My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Category: writing (page 2 of 28)

Four Exciting Ways to Find Writing Inspiration


Exhausted from work? Too tired to carry on and see another day? Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to give you four tips that will help you find writing inspiration.

Kind of cool, right?

The fact is you, yes you, can find inspiration just about anywhere, if you know where to look. We’re going to search deep inside ourselves for such inspiration, such as the search for that initial motivation to write.

What was it that caused the motivation in the first place?

That’s what we’re looking for right here, right now.

So, let’s search for that long-term inspiration today that will light a fire in you.



Music does strange things to us. It takes us back to another place, another time, back to a group of people, a time when we may’ve felt elated, depressed, inspired.

The reason I placed music so high is the fact it’s associated with the other three little-known ways listed below.

We embark on a journey when we listen to music.

When I hear, say, New Miserable Experience or Congratulations, I’m Sorry albums from Gin Blossoms, I’m catapulted back to Wintersville, Ohio, the town I grew up.

But I have more memories than just an awesome childhood.

I spent a summer working out at the local track with a great friend before we parted ways. It was truly one of the best times of my life, if not the best days of my life.

And yes, remember that creative nonfiction piece I was telling you about in a previous post?

Yep, it’s really a memoir that speaks of my early days working as a personal trainer, all the way to my massive breakup with the profession after becoming disheartened by it, to the great comeback that’s being set up right now.



I revealed a huge hint regarding places, by associating them with music.

But think about it. Where were you when you were first inspired to write?

Why did this particular place spark the creative juices?

Know what’s funny?

The place you might be thinking of might not even be a real place.

Maybe mom and dad read you a story about Neverland when you were young and you immediately were inspired to write your own work. Your own Neverland.

Or your own version of Hogwarts? Narnia?

Did you take a vacation to Scandinavia and were immediately inspired by the beautiful scenic landscape?

Where were you when you were initially inspired to write?

Go back to that place, even if it’s a virtual tour. If it was a novel, read it again. I guarantee you’ll find that initial fire inside you once more.



Again, taken from the first way of inspiration.

This is especially true for those of you who write nonfiction.

Who inspired you to write and what kind of plot?

Are you still friends with them?

Or have you gone your separate ways?

Really think about this.

They might have a lot to do with the plot of your work, or perhaps you’re like me and tend to base every single character in your work on people you’ve met, worked, and were friends with over the past few years.

Why did they inspire you to hit the keyboard?

What kind of relationship did you have with them that you just had to write?

You will find a lot of answers and perhaps a lot of inspiration.

For me and the creative nonfiction piece I’m working on it was the gym staff, my old client base, my workout buddies, including the one I mentioned earlier.

I did base a lot of characters in Lord of Columbia on them, but the (sometimes) wild memories I shared with these people, I knew someday a novel would be written. There are too many stories to tell in the Tales from the Gym Office.

I could probably write a three-book box set, to be honest, and still have stories left over.

How my boss and I were never fired for the things that went on in our offices I’ll never know. And the colorful people.

You get the gist of it.


Time Periods

Finally, time periods come last because it sums up the previous three.

If you read the first three closely, you probably found a little pattern.

Music takes you to a time period.

Places take you to a time period.

People take you to a time period.

All written works occur in a time period, and again the first three can relate to fiction. Maybe you listen to fantasy-based music as I do and it takes you to a place like Neverland? I don’t think I have to explain the cast and characters.

I drew most of my inspiration for Lord of Columbia from Harry Potter, as it’s not even a secret these days, and the series is what I continually reverted back to.

I listened to music that reminded me of Hogwarts, mainly symphonic, pagan, and power metal, with composers like Thomas Bergersen and even some Disney songs scattered in there.

I’m lucky to have grown up around a landscape that is Hogwartian in nature, with bounding hills that eventually turn mountainous, endless forest, and few urban areas so the sky lights up on those clear nights.

Again, you should see what I’m talking about now.


If You’re Feeling Down

Go back to these four cornerstones.

Play some music, as it’ll always help, no matter what. I love to pair it with one of my two daily workouts.

Go to places that first inspired you. I don’t have to go far. I can sit in the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, park my car, sit on top the hood on a spring, summer, or autumn night, gaze to the west, and watch the sun set behind the white water tower, which serves as the gateway to the bounding countryside.

If I pair it with listening to music, it automatically brings back the people, my favorite people, the workout partner whom I spent the whole summer of 2014 with, wondering what she’s doing now, and when she’s coming back.

Aha, see?!

You know where those lyrics came from, right?

Bam, it just took me back to the time period.

As crazy as this post sounds, I insist this works, and you’ll be glad you undertook it.

Thanks for reading.


When Should You Prioritize Writing? High Enough to Fire the Boss!


Wouldn’t you love to capitalize on your own writing business and hand your boss a Certificate of Divorce?

This is an article which holds mixed opinions. While some state writers should make writing top priority, others err on the side of caution and forewarn any aspiring writer the potential dangers and pitfalls on placing such a craft before a day job.

When should you prioritize writing?

I’m in the former, in full belief that if you are serious about making full-time income someday as a writer, you must put writing before anything else within reason, that is. For instance, if you have a family, obviously there are other priorities but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still shoot for your dreams.

Why not strive to hand your boss a certificate of divorce?

We live once in this life, so we need to make the most of it.

Now, don’t think for a single second I’m giving you a ticket to call off work to write or even to sneak your laptop into your office cubicle and write when on the clock. Trust me, I’ve done both and the results were never pretty.

What I am saying is if you’re asked to work overtime and you’re caught up on the bills, be real with your employer.

If your friends or co-workers are going out on a Friday or Saturday night, tell them you have something else to do.

If they try to play the old peer pressure card, ignore it without guilt. Don’t worry about what others will say and do to try and get you to join them at a local bar on even Super Bowl Sunday. It’s not worth it.

Instead, your writing must come first, and yes in some cases even before your day job so long as you’re making ends meet—at least in the short-term.

Am I saying you can’t go out and have fun?

Well, I’m a believer in the 90-10 rule, meaning 90% of the time you need to focus on your writing ambition if it really is what you want and enjoy yourself with other activities 10% of the time.

You don’t need to be the all-or-nothing hard nose like me and make this thing 99-1, but you need to prioritize it high. If not, it means you aren’t serious about attaining your writing dream.


Fantasy Versus Reality

This is something a lot of people try to discourage others from pursuing their ambition in any artistic craft.

The average royalty for an indie-author is fewer than $500/year, they point to. But for me, it doesn’t mean to throw in the towel and admit defeat.

You need to be a deep thinker as to why this is the case. For one, there are dozens of successful indie-authors who make six-figure (and a few make seven-figure) incomes who made next to nothing for a year or two. One author I came across made an “astounding” $95 in royalties in her first year and now makes a full-time income off writing.

It shows that fantasy is the expectation and reality is what really happens.

But you can turn fantasy into reality.

The question should be this: What keeps the majority of indie-authors from making a full-time income off their writing?

My answer to this has always been the usual—they feel writing is a ‘get rich quick scheme.’

They’ll upload a book to Amazon, believing the world will buy their book, royalties will pour in, and they’ll fire their boss.

Problem is, they never even did so much as to research a target market. They didn’t create a blog or anything to state, “I have a book series.”

Know what they did?

They bombed social media to the point their friends and followers either muted or axed them.

When someone constantly posts a buy-link to their books, are you motivated to buy that book?


After their failed attempts to sell their book due to lack of research and unwillingness to do what all successful business owners (if you’re an indie, you’re an entrepreneur) do and that’s to invest their hard-earned money into their product.

They made a cover for free which is the last thing you need to do.

Free covers are only okay if the e-book is a free funnel book.

They neglected to use Amazon keywords, they strung together a book description consisting of about five sentences, they didn’t fill out their Amazon Author Page, they didn’t link their blog to Amazon if they even bothered creating one. The list never ends.

Then, they blame people and state that people just don’t understand them before becoming disillusioned altogether and end up stuck in the dreaded day job for the next thirty or so years.

And by the way, when they thought they’d make passive income off a simple upload they neglected their writing career. They partied, spent their money on other things since they thought they’d have an endless flow of cash coming in, they gambled, went to sporting events, bet on sports, went to lavish restaurants, you name it, they’ve done it and spent thousands.

That’s why most indie-authors fail; they put their writing first only until it was uploaded onto Amazon. Then, they put pleasure first, thinking passive income will roll win without the need to lift a single finger.

Know when you should put writing first?

After you’ve published.


Fantasy Versus Reality II: Work Comes First

I’m not contradicting what I wrote earlier. Read me out.

Yes, the DDJ needs to be a top priority, but not the top priority.

Again, I’m not giving you a ticket to slack on the job for your writing.

What I’m about to say here goes hand in hand with what I’ve said in the above section.

Remember where I said all successful business owners make investments?

Welp, it’s about time you’ve done so, too.

Your day job serves two functions early on:

1. Pay bills and make sure there’s a roof over your head.

2. Invest, invest, invest, invest. Paid investment always beats free promotion.

Work doesn’t come first. Instead, think of your day job as a necessary evil that serves these two functions at your disposal. You can’t succeed in writing without the day job early on.

The good news here is that you will be able to scale back on hours at the day job as your paid promotion, blogs, guest blogs (they work), and other strategies put you on the fast track to earning book revenue.

But it can be more than just book revenue. Some of you writers following me here are bloggers, some might be freelancers. The same applies for blogging and freelance, but as I’ve stated so many times before, SEO will give you free exposure in the search engines, but that’s for another article.

So yes, work comes first, to an extent. Work is a necessity that will serve as a launchpad for your true gig, your primary gig, the career path you’ve chosen to undergo.

So, do yourself a favor and learn that the DDJ will take your writing to the next level and your boss won’t even know it.

If you can’t stand your boss or the company you work for, wouldn’t it feel so good when you walk in one day with a two-weeks’ notice in your hand, stating on the notice that they were ‘the long con?’

Hey, nothing wrong with letting that inner-con artist come out.

See, now you’re motivated to get to work, as you have a mission in place to collect the loot, make smart investments into your business, build your business at the expense of the business you’re working in, and bam, walk in there with a pink slip for your boss and tell them ‘they’re fired.’


Yes, You Can

So yes, it’s possible to make a full-time income as an indie-author, as a blogger, and as a freelancer. Some do all three, which only increases cash flow, so you’d be smart to try it.

Yes, you can, you can, you can, and you will, so long as you realize that making such an income writing is:

1. A long, uphill climb.

2. Just like any other business, where sound investments create income.

3. Passive income is the final product of your hard work, and it will allow you to make money 24/7, but passive income is the result of long hours working for free. Many forget this fact, but if you remember it you’ll no longer have to beat yourself up over a day job that you hate. In time, such 24/7 income will reward you like none other.

If Your Writing Dreams Don’t Scare You

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.

Why four?

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.


The Freelancer

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.

How to Achieve Writing Success: Eat Your Humble Pie

This is a week for morality here at my blog, because I have been in a whirlwind as of late with life, but I want to take this whirlwind and turn it into a positive to help you achieve writing success and keep it.

As with success in any field, succeeding in writing won’t come easy and it won’t come fast. But it will come. Success in other fields will come faster, such as a primary income career (for the time being) or something similar.

Let’s face it, there are millions upon millions of writers, but it’s possible to set yourself apart from the pack.

I’ve talked to you all about finding a writing niche, or a genre that you can build your writing brand around.

For me, it’s urban fantasy tied in with epic fantasy since my two series place in the same world but in different time periods.

As I stated in yesterday’s blog, I’m working on an inspirational piece which one can call a hybrid inspirational/creative nonfiction story, which will be built around another brand and a pen name (my first and second initials plus my last name).

So, we have two brands to build around, and two brands I can utilize to separate myself from other writers, and you can do the same. For instance, perhaps you wish to write nonfiction but are also into writing science fiction. You can create two separate brands by using a real name for one, a pen name for another, or two pen names. It can be anything.

The first way to succeed as a writer is to build separate brands for all your work. Build around them, and watch them flourish in time.

There’s also a second way to succeed in writing and in life, for anything, so for non-writers, you’re welcome to view this article. This second way is to have a humble approach to your writing profession.

How is this accomplished?


One: Be Interactive

Okay, so first thing is first. If someone wishes to interact with you, interact back. It’s that easy. If they comment on your Twitter, comment back. Ditto for Facebook, blogs, anywhere.

You have fans and they took the time to reach out to you.

Knowing this, you need to take the time to respond to fans and followers. They’re investing their money into your work. Your work must’ve meant something to them, as they’re writing to you.

That’s pretty freaking cool, and you need to write them a personalized message. Not a cookie-cutter message like an email blast or anything of the sort.

And for the love of goodness, do NOT hire someone or outsource responses to someone else like a team member UNLESS that person is a close friend or family member who knows you AND your voice. There’s nothing more disgusting than people who hire some random person to answer fan mail. Honestly, it sickens me.

Former NASCAR superstar Richard Petty used to overstay for every single one of his autograph sessions so he could interact with all his fans. He was the most famous driver on the NASCAR circuit for ages, even after his prime.

Follow Petty’s lead and interact with your fanbase. All of them.


Two: Be Helpful

You realize that some fans of yours are aspiring writers themselves, right? Fantastic, so it’s your job to help them out.

No, I’m not saying you need to offer one-on-one Skype services or anything like that; I’d personally be very uncomfortable doing so, since I believe the best training for anyone is hands-on, not online.

However, this blog you’re reading right now helps writers.

Some of them might be interested in my books and follow my blog because I’m an author who’s published two books in a series and is on the verge of publishing a third within the next few weeks.

Some might just like my blog and have zero interest in my books. Like it breaks my heart; they’re still fans of mine because they find value in what I have to say on this blog, and that’s good enough for me.


Because word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, and trust me, if people like your work in any capacity, they’re letting others know about it. The more you help others who were once in the same position you once were is more rewarding than any type of monetary success.

You were once walking lost through a forest of endless tips to the writing craft until you stumbled across something or someone that helped you out. So, you need to do the same for your people and hope they follow your example.


Show, Don’t Tell

Yes, you can be humble and still be a showoff.

I’m giving you permission to be a showoff, but if you think it means people need to look at and bow down to you, you’re out of your mind.

No, show as in show your readers and followers the process that took you to where you are today.

People. Love. This.

It gives you the opportunity to be an inspiration to someone else. You can show them where you were once upon a time at Point A, working X job and making X amount of money per hour. You were in debt, behind on all your bills, living on a prayer, facing total bankruptcy, whatever your story is or was, and you ended up not only succeeding but succeeding in your wildest dreams.

How’s that for show, don’t tell?

Do you realize how many people in America live paycheck to paycheck, or live without job security?

Or worse yet, are working two or sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet?

I’m one of those guys who isn’t a believer that government programs solve these problems (you may disagree with me here), but it’s because I believe in something else.

I believe there are a lot of people out there convinced their situation will never change, that it’ll never get better, and that they were destined for the short end of the stick.

This isn’t true.

Maybe you once thought this way.

You know this isn’t true.

Maybe these people are surrounded by others feeding them this lie.

Maybe you can be the one, even though you’ve never met them, to feed them the truth, the fortunate truth, a life-changing and perhaps a life-saving truth?

Share your freaking story, don’t be ashamed of it, and rest assured it will inspire others.

Your Fans are Your Partners

You’re not above your fans and I don’t care if you’re the next J.K. Rowling. In fact, I don’t care if you succeed at everything you touch, you’re not above your fans. Man, I wish certain NFL players realized this fact.

You do realize that without your fans, you have zero success, right?

You do realize that if your fans didn’t take to your work, you have zero success.

You might not even be that talented; hate to break it to you.

Let me give you an example: Bruce Springsteen never had a great voice. Some say he never even had a good voice.

But do you know what made Springsteen successful and even these days, when he turns 70 this year, what still makes him successful?

The guy can relate to his audience. He can relate to his fans.

He realized and realizes to this day his fans are his partners in crime.

If you haven’t done so, read some of his song lyrics.

The guy was able to click with his audience through some of the topics he sang about. That’s what made him successful.

It wasn’t because he had a good voice. It wasn’t because he could’ve been in the right place at the right time. Forget the myths. The guy knew who his target audience was, wrote song lyrics that pertained to them, he set them on a pedestal, and the rest is history.

Fans are partners. As you build your brand, your fans will be able to relate more and more to that brand. If you continue to work in ways that your fans can relate to, they’ll continue to follow you.

And if they continue to follow you, you’re set up for long-term success.


This should be your mission statement:

To ensure long-term success for (your name) by exceeding your readers’ wildest expectations.

Foundations for Your Success

1. TLC for all readers

2. Prompt delivery

3. Little room for error, if any

4. Heroic values


1. Readers

2. Interaction

3. Helpfulness

4. Sharing

5. Partner Up

Unless Writers Like You Care an Awful Lot

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.

Action, for a beginning novelist, is brainstorming a novel, much like I did last night that is unrelated to my Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk Series.

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.

The Hopedale Post Office. Photo By Roseohioresident – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Why not?

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:

1. Action

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.


Unless Revisited

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.

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