There are two kinds of writers out there: the ones who do the work and see the results and the ones who don’t.
Which one are you?
You’ll know the answer right away. And the answer’s not, “it’s complicated.”
Because it’s not.
You either do the work and get the results. Or you don’t.
I say this to myself as much as I say it to you, because I don’t always do the work. Sometimes I sit on my ass and watch Netflix and tell myself I need to do the work, but then it never gets done.
And I go to bed feeling like I failed at being the writer I want to be.
It’s a daily practice, you know? Being the writer you want to be.
You have to recommit to it every day. You have to intend it. And then you have to act from that place.
My mentor told me a few weeks ago that success is a daily practice. And it’s now sinking in that it’s true for any kind of success (she was referring to business success).
It plays majorly into being successful as a writer and as an author.
I’ve been feeling serious Resistance these last few days as I’ve begun living my life from the place I want to be (and ignoring my reality–super hard to do this, by the way!).
Because while there’s a huge part of me that wants the success I dream of, there’s another part of me that wants to be fucking lazy. (Maybe you can relate?)
And sometimes that part of me does win. I’m not perfect and I never will be. So all I can ever do is just catch myself as quick as I can whenever I fall off, and then recommit to being the author and writer I want to be.
The writer and author I want to be:
- Writes and publishes one eBook a month
- Writes and publishes two novels a year (one a year, bare minimum)
- Has a ginormous fanbase with millions of readers all over the world who buy my books, write five-star reviews and share with their friends
- Gets featured in the media, in and out of the writing industry, on a regular basis
- Blogs on a daily basis and writes at least 2-3 guest posts a week
- Produces a shit-ton of content–blog posts, guest posts, social media content, worksheets, trainings, etc.
- Doesn’t let excuses get in the way, not ever (you’ll never stop making excuses, it’s part of being human. But you can make your excuses and then do the work anyway)
- Has complete and total freedom of time and location
What kind of writer and author do you want to be? Grab your journal and make a list of all the qualities the writer and author you want to be would possess. And then figure out who you’d need to BE, to show up in the world as the author and writer from your list.
In order for me to be this author, the one who lives up to the stuff listed out, I know I’m gonna need some major accountability. And for me, accountability is teaching others through example. It’s publicly sharing my goals so that I can’t not hit them.
That works for me.
Which is a big part of the reason I started the Students of Story community and membership site. Because I needed to force myself to be accountable to doing the work and getting my writing done.
It’s SO easy to slack off when you have no one holding your feet to the fire. And it’s even harder to hold your own feet to the fire (though I’m getting much better at that as the days go on).
For me, leading helps me stay accountable and stay motivated.
So I’m leading. I’m leading a motherfucking writing revolution.
I’m so sick of seeing writers complaining about not having time and life getting in the way and just that oh-whoa-is-me bullshit that they tell themselves about why they didn’t show up and do the work. I see my old self in so much of it and it makes me feel sick.
Because I was totally fucking pathetic.
There was a time in my writing journey where I would go so far out of my way to avoid doing the work it’s insane. And there was one Saturday I’ll never forget.
I had the whole day free and open. I was going to work on my novel. Finally.
But first I had to clean the apartment, do all of my laundry and wash the dishes.
So I did all of that.
My apartment was clean and organized. The laundry was washed, dried and put away. And for once, there were no dishes in the sink.
I grabbed my laptop. Sat down on the couch in front of my coffee table. Opened up my novel draft Word doc (this was back in 2008, I now use Scrivener), laid my fingers on the keys and then…
I decided I just HAD to clean the bathroom floor. On my hands and knees. With a sponge.
And I HATE cleaning.
In that moment as I scrubbed away on the floor, I knew. It was now or never. It was step up and do the work… or quit.
So I stepped up and I did the work.
That work paid off for me (FINALLY!) in June 2015 when I published my debut novel, SoundCheck.
And since then, I’ve done pretty good. Even wrote another novel that I’m about to start revising.
But I haven’t been the writer and author I want to be.
I’ve been coasting. Living on the high from getting SoundCheck out there.
And, well, that high is wearing off.
I’m coming down and realizing that I may have a published novel, but I’m far from the writer and author I dream of being.
And so now, like that moment on the floor of the bathroom, I come to the edge.
I’m standing on one side of the cliff, exactly where I am with my writing right now, and then there’s a giant black gap with a hole so deep you can’t see into it. And on the other side of the gap is being the author and writer I want to be and all the stuff that goes with it.
Now I have to choose… do I make the leap and be the writer and author I want to be? Or do I stay where I am, in my comfort zone, and just be OK with the mediocre progress I’m making?
I’m choosing to jump. To leap and not worry about the hows or the what ifs. To just let the net appear as I make my way back down to the ground.
I’m choosing to believe that the Universe will not only catch me, but will show up for me and support me in reaching my dreams. As long as I keep going and don’t give up (which I never will).
So, what do you choose?
Right now you’re standing on the edge of the writer you are today. There’s a giant gap and on the other side is the writer and author you dream of being.
You can choose, right now, in this moment, to BE that writer and author. To make the leap and let the pieces land where they may.
If you’re really ready to give up the bullshit, drop the excuses and BE the writer and author you dream of being, I have something freaking awesome for you.
It’s so awesome it’s going to kick your ass and make you step up and BE that writer. Every single day, until you reach your dream.
Because all you have is right now. The past is over and the future isn’t here yet.
The time to be the writer and author you dream of being is right NOW.
Not next week or next month or next year.
Are you going to make the leap?