3: Staying Motivated for Success
Staying motivated and sticking to a schedule can sometimes seem more of a chore than a delight. As a writer, it’s important to set goals for yourself. These goals will help you see progress, successes and provide you with inspiration and motivation.
It’s one thing to start writing an eBook.
It’s another thing to finish it.
1. Take Risks.
Often times when someone feels they’re boxed into a corner, they lose desire and motivation. They feel forced to do something instead of wanting to do it. I know that it happens to me. I get trapped by deadlines or sidetracked with delays and I just want to quit writing at times.
And taking a risk at times can help get me fired back up (Which is just a sports phrase that means MOTIVATED).
What kind of risks?
Being totally honest. Sometimes it is good to just say how you feel, even if those feelings are a bit controversial. For example: I’ve actually said, “You know, the customer is supposed to always be right…but sometimes I just want to tell some bozo ‘You’re an idiot. Go away.'” That may come across a bit controversial, but it certainly keeps things interesting. Some of the most motivating (and ultimately, rewarding) things you can do as a writer is to be totally honest and just share what’s on your heart.
Being totally vulnerable. Another way to stay motivated by taking risks with your writing is to open up and let people see the real you. So what if you’re a male — you can still share how you love your wife and kids. It may not be a “war story” or a “macho” thing to talk about, but you might be surprised at how many other people feel the same way. I continue to share about my being a Christian (Many people say don’t do it…it’s bad for business and you shouldn’t mix the two) because that’s something I’m passionate about. Like me or hate me because of it — you gotta respect me for not holding anything back.
Being totally personal. Want to stay motivated? Talk about what you love. Even when what you are writing ISN’T about what you love. For example: Already in this eBook I have mentioned golf. In the last section I mentioned my relationship with Christ. See how they were worked into the content? Not only does it allow me to stay motivated by sharing more about myself and the things I am passionate about, it also allows my readers to get to know me on a more intimate level. And that builds all kinds of positive things into a relationship: trust, loyalty, friendship. So, get personal and share who you are, what you think and feel, what you want and strive for in life. The real you.
The key to taking risks isn’t to be careless. It’s about being honest and forthright, even when others may not agree with you. Ever watch Jerry McGuire, the movie? That’s what Tom Cruise’s character did. It cost him his job. But, it changed his life. And ultimately, he was the big winner.
2. Look at your Fears.
Be honest with yourself. When it comes to writing, what is it you’re afraid of? What are the specific things holding you back from reaching your ultimate goal?
As you identify what you worry about and then tackle those things head on, with each success, you will start to be more and more motivated.
For me, when I first got started as a writer, I was afraid to write anything that wasn’t PERFECT. I wanted to create the absolute spotless eBook. I wanted it to be so perfect that I became miserable trying to write it. And I quit many times.
Finally, I decided to just write and share what I know. People will either love it or they won’t. You can’t please everyone anyway. And that was 16 top-selling eBooks ago. I think it worked. What do you think? :o)
The point being: address those fears. Whatever they are, whatever these obstacles are that keep you from staying focused and active…face them, find a way to overcome them and then chop their heads off. :o)
3. Model Other Successful Writers.
When you need that extra boost to stay motivated, conduct some research and learn how other writers or famous people started out. The majority at one time or another waited tables, worked construction, or cleaned houses. They weren’t always successful but had to work their way up.
Seeing the success of people we admire is a great way to stay motivated. Each one of them had to be 100% committed in order to meet schedules and deadlines. Knowing that other people go through the same emotions and struggles, and learning what they did to get past those barriers, will help you out a lot.
Another thing you can do is look at HOW they stay motivated. Many of them share their “secrets” in their writings. You can even approach some of them via email or telephone and ASK them how they overcome difficulties.
One of the things that many successful people mention is to model success. In other words, when you see something that works, try it yourself. Find out how others “made it” and do what they did.
4. Step into the Unknown.
Instead of staying with a subject or style that you know you’re successful with, try something new and unknown. There are so many different TYPES of eBooks you can write…so mix it up.
For example: I’ll use Jimmy D. Brown as an example again. He’s written eBooks with many different formats…
Tutorial. Most of his eBooks are “step-by-step tutorials.” Another common phrase is a “how to” eBook. Basically, he takes a particular function (creating an eBook, writing a salesletter, etc.) and breaks it down into exact steps and then writes an explanation for each of the steps. That’s a tutorial, or “how to” eBook.
Resource Directory. Another kind of eBook to write is a collection of resources, categorized into popular topics.
Interviews. Want to change styles? How about conducting a bunch of interviews to create your eBook? Pick a subject, develop a list of questions and contact some well known experts for answers.
Tips / Ways. Look no further than the eBook you are reading now for an example of this kind of eBook. It’s a collection of writing tips for eBook authors. 77 of them to be exact. :o)
Article Collection. This is a good way to write an ebook… You can write articles (which seem much less daunting than writing an entire eBook) and then put them together into a compilation to sell as your eBook. You might write one new article each day — after two weeks, you’ll have 10-14 articles…which is more than enough for an eBook.
FAQ. Have your readers submit their most asked questions about newsletter publishing and earning profits from a newsletter, or whatever your favorite topic happens to be. Then take the top 20 and answer them in-depth. It can become the best course available on the subject.
The point is this: to stay motivated, switch things up. Heck, you can even do that in the SAME eBook. Mix it up and include interviews, tips, frequently asked questions (along with the answers, of course :o) and resources.
It couldn’t possibly get dull in doing that!
5. Spread the Word.
Sometimes sharing your goals and aspirations with close friends and family is a huge motivator. When people expose their dreams, in a way, they’ve made themselves accountable for your own success. In essence, they’ve now presented a challenge to themselves. In addition to making these desires public, you have also created a cheering section.
Now, when you aren’t motivated, you can always have those people remind you of why you wanted to write. Have them repeat back to you what you had shared with them – how important writing was to you, that writing was a passion, etc. They can help you keep your dreams alive.
When I first started an offline Christian newspaper (actually, I hadn’t even started it yet) I had folks asking me “When is it going to be here — I’m ready to read it!”
Need any more motivation than that?
By giving other folks involved, you not only have accountability, you have waiting readers who want to see your finished product. Sometimes as much as you want it yourself.
6. Reward Yourself.
Many writers create a tradition for their successes. When you get your eBook finished, reward yourself with something important. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but bait yourself with something you really want and make that your prize. Whether it’s a new dress, a trip to your favorite restaurant, a night out at the movies, whatever it is, congratulate yourself for your successes.
I personally like a large deposit into my bank account by selling a lot of copies.
One writer collected beautiful Oriental paintings by a particular artist in China. Although not expensive, the paintings were all signed and beautifully done. Each time she successfully published an eBook, she would buy another piece of his work. Within a year, she had completely redecorated her living room with his artwork on all the walls, and, she had to switch to new rewards because she was running out of wall space. No matter what you choose, it’s important to choose something you like and can look at from time to time as a reminder that you succeeded.
Be good to yourself.
Part 2 of this installment will be posted very soon – stay tuned!