Do You Make This Rookie Writing Mistake?

You’ve been writing for a while, sure. But what have you done with that writing? Have you showed it to anyone? Have you gotten any critique on it? Are you sharing it out in the world?

If not, you’re likely suffering from a rookie writing mistake. And this mistake is so big that it can keep you stuck for years and years of your life.

I didn’t realize what this mistake was, or rather, I did realize it, but I didn’t know how to put it into words, until the other day. I read an eBook by a man named Johnny B. Truant. You may have heard of him. (And I highly recommend you read his book too, it’s free!)

The eBook was called, How To Be Legendary, and in it, Johnny puts into words so many of the things I’ve been thinking about lately but couldn’t get my words around.

In the book, he talks about the surefire formula to become legendary. And the formula is so simple, and is something I’ve been doing for almost a year now, but didn’t realize it.

The 4 steps are:

  1. Begin
  2. Do The Work
  3. Ship
  4. Repeat

Those are not only the steps to becoming legendary, but the steps to getting anywhere with your writing career. And those steps are also where the rookie mistake lives.

Finish What You Start

If you want to be a professional writer or creative entrepreneur, you have to finish what you start. You have to make it to the end of something and be able to check it off your list and call it done.

If you can’t do that, you’re making a rookie mistake that could cost you your writing dreams.

Scary, right?

But the problem is, when you don’t finish anything, you don’t have anything to offer or share with the world. Until you have that, it’s a little hard to make money from your writing or have a career.

Most writers have steps one and two down without a problem. They begin writing stuff all the time—blog posts, articles, short stories, novels. They even do the work sometimes: writing the draft, editing it.

And that’s where it stops.

Most writers never make it past step two. Most writers never finish anything.

You Gotta Ship

“Ship” is a term Seth Godin uses to describe following through and putting something out into the world. So “ship” in the four steps for you would mean publishing your writing, showing it to a critique group, having an editor look at it, etc. Whatever you can do as a writer to put your writing out in the world.

Problem is most writers never make it to this step. They just stay stuck on steps one and two, never bothering to venture to the scariest step of all: shipping.

But here’s the thing, if you plan on being a published writer, you have to ship. And if you want to “ship,” you have to finish what you start.

The Biggest Difference Between Published Authors and Amateur Writers

Finishing is the biggest difference between writers who are published and earning money, and writers who are writing for free. There’s nothing wrong with writing for free, but you dream of writing for pay, which means you have to become a finisher.

Published authors have mastered Johnny’s 4 steps to becoming legendary. Not only do they ship, but then they also do step four, they repeat steps 1-3 again.

They write a book, publish it, and then write and publish another one. And another one. And another one…

It really is that simple.

So whatever you’ve been working on lately, finish it. Make it your goal to complete it ASAP and then move on to step three.

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What have you been stuck at step two on?

Image courtesy of jayneandd

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