Image courtesy of Eflon via Flickr Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Eflon via Flickr Creative Commons

Today, we welcome back author and Hollywood producer Joel Eisenberg for the kick in the pants ALL of us need. I have to admit, yesterday was an unbelievably bad day and Joel sent this guest post in early. In the midst of the flaming wreckage of my day, I didn’t get a chance to read the post until this morning and man, did I ever need this message.

We all do. Every day. Tattooed backwards on our foreheads so we can read it when we look in the mirror.

Okay, maybe that is a tad too far.

….just a tad.

But read on! And as always, thank YOU for being here and THANK YOU JOEL for being so generous to all of us.


“You’ve worked too hard and you’re too smart to go down stupid!”

– a loved one in 2001, when I was discussing giving up on my dreams.

You can have it all. Really, you can. To get there, though, requires all of the clichés: sacrifice, hard work, persistence, yada yada yada.

It’s like this: There is no roadmap. Period. End of story. And yet, getting published or being produced as a writer is not an impossible dream. And therein lies the rub.

Anyone who says they have discovered the roadmap is, frankly, deluded or a liar. There is no roadmap. Both the publishing business and the film or TV business is the wild west. There are no rules. Yeah there are books. Take a cursory look on amazon, or your local bookstore, and you will find dozens of volumes devoted to making it in your specific industry.

But, you may ask, if I’m calling these efforts out, and yet I’m hosting a Kristen Lamb Masterclass myself – and years ago having written and self-published a book about surviving day jobs en route to the attainment of one’s creative goals – then wouldn’t I be a master hypocrite?

Read on, and make that determination on your own.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.40.55 AM

The greatest single mistake made by these sometimes-well-intentioned efforts is this: They assume everyone has the same path in life and they espouse their “rules” from there.

There’s a word for such assumptions in my native Brooklyn. You’ve heard it from me before. The word is … “BULLSHIT.”

Some aspiring writers have children to feed. Some are in school. Some have family responsibilities such as taking care of an elderly parent.

Some are lazy.

Regardless, no one person has the same path. You can only work with what you have. Now, that said, John Grisham spent the majority of his hours daily cultivating his legal career, while writing in whatever spare time he had. And then “The Firm” happened …

You will hear these stories over and again, about people succeeding against all odds. But, you must consider: “Who is the odds maker?”

Make no mistake. It’s you. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.

If you take care of your daily responsibilities, even if you write one page a day … over the course of a year, or less, you just may have a final draft of a book. Or an award-winning screenplay. So many others have done the same. Those Nike commercials are spot on: “Just Do It!”


We live in 2017. Take advantage. Years ago, one was asked to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to a publisher or production company, containing your query or bound volume of your latest masterwork. Today, most of this is done by email.

But, what is more important is you can easily google lists of publishers or production companies who will read unsolicited manuscripts. Such listings will also explain how best to query your specific target. Frequently, you don’t even need an agent.

Which brings me to the bane of the writer’s existence: The business of writing. In my experience, having spoken to tens of thousands of writers throughout the country for several years, and hosting multi-media networking events at Paramount Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, Sunset-Gower Studios and others for the better part of a decade – one thing is constant.

That is…

Once a creative person takes care of, what would in our case be the writing of the material, many are lost when it comes to how to sell the material.

This is perhaps the biggest reason why I am hosting a Master Class for Kristen. I’ve been in the trenches. I’m accessible and not at all foreign to being broke, having time issues and so on.

When I became truly desperate is when I succeeded.

You don’t have to become desperate. I did all that work already. My answer to the above quandary is simple:

You have to learn to sell yourself first.

Join us and we’ll share with you specific strategies to work with what you have as an advantage to maximize your results. Remember, if there really was a magic bullet to all this, we’d all be doing the same thing and achieving the same results.

That’s not even science fiction.

That’s foolishness.

And you’re too smart to go down stupid …


What are your thoughts? Your stories? Your struggles? Joel and I are here in the comments so let’s TALK! And Joel and I have been where a lot of you are. It is why we have dedicated our lives to serving you and teaching you and making you better, so sign up for a class or five 😀 . We did the heavy lifting for you, so let us help you!

I love hearing from you!

And 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 novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).


Remember that ALL CLASSES come with a FREE RECORDING so you can listen over and over. So even if you can’t make it in person? No excuses! All you need is an internet connection!

NEW CLASS!!!! Hollywood Producer Joel Eisenberg’s Master’s Series: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL AS A FULL-TIME AUTHOR (Includes all classes listed below) Normally $400 but at W.A.N.A. ONLY $199 to learn from Joel IN YOUR HOME.

OR, if it works better, purchase Joel’s classes individually…

Potentially Lucrative Multi-Media Rights $65 February 21st, 2107

How to Sell to Your Niche Market $65 February 28th, 2017

It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows YOU $65 March 7th, 2017

Making Money Speaking, Teaching, Blogging and Retaining Rights $65 March 14th, 2017


Individual Classes with MOI!

Blogging for Authors $50 February 23rd, 2017

When your Name Alone Can SELL—Branding for Authors $35 February 10th, 2017

Social Media for Authors $55 February 11th, 2017

Plotting for Dummies $35 February 17th, 2017

Pitch Perfect—How to Write a Query Letter and Synopsis that SELLS! $45 March 20th, 2017

NEW CLASS!!!! The Art of Character $35 February 24th, 2017

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


1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. re-blogging on … PS-Thank You both for this opportunity!

  2. Loved third “The Easy Way…” illustration. Your way is waaaay more fun…and besides you get lots of plot twists and odd characters along your way – no time for that on that other path

    • Nan Sampson on February 14, 2017 at 11:36 am
    • Reply

    Wow. I so needed this today. Thank you Joel and thank you Kristen! You guys are always inspirational. And best of all, honest.

    • Terry Mominee on February 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    • Reply

    Thank God. Someone who understands and doesn’t rag on me for having an actual life that requires major time! Dreams keep us going when life sucks, but they tend to have to wait in the wings a lot. Thank you for validating my shredded sanity!

  3. Cue the music…I did it my way! 🙂

  4. Thanks!

  5. Reblogged this on Erotic Vampire and commented:
    Thank you Kristen and Joel.

  6. Reblogged this on authorkdrose.

    • angelanoelauthor on February 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply

    I love the message that no one path, and no one answer provides the key to creative success. Persistence and passion over time matter. Even if I never see traditional success, I plan to enjoy the ride! Thank you for the reminder and the invitation to keep learning!

  7. I persisted. That was my way. Yesterday I received an offer on my first novel. (I have yet to query the following two). 🙂 I was beyond ecstatic, as you might imagine 🙂

  8. I’m beginning to think I’m a masochist. I persist, even when my head aches furiously from banging it up against the wall. Great blog Joel and Kristen.

  9. 2017 is my Year of Persistence. By the end of the year, I plan to have a published volume in my hot little hands. Just – gotta – persist.

  10. No one path to success. Terrific reminder.

  11. Yeah, the fact that it’s so discouraging to find the agents and publishers to send my women’s fiction novel to almost sidelined me. I mean, I spent hours researching and came up with five agents I think would be a good fit.
    And now to draft a query that will get them to read the pages. Not to mention request the entire manuscript. So that months later they can tell me “no thanks.”
    At least I’m the type of person who can move on to the next project. In fact, I forget about the manuscript that’s being shopped. I was a little startled about eight weeks ago when a publisher asked for a copy of a YA fantasy novel. I’d almost forgotten I’d queried about it.
    I’m struggling to build my brand because my husband thinks I should self-publish everything I write. What a sweet guy. Wait until he sees the bills for editors and cover designers (not to mention formatters if I can’t get the ePub thing figured out).
    I’m thankful for multiple paths to publishing, but I’m so old school that I won’t think I’ve “arrived” until I have a book contract from a major publisher in my hand…and see my book on the shelves in ten libraries, all my local book stores and at the Portland airport’s newsstand.

  12. Another great blog post that totally speaks to me, after my writing course yesterday and hearing others work I knew Id have to go back to the drawing board in so many ways…I feel my ego has taken a bit of a battering, but I just have to climb out of this and move on.

  13. Glad to see this affirmation that there is not just one path. I often question my path, but this has brought some sobering clarity.

    • Lexi J. on February 15, 2017 at 9:17 am
    • Reply

    I get what you’re saying about promotion being so important, and have done a fair amount. With the market so flooded, I’m wondering how to stand out–in a good way, obviously. lol

    It seems with the internet, we’re all getting the same information, and being told the rules we shouldn’t break, like don’t reach out to an editor or agent without following guidelines, etc. etc. I’m honestly wondering how a class, any class, can help unless it is super personalized, and maybe unaffordable. Even with individual guidance, it’s hard to know how effective the advice can be.

    The only certainty in publishing feels like more ways to add to our expenses, absent any real progress.

    Sorry for the downer, but just paid for a short, “cheap,” (although reputable) class that offered very little helpful information. 🙁

  14. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out this guest post from Joel Eisenberg on Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers blog

    • Paulla Schreiner on February 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply

    Perspiration, perseverance, and perspicacity!

  15. I love all the positive encouragement quotes in this and especially the A to B picture that just about sums up my whole life…doing things the hard way lol.
    The thing I worry about is the in between part from relying on state benefits to being fully self -reliant on what you make. What happens if you can’t live on what you make or risk being homeless again by failing?

    1. Baby steps. Learn other forms of writing (I.e. technical writing) that can pay the bills in the interim.

    • R.C. Thompson on February 25, 2017 at 9:13 am
    • Reply

    A lot of small business is really all about selling yourself. I owned a construction business for years and never ran ads, they hired me and not what we did. Why, because I was good with people and I did in fact provide exceptional service. My personnel presentation got me in the door, but word of mouth sold the business in advance because I treated customers well and did what I was hired to do and some. Introversion is bad for any business. One must tell then show.

  16. Loved the illustration of the easy way v. your way, its true to all of us! Thank you for sharing though, its important that we do not lose sight of what we have worked for when things become tough.

    If you have time, check out my latest blog post at and let me know what you think!

    Happy blogging x

  17. As an English PreAP/Gifted and Talented 9th grade teacher and aspiring writer, I directly connect to the message of everyone having their own unique pathway. I focus my entire curriculum on encouraging and guiding my students to finding their own voice. Thank you for the reminder that I myself need to remember I am working at my own pace and down my own path.

  1. […] Joel Eisenberg guest posts on Kristen Lamb’s blog: you’re too smart to go down stupid. […]

I LOVE hearing your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.