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Who and Why?

November 4, 2020-Quick! Which authors do you admire and why? I’m here to let you in on a little secret. The authors you chose aren’t special; they’re just like us. If they can do it, so can you! There are things that best selling authors have in common!  Let me prove it to you; here’s what you need to succeed.

  1. Tenacity-An unwillingness to give up or give in. If Stephen King’s wife hadn’t urged him to pull his manuscript out of the garbage, we would have no Carrie, and Mr. King still might be a janitor. His manuscript for Carrie was rejected 30 times! Be unwilling to give up. People will tell you “no” a thousand times..but that just gets you closer to “yes.”
  2. A platform-It’s essential today to have a platform on social media to connect with your readers. The most successful authors interact with people and post things that readers want to know about, such as writing tips, advice, interviews, and excerpts from your books.
  3. A great story-No; I’m not just talking about the story in your book. I’m talking about the story of you. How you became an author, how you overcame challenges and obstacles, and how you eventually succeeded. People don’t buy your books. They buy YOU.
  4. Passion-If you’re not passionate about your work, how can anyone else be? Love what you do because you won’t stick with it on the bad days if you don’t. It’s what gets you excited and out of bed in the morning, and successful authors are passionate about their books and sharing them with others.
  5. Dedication-Successful, best-selling authors are dedicated to their craft. Writing is their job, and they treat it as such. Dedication beats talent when talent doesn’t work. Read that sentence again.

You can achieve your dreams. Believe in yourself, get to work, and refuse to give up.

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Make Up Your Mind

September 15, 2020– The other day, while I was walking to the mailbox, I saw a squirrel trying to decide whether or not to cross the road. It went left, then right, then back left again, then right, then onto the road and boom…hit by a car. It was awful, and I felt so bad for the little critter. Perhaps we can learn something from the squirrel’s indecision and that not being able to decide quickly can be fatal for our business and our writing careers.

It reminds me of a time a couple of years ago. I was a guest speaker at a writer’s group and after the session I had a few students hang around to chat. We talked about all kinds of things, but something that stood out to me was the lack of decisiveness among one person in the group. We talked about a number of subjects and got on the topic of future goals. I asked the group what they would like to accomplish with their writing and what steps were they actively taking to meet those accomplishments.

One woman said that she had a goal of being a published author, but couldn’t decide which story to send in, which contest to submit to, which publisher to pitch to, or if she should sign up for a writing seminar. So, I asked her what she was going to do and she looked at me and said, “I waited too long…the contest is over, the publisher that was accepting my genre of writing has closed their submissions window, and the writing seminar was last week.”

Moral of the story? If you wait too long and are indecisive, you’ll miss your opportunity.  It’s important to make decisions with confidence and speed. Quick descision making skills are linked with success and it’s possible to overthink things to the point of destruction and in the squirrel’s case, death. So, why do people hesitate? Because they’re afraid of being wrong.

I don’t work with people who can’t decide; it costs time and money to hum and haw and think about things for too long. I prefer to work with those who take action.

Sheryl Sandberg said it best, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”

Five minutes of action is worth more than a hundred hours of indescision. Don’t miss your chance!

 

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Ikea and Parkinson’s

July 22, 2020-Do you know about Parkinson’s Law? It states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” What does this mean? It means that if you give yourself a week to write a blog post, it will take you a week to write it. If you give yourself a year to complete your novel, it will take a year to complete it and so on. However much time we give a project is the time it will take to complete it; that’s one of the reasons we procrastinate. We always get it done on time, so why do it early?

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, has a different approach. He knows about Parkinson’s Law, and to combat it, he shares this idea; “If you split your day into ten-minute increments and you try and waste as few of those ten-minute increments as possible, you’ll be amazed at what you can get done.”

I admit I do this often. When I need to complete a task, especially one that I don’t like, such as social media scheduling, I set a timer for ten minutes. I do as much as I can in ten minutes and then move on to the next thing. It’s not very often that I don’t complete my tasks this way. It’s a simple and effective way to get started and to set and meet deadlines. I repeat this multiple times per day. Don’t worry; it’s not the same as multi-tasking as you’re only focusing on one thing at a time! Give this method a try for your writing tasks and send me an email to say how you made out: pandapublishing8@gmail.com

Happy Writing, X LLB 

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Two Words Holding You Hostage

June 17, 2020– There are two words that hold us hostage; can you guess what they are? WHAT IF. Yep, what if holds us back more than anything else. The mere thought of failure and worst-case scenario thinking keeps us from realizing our dreams, finishing our novels/writing projects, and reaching our full potential. Today, we’ll be doing an exercise that will help with a case of the what if’s…check it out below:

  1. Write down a list of your worst what if’s: e.g. What if I quit my job to pursue my writing career and it didn’t work out? What if I write a book and can’t sell it? What if people hate my book? Write down everything you can think of that has the possibility of a negative outcome.
  2. Take the above list and write down the POSITIVE what if’s: e.g. What if I quit my job to pursue my writing career and become a best selling author? What if I write a book and I sell a million copies? What if people love my book and tell me how much they enjoyed it?
  3. Examine the lists and ask yourself if the worst did happen, would you be ok? Chances are YES. Also, make a list of HOW you can get to the positives. e.g. What if I quit my job to pursue my writing career and it didn’t work out? I could get another job or start saving money to take a year off and see what happens. What if I write a book and can’t sell it? I could take classes on how to market my work, how to network, and the best places to sell my book.

The point is to stay positive, be fearless, and have a plan in place! There’s no what if that you can’t handle!

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid…Writing Advice from Jeff Kinney

April 15, 2019– I love this advice from none other than Jeff Kinney! I also love that he mentioned another fabulous book (which I adore), Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Check out the video below and also check out the books!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP5bOnLaj3c

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Margaret Atwood’s Creative Process

August 6, 2018– As you know Margaret Atwood is the Canadian author of The Handmaid’s Tale. Hugely popular as a television series on Netflix, we thought it would be a fabulous idea to share this Youtube video with you that gets inside of her brain to find out what her creative process is. If you haven’t READ her books yet, do it! What are you waiting for? Here’s some advice from a legend.