They aren’t big enough. It’s taken from the old quote from Muhammad Ali, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Now, insert the word ‘writing dreams’ and this statement appeals to writers.
It appeals to everyone.
This article doesn’t just go with writing, it goes with life, but for the sake of my audience, we’re relating this to writing.
While success in writing is a long, long uphill battle filled with more starts, stops, sputters, and stalls than the Cleveland Browns’ offense from 1999 to 2017, the view of the mountaintop is available in all four directions. Eight if you count northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast.
Given a fact that can be proven simply by looking at the mountain, the climb to the top is frightening for anyone wishing to experience such a thrill and sense of accomplishment when they reach the peak.
The dangers of avalanches, wind chills, snowstorms, and crevasses are enough to motivate most of the global population to turn their back and lodge while someone else accomplishes such a feat.
But why do you want to stand on the sidelines and wait while the starting quarterback wins the Super Bowl?
Why do you want to sit and watch others go through hell to accomplish what they may at the end of the journey?
Do you know what happens with those people who sit and wait? Those who choose to do nothing due to the required step from their own comfort zone?
If you see a correlation between those who say they’re going to do this, and say they’re going to accomplish that but never take that step forward, or take that step forward before taking three steps back and throwing in the towel, and negativity in this world, your guess is 100% correct.
In fact, many of these people root against those who are trying and succeeding, while laughing at those trying and struggling.
The negativity is rampant.
But, these people are scared and while it’s good that they have dreams that are big enough to scare them, the fact they turn and hide while pouting and blaming everyone and society for their mishaps will create a permanent barrier between their dreams and themselves.
If only they can break that barrier.
These people are on the right track simply because their dreams are big but they continually veer off track.
How can you as a writer stay on track?
Let me give you a rundown.
Another Ali Quote
“I hated every minute of training, but I said… ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Many of us writers who are starting off or aspiring writers are likely working a job that we hate every second of. If I were lecturing you all as a group I’d ask for a show of hands.
And I’m no different. I have aspirations not only to write, but to return to my old stomping grounds in the fitness industry, but that day is a little ways off. And yes, I hate not every minute but every single second of my DDJ.
But it doesn’t just pay the bills; it gives me money to invest in my books, book promotion, converting the back room in my apartment into office space, and even getting ahead on student loan repayments.
Just as for Ali, training didn’t just make him a great boxer; it made him a champion.
So yes, I’ll suffer now to live the rest of my life as a known novelist, even if known just enough to eek out a full-time income on it.
But, Why Stop at One Dream?
Hey, many of the writers who follow this blog are novelists, but there are so many other avenues and cash flows that can go into your writing that it’s foolish to stop at just one funnel.
Now, if you want to make a living solely off just writing books, you can, but bear in mind you’ll be churning books every two months, or six new works a year. That takes a lot of dedication and repetition. If that’s what you want, then have at it.
For the rest of us, let’s look at a few more options.
I have four blogs, three of which are monetized and making me a small income already while a fourth blog is in its infancy.
Each pertain to different niches. As explained in previous posts on My Freedom Flame, this blog is a niche on writing. I might down-niche to something later on, perhaps put it toward writing fantasy novels or whatever the case may be, but for the time being, it’s a writing niche.
Get Pro Football Apparel is my second blog and it discusses football apparel while also pertaining to NFL team news with apparel-based links, such as seasonal reviews for each team, etc. In the future, it’s likely I’ll down-niche to simply apparel but Google’s search engines are weird with affiliate sites providing too many affiliate links.
Lord of Columbia Series is the blog I consider a cousin or sometimes a sister to this blog. As you can see on the sidebar here, you know what it pertains to. Also, if you click on the bold-facing link provided, you’ll find a similar color scheme between this blog and Lord of Columbia Series.
And my latest and final blog for the time being is my Wealthy Affiliate affiliated blog, Ditch Corporate America, where I’ll provide a few details here and there.
As you can see, I’m looking at not one but a few different ways to make money on my writing while also making minimal startup investments, which is why blogs are popular. If blogging is for you, look back into my archives where you’ll find more blogging-based articles that will show you how to be successful in your blogging career.
Multiple Pen Names, Anyone?
You can also brand yourself in different ways as an author. For instance, say you only want to make a living writing novels but you write both fiction and nonfiction. This is a great way to create multiple brands for yourself.
I’ve always stated I’d use the name T.C. Matthews if and when I do start writing nonfiction or even creative nonfiction. Sure, if you’d like to create a blog about your works, I advise you create separate ones, complete with full SEO and keyword research tools, which is what makes Wealthy Affiliate so convenient.
If you wanted to write three genres, why not create separate brands and hence, separate cash flows?
The list goes on and on, but the advantage multi-genre authors have is the fact they will create a new cash flow with every single work they produce that is in a different genre.
Maybe you love to write novels and maybe you even blog, but did you know that there’s an untapped goldmine in freelance writing?
There are also blogs that are dedicated to freelance, such as The Write Life and Freedom With Writing. They’re reputable sites that will point you to blogs that pay for writing, while also providing freelance job boards where you can find work.
Freelance writing isn’t for everyone and it’s for those who are willing to research and write about a variety of topics and take on new challenges. For those who dislike routine workdays, freelance may be a good option to go.
I prefer blogging, but then again, blogging isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re an impatient person looking for immediate results. Freelance writing is great for those looking to start off making a little more income than your authors or bloggers.
Success, the Biggest Fear
The human mind is a strange one. Part of us wants nothing more than to be successful. For us authors it means making appearances, book signings, book launches, massive social media presence, the works.
But when we realize, usually once something crazy like that is booked, that we have to leave the safe spaces of our homes, libraries, and coffee shops to interact with those we’ve never met and whom we don’t know but they sure know us, things can and will get overwhelming.
Some of us realize these things must happen earlier than others and they’re something we’d love nothing more than to live without. We’d rather sit in a corner and pass out our writing to our fans with zero interaction, but that’s not the way it works.
I’ve always dreaded leaving my own comfort zone but at the end of the day have gotten to the point to where I’ve looked beyond the here and now and instead focused on the endgame. Doing so helps me realize what the sense of accomplishment will feel like at the end of the day. The endorphins, the high, the satisfaction that comes with it makes me laugh at the fear and uncertainty I’ve felt before such byproducts of success came about.
And if such a fear that I have scares you, you’re in luck. Your dreams are big enough and if you continue to look past the here and now when things get tough, instead looking to the end goal, you will accomplish every once scary dream you once thought was a journey away.
Until the journey has been completed, that is. Make sure your dreams are big enough to scare you and you will break down the fear barrier that might have been plaguing you this whole time.