rather than toward it? 

Featured image courtesy of urban_data