Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails—Being an Outlaster

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Monday we talked about The DIP, so it seemed like a good idea to talk about being an OUTLASTER. I had years of honing this skill. Some of you may not know, but I dropped out of high school twice. 

***Note: I am the reason for the current Texas truancy laws 😀 .

Returning to high school and graduating at 19 was seriously humbling. My GPA was so low, my classes (very literally) were one step above Special Ed. When I took my SAT, the scores were so bad, I thought they might check me for a pulse.

Really glad they gave me some points for spelling my name correctly, LOL.

After a year and a half of junior college I won an Air Force scholarship to TCU to become a doctor. Six months in, the school didn’t close when we had a bad ice storm and I slipped and fractured my back…losing my scholarship.

This was before the days when places were required to have handicap access, so for two semesters, I trudged up stairs on a cane and had to stand during all my classes because I couldn’t sit.

Not awkward at all.

It took me six years of working crap jobs, but I finished. Maybe not with the best grades, but I finished. In the years that followed, I drifted without purpose working sales and I got in a really bad habit of making way too many excuses and quitting when anything got too hard. It took yet another health disaster to show me my poor character in Technicolor and remind me to become a finisher.

It was time to refresh my mind and learn to be an Outlaster (thanks to minister and speaker Craig Groeschel for this term!).

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We all have heard the saying, “DaVinci had the same 7 days and 24 hours.” I would actually make a different point. Folks like DaVinci, Mozart, Shakespeare actually had LESS time.

There was no electric lighting and pulling all-nighters was a good way to go blind by candlelight. Thus, I’d say the difference is that these artists lived intentionally.

We all want to know the secret to “success.” First of all, I am going to add a caveat. “Success” is a very personal thing. What is “success” for you isn’t “success” for me. Yet, study after study shows that people who write down their goals are far more likely to reach them.


We have forced our minds to have a Mission Statement and our subconscious will use that to guide us. That is where the cool dreams and great ideas are born. Also, we are far more likely to recognize opportunity when we see it.

Living intentionally is vital because it allows us what I believe is one of the HUGE keys to reaching our dreams—learning to be an OUTLASTER.

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

We can take craft classes, join a gym, type on the WIP, start a blog, but the difference between those who make it and those who don’t is that those who make it KEPT GOING, even if it was just a tiny bit of effort daily.

Actual image of Kristen's Guardian Angel

Actual image of Kristen’s Guardian Angel

Blogging & Writing

When I started blogging, I was THRILLED to have 20 visits a day. Granted, most were spam bots, but hey! They counted, RIGHT? One of my close writing friends and I were talking about how many people used to blog regularly 6 years ago and almost all of them are no longer blogging.

Blogging is crucial for a brand and selling books. It is the strongest and most resilient form of social media, yet most people give up.

I also have noticed how many people were super passionate about writing, would do ANYTHING to publish and write full-time. Now? Most are gone. New people filled with the wonder and dreams have taken their place, but how long will they last?

***Refer to What Are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author?

Here’s the thing. Starting is easy (okay, “easier”). It is fresh and wonderful and emotional. Starting is CRUCIAL. There might even be all kinds of people to cheer you on.

But how will you fare when the new wears off and those who pledged undying support and loyalty move on to a new shiny because we weren’t an overnight success?

The key to making it in ANYTHING from writing to business to marriage to losing weight is to become an OUTLASTER.

Traits of an Outlaster

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Outlasters have clear and achievable goals.

Notice I didn’t say realistic goals. Reach for the stars and we may hit the moon. BUT, my goal to be a NYTBSA is realistic because I am a writer. If I have a goal to become a high-fashion model? Um, at a fluffy 5’3″ and 41 years old? Uh…NO.

Outlasters write down goals and have CLEAR Mission Statements.

The Mission Statement keeps us focused. We learn where to say yes and where and when to say no.

If my goal is to become a NYTBSA in the next five years, I know it is unwise to volunteer for every church event, school event, and family drama need. It becomes clear that I need to set word count based off MY goals. My word count will be very different if I want to write ONE book a year versus THREE.

Outlasters understand the power of letting go.

Yes, Outlasters MUST hold on, hold on for LIFE! But to the right things.

Often letting go is more important than holding fast. This can involve letting go of hobbies, hangups and habits or even WIPs that just need to be put to bed. But the toughest? Letting go of people.

The best analogy I can think of for this is climbing Everest. If we want to climb Everest, there are teams of sherpas that guide you to the first base camp. As you go to each higher level, the team gets smaller and this is necessary.

Not everyone in our life is meant for the summit. Some could even get us killed.

I’ve had some SERIOUS issues with this. A writer I spent many years mentoring was caught on-line wholesale plagiarizing, and giving ME credit for his WONDERFUL work. This was a HARD blow to my brand and thank goodness kind people sided with me and realized HIS inexcusable behavior didn’t reflect MY character.

But, my brand was far smaller at the time. What if this happened later, when the damage could have been catastrophic? Sometimes the only thing we can be grateful for amidst the pain is TIMING.

We will mourn people we need to let go of, but often this is a good thing. We want the friends who believe in us even when all outside evidence says we are a failure. We never know who our real friends are when life is all kittens and unicorns. We find them (and they reach for us) in the darkness.

Outlasters WORK 

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Luck is fabulous and would LUV me some luck. But I still believe the harder I work, the luckier I get. This said, working smarter is key. Feel free to make all your clothes by hand, but running to Target for new t-shirts might be a better use of time if your goal is to be a pro writer instead of a clothing designer.

There are no shortcuts. We MUST endure. And endurance can be small. It can mean we are so ill we can’t see straight, but we post a couple things on Facebook or ask a friend to guest blog…then go back to sleep. It is the small deposits and investments that accumulate over time.

But we write that book, remove that debt, lose that weight little by little. That’s what endures. Fad diets and quick fixes don’t change our character. Just like eating well and exercise should be a lifestyle, being a writer is a WHOLE new way of living. It isn’t a hobby or a thing or our little fun…it is who we ARE. Writers WRITE.

Outlasters Understand the Long-Tail

If we look at life day by day we will get discouraged. It’s kind of like going back to the gym and then getting on the scale every hour to see what’s changed. Formula for a breakdown. Outlasters just keep writing, keep failing, keep learning, keep trying and they do it over and over and over and over.

Outlasters CANNOT Succeed Alone

Part of why I created the W.A.N.A. Community is that we are who we hang around. Show me your closest friends and I’ll show you your future. We need a team, especially in The Digital Age. There is simply too much to learn or know.

***Find or create a team over at W.A.N.A.Tribe, which is a social network I built just for you guys. All writers in ONE spot.

Too many predators who see dollar signs over the newbie writer’s head. Conversely, there are a LOT of great people in the industry and your connections can save you time and guide you.

Find positive, professional, driven people and you WILL come up higher. Psychic vampires, whiners and complainers need to GO. Take inventory and seek out those you admire. Study them. Listen and learn from them. This is a tough road, but no one ever said we had to do it alone.

We all fall, bump our noses and bloody our knees. That is GOOD. Keep pressing. You got this 😉 .

So what are your plans for the rest of 2015? Are you working on valuing baby steps? Reframing setbacks? Letting go of bad habits or toxic people? Any tips you might want to offer?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of APRIL, 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 novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For better odds of winning, the same contest is running at my new Dojo Diva blog where we are talking some more about The Dip. This is a separately drawn contest, so there is a far higher chance of winning the critique.

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook


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  1. Excellent post … one of the best I’ve read for a time. All the best. Kris

  2. This is a wonderful post. I understand the need to be an outlaster, and I have also had a very unusual path through my education. I think the ability to move forward, continue producing work, and simply writing is crucial to success–however we define it. Thank you for this post!

  3. Thanks, I really agree with all of this post, but especially the part about letting go. I am a fiction writer (unpublished YET) and I write only because I want to explore different realms of life, not just live singularly. That makes me more driven to historical and speculative platforms, but I found myself desperately trying (and failing) on a crime novel for past couple of years. Even the idea wasn’t mine, it was my brother’s. And it was a pretty cool idea, but it was not me. I couldn’t ever had thought of that story all by myself, so how would I write it.
    After wasting a lot of time on that, I said no to it.
    So my trick, let every idea that come to your mind sit in the back of it for some time, even years. Finish the one you are working on, live your life, after couple of years from your initial spark, if the idea was worth it, you would still be as excited to write it as you was on the first day. If not, well your mind would have already discarded it.

    P.S do keep all of them written in one place though 😉

    1. It doesn’t matter if the story was your, Kinza. It was your idea to write it! I read once that writers must learn how to steal. There are endless ideas to be stolen from newspapers, family members, strangers. Ideas float around in the air and our job is to snag the ones we believe in—the ones we know merit their own story.

    2. *yours

  4. Kristin: I don’t know if you realize what a profound effect your travails and advice really has on (us) struggling humans —- writers or not. You need to catalogue all these blogs into a separate volume. I believe there’s a market for it. I am 500 pages toward completing the first novel and I’m a medical professional who has a thousand excuses to have no time to edit, trim and finally finish. So many little impediments cause work stoppage, depression and loss of confidence. Your encouragement is truly inspirational!

  5. Correction: “really Have”.

  6. This is a million dollar post. Spot-on gold.

  7. Kristen, I normally skim your blog, not today. I read and considered every word. This year I’ve found myself distracted by health, volunteering, and all sorts of projects that have kept me from my goal of two-thousand words each and every day. Health is something we all have to deal with in this life. The other obstacles to writing can be whittled down. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

  8. Amen, Sister! I can’t hear this enough.

  9. Okay, I’m teary-eyed. Thank you for being so transparent and honest!

  10. Life keeps throwing me off the writing horse. It’s great to know you’re always there to encourage me to get up, dust off my clothes, and get back in the saddle. Thank you for being a friend and mentor. You ROCK, Kristen!

  11. As always, your posts seem to hit me at just the right time. Thank you so much.

  12. Very inspiring post! I need to get better at writing down goals, not just for writing but life in general. Having a mission statement is so helpful in prioritizing the day.

    • R. A. Meenan on April 29, 2015 at 9:34 am
    • Reply

    As always, your posts are spot on. I love this kind of encouragement. And it’s a good time for me to think about whether or not I COULD quit. Anytime I see something like this, I ask myself, seriously, if I could just quit writing.

    The answer is always no.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kristen. =)

  13. Thank you Kristen! I needed this today! ?

  14. Letting go of whatever is holding one back, pruning the suckers, really is the key. I’ve served my apprenticeship with energy vampires. Doesn’t really build muscles or character. DOES teach me to quarantine my sacred Writing Sanctuary, virtual or otherwise.

  15. Love this! Thank you!

  16. Thanks for helping me reorder my priorities. I tend to get easily distracted and pursue creative projects that keep me from completing my writing goals. Everything’s good, but not everything’s profitable if I want to publish my book.

  17. Kristen, thank you for being so open and honest.
    I agree with your philosophy, ” the harder I work, the luckier I get. This said, working smarter is key” I was taking a break from proofreading, when I hopped over to see what new blog posts had come in, now, with your reminder that I must be an ‘outlaster’, I shall get back to work.

  18. A very insightful post; as is your usual.

    The world we live in likes to push us all the same way; especially the school system, which wants to prepare us for the expectations of the business community. It is a “cattle” program with little understanding or tolerance for individual preferences. I firmly believe you must intently like what plan as a career; the same applies to a hobby, or even how and where you live. Yes, some things must be enforced by repetition and drive, directed by missions and goal.

    But, you must make sure what you are doing is something you truly want to pursue. Only then will you find the soul to carry you through, no matter what the obstacles.

    How do you know if a particular career, et. al., fits you? That is were introspection comes into play. Thrust what you get inside yourself as feedback from your efforts. If you can’t put down that pen, no matter what; if you keep sitting in the chair biting your tongue to make the words come out; if you read books like a scanner on steroids; chances are you are an author.

    All you have to do then, if what Kristen said.

  19. Here’s to us Outlasters! Thanks, Kristen. 🙂

  20. Very interesting read with a message that was worth repeating

  21. Awesome post!!

  22. Reblogged this on Wade Lancaster.

  23. Another great blog, and I took the plunge and wrote down my goal. I am an outlaster, and plan on continuing to be so. I have been working on my WIP all year, but now I am dedicated to finishing it this year as painful as it is to sit at a computer to do so.

    Smiles to you, Nancy

    P.S. I love your blogs so much I have been reblogging them

  24. Reblogged this on Nancy Segovia and commented:
    Another great motivational blog by Kristen Lamb

  25. wonderful post. I’ve had the goal of writing AT LEAST 100 words perday,EVERY DAY. for 2015. I added 10,000 words to a WIP and submitted it to my editor, and started ona new manuscript. needless to say I did more than 100/day. had to stop when I had hip surgery. promising to start again today after reading this blog. thank you. will reblog. too.

  26. Reblogged this on Alice Abel Kemp's Blog and commented:
    this posting from the famous Kristen Lamb is really excellent. But don’t read it if you like to procrastinate. Alice

  27. I think our guardian angels are twins. I’m meeting with my HOA board this coming week to impress on them the need to finalize the demands of nasty neighbor who is wasting my valuable writing time with unreasonable landscaping demands. We need to fix it and forget it with “Burqa in a Bottle” who staggered over Monday morning to demand I get on my knees and pull weeds because his drunken brain is unable to comprehend a woman working, much less a woman working from home.

  28. You are an amazinging positive and incredibly inspiring writer and woman. Your blogs come at a time in my life when I need a virtual kick start and I love that your writing is so inspiring in so many ways. Thank you – and your wisdow is way beyond your years!

  29. Thanks Kristen, I’m in that camp of the Outlaster(s) and chugging on, halted at times by family crisis and health challenges. One thing I learned in the three years+ working my heart out trying to earn an open adoption, the families that don’t give up eventually make a match with a birthmother. We were turned down after 12 match meetings with potential placements of a baby. Our 13th became a life or death crisis for the infant. Our daughter is now 22 years old and we are a loving, functional family.

  30. This was a great post. I’m having one of those days where I want to throw all of my goals out the window! My chief goal, at the moment, is weight lose but in a manner that supports a changed (improved) lifestyle and not short-term obsession.

    I’ve also recently given up taking stimulants that were prescribed to me for treatment of mild ADHD, which I’ve recently learned are only truly necessary when I’m forced to sit at a desk all day long. A desk bound career is also something I’ve turned my back on.

    I’m strong, motivated and focused. I don’t care if I found my first gray hair or if the scale hasn’t really moved over the last 3 grueling weeks of effort. I’m strong, motivated, focused… and persistent. Take that world.

    • morgynstarz on April 29, 2015 at 2:32 pm
    • Reply

    “I’d say the difference is that these artists lived intentionally.” Tattooing that on my forehead!

  31. That lollipop of mediocrity made me giggle. And it’s so true. This whole post is very well timed – it’s kinda spooky how you do that so regularly – and I’m grateful for it.
    Keep going, keep pushing, outlast. ^_^

  32. “Reach for the stars and we may hit the moon!” I love it! I get more out of your posts that I need to hear than anyone else. So/far… 🙂

  33. Reblogged this on Mandy White and commented:
    Are you an outlaster or a quitter?

  34. Thank you Kristin

  35. Fabulous post! I am determined to be an “Outlaster”!

    • June on April 29, 2015 at 6:42 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you, Kristen. I read this post twice and was reminded of my own journey from wanting to be a writer from the age of ten until now, several decades later. Had it not been for a very painful time in my life, I’d still be making excuses. My favorite line in your post: “Sometimes the only thing we can be grateful for amidst the pain is TIMING.” I have finally realized, eight years later, that the painful time for me was perfectly timed!

  36. Love this. I’ve been tempted to give up so many times. I feel fortunate to have a stubborn side because I usually get pissed off at myself when I want to give up. “Heck no, self, ” I say. “You are not giving up. You will not give the nasayers satisfaction. You will keep writing if it kills you. They will have to pry your keyboard/pen/notebook out of your cold, dead hands.” It helps.

  37. Reblogged this on jademphillips and commented:
    Amazingly inspirational post by Kristen Lamb. Applies to anyone, but great for authors.

  38. If this doesn’t prove once and for all the uselessness of SAT scores I don’t know what will. My daughter went to Princeton- yes- her board scores were stratospheric- but it was her determination that put her over the top after four years. And anyway- what were Einstein’s verbal scores? Unremarkable if he were to have taken them. Or Samuel Johnsons math abilities? Ok. I rant.

    1. Don’t get me started. According to the SATs I am probably most useful asking, “Would you like fries with that?” LOL.

  39. Awesome post. It reached me on a day when home responsibilities trumped my opportunity to sit down and write. I really needed the part about letting go. Especially of the comments by people who smirk at the writing and say things like “If nothing else you will have had fun trying.” I just finished writing my first MG/YA novel (mostly while sitting and watching my kids at gymnastics). I gave it to a Middle School teacher and a PR friend to attack while I start on the sequel.

      • Stephanie Scott on April 30, 2015 at 10:22 am
      • Reply

      “If nothing else you will have had fun trying.”
      Best case, let’s assume this person was trying to be helpful. But I so get how comments like that sting.
      A friend of mine asked how my writing was going. Instead of just saying “fine” I trusted her enough to share some frustration I was having–normal writer stuff involving rejection and things. She responded, “Well, at least it’s just a hobby.”

      At that time I had contracted with a lit agent. I signed a business agreement to write books. It may be my second job, but certainly not a hobby. I truly think she meant well, but it stings nonetheless.

  40. Thanks for the pep talk! I appreciate your enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing your story.

  41. Excellent points! I do agree that connecting with other authors is important. In my community I searched for an authors group and found none for miles. So, I created an authors society at my local library. Where better to find other local writers? We have 27 members and all share our successes and failures and exchange strategies for promotion/selling, writing, etc. There is strength in numbers and I do think success is contagious.

  42. How you pick me up! I’m 81, spending $$ to publish & launch the memoir I’ve spent 8 yrs. writing because it’s worth it, i’m old, & won’t waste more time on publishers. .But I must give up friends constantly because many don’t even use computers. Building SEO is slow, but I just plug away.

  43. Reblogged this on Love's Last Refuge and commented:
    Good advice for every goal you might have.

    • Stephanie Scott on April 30, 2015 at 10:20 am
    • Reply

    I like that you mention success means different things to each person, and the value of writing down goals. I’ve heard this before obviously, but reading in this context struck me again, so i wrote down some goals. I’m so hesitant to actually write wanting a book of mine to land on the NYT list, but it’s true, I would. So I wrote it. There are other lists I’d love to hit too once my book comes out, and right now all I can think is to temper my expectations. But if I’m not working toward what needs to be done to make those lists, will I ever?

    My first goal was just to finish a book. I’m so proud I kept at it. I’ve finished three polished manuscripts and have 4 others in decent but not polished shape. Starting small helped me, but maybe time to dream bigger?

    Reading about the pligarism was interesting and awful. So sorry to see that. ARound that same time a very popular YA book blogger also got caught. The screenshots and evidence were all laid out online on the blogs who had content stolen–after the thief had been confronted and excuses piled up. It was a sad case. I checked in on this blogger recently and see they no longer have a blog at all and reviews set to private on Goodreads. Sad.

  44. Yep, outlasting is maybe even more important than finishing. I don’t think people who aren’t in the thick of it will every realize how LONG lasting takes. When my husband and I were going through the process to adopt, it took two years to make the right match. For two years, my husband and I heard “So how is the adoption process going?” and “What’s taking so long?” until we didn’t hear anything at all, as people began to assume we just weren’t committed to adopting, else why would we still be childless after two whole years. Then once we inquired about our now daughter, it took months for us to get picked to be her parents, more months for us to meet her and move her in, and more and more months to finalize. Obviously, something was wrong, else why all the delay?! Right? Right??! My best friend came to our defense with this zinger “She’s a girl, not a puppy!” These things take time. Very little in life comes without much plodding and enduring. Now those same people who wondered what took so long when we adopted are starting to ask, “So is your book published yet?”

    • Laura Irrgang on April 30, 2015 at 12:36 pm
    • Reply

    You never let us off easy, which is why I keep coming here. Thanks for telling it like it is. I am working on letting go of toxic people. Frenemies are often hard to spot, but you have to do it. I’ve also pulled back on sharing info about my writing progress and setbacks with people who aren’t supportive. For me, a passive aggressive comment about my writing hurts more than a rejection from an agent. Here’s to moving onward and upward! And also growing a thicker skin!

  45. What are the odds?!? Either we share a guardian angel or yours and mine are twins! Mine looks just like that too, except when she’s furiously trying to cover the 14 landmines I inadvertently tripped while skipping through the daisies…. 🙂

    • Melissa Keaster on April 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm
    • Reply

    Hear, hear! Because I live with a serious, chronic disease and have two kids at home, a book a year won’t happen. At least, not for awhile. I’m working on a second draft of an idea that came to me in August 2013. I began my first draft in June 2014 and finished before Christmas. I fell into a health slump in January, which was fine because I needed a little distance anyway. Before I was really feeling up to it, I began the second draft in February. The only writing time I have is my kids’ nap time and–when my husband is feeling gracious (or has TV to catch up on)–an hour or so before bed, so I guard dog my afternoons and rejoice the nights “our shows” don’t air. Being a very sick mom of littles is H.A.R.D., BUT I see how being a virtual shut-in creates space to write, space I may not make if I was healthy. Using my frailties to my advantage is so rewarding, and writing is in the top three ways I do that. So here’s to not giving up when it would be WAY easier to do so every day of the week. Beta readers are lined up. My goal is to put them to work before summer’s end. And look at that! Time to put the kids down!

  46. Okay, yep. I’ve been lazy. Time to be the Outlaster. *searches for pen and manuscript* Hard work, here I come!

    • Cathy Parker on April 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm
    • Reply

    Fractured your BACK! My gosh, poor Kristen. You get ribbons for Outlasting THAT. I have been on a cane, climbing steps, for a year and I know what that cost you. Love your guardian angel image. Those unfortunates assigned to authors must also have a support group.

    It’s good to read your words here. We hear them around, but you’ve managed to put some energy behind them and some of it has radiated off my screen into my brain. Thanks.

    p.s. The NBA play offs aren’t included in the Things We Must Give Up, right? RIGHT?

  47. How did you know that I needed a pick-me-up? As time ticks by, I am an Outlaster indeed. But, my passion for children, words that swirl in my head and, most importantly, characters who demand to be heard keep me writing.

  48. This is so good! Talk about synchronicity: I’ve just been reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less which is all about identifying what really matters and purging everything else, living intentionally. Very inspiring.

  49. Reblogged this on scribblings007.

  50. I read this online by someone named “theAngryViolinist” (??) and just loved it:
    “It’s better to cultivate discipline than to rely on motivation. Force yourself to do things. Force yourself to get up out of bed and practice. Force yourself to work. Motivation is fleeting and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, and you don’t have to chase after it.
    Discipline is reliable, motivation is fleeting. The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it.”

    So true. Motivation can help us for a while but, as you say, writing down our goals moves our dreams over from dreamland, to becoming a disciplined intended action. Maybe you can write a blog post about specific goals an author should have. I want to write down things more specifically, but I just don’t know what are some realistic goals.

    I’m new here, but love your blog already.

  51. Kristen, as always, you have a flair for motivational speaking, and today’s blog hit me right at home: I am a door-to-door salesman for a national company (no, my product doesn’t “suck”, lol 🙂 ) and throughout the training, my manager keeps telling us to not re-invent the wheel. What I am finally learning is that the wheel can have different levels of traction under various conditions, but to never forget the basis and the simplicity of its design.

    The experience is also helping me to become a better writer, as the grit of dealing with numerous people and their issues, in order to drive their need for my services, is often more abrasive than fine, yet the fineness is beginning; thus, it is turning my skills from seeming dull and lumpy to smooth and shining.

    As in anything good, it IS a process; not an event. When I turned back to my writing after months of neglect, I began writing my story in a way that demands to be devoured in one sitting, and is now becoming a lengthy, satisfying feast.

    Thank for for getting the right information out there to us, Kristen. Now I have to find your publications and begin reading them, because I know by reading them I will taste the wine made from the fruits of your struggles and determination.

    Best wishes always,
    Joel S. Copeland

  52. I admire your outlastership, you are a delightful writer, yet it is only persistence I have to offer!

  53. Inspirational post! You’ve done it once again, you’ve given me another nudged in the right direction.

  54. *nudge

  55. This has totally given me hope. I’ve been working on writing fiction for what seems like forever. I just realized I am an outlaster. I might not quite be where I want to be yet but I’m still going at it. Thanks!

    • Pirkko Rytkonen on May 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm
    • Reply

    My goal for the rest of 2015 is to finish my very first manuscript and send it to the editor. I will have a lot of rewriting and structuring to do but I’m putting in the ground work right now by planning it scene by scene adding all the elements of a good novel all the while learning at the same time.

  56. Needed to hear this, Kristen!! Thanks!!

  57. I enjoyed this post. Thanks for writing it!

    I had a similar philosophy when I started running many ears ago. I’d wave at every other runner and tell them “looking good” or some other short, positive encouragement that I could manage between gasps. Because I knew the odds were, a few weeks later, they wouldn’t be out there running any more. Maybe my few words would help get them over the hump. (It never seemed to work long term for the runners, but I always assumed they just moved to a different part of town.)

    Same with writers. I’ve helped a few, and it feels good to help. And that’s odd all by itself because it mean all those nuns in school were right – never saw that coming. It also SUCKS when the writers you help go on to have more success than me, but now at least I am friends with writers who are more successful than I am… wait, what? Yes. Yeah, That’s right. So maybe they can help me now.

    Anyway, great job with this. I read posts by successful authors saying that blogging doesn’t work anymore. Maybe they are right. Or maybe they are just winnowing the field of competition in their own way.

    1. It did go longer than usual, but I really only wanted this in one post. It needed to be discussed, but I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to drag it out. Normally, if this was, say, writing, I would have whacked it into installments. BUT, I do put in pics and bullets for those who want to scan 😀

      And blogging does work, just not the way most people do it.

  58. That is an excellent writing and message, Kristen. I have some (many?) habits that are not necessary to retain and use time I could spend writing or exercising. Your “outlaster” thoughts will make me critique them each time they reappear.

  59. I love the term, “Outlaster.” Now, if only red-haired Scotsman would crawl out from behind the standing stones for me. Guess I should start shopping for some of those.



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