Unless….it’s a word that is set in stone, literally, from the works of Dr. Seuss. Unless writers like you care an awful lot, it’s not going to get better, it’s not. Yes, I changed the wording around.
Today, we’re talking about passion, and what it really means to create and ensure long term success for you and your readers, and anyone else looking to join in your entourage. Unless, unless, unless…unless.
You won’t succeed in any field unless you put in the time.
You won’t succeed in any field unless you put in the effort.
You won’t succeed in any field unless you treat it like a full-time job, perhaps a second full-time job in addition to your own.
You need to believe to succeed, yes.
You need to visualize to succeed, yes.
You need to have a plan to succeed, yes.
But the number one thing you need to succeed is more than just a mindset, a positive attitude, and a mission statement; you need action to succeed. Action determines and ensures long-term success for yourself and your readers.
Even if you aren’t a writer, this is one of those articles that can apply to anyone, though I’m speaking to writers directly, be it freelance, novelists, or just someone aspiring to call themselves a writer.
Because I’m going through the gauntlet of what it takes to succeed. This is a motivational post, and if you haven’t done so yet, check out this post right here I published this past weekend.
Key to Success? Action
Take action, but don’t just take action and go through the motion. Yes, when you take action toward a goal you just did something to better yourself. You just made a move 99% of society refuses to take for one reason or another.
I’ve always believed society fears success, but these are also the same people who complain about their present situation year after year after year.
I’ll give kudos to a few people in the 99%.
At least they signed up for a gym membership earlier this month as January fades into February.
As I said, action is the key to success, but sadly, action is only the first key to success.
Action is doing something about your present situation in moving toward your ideal situation.
Another action is from that brainstorm, prewrite, and from the prewrite, write the first chapter. Edit the first chapter, then write the second chapter, and so on. Go all the way until the first draft is finished and continue onward.
Key to Success #2: Purpose
As I said; action is nice but purpose is the goal here. Use a sense of urgency, but don’t think of a sense of urgency as in moving fast in a chaotic manner. A sense of urgency is moving with purpose.
Why am I writing this article right now?
Is it because I’m just taking action toward my writing?
No, I have a purpose behind this article. The purpose is to help my reading audience grow as writers and for those of you who follow me that are non-writers, grow in the field you’ve always wanted to be in.
Always have a ‘why’ behind your action. If you have a valid answer for your ‘why,’ you will be moving with purpose, and that’s all you need.
So, we took action, and now we moved with purpose.
Key to Success #3: Passion
The most successful people in any field are those who are passionate about it. Have you ever seen or read quotes from The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)? Tell me that The Rock would be where he is today had he just taken action and gone through the motions, even if he had purpose behind those motions.
No way in hell.
Sure, he may’ve wrestled in the small independent circuit, starred in a couple Z-movies or maybe a B-movie here or here, but he never would’ve been The Rock. He never would’ve had an illustrious career in WWE followed by one in the cinemas.
But you don’t have to be a Hollywood Celebrity to reach the pinnacle of success.
If you’re a novelist, you don’t have to be J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin. You don’t need to have millions of followers, a Wikipedia page, or anything of the sort.
Cory Gregory is a guy who graduated from the same high school as myself back in 1997, twelve years before I graduated. He was passionate about lifting weights for a living, but instead worked in a coal mine over in Hopedale, Ohio.
Where the hell’s Hopedale?
Gregory left the mines and Hopedale altogether, made a name for himself on the fitness scene, and succeeded multiple times in fulfilling his passion. He started Old School Gym, he started MusclePharm, and he now owns his own signature series of nutritional supplements.
A man who graduated from Edison High School (where?) and worked in a coal mine in Hopedale, Ohio (again, where?), and fulfilled his passion, which leads me to the next step.
Key to Success #4: Fulfillment
Know what the number one regret is among senior citizens?
They lived their lives without fulfillment. They worked to pay the bills and pay their taxes, but never pursued nor fulfilled their aspirations.
At this point, you’ll have already taken action. You should’ve taken action with purpose. Your purpose should’ve been working toward a passion. The passion should now lead to fulfillment.
Why do you want to go this direction in life?
Or more specific, why do you want to be a writer, whether it’s a freelance writer, novelist, blogger, or a mixture of some sort?
If your answer was to influence people in a positive manner, you answered correct. If your answer was money and fame, I’m going to pull a Steve Wilkos and demand you “GET YOUR ASS THE HELL OFF MY PAGE.”
Wilkos says ‘stage,’ but you know where I’m going with this.
When you combine these final two elements; passion and fulfillment, you just created an unstoppable force of unstoppableness as long as you continue moving in the right direction, taking action with a sense of purpose.
Influencing, helping, and motivating others is why I write.
It’s why I’m currently not pursuing what should’ve been another passion of mine, personal training.
Because I was in the field for all the wrong reasons, which you can view in detail at the article linked above.
This article is telling you all you need to do when it comes to fulfilling your passion, see how that works?
The previous article will tell you what not to do when it comes to pursuing a profession.
Oh, and that reminds me.
Key to Success #5: Treat Your Writing Like a Profession
Yes, even though you aren’t putting the good old eight hours a day in with some overtime here or there and receiving a paycheck for it while you work a full-time job for primary income, you should be treating this like a profession.
It’s something I forgot to mention at the beginning of this article.
If you don’t treat your ambitions like a profession, you’re bound to fail.
Dress the part. Look the part. Be the part. Have a sacred space in your home or apartment where you work on your writing. I’m currently working on getting my extra bedroom cleaned out so it’ll become my home office.
I stay clean-shaven, I keep my hair, though long and curly, shaped. I work out of libraries when I have the chance to. I have a sacred spot in my living room where I write when I’m home after my day job. Instead of going out, I’m grinding nightly and on weekends with this.
The more you treat your writing passion like a profession, the more you’ll feel like a writer and less like you’ll feel like your job title at your current day job.
Hey, if you were the guy who walks into the gym in his Pepsi outfit and worked your jaw more than you did your muscles, you’re the Pepsi Guy, and that’s all you’ll ever be. You won’t be Raider Nation, or an Apex Predator, or anything of the sort.
But if you put in your eight hours at any location, be it a grocery store, a warehouse, or even a local coal mine, dress the part of what you want to be, have sacred times set by, make proper sacrifices, and anything that goes along with it, then you can call yourself (blank job title), because you’ve taken the:
2. Moved with Purpose
3. Placed Passion Behind Purpose
4. Fulfilled a Calling
5. And Treated Your Ambition Like a Profession.
You earned that right, so if you’re a writer who stocks produce all day at a grocery store but follows my five points listed above, you’re a writer and not a freaking produce service clerk (I’ve been there).
If you work for Coca-Cola and you follow the gym code to a T while helping others rather than talking down about others on Twitter, look like you hit the gym five times a week, and treat everyone in the gym, even the forty-year-old mother whose working out for the first time as an equal, and you’re competitive, you’re a bodybuilder. You ain’t the Coke Guy; you’re a bodybuilder. Or even if you train others for five hours a week, you’re a personal trainer.
You’ve earned the right to call your passion your profession.
So, unless writers like you care an awful lot, it’s going to get better, because you’ve taken action, you have a purpose, you have passion, you have something to fulfill, and you’re already a professional.
I think you care an awful lot because if you didn’t, you’d be on your couch watching TV. You’d be surfing the internet rather than writing. You’d be procrastinating and not moving.
You’re a writer, you’re a creator, and you’re an artist. You have a brand, you just need to build it. Work on that writer brand daily, and damn it, go out there and make it freaking happen.