January 5, 2020-So, you want to be a best-selling author…well, start acting like it. What do I mean? I mean start acting like a best-selling author would! How would you dress? What is your routine? Persona? Work habits? Are you confident? What does your self-discipline look like? What is your social media like? How do you interact with readers? What continuing education do you have? Are you continuing to hone your craft?
We can never become what we set out to be without first becoming that way in our minds. Mindset comes first which will lead to inspired action, which leads to putting in the work, which leads to eventual success if you repeat this process over and over for years. Success is never overnight and success rarely happens to those who have a negative inner voice. We all have an inner critic, but it’s what we do about it that makes a difference. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you lies! You can be, do, and have anything you want if you’re willing to do what it takes to get there. Let’s look at some of my favourite, best-selling authors and see what they’ve done to accomplish this feat:
- Stephen King-Key trait: Discipline. According to reports, the King writes 10 pages EVERY SINGLE DAY, Christmas included. His manuscript for Carrie was rejected 30 times, but he kept writing. King rarely misses a day of writing and has written MORE than THIRTY (30) best-sellers and is considered one of the most influential writers of the past four decades.
- Louisa May Alcott-Key trait: Tenacity. ‘Stick to your teaching, Miss Alcott. You can’t write.’ Those were the words of one publisher who passed over the manuscript for Little Women. Thankfully, she ignored his advice and the book went on to be well received with one reviewer stating it was ‘the very best of books to reach the hearts of the young of any age from six to sixty’. It is still a classic 150 years later and a number 1 best seller.
- Beatrix Potter-Key trait: Self-Belief. Initially, she attempted to go the traditional route and sent the book to six publishers, each of whom rejected it because Potter was insistent that the book be small enough for a child to hold while the publishers wanted something bigger (so that they could charge more money for it). It wasn’t a compromise that Beatrix was willing to make, so she took the matter into her own hands. On December 16, 1901, a 35-year-old Potter used her personal savings to privately print 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The book turned out to be a hit—so much so that, within a year, one of the publishers that had originally rejected the book, signed on to get into the Peter Rabbit business. In October 1902, they published their own version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, complete with Potter’s illustrations, and by Christmas, it had sold 20,000 copies. It has since been translated into nearly 40 different languages and sold more than 45 million copies.
The list goes on and on, but the main thing that all best-selling authors have in common is the belief in themselves and in their work. Keep going, never give up, and get your mind right! If you’d like to join our Best-Seller Bootcamp, click here for more info: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
March 8, 2019- Up until about a year ago, I was a regular member of a local writing group that met each Saturday at a coffee shop in town. It was super relaxed and there were around eight of us, laptops in hand, armed with new ideas, and ready to write. It was a fantastic experience and some of the things I learned along the way, I still carry with me today. The only reason why I stopped going was that I ran out of time and my writing business took over with events that were held on weekends. Being part of a casual writing group was a great experience and here’s why you should consider joining one:
- You’ll get inspired and beat writer’s block. There’s something to be said about gathering in a small group and sharing ideas. Some of my best book ideas have come from just chatting with others and listening to their perspectives on different topics.
- You’ll develop discipline. Every Saturday for two hours from 9 am until 11 am is when our group met and started writing. This helped me develop discipline; it made me realize that I could sit down for two consecutive hours and write, uninterrupted.
- You’ll get and be able to give constructive criticism. This was the most important thing that I got out of joining a writing group. My comrades gave me constructive criticism and made me take a hard look at my writing. They saw the holes that I was blind to. They asked the tough questions that made me a better writer and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I was also able to give feedback and trust my instincts that I knew what I was doing and what I was talking about as a writer.
- You’ll get to network with like-minded people and make some friends. There are people that I’m still friends with from this group and I’ve also been able to do business with a few of them. We still talk about writing and bounce ideas off each other every once in a while.
I highly recommend joining a local writer’s group! You’ll have a blast and be able to hone your skills at the same time. Happy writing! X LLB
March 1, 2019– I was boarding a flight in Toronto recently, and while we were getting on the plane, I overheard a woman and her son talking about a book. Of course, I’m always interested in book recommendations, so I continued to eavesdrop. The young man said quietly to his mother, “This book is amazing, it’s easy, straightforward, and I think this will work for what I’m trying to accomplish!” The book that he had in hand was titled, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. I headed to my seat and took out my phone because the boy had piqued my curiosity. Of course, I had no idea what he was trying to accomplish in his life, but I thought the book sounded intriguing and he sure seemed to believe in it!
I looked up the book jacket info on Amazon and read some of the reviews; they were pretty impressive. I downloaded the audio version and plugged in while we waited on the tarmac. The book, in a nutshell, is about how most of our behaviour happens on autopilot and if we set small goals such as a single push up, once we’re in position, we’ll always do more. Eventually, these small goals will become habits, and we will operate from a place of automation instead of force. So, how can mini habits change your writing life? I’m so glad you asked!
- You’ll exceed your goals if you start small. When I first became an author, I created mini habits unbeknownst to myself; I would write every day for only fifteen minutes. Soon those fifteen minutes each day became a habit and the fifteen minutes turned into an hour or more. I have an author friend who started writing only fifty words per day. Soon, his fifty words per day multiplied into fifteen pages per day. The point is, if you set a small goal and stick to it, you’ll reach your goal, and you’ll be motivated to do more.
- You’ll create discipline without out even realizing. If you create a mini habit of listening to a business audio book every time you get in the car, or a mini habit of reading one page of a book per day, you’re creating discipline in your life and discipline equals freedom. You would have a massive amount of knowledge in one year if you read one page per day or listened to something while traveling! These mini habits will translate into big results because they will become as automatic and as disciplined as brushing our teeth before bed. Why do we brush our teeth before bed? I don’t know, because it’s a habit that we’ve had since childhood and we just do it. See what I mean?
- You’ll get out of your comfort zone. I make it a mini habit of handing out one business card per day. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of a year it sure adds up! You can cover a lot of ground and grow your writing business if you just implement this one small thing. You could use this approach for sending out queries, submitting manuscripts, connecting with a stranger, or meeting new people. Having a mini habit is an excellent way to get you out of your comfort zone and into a better writing life. Imagine sending 300+ queries out to publishers or agents in a year? That’s a lot of action, and statistically, something is bound to happen!
Start with small mini habits and watch them grow into something amazing! In a later post, perhaps we’ll talk about taking this concept one step further with habit stacking. Stay tuned!
May 28, 2018- This is really cool! I love this; thank you Natasha Lester!