What does it take to be a successful writer? As I have reflected on my own journey, I am going to share with you 3 keys to writing success. I would love to hear your keys to success as well in the comments.
Writing and Publishing Books
Many people are amazed that I have published 30+ books in various formats (print, large print, eBook, audiobook, etc.). To be honest, I am amazed as well! If you would have asked me when I published my first book in 2008 what I would be doing today, 5 years later, my answer would NOT have been “working from home writing and publishing books and helping others do the same.” However, here I am doing just that.
And I am loving it.
But, it has not been easy. There have been many days that I did not feel like writing, formatting, publishing or marketing my books. There have also been many obstacles that I have had to overcome.
This quote keeps coming to mind lately…
“Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.”
- John C. Maxwell
And it is so true! There is a statistic that 80% of people want to write a book…someday. But, so many never reach their goal because they got sidetracked, stuck or quit. And that is why I want to share these three keys to writing success with you. I want to help you succeed in your writing and publishing efforts!
Key #1: Consistency
Being consistent is the key to success in so many areas of life. For example…
- Spiritual growth
- Physical Fitness
I experienced this to be true in my life recently in regards to my physical fitness. I enjoy running for exercise but have not been consistent enough over the past few years to see much improvement. Within the last month, I finally listened to my husband and started running more consistently.
And something amazing happened…
Plus, I started enjoying running again and have seen my race times get better.
In fact, as I was running this week, I realized that my “easy run” pace was my fast race pace just a few weeks ago.
I looked up my times and I set my current personal record (PR) for the 5k in 2006. I am getting close to it again and expect to set a new PR soon (even at elevation in Colorado) as long as I stay consistent. I did not ponder on it too long, but I was wondering this week where I would be today if I had stayed consistent with running back in 2006, over 7 years ago!
And the same is true for writing.
When you consistently write, you tend to get better and more efficient. Plus, you continue to make forward progress on your book (s).
One way to stay consistent is to set goals. Write out your goals in your notebook or use a free online tool like Wunderlist.com. Make your goals specific and time oriented. You can see how I organize Wunderlist in the screenshot below.
Key #2 Productivity
There are so many programs and books on productivity. We all want to get more done in the 24 hours we have been given in each day, right? It is so easy to get sidetracked online reading blogs, spending time on social media and watching videos. I admit that one of my biggest time suckers is Facebook. I love connecting with my friends and family and yet it is so easy to spend hours scrolling through the feed and catching up with people when I should be writing. You might know the feeling.
One of the best tools for productivity is a simple kitchen timer.
Here’s how time chunking works:
- Decide what you need to accomplish
- Close down your social media accounts, e-mail, Skype, IM, etc.
- Set the timer for 30 minutes
- Stay focused on that one task until it is completely done.
- If you need to extend it for another 30 minutes to finish the task, set the timer again.
I have used this often to get things done, especially those tasks that I keep putting off for another day.
Try it! I think you’ll be amazed at what you can get done when you really focus all your attention on that one task.
And give yourself rewards! When you meet a goal, find a way to reward yourself. It may be as simple as going for a walk with your dog, a cup of coffee or a shopping trip. Your reward can also be a 20 minute break to do whatever you want online.
Key #3 Accountability
Last year was a year full of writing and publishing for me where I got a lot accomplished. One of the things I credit to my writing success last year was having a writing accountability partner. I decided to ask another writer friend of mine if she would be interested in helping keep me accountable to with my writing goals and I could do the same for her. And she said yes!
We decided to form a private Facebook group to post our weekly goals and encourage one another. And it helped so much!
You can do this in so many ways: in person, via e-mail, through a private Facebook group, Skype, etc.
I recently went through an eight week coaching program. Within the group, one of the other students recommended a book on time management that I decided to get it for my Kindle. It was an easy read and I finished reading it within a few days.
The concepts are relatively simple, yet profound. If you are looking for a resource for overcoming procrastination, I recommend this book called, “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.”
Note: currently if you buy the Kindle version, you can get the audiobook version (with Whispersync) for only $3.99. You can listen to it in your car on a commute or as you travel.
What Has Worked for You?
I would love to hear your tips and advice on what has worked for you in regards to your writing. What hasn’t worked? Share it in the comments below.
And don’t forget to sign up for our free author training here: http://trainingauthors.com/newsletter/
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