Writing Success: How to Avoid It

Writing Success: How to Avoid It

Writing success: every writer wants it, but some actively avoid it. I work with writers every day, and here’s how the avoidance scenario plays out. A writer tells me about a new project. He’s excited. I’m excited too. We discuss it, then the writer gets to work.

A couple of weeks, or a month later, I ask the writer about the project, and he’s “thinking” about it. Uh oh. We talk about the one big secret of writing — writing, not thinking — and the writer’s enthusiastic again.

Time passes. The writer contacts me to ask me about something else. I resist the temptation to bang my forehead against my desk. No, I don’t yell at him: What about PROJECT X? I know what happened. Project X is dead, dead, dead.

If you don’t create it, it won’t succeed.

No one is guaranteed success, but you can actively avoid success if you lose heart and inspiration and don’t create.

From Beck Gives Us A Lesson In The Arc Of Content Marketing in Forbes:

Beck took a chance with the content. He didn’t focus group it. He just released it and waited to see what happened. His “research” was the world’s actual reaction. We could all stand to be this bold with our content marketing.

If the idea is great, it will be discovered.

No one can guarantee your success. Before Amazon launched the Kindle, authors got used to rejections. It wasn’t uncommon for an author to write ten books, and have each one rejected… until one was accepted. Then, over time, all her rejected books were published.

Time is always a writer’s best friend, as long as you keep writing.

These days, no author needs to fear rejection. You write a book, self publish it, and keep writing. You don’t know what will happen; you don’t need to know. That book may never be successful. It may never sell more than a few copies. But if you keep writing, you increase your chances of success.

Writing success: if your writing doesn’t succeed, keep writing.

Writers get fixated on projects. A project becomes all-important. So important, that to avoid failure, they let the project die.

Why not do as Beck did? Publish. See what happens. If you keep writing, you won’t obsess. Some years ago I had a multi-book contract with a publisher. One day I was lunching with my editor, who was worried about another book coming out on a similar topic to the one I was working on. I shrugged and said: “it’s just a book.”

My book came out, and sold well for a few years. I didn’t pay much attention, because I was working on other books.

Are you avoiding writing success by not finishing projects? Ask yourself this question…

What will happen if you succeed?

Your life won’t change with success. You’ll still write every day. If you focus on the process — writing — rather than success or failure, you’ll increase your chances of success. So keep writing. :-)

If you’re avoiding writing success, check out the Easy Write Process.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

When Your Goals Scare You: Get Clear and Write

When Your Goals Scare You: Get Clear and Write

Do your goals scare you? It might be because they’re not clear enough. For example, a writer we’ll call Leonie signed up for coaching. Her goal was “to write a book.”

Writing a book’s a fair enough goal, but after Leonie completed her initial questionnaire, which we send out to all personal coaching students, and we chatted, she discovered that she wanted to write this: a memoir of her arranged marriage.

When I heard “arranged marriage”, I thought whoa! Although it’s common enough in parts of the world, it’s not common in the western, developed world. I was thrilled to help Leonie with this project. She’s almost completed a first draft. It’s good. I suggested that Leone not only self-publish, and but also look for a literary agent. She’s well on the way to achieving her initial goal, because she took the time to get clear on what she really wanted.

Get Clear: Listen to Yourself.

We’ve got several coaching questionnaires we send out. They’re all short, with eight or fewer questions. A student can opt to answer as many questions as he wants – the questionnaires are for us, but most of all, they’re for the student. They help him to get clear on what he wants from his coaching.

Consider your goals. Why not create your own questionnaire, so that you can get clear on them? Tackle one goal at a time. You may well find that once you’ve answered a few of your own questions, your goal changes. It becomes more clear, and isn’t scary any more.

Are You Excited?

quote: fear or excitement?

If a goal scares you, allow yourself to sit with your feelings for a moment. Are you afraid, or excited? Sometimes excitement is scary. If your goal’s a big one, like writing a memoir was for Leonie, it can seem overwhelming too. Leone told herself she wanted to write a book for years. Getting coaching was the first step in achieving that goal.

All goals are achieved by taking one small step at a time. You can’t achieve them in any other way.

You Don’t Have to Achieve Your Goal in One Step. Take Baby Steps.

When Leonie settled on her memoir, we spent a few sessions talking about what she wanted to include in her book, and general planning. How would she fit writing into her life? We needed to take her daughter’s upcoming wedding into account, and Leonie’s work and other commitments.

We also needed to discuss what a memoir is. In basic terms: how long is a memoir? How many chapters? What’s the throughline (theme, if you like) of the book? Who are her readers?

By the time she was ready to write, Leonie couldn’t wait to get started. Her goal no longer frightened her: she knew exactly what she was doing. To achieve her goal, she just had to take baby steps.

When you get clear on a your goals, achieving them isn’t a struggle. It’s a process. You take baby steps, and before you know it, you’re well on the way to success.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Ambition Quotes: “Without ambition one starts nothing…”

ambition quotes

Are you ambitious? Ambition’s defined as: a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

If you’re ambitious be proud of it. Admit it, especially if you’re a woman:

 Why are so many of us so ambivalent about our own ambition? It’s like The Scarlet Letter where we are ashamed to wear the “A” word for ambition.  Many of us are afraid to be branded ambitious because we won’t be liked.

One of my favorite ambition quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Get out there and win. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Press Releases: For Traffic, Not Just For Press

Press releases

Have you discovered the power of press releases yet? You’ll get traffic, without getting “press” per se. This is the way publicity works now; you’re going directly to your customers.

Press releases are simple and effective marketing.

You can do very well with press releases if your business is new, as I mentioned here:

He wasn’t trying to attract media attention (just as well, because he didn’t get it), he was aiming to build an online presence fast… Here’s the thing: he got a trickle of traffic, sure. But for over a year later, he made SALES to customers who told him they’d first heard of his company online — via the press releases.

If you’ve tried other sources of traffic, and are disappointed, give press releases a try.

This article, Five ways to get your story in the press, has some useful tips:

” Tailor your story to the particular media audience or outlet

 Daines says many small business owners make the mistake of simply buying media lists and sending out generic mass mail-outs about their product or service.

‘Sending out a mass email approach that’s been blind cc-ed is lazy. You will fail to engage the reporter if you haven’t researched what they write about, what they’ve done in the past or what they’re interested in,’ Daines says.”

Big tip: think in terms of a media campaign, rather than a single release. This applies whether you’re using old-style press releases, or online press releases.

You’ll need to tell your story yourself

With old-style press releases, you target the media. With luck, a journalist will give you a call, and will interview you.

Sadly there are fewer journalists and media outlets than there used to be.

This means, that you need to tell your story yourself:

* Make sure your releases are supported by content;

* Promote your story on your website and elsewhere;

* If you’re launching a product or service, start your push BEFORE the launch.

Compared to other forms of advertising, press releases are inexpensive. They perform well as basic content for your site too, because they help build trust and credibility.

Writing for the Web? Go Beyond the Words

The Web is changing fast. Are you changing with it?

Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…

Images, video and audio enhance content on the new Web. Do you know how to create them and use them to enhance your Web writing?

If you’re a newly minted Web writer, start by becoming a master at creating Web articles.

Then get experience as an audio-visual writer, and you’ll be streets ahead of other writers – you’ll out-pace the competition, and you can charge more.

Ready to master the new Web, and become a master content creator?