Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Commitment is the Cure–From "Aspiring" Writer to Professional Author

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Tim Simpson.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Tim Simpson.

It’s been amazing and terrifying to watch the changes in our industry just over the past six years. For generations, there was only a handful of items a writer needed to do. Write a book. Query. Get an agent. Land a deal. Hopefully continue writing more books. Though this was far simpler, there was a horrific failure rate and most writers never saw their works in print.

In The Digital Age, we live in an exciting time. E-books have offered new life to many works that were simply a bad investment in the paper-based world (novellas, epic fantasy, poetry). Yet, with new opportunity comes new responsibilities.

We must understand the business side of our business. And, as someone who teaches at many conferences, I know that until recently it has been rare to find an in-person conference that offers training outside the old paradigm.

I’ve been to conferences with all NY agents, only a class or two on social media, nothing about formatting or indie or book covers. This leaves a majority of writers ill-prepared for anything other than a traditional path (but this IS improving).

Yet, as we watch the trends, we are seeing that even authors who traditionally publish are still pursuing other paths as well to 1) increase income harnessing the power of combined sales and 2) maintain fan excitement 3) broaden/strengthen the platform.

Screen Shot 2012-03-26 at 8.14.34 AM

As it stands, NY is limited to putting out a book, maybe two per year. Also, bookstores only have so much shelf space (which is negotiated by an agent/sales team). Due to the new mega-bookstore model, stores like B&N make more money off items other than books. Go into any B&N and the entire front of the store is filled with Nooks and Nook accessories (instead of books).

Additionally, they only can offer discounts by stocking only so many books and for a short period of time. This means authors with backlists generally will only have the most recent title for sale, unless they happen to be one of the big names (J.K. Rowling).

Writing now has merged art with entrepreneurship. We are essentially beginning a business (even if we choose traditional). Any successful business has a business plan. Also, we must invest in ourselves and our dream. There are a number of hard truths.

Regular People BELIEVE Writing is EASY

The average person out there has no concept of how hard it is to write a book. They think we sit and play with imaginary friends all day, which we do, but making those friends cooperate can be nothing short of a nightmare. Readers only see the final product. They only see what took months or years to complete. There is also this mistaken notion that because we have command of our native tongue, that writing a book/novel is only a matter of sitting down and writing.

Image with Twig the Fairy
Image with Twig the Fairy

Yes, butt-in-chair can be the greatest challenge, but developing dimensional characters takes profound understanding of human nature and psychology. Then we have to create realistic and interesting dialogue. Add in enough description and detail to build the world without boring the reader. We have to maintain tension on every page, know how to balance scenes and sequels, understand narrative structure and on and on and on.

But, it is this misguided perception that writing is easy that can derail us.

Forget What Other People Think

Often we are afraid to take risks because we fear failure. Yet, any true success is birthed from risk. We can’t think about what other people think or 1) we’ll quit 2) we’ll slack off 3) we’ll listen to bad advice.

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Everyone has an opinion. One way humans show love is by offering “advice.” This is fine, but we have to mature enough and grab hold of what we want so tightly that we can allow other people the right to be wrong.

When I started writing, my family didn’t talk to me for two years. I even had a church elder laugh and tell me essentially that I had a better chance of being abducted by terrorists than being successful as a writer. Other family members felt I should go to law school. For a time, I listened. I even took the LSAT and gained entrance to law school.

But, I remember standing there with my acceptance letter and I had to make a choice. Did I really want to be a lawyer? NO.

Thing is, other people can give advice, and often they do this from genuine care and concern, but remember…

Only YOU will pay the price.

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons
Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

When we allow others to talk us into “real jobs”, they won’t be the ones who die a slow death every day. They won’t be the ones who throw up every day on the way to work (been there). They won’t be the one with a broken heart, an empty life and a mental spiral of what-ifs that keep them awake at night.

Commitment is the Cure

Lately, we have been talking about WANACon, which is coming up next weekend and today is the last day to use the code Valentine for $15 off. It’s an affordable way to learn from top industry experts, learn about ALL kinds of publishing—self-pub, indie, traditional—social media, branding, craft, platform-building and all for a reasonable price and from HOME. New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Author Shirley Jump will be the keynote and agent pitch sessions are available. We have over 20 presentations from top professionals.

WANACon is largely volunteer because I was living of Ramen my first conference. Even though it was local, it still cost me over $300 and a lot of driving. I wanted to offer something for those who might be on a budget or have time or geographic challenges.

Yet, here’s the thing. Do I want you to come to WANACon? Yes, we have a lot of fun and it will spoil you. Regular conferences are costly and a physical beating (especially for introverts). Most conferences also will charge extra for recordings and we provide them for free because we want you to succeed.

BUT, I don’t care if you go to WANACon or some other conference. Just go to a conference. Commit. Attend/ join RWA (Romance Writers of America) even if you don’t write romance. Surround yourself with what you want to be. Connect and learn from professionals.

Publishing can feel a little like THIS...
Publishing can feel a little like THIS…

I want to encourage you to take true professional steps that transition a dream into a reality. Invest in your domain name (the NAME that will be on your books). Commit to building a platform or blogging. Platforms capable of driving sales can’t be bought or POOF out of the ether. They take time and some money.

NY will not represent an author with no platform. Most agencies will google an author and if they can’t find us? Game over. Come back when we have a platform. If we go indie or self-pub? We’re dead without a platform.

The publishing world of today offers a much better chance for success, but we have to be educated and have a plan of action. We need to invest in that dream. I can’t tell you the difference my first conference made in how I viewed my career choice and even myself.

Perception is REALITY

The world thinks most writers are just wannabes typing away at a Starbucks. Why? Because a lot of us do that. I did. In the beginning, I didn’t take myself seriously. Why would others? But, when we commit and invest, this is when we change and others often do, too.

Image via Tumblr
Image via Tumblr

If you met someone who claimed to be an artist, but they simply carried around a notebook and drew cool pictures, we’d think one thing. But, what if we talked to them and realized they had a web site with their work, that they’d worked an extra job to train with professional artists?

Someone who sings in the shower or in the church choir is one thing. But what about the person who gives up every extra hobby to take voice lessons and record their songs? Or a chef who creates beautiful dishes for people at home, but then later takes out a loan to start a catering business?

Our level of commitment is a reflection of our passion and our genuine desire to do this thing for real. 

This is February. Most of us are struggling with the New Year’s Resolutions. We all do. But whether you attend a conference a professional workshop, take classes, begin building your platform, make that shift. Otherwise, our “dream” will remain an intangible. Sacrificing time and money, risking failure, ignoring naysayers, these are the things that separate the “aspiring writer” from the “pre-published author.”

Regardless of what you write, which path you choose, which conference you attend, we support you 1000%. It’s why WANA works so hard to offer you all the tools for success: classes, conferences, WANACommons (for blog images you can use worry-free), WANATribe (social network for writers), #MyWANA and Facebook’s WANA group. We want you to have education, encouragement, resources, and a support network. The rest is in the doing ;).

As a gift, we have a free recording of Gabriela Pereira’s “How To Get the Most Out of a Writing Conference.” Use this for WANACon or any conference of your choosing. You can sign up for WANACon HERE and use the code Valentine for $15 off.

What are your thoughts? Have you been bombarded with naysayers and dream stealers? Is it hard to believe that your writing is a “real job”? I know I still struggle with that, too. What are your biggest challenges, fears? What are some of your successes? Share and inspire us!

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less)

71 thoughts on “Commitment is the Cure–From "Aspiring" Writer to Professional Author”

  1. JulieJulie

    I love the support you give! You can feel how much you want to help. I agree with conferences and being with other writers, which is hard. Especially way out here in lil’ ole Prince Edward Island. It is hard to think or my writing as a job – mostly because I’m not making money yet! My biggest problem is platform. But I finally went out and now I have a website! I’m proud of me and need to take myself more seriously. Love your blogs!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  2. hemmingplayhemmingplay

    I’m 64 and am 56,000 words into the book I’ve told myself all these years that I’ll write. Well, now I am, after a couple of careers in journalism and web publishing and PR. This article is spot on. Thank you.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  3. hemmingplayhemmingplay

    Reblogged this on Hemmingplay and commented:
    “…The average person out there has no concept of how hard it is to write a book. They think we sit and play with imaginary friends all day, which we do, but making those friends cooperate can be nothing short of a nightmare. Readers only see the final product. They only see what took months or years to complete….”

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  4. M. Zane McClellanM. Zane McClellan

    I wish I could memorize this and repeat it to myself in those moments when I get the “fuget-about-its”. Thanks Kristen.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  5. Tam FrancisTam Francis

    I love the positive support and I think everyone should reach for their dream and take professional steps for attaining it, but I am leery of “everybody can win.” I help my children achieve their goals when they exhibit a talent and an aptitude, but maybe I’m a bad mother discouraging against trying out for basketball if my son is the shortest in his class?

    I walk a fine line. Should EVERYONE be encouraged regardless of talent.
    Can ANYONE become successful at writing if you study your craft, go to workshops, write, write, write, do all the social media?
    I honestly don’t know the answer to this question, but it needles me.
    Maybe my own self doubt making excuses, but I wonder when do we KNOW (if ever).

    AND how can we tell the difference between self-delusion and confidence? Is there a difference? I’ve met so many so many artists, musicians, writers etc who think what they do is AMAZING and say “nobody gets me,” “I’m way above everyone else.” Are they delusional or do they have the confidence that you need?

    I hope I don’t sound negative. I love your blog and the WANA community. I take ALL the advice I find here and apply it, but I can’t help wondering about this.

    Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day. Lotsa love for you 🙂

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
    • Author Kristen LambAuthor Kristen Lamb

      We don’t know until we try and give it our all. And there have been very short professional basketball players and plenty of people with talent and height but no discipline or commitment. I meet LOTS of very talented writers, probably more talented than I am. But they won’t make it because they lack commitment and discipline. They fear failure too much and never stick to anything to SEE.

      I don’t think everyone can win, but we all have the opportunity to try. Failure is real, but it’s better than being part of those pitiful souls who knew neither victory nor defeat ;).

      Reply
      February 14, 2014
      • Tam FrancisTam Francis

        YES! Absolutely agree. I’m not ready to give up by and stretch, but I just wonder WHEN you call it. It’s probably an individual call, but there must be signs? LOL You’re the BEST!

        Reply
        February 14, 2014
        • Timothy L. CerepakaTimothy L. Cerepaka

          I’ve given this subject some thought, too, and come to the conclusion that you might want to consider quitting if your passion for writing fades.

          Real writers, as far as I can tell, never lose their passion for writing. They get writers’ block, they sometimes have to take breaks from writing due to medical or personal reasons, they may fail to publish anything for a while, they may not sell many books or receive many good reviews or make a lot of money, they may get discouraged sometimes, but they still write. It would be a mistake to tell those writers to give up on their dream because they are clearly still passionate about it, even if they are not currently successful in some measurable way. (Though it might be okay to encourage them to get a part-time job or something to help pay the bills, if necessary.)

          If, on the other hand, you lose the passion for writing, then maybe you should give up. Like you said, though, it’s ultimately an individual call and I wouldn’t presume to tell a fellow writer to give up their dream unless he or she was a very good friend who was already considering this him- or herself.

          Anyway, this was an awesome post, Kristen. I took the plunge and made a WordPress blog late last year to help me build my platform after reading your book, “Rise of the Machines.” That book really gave me the courage to take the first serious steps in getting my writing career going, although I definitely have a long way to go before I can call myself a professional writer.

          Sorry for the wall of text. I tried to keep it short, but sometimes I ramble, heh.

          -Tim

          Reply
          February 14, 2014
      • ontyrepassagesontyrepassages

        You aren’t a failure until you quit, but in the trying there must me total commitment and the belief that the path is the right one. Trying without believing is running without lifting your feet. 🙂

        Reply
        February 15, 2014
  6. Brandi RobertsBrandi Roberts

    LOVE this…thank you for sharing. I need to commit more of my time and money to writing and I know it. Thanks for being an inspiration =)

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  7. Mark YoungMark Young

    This is very encouraging and timely, Kristen. Thanks for the links to those of us stuck out in the boonies on a tight budget. It is an option. An an indie author, I am always looking for ways to improve. You have given us different paths.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  8. Jackie Saulmon RamirezJackie Saulmon Ramirez

    Toni Morrison said, “Art is work, it just looks like play.” The same goes for writing; it is hard and some days the words do not come easily.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  9. The characterful writerThe characterful writer

    Hi, I don’t know whether this will be a help to your followers but I have posts on my blog about the process of writing. Today’s is about the emergence of a short story. For writing in progress, today’s writing process. Short story. http://bit.ly/1nyFuzw

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  10. museofhellheroesmuseofhellheroes

    I wanted to share this because of the extensive discussion we had about “bullies” and “trolls” on the internet. Turns out, they really are as bad as we think they are!
    http://slate.me/MSMbkm

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  11. Christine HendlerChristine Hendler

    Thank you Kristen for your emotional and professional honesty, your humor and your generosity. You clarify so much and help us all stay motivated and grounded! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
    • Author Kristen LambAuthor Kristen Lamb

      I am glad you appreciate it. Serving you guys is always a joy. And yes I have a book for sale and classes and a conference but I honestly DON’T care where you guys go so long as you invest in your dream. Dreams are precious and so many people never get to live them. I want to give you guys as much as I can to keep you holding on.

      Reply
      February 14, 2014
  12. Kylie BetznerKylie Betzner

    What an inspiring post! This year, I made the transition from aspiring author to pre-published. I was tired of dickering in writing. That was not getting me anywhere. This post speaks to me!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  13. Tamara LeBlancTamara LeBlanc

    You have ALWAYS been a huge inspiration to me, but this post takes the cake.
    Thank you Kristen, for all you do for writers everywhere.
    You are a marvel!
    Have a HAPPY VALENTINE”S DAY!!
    Tamara

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  14. sharonhughsonsharonhughson

    I quit my job in July and call myself a professional writer. What do I write? Blogs and poetry are all that is published so far. It doesn’t matter. I have the first draft of my YA fantasy series completed and am halfway through the rewrite of the first book. It will be ready to market by summer.
    I appreciate all the “free” advice and encouragement you give us newbies. I am blessed to be surrounded by supportive people: husband, sister, friends, pastor. Does that mean I never have doubts? *snorts loudly* I keep pushing forward.
    Now time to get back to “butt in chair” the first step to success.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  15. abdul j.abdul j.

    Thanks for using other arts and crafts as examples of levels of commitment changing perceptions of people. Brought it home to see it in a way I’d never considered before. As for the convention, it really sounds like an absolute bargain. Unfortunately I’ll be broke as it passes lol. Will there be an opportunity afterwards for us to purchase audio/slides for presentations given in piecemeal fashion? Might appeal to others in my current financial situation 🙂

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  16. M T McGuireM T McGuire

    Other people give advice, only you will pay the price. Brilliant!

    Cheers

    MTM

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  17. Raani YorkRaani York

    I have to admit I’m scared… I saw that bird on your picture and I feel a tiny bit like it.
    The past couple years I’ve tried to publish my book several times… for some undefined reason there was always something getting in between. For different reasons it hadn’t worked.
    I KNOW it will be published one day – without fail – and when I’m lucky it will be this year. But when it didn’t work the past years – was I really this unhappy? – In some ways I was – in other ways I was nearly a tiny bit relieved… what if it got published and nobody, I mean, literally nobody likes it? What then?
    I’ve been hurt, bullied, insulted and humiliated so many times in my life… do I really have to do this myself?
    I did find the answer: Yes, I definitely do… I’m ready to take the risk.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
    • saralitchfieldsaralitchfield

      Raani, I could have written parts of this response verbatim! I feel a bit like the bird too… Everything’s taking longer than I thought it would – and sometimes I think I’m putting up my own roadblocks because the thought of The Book actually getting published and people thinking I shouldn’t have bothered…. Agh I’ll just want to crawl back under my rock. But I *am* going to make it out from under the rock in the first place. Risk + Persistence will hopefully lead to Success sooner or later 🙂 good luck!

      Reply
      February 15, 2014
      • Raani YorkRaani York

        Thank you very much for your reply. It helps a little to realize that I’m not the only one!! Good Luck to you as well!!!

        Reply
        February 15, 2014
  18. Laura Lis ScottLaura Lis Scott

    The regrets of things not done seem to cut the deepest and never seem to heal.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  19. KellyRaeBooksKellyRaeBooks

    The day I started saying I’m a writer, with no hesitation in my voice and in my heart, was a beautiful day for me. I do it every day and some days people even leave lovely reviews and purchase something of mine. It’s the first level of success and as time goes on I will reach others. Another lovely post, thank you!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  20. IsabellaStinesIsabellaStines

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice! This post has been beyond helpful.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  21. IsabellaStinesIsabellaStines

    Reblogged this on Isabella Stines and commented:
    “Aspiring Writers”—Read Kristen’s newest post, you will NOT be disappointed!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  22. Kayla JKayla J

    I know I say this often, but I love your blog. My biggest struggle/challenge/fear issue is imagining handing someone a piece of my writing and them laughing at me or telling me it’s awful. I need to commit myself more to both writing and studying this craft as both would help me with my confidence issues, I’m sure. I had a dear author friend tell me recently that she thinks I “could be a phenomenon ” if I study my craft and hone my skills. Shortly after that I found a letter of Rec from my former creative writing teacher saying something similar, but I still struggle so much with confidence and with taking myself seriously as a writer! Their encouragement and the amazing advice you and WANA offer inspire me so much to keep at it! Thank you, Kristen <3

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
    • Author Kristen LambAuthor Kristen Lamb

      I won’t lie to you. Some writing is simply DREADFUL. But 1) there is an audience who might love it *cough* 50 Shades of Grey 2) a good editor can guide you to FIXING IT. Piper Bayard is now a best-selling author, BUT when she hired me as an editor? It was a DISASTER. A good editor/teacher can get you where you ant to be if you are open to learning,

      Reply
      February 15, 2014
  23. Sinistra InksteyneSinistra Inksteyne

    I’m leaving my job in two weeks to write full time – and you’ve convinced me (by blog and book) to take the plunge, defy the fear and put my real name out there on my blog. Along with a few other changes I’m working on – log line etc.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  24. John HoltonJohn Holton

    My mother’s reaction any time I broached the subject of being a writer (or a musician or an illustrator or…) was, “Oh, for God’s sake!” She’s been dead for almost 14 years, and I’ve just been able to get her voice out of my head.

    I’ve been out of work since August, and there don’t appear to be many prospects for a half-crippled telecommuter, so writing full-time is the path I’ve chosen. And now, of course, I’m hearing that I have to write for 10,000 hours before I can be considered a “writer.” To which I say, screw that noise.

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  25. kaortega1120kaortega1120

    I am a Photographer, Writer, Blogger & Creative — I am moving closer to my dreams by taking more online courses, networking through Facebook/My Blog, I love the encouragement you give so freely – I would love to learn to move forward to have my poetry/photography book published etc …
    ~Kristine
    Boston, MA

    Reply
    February 14, 2014
  26. HarliqueenHarliqueen

    What a brilliant, honest and motivating post. Thanks for sharing this, sometimes I can get real down when I don’t think I have a ‘real job’, but my family are so supportive on this writing path I’ve taken which doe give me a real boost.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  27. Kerry AscioneKerry Ascione

    First, let me say that all your posts are wonderful. As for me; when I started writing my non-fiction book on International Home Exchange my heart wasn’t fully in it and I’d spend maybe a few hours every other day, if that working on it. You see, I still had one foot in my previous career transition attempt, a miserable experience as an alternate route public high school business teacher, and I wasn’t quite sure yet whether to stay in teaching or walk away from it. Well, I finally walked away to follow my passion and become a travel writer/blogger. This is when I amped up my commitment. I created a WordPress website, put all kinds of static content and photos to give my visitors a true sense of what I am all about and started blogging. I’ve also been doing lots of reading, none of it for pleasure, but a lot of it very pleasurable in an informative, inspirational, useful and motivating kind of way. I am now reading, writing, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, googling, linking, etc..full time, about 10 hours a day, less on weekeds. I’m fully committed and having the time of my life! In answer to your specific question ‘When did it start feeling like a real job and not just a fantasy?’ I can tell you exactly. It was as soon as I started connecting and collaborating with other people. It was when my e-mail inbox became filled with important work related mail instead of just a ton of ‘junk’ mail like all my store flyers (you know Gap, Lands End, Macys, etc..) all my favorite stores but nonetheless junk mail. I have so many deliverables now, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. If that is not a real job, I don’t know what is. As for my fears, I’m feeling pretty fearless right now. My only fear would be that if I am very successful, I will find it hard to find the right balance in my life. I have the tendency to be a workaholic and right now, even though I am working hard, my life is nicely balanced. My desire is not to be rich or famous; my desire is to have a career that I love and that will afford these precious things: time to be a great mother, wife, daughter and friend; time for travel; enough money to support my children’s dreams and my own. I ‘d also like to compliment my husband’s teacher’s income to ensure that together we have a comfortable retirement – one that includes living temporarily in various destinations around the world.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  28. Michalea MooreMichalea Moore

    Thank your your encouraging posts. I reblogged this one: http://michaleam.blogspot.com/2014/02/reblog-commitment-is-curefrom-aspiring.html

    One piece of advice that has been invaluable for me this last year was: Invest in yourself just like you would if you were starting a small business . . . which is in fact exactly what we ARE doing whether we go traditional- or self-publishing.

    I took that to mean both time and money, and I feel like I’m making great strides forward as a result.

    Keep up the good posts.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  29. andrewknightonandrewknighton

    Thanks for the reminder of what gets it done. Like everyone I suffer from wavering commitment from time to time, especially when distracted by other things – having a reminder that I can and should be the one driving my own success is good.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  30. Jen HaegerJen Haeger

    This is the first post of yours that I’ve read, but it is spot on. My worst critic is probably myself, but I’ve also had a couple of harsh disapproval’s lately. This post made me feel better. 🙂

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  31. apotts31apotts31

    Reblogged this on alliepottswrites and commented:
    Perhaps it is because my youngest just threw his copy of the Little Engine That Could at me, but I keep thinking, I think I can… I think I can…

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  32. ontyrepassagesontyrepassages

    The naysayers wear many masks: concerned, jealousy, and pure negativity among them. Most share professed sincerity. I’ve seen far too many masks and believed them for far too long. Still, sprinkled among them were the supporters and believers, some of whom changed my life. I’m sitting amidst stacked boxes after moving 620 miles in a snowstorm despite the “best” advice telling me I shouldn’t go even though it was in the best interests of my health. This is my road and not theirs. I’ll not be turned away.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  33. K.B. OwenK.B. Owen

    Kristen, you are a real voice of support for writers of all ages and stages. Thanks for the shot in the arm and the tough WANAMamma love. 😉 Wish I could go to WANACon this year, but that weekend I’m visiting my elderly aunt (with no WiFi). I’m sure it will be a fabulous success! 😀

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  34. literaryliasonliteraryliason

    What an inspirational post. This really spoke to me, especially the part where you said “When we allow others to talk us into “real jobs”, they won’t be the ones who die a slow death every day.” How true is that. I’ve been working a “real” job for years, and I’m working on a game plan to get out. You know what they say, “There’s life, and there’s living.”

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  35. Curt MekemsonCurt Mekemson

    Great blog Kristen. I have always operated under the principle of doing what I love to do, and letting the money take care of itself. I have also recognized the value being professional and working hard. So far, this trio has always taken care of me. As I prepare to self-publish my first book, I assume it will continue to. –Curt

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  36. myinnermgmyinnermg

    This post was truly inspirational! Thank you!!! I’ve just recently realized how important platform building is. You are so right and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a six-pack of writing-abs! (-:

    There are times when I still question if a blog posts in such a creatively, dense forest will it make a sound. But then I remember-if I don’t believe, then who will right? (-:

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  37. mistytuckermistytucker

    Reblogged this on Misty Tales and commented:
    Great support and advice, as always. Thanks. Reblogged @ mistytucker.wordpress.com

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  38. alibeyalibey

    hi kristen. i am very tall person who tried to become a world champion miniature golf player. when that failed, i attempted to become a writer. when that failed, i started a blog. you may get what is known as a “chuckle” from the vid giving advice to aspiring writers that i put up yesterday on my blog. cheers, johnny p.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  39. BrendaBrenda

    I needed this. Thank you.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
  40. jmwhite01jmwhite01

    I am at the point where I’ve finally finished writing a book and have no clue what my next steps are. I honestly haven’t had any nay sayers yet. I’ve had a ton of support while writing which has left me with many mixed feelings. I’ve followed blogs of authors, publishers, people who gave up, people still struggling…. and it seems the one thing I’ve heard from everyone is if you want to become a writer/author/successful blogger it takes a huge commitment. So I guess what I’ve been asking myself this whole time wasn’t do I want to publish or do I think what I wrote is publishable, but am I willing to commit to my writing and do what I need to do to publish my books. After reading this I know there is other support out there and many people who make this commitment every day so I’m less unsure than I was but still not totally set on if I am able to make a commitment. BUT I love your advice and real life experience sharing you do. (I know that’s not grammatically correct 😉 ) Thank you for not sugar coating anything and saying it like it is.

    Reply
    February 16, 2014
  41. Ava BazemoreAva Bazemore

    I’m so grateful for the people who love and support me. They are people who understand the concept of commitment, and so are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to help me move towards my goals. The biggest sacrifice so far has probably been time we couldn’t spend together because I was writing. Time together is so precious, so that is not a sacrifice I take lightly. The biggest challenge for me has been trying to find a balance between all of the things that are important in my life. I haven’t been able to give up the full-time job yet, but if I ever get to that point, I’m sure it will help! Thanks for a great post, and for sharing your advice and encouragement. I linked to your blog from my nascent website. 🙂

    Reply
    February 16, 2014
  42. Prissy ElrodPrissy Elrod

    Another great article, Kristin. I have read Rise of the Machnes three times and underlined almost every sentence. LOL. Geez, I wished you lived next door to me. You could give me inspiration over a cup of coffee. Wait, you already have given it to me–just without the coffee. Thanks to your wisdom and generous giving, I’m launching my book next month:-) You are the real deal; we need more people like you out there in the scary world……

    Reply
    February 17, 2014
  43. Sonya ContrerasSonya Contreras

    You gave me the motivation to step out of my hole and apply for a conference. And almost convinced me that I would like it. Thanks, Kristen.

    Reply
    February 17, 2014
  44. Julie PresceskyJulie Prescesky

    Yup, this is timely. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m trying to get myself beyond this ditch of endless procrastination that I’ve thrown myself into. It’s a slippery ditch and I don’t seem to have much traction. If only I were a 4×4 – at least I’d have torque.

    Reply
    February 17, 2014
  45. Daven AndersonDaven Anderson

    Write like you don’t have a day job, even if you do!

    Reply
    February 17, 2014
  46. Nicole GrabnerNicole Grabner

    It’s so wonderful to hear from other writers/people who are going throug the same things as you. It’s so hard to work at a job that you know isn’t your passion, when your true passion is just beyond your reach. (Or you feel like it is.) It helps to read you blogs, Kristen, and know that I’m not alone.

    Reply
    February 18, 2014
  47. Sinistra InksteyneSinistra Inksteyne

    Hi Kristen,
    I’d be interested to know what your take is on writer/author business cards. Have you discussed them before (someplace I haven’t found)?
    There’s a lot of guff out there on the www but some of it seems – er, a little less than business-like. Unlike you 🙂

    Reply
    February 19, 2014
  48. ForkYes!ForkYes!

    Thanks for the extra motivation. Luckily a hilarious activist in my pretty small tourism-based town just started a prose, poetry, and plainsong group that takes place in a little sandwich shop. Perfect for feeling cozy, safe, and familiar with all of my friends, new and old, so I’m finally producing again.

    Reply
    February 19, 2014
  49. Rachel ThompsonRachel Thompson

    It’s simple: If you are writing with attention you are a writer: If you consider what you wrote, have a concern about how well it is written, and try to make it better– even emails– you are a writer. None writers don’t care about craft or clarity. I’ll bet everyone on this comment page looked over what they wrote and made changes before posting.

    Reply
    February 23, 2014
  50. J. D. HagerJ. D. Hager

    That part punched me in the gut and snatched my wallet. How can we step away from that “real job” in the face of foreclosures and future meals of ketchup soup? How do we jump off the hamster wheel when we are running so fast to keep up? Faith, self-confidence, and dreaming big are all required, and unfortunately those what-ifs keeping me awake at night are feasting on these things. My newest mantra has been victory to the true self. Now if I could just slow down enough to remember what my true self looked like.

    Reply
    February 15, 2014
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