Sure everyone wants off the island but the reality is this:
before you get to leave the island.
Tips for your time on Unpubbed Island:
1. Get in shape. Writing shape that is. This time on Unpubbed Island isn't only about getting a golden tan or perfecting your sand volleyball technique. It's really about getting your writing muscles in shape.
How fast can you write? How fast can you edit?Now is the time to discover your personal best.
Busy is an excuse, not a reason. Sure, you're busy. So am I and so is everyone else around this island. We have water to boil, fires to start, shelters to maintain and coconut daiquiri's to make.
2. No excuses. There's a saying that if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Writers write, even if it means getting up at 2 am and hiding in the abandoned hut on the north corner of the island. No excuses.
3. Get tough. Entering contests is the first step in surrendering your ego and developing a thick hide. The next step is submitting.We have a motto around Seekerville. Don't Diva. (or Divo) If a revision is suggested, do what is requested to the best of your ability. If you think the world revolves around you and your characters you are in for a long stay on the island.
Getting tough can also mean overcoming your fears.Fear of failure: A basic fear of rejection.
Fear of success: Fear of your ability to handle situations that may arise if you do succeed.
Now is the time to explore these fears; while you are living in the relatively safe island environment. Approach your fears with a worst-case-scenario mentality and think about how you will deal with the outcome.Leaving the island may be our goal, but make no mistake, the waters are shark infested and the mainland is a scary place.
4. Act like a winner.
- Winners see an answer for every problem.
- Winners say what they mean and mean what they say.
- Winners accept responsibility instead of placing blame.
- A winner's attitude is the ability to focus on long- term goals even though short-term results are not on track (-Kelley Robertson)
- Winners act. They don't react. (7 Habits of Highly Effective People-Franklin Covey)
5. Prepare. Surviving Unpubbed Island means planning.What's your plan A? Your Plan B?
Writing is a business. Do you have a documented business plan? Have you outlined the steps to your writing success? What's your writing mission statement?Or are you just stumbling through, hoping to survive?
What's your strategy when you meet with rejection, or low contest scores? Do you have a strategy or do you allow yourself to wallow in self pity and defeat?One of the biggest mistakes inhabitants of the island make is failing to plan.
The Theory of Small Wins, stipulates that people overlook small successes when they are overwhelmed by and preoccupied with large projects and goals. Instead of looking at how far you have to go, focus on how far you have come.
6. Small wins towards the big prize. Surviving the island means putting one foot in front of the other, and taking baby steps toward your goal.
Another way to look at small wins: "The principle of using small wins to build psychological momentum was presented in a Ph.D. dissertation at Stanford University in 1977. The theory: It works because it’s a truly brain-friendly concept.
When someone praises you, you feel good because your brain produces a chemical called dopamine. When you praise yourself by checking off a completed action step, you get the same physiological result. As you achieve one small win after another, you find it easier and easier to take the action steps that generate the wins. "
-Why Small Bites Trump Multi-Tasking by Matt White
In the end it isn't just about getting off the island; it really is all about how you play the game. Winners stay on top by continuing to cultivate the same steps that got them off the island once they reach the mainland.
Don't be in such a rush to leave paradise that you fail to use your time here wisely or appreciate all the good things about Unpubbed Island.