How to Achieve Your Writing and Publishing Goals
By Nina Amir - Author of "The Author Training Manual" Obsessed With Progress - Featured Guest! Eighty-one percent of the American public says they want to write a book, but only two percent actually follow through on that goal and achieve it. If you, too, dream of becoming an author, make sure you end up in the two percent by employing more than just good writing skills and tenacity.
Become Your Best Possible Writing SelfIt’s true that you need to sit yourself down in a chair and write if you want to complete a manuscript. However, you will find it easier to do so if you have prepared yourself on a conscious and subconscious level. The best tool you can use for this type of preparation involves visualizing yourself as a successful author. As I explain in The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, this exercise is quite similar to the Best Positive Self (BPS) process used in Positive Psychology. Numerous studies show that writing about your life goals and imagining your most favorable future helps you learn about yourself. This makes it easier to restructure your:
Your Future as a Successful AuthorTo complete the Best Possible Writing Self exercise, create a written vision of yourself five years from now. (You also can visualize yourself one, two or three years from now.) See yourself as a successful writer or author. Imagine yourself as successful as you possibly can. Include every aspect of your life in this vision—writing, publishing, blogging, social media, speaking, teaching, as well as your income level, relationships, friendships, family, health, free time, etc. Be specific. Mention the number of books you sold, how much money you earn, how much time you spend working or playing. Don’t forget to include a deadline. By when did you achieve this success level? You can write a vision of successful authorship by imagining your BPS in the present tense. It’s better to write it in the past tense, as if you have already achieved the successful state. This method affectively turns your statement into an affirmation that this goal will be realized. In the past tense, your vision might be written like this: “My book, [Book Title], was picked up by a traditional publisher over a year ago, and I received an advance large enough to make it possible for me to promote it well ($10,000). I now enjoy a speaking and coaching business that revolves around my book and that brings in $60,000+ per month, book sales of 8,000+ per year, and monthly media coverage for myself and the book of five to ten radio show, podcasts, blog posts, and magazine articles per month. This nicely supplements my family’s income and affords me a chance to travel and meet new people. It enhances my professional life and allows me to pay a virtual assistant for 8 hours per week of work to help me with a variety of tasks. My publisher has asked me to write a second book in an effort to build a brand, and with this added push I expect my first book to sell well over 150,000 copies in its lifetime.” Develop an Author Attitude Once completed, keep this vision handy. Read it often; it’s best to read it two or three times a day. As you read your vision, try to actually see yourself as successful. Also try to feel what it would be like to succeed as an author. Also try to act “as if” you are already a successful author. This will help you achieve what I call an Author Attitude, which consists of Willingness, Optimism, Objectivity, and Tenacity. See yourself as a person with these qualities, who:
- Is willing to do all the things necessary to become a successful author
- Is optimistic about the outcome of his actions
- Is objective about her work
- has the tenacity to keep moving forward despite challenges