I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business
Is it really crazy to think that all fiction writers are entrepreneurs? All writing, especially fiction, is a way to introduce new ideas, or re-introduce classics, with a new spin, to get readers to dare to see and think differently.
Writing is powerful stuff. Think of all that imagery that you can place in your readers’ heads. Learning to write in such a way that engages readers, gets them thinking, responding, and even taking action, that’s power.
Logic should dictate, then, writers are powerful people. We have the power at our fingertips to focus people’s attention and make change in the world through an age old tradition, storytelling.
Do writers get the respect we deserve? I’m not sure. I’m not far enough in my writing journey to have met enough seasoned writers who can give me an indication of the respect society gives them.
I can tell you, that when I woke up one day, and outed myself as a writer, those closest to me simply said “Why? Writers make no money”.
OK, so I’m not quitting my day job yet. I will always have marketing. So maybe, I’m not quite a writer, but more a “wri-keter”. That is, I believe that best writing begs to be read. It calls the reader to itself, takes hold of the mind of the reader, and is then passed onto other would-be readers through word-of-mouth.
The narration of my writers’ journey, and the whole premise for the round-table of writers I call NeedHelpWriteNow, gained a whole new strength in my mind last week.
By chance, I was invited to the launch ofStart-up Australia, a non-profit organization of entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. The whole vibe was upbeat, enthusiastic and semi-inspired. I say “semi”, because I was skeptical. I mean, entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs, it does have that tone of sharks feeding on sharks, am I right?
The term ecosystem was thrown about a bit. I looked around and there were many traditional finance/corporate types about, you know, the lions, top of the food chain in the business ecosystem men. Half of the blue tie guys were as half convinced as me, some wondering how much the government was paying to get the rental on the floor (FYI – the government is not paying a dime. It’s an NGO). However, all that skepticism aside (and besides, Start-up Australia becomes what we want it to become. If I don’t feed it, then how can it achieve its full potential?) I could see the opportunity in being involved.
When I got more into it, that is once I signed up as a member on their website, to view the first instructional video on becoming a successful entrepreneur, I could see the parallels to becoming a successful writer.
Siimon Reynolds introduces How Great Entrepreneurs Think and has prompted those who watch the video to keep a workbook with their notes. I’m a blogger. I will blog about it. I hope you, out there, can find ways to apply it to your personal journeys towards becoming bestselling authors.
So, how do great writers (and entrepreneurs) think?
1) Contrarian – Got friends and family saying writers make no money? Show them otherwise. You can. Dare to think differently and dare to express your views. Who cares if people laugh? Henry Ford thought differently. As did Steve Jobs. As did Richard Branson. The world is a better place for it.
2) Long-term vision – Your first book won’t make you rich. Your second one won’t either, probably. Be in it for the long haul. Plan for trilogies or series.
3) Optimism – As writers we must sometimes dip into the wells of despair, but don’t stay there too long unless you want to drown. Find your guiding ritual, for me my daily latte, that brings you right back into the positive mindset. Siimon says that to develop optimism, you must focus on it, look for good and uplift those around you. Mention someone in your book (in a positive light) and then tell him or her about it. Watch their eyes light up. It’s magic.
4) Improvement Orientation – Your first draft is crap. Get over it. Don’t be afraid to rewrite. You must. Write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite…
5) Hardworking – On average it takes a writer 14 years to get recognition, or make bestseller. Could success be expedited if you got up earlier, went to bed later and wrote more? Perhaps. But don’t forget that it’s the process of writing that makes you a writer. If you don’t write for a day, don’t write for weeks, months, and so on, are you still a writer? A writer must write. That’s our affliction and it’s what makes us what we are.
6) Resilient – You will face rejection. People will hate your writing. Critics will do what they do best. Publishers will knock you back. Develop a mind like water so when the stone is cast, yes, ripples go out, but then the surface should go back to calm.
7) Don’t make money your primary aim – In other words, don’t chase the market. Wizards were in, vampires had their go, zombies might rule for a while, but don’t write what you think the market wants. Write what you want and not for the purpose of cashing in early. I call entrepreneurs who are only in it to flip and cash-out, entrepreun-whores, don’t let your writing put on a red dress and walk the streets for money. It’s not the way. Money likes those who don’t chase it. Stand your ground, be cool, don’t let desperation take the keyboard.
It’s your turn now. Take a look at these 7 characteristics of great writers carefully. Score yourself from 1-10 on each of these characteristics. Take one area you scored lowest in and come up with 3 solutions to improve this characteristic.
Finding it hard to be optimistic? How about 1) uplift those around you by writing about them positively, 2) take time to meet with friends and make their day, 3) write pro-bono for a NGO and get the benefit of feeling good.
Comment below on what steps you will be taking so that others might be inspired by you.
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