Our thanks to writer and proofreader Lesley J. Vos for this guest post. Graphic courtesy freedigitalphotos.net.
Do you dream of becoming a famous and successful writer? Do you want to see your books being sold on Amazon? You read and follow much advice on how to write, what tricks to use to attract readers to your writing, and how to find inspiration for writing a book or story; you write every day to improve your style, and your friends (some of them at least) consider your writing good enough to read, but… But you are still not a second Stephenie Meyer or E. L. James. Are there any particular reasons you aren’t yet successful?
Have you heard of Jim F. Kukral? Jim is a well-known writer, businessman, and speaker who was able to distinguish 13 reasons (excuses) of a person’s fail. He has described them all in his book Business Around a Lifestyle, and all of them have become a source for many lifehack articles, infographics, blog posts, etc. Let’s take a look at these 13 reasons, and try to distinguish the one (or maybe a couple) that prevent you from becoming a really successful writer…
Reason #1: You are lazy
Well, there is nothing wrong with that. You are lazy, as well as many other people on Earth. It’s a human nature to be lazy a bit, but successful people constantly work on that, and they never sit and do nothing. This is your right to stay lazy or not, but if you are – just admit it and stop complaining about being poor and unsuccessful. You can always find time for writing, if you really want it.
Reason #2: You are afraid
What will your friends say? What will your family think? And what if you look silly? What if nobody likes what you do and write? Admit it: you are afraid of everything; and your only chance to change something is to face all those fears and start doing what you think you should do.
Reason #3: You think too much
You always try to analyze everything. “And what if I do this? Will it be…”, “I would do that but…”, and so on and so forth. Just do it! Sit and start writing, stop analyzing and start doing; you will have time to think about what you have written after you finish the last chapter of your amazing book, or the last sentence of your cool article.
Reason #4: You have no goals
Everything you have is a dream to become a successful writer. You sit and dream of it, and you believe that one day somewhere and somehow it will suddenly happen. You believe you will write a book, and it will become a bestseller at once, but… You do not do anything for this, you do not have any plans on how to do it. Just admit, that nothing will come to you just because you dream of it. Start planning and doing.
Reason #5: Negative people around you
You may be surrounded by people who do not believe in you, who say that you will not be able to do anything, or who can be a bad example for you to follow. So, stop following them! Surround yourself with good and successful people you want to be successful. They will inspire you and give you the stimulus to improve your skills and become better.
Reason #6: You think small
Everything you have is your plan for a day or a week at least. Stop thinking too small, try to think years ahead, because only then you will be able to lead, not just follow.
Reason #7: You do not want it
Everything will change when you become successful. And your brain and heart understand it very well. Sure, you dream of success, many good books written, many ideal readers and people who like you, but you are also afraid of consequences and changes that will happen to you then. Somewhere deep inside you are afraid of this, and that is why you do not want it to happen.
Reason #8: You have no “X” factor
Hm, this is a very nice excuse actually. So, you think you can’t be successful because you are not pretty or clever enough? You think that all those writing tips will work for everyone but not you? You believe, that you would definitely become famous if you had a stronger personality? Stop it: even idiots (sorry!) can be successful today, and you problem is that you just do not believe it. Yet.
Reason #9: You don’t believe in this
They always told you, that only some “exceptional” individuals can be successful. And everything that others can do is just to settle and live calm, quiet, and ordinary lives. Do you really believe in this? Then you are welcome to sit and continue thinking like this, while others do something to change their lives.
Reason #10: You think of “them”
Try to forget about the conviction there is some secret group of people who control your life, all your failures and success as well. “They” do not exist, and do not make these mysterious “people” your excuse. The truth is you are alone, and it is only you who control your life.
Reason #11: You waste time
You do something of course, but all this is not productive. You spend hours working on not-working, and you continue persuading yourself that you do something really useful. How will it be possible for you to reach your goal, if you waste time? Maybe it’s high time to change this situation?
Reason #12: You spend too much on social media
Social media can be deservedly called powerful time killers. And even if you understand this fact, and you agree with it, you still can’t do anything with that: you continue spending your time on Facebook timeline, photos, statuses, etc., killing your time and preventing yourself from doing something really useful (writing one more chapter for example). Set a schedule (i.e. 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening) and stick to it.
Reason #13: You think “they” owe you something
Yes, it is difficult to accept, but no one owes us anything in this business. And if you still think that an editor will come to you one day and say: “Dude, you are so cool. Just write a couple of articles and I will publish them at once!” we will disappoint you here. He will not.
Just try to remember that your success is not about luck only. It is impossible to become a successful writer just because you can combine two words together. Learn from your mistakes, improve your skills, try to determine the real reasons something may not be working, and never give up if you feel that writing is EXACTLY what you should do in this life.
No better feeling can be found in the world than proving all those people who said “You can’t!” that they were wrong.