Those of us who live the writer’s life have it rough. We want nothing more than to make a living off our words and ditch the DDJ forever. To us, we’re not successful unless we hit this awesome milestone, and there is a singular force behind success for any writer; the writer.
Isn’t that amazing?
No one else in this world can make you successful except you.
Sure, we’ve all heard those ‘right place at the right time’ stories but do you really think every successful writer was in the right place at the right time?
Then, there’s the ‘well, so and so had these great connections, which is why they’re successful.’
Finally, there’s this excuse. ‘They came from a rich family so they had an easy ticket like all rich kids.’
Here’s an ultimatum for you: If the previous three paragraphs (practically sentences) sounded like excuses for you, you have a golden ticket to continue reading this article.
If you agreed with anything written above, stop reading and go find another writer to take advice from. One that will tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear will suffice.
Not just that; if you think you can just become a successful writer without working a day job while doing so, go find another blog that’ll tell you so.
As I write this article, my hands are covered in oil from handling steel products all day long. Now, as I sit and write, it’s time for me to give you the rundown some of you may not want to hear, because for the sensitive soul, it’s a tough reality check.
Actually, it doesn’t have to be so. All you need is a work ethic, but I’m not going to stop there. Now that you know what you need, it’s time to learn how to utilize it.
You’re the Force Behind Success
In any field, not just writing. Again, as I’ve done so often this week, non-writers are welcome to read this if they’ve made it past the first two obstacles written above.
No one will give you success. And if you’ve already published a book that just isn’t selling, it’s not the people. There’s nothing wrong with people—okay, if you once worked in the grocery store industry you could write a novel on why my statement can be faulty—there’s likely something wrong with you, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s how you learn.
I’m saying to use the adage, worry about what’s in your control and don’t worry about what you can’t control.
You can’t control whether people buy your book, and if they do buy your book, you can’t control if people will like your book. You can’t control if they’ll follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but you can control whether they know you exist in social media circles.
How do you make success?
As I’ve stated in so many recent articles:
Get yourself a killer book cover and invest in one.
Nail your book description.
Own a blog and post links to Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, and share to all your major social media networks.
Have an email list so people who like your work can follow you.
Write monthly newsletters so your followers can stay up to date on what’s happening regarding your next written works.
Even when you’re working eight or ten-hour shifts at work, it doesn’t mean you should slack off on writing your blog, updating your social platforms, and most importantly, continue working on your written works.
I’ve stated it in so many articles and so many other authors have stated in their articles; make time to work on your writing passion, in all aspects of it.
Just because you’re writing a book and in the hardcore editing stages or even the first draft doesn’t mean you need to slack on social media updates or your blog. In fact, it’s fatal if you slack on your blog.
While you’re writing your book, give yourself a chance to drive traffic to your blog and maybe you’ll find a few interested readers. I’ve seen this occur here on My Freedom Flame. Now, since it’s only been a few months since I’ve rebranded this blog to only include writing topics, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be, but by summer’s end? Now you’re talking a few good readers.
So, don’t slack on the blog!
If need be, you can even invest in Hootsuite for social media, which automates any social media post you place on the platform. I don’t use it often, but I know many who’ve had time constraints and swear by it.
You can also blog all day on days you’re off and schedule your blog posts throughout the week. Since starting my new day job, I’ve done just this and it’s kept my traffic flowing.
Often, I only have a few hours per day to work on my writing, but an hour in the morning with two to three hours in the evening is something to work with. Use any available time you have and at the very least, you can say you did something on days that you may’ve worked a long shift at the DDJ.
Come weekends, you should already know what you need to be doing. Even if you’re a family person who puts your kids first, as you should, there must be time to work on writing. Even if it means sacrificing sleep on a weekend or a late-night TV show.
Make Sound Investments
Let me tell you; investing in the Wealthy Affiliate platform turned this blog into one that’s steadily gaining traffic. It’s helped me establish a second blog called Get Pro Football Apparel, which specializes in football merchandise, and finally, my latest site still in the making called Lord of Columbia Series is also on its way.
WA costs $50/month, but one can invest $349 for an entire year, so it’s a dirt cheap price to pay for a helpful community that will grant exposure to your blog or blogs with community tools like Site Comments and Site Feedback.
You also get a keyword tool with your WA purchase as well, which is a lifesaver when it comes to blogging ideas.
If you’re unsure on how to write an effective novel, there are so many courses out there that you can invest in. My favorite by far is the Jerry Jenkins’ Writer’s Guild, which is an annual cost of roughly $400, so do the math and you’ll find a pretty cost-effective product.
There are numerous books you can read, one of my favorites being ‘Hooked’ by Les Edgerton.
I know these things cost money, but if you end up MAKING money, the cost of a full year at WA for $349 and a $400 investment in the Guild is $749 per year, which pays for itself.
Don’t be afraid to pull the money trigger, because the more you invest in yourself and your own education, the better off you’ll be in the long-run.
Today, we covered that you and only you control your success. If you haven’t succeeded or if you aren’t succeeding, don’t be that guy or girl quick to point the finger at others. While doing so may sooth the pain in the short-run, we’ll eventually come to realize it was us and not them. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Second, if you don’t work each day at your writing passion or whatever your passion is, you’re selling yourself short. Again, I don’t care if you worked four hours’ overtime and had errands to run on top of it.
Many of our most successful people get very little sleep. It’s time to enjoy a few more waking hours.
Third, if you’re not investing in success, it’s another short sell. You can get all the free information you want, but free is free for a reason. Anything free will have a price tag later on. Either pay the price in the short-term because you’re burning yourself in the long-term.
Take control, work every day, and invest.
Success is easier than it looks, and it’s only as hard as you make it.