June 28, 2021– Well, it’s almost that time again where we’ve wrapped up another theme for the month! I hope you’ve enjoyed our June theme, which was Author Mindset and that you learned a lot of valuable tips and practices that you can put into action. We’ve got a couple of days left, and today I want to talk about something invaluable to your success as an author-Thinking BIGGER and being more specific! Let’s dive in:
When you decided to become an author, what did you envision for yourself? Here are what most authors said when polled by Pandamonium Publishing House.
- I want to sell a ton of books.
- I want to make a lot of money.
- I want to do school visits.
- I want to quit my day job and write full time.
These are all wonderful things to want for yourself as a writing professional, but what if I told you, you’re not thinking big enough, and you’re not being specific enough, and that’s probably why you haven’t reached your goals yet. Not to worry, I’ll talk about what you need to do to think bigger and be more specific, but first, let me entertain you with a true story.
One Saturday morning, a young boy paid a visit to his grandfather. A fence needed mending on the property, so the grandfather took the boy to the hardware store. Nails sold by the pound, yard supplies, a limited selection of penny candy and chocolate bars, and the usual items you’d find in a small town establishment lined the counters, aisles, and walls. The one thing that stood out was a brand new bike hanging on the wall behind the checkout counter. The boy noticed the bike as soon as he walked in and couldn’t keep his eyes off it; the tires were gleaming black with silver spokes, the cherry red paint was perfection, and the silver bell on the handlebars reflected the sun from the large front window. The boy followed his grandpa around the store in a daze. He thought about riding the bike with his pals and how he could ride the bike to the fishing hole instead of walking, and how that bike would make him so happy.
The boy’s grandpa went to the front counter with a paper bag full of nails to be weighed and paid for. He turned to his grandson and said, “Pick out what you want and then we’ll go home and fix the fence.” The boy looked at the candy, picked out some sweets, and placed them on the counter. The grandpa smiled and said, “I didn’t think you’d pick that.” The boy looked at him and said, “What do you mean?”
The old man chuckled, “I thought the bike was what you wanted.” The boy shrugged, “I didn’t think you would buy it for me.” The grandfather turned to his grandson, “You need to think bigger.” To this, the grandson replied, “And you need to be more specific!”
The boy eventually got the bike, and it was even better than he could have imagined. He learned an important lesson that day, THINK BIGGER and BE SPECIFIC.
Returning to the list at the beginning of this post, let’s revisit each one with a bigger vision and more specificity.
- I want to sell a ton of books. I want to reach one million aged 5-7-year-old readers with my book because I know it will make a difference in their lives. How many books exactly do you want to sell? Who do you want to sell them to? How are you going to sell them? When do you want to sell them by? Where do you want to sell them?
- I want to make a lot of money. I want to make one million dollars selling my book to elementary schools across Canada in the next year. How many books will this take? Which schools? How will you accept payment? What other fees are incurred? How will you reach out to the faculty, and how will they order? Etc.
- I want to do school visits. I want to read my book to grade 1-3 classrooms and have an interactive discussion about the book at the end of my presentation. How many visits will you do per year? How will you set up the visits? Will they be digital or in-person? How will your presentation be interactive? How long will the reading and discussion take? Etc.
- I want to quit my day job and write full time. I want to earn $150,000 per year to supplement my current income by writing and selling my series of cozy romance novels to an established female audience. Will you self-publish or go the traditional route? How much will the book sell for? What is the royalty rate? How long will it take to earn this income? Will you go all in right away or build up your savings first? How many books will you write? Etc.
Oftentimes writers never reach their goals because they aren’t specific enough, and sometimes what’s worse is that they reach their goals and realize that they should have dreamt bigger. It’s never too late to actively start building the writing life of your dreams. Be specific in exactly what you want and how you plan on getting it. Don’t play small; this is your life, and you are the captain of the ship. Don’t be like the boy with the bike; ask for what you specifically want without a snap judgement that you won’t get it because it’s too much or too big of an ask.