"But Ruthy, how can we schedule success? It's not like you can PLAN these things!"
Oy. Oy. Oy.
Let me explain this: Overwhelmingly, success doesn't just happen to anyone. Oh, once in a while someone gets lucky, all the chips fall into place, the dominoes are set up in absolute synchronization and Jupiter aligns with Mars on the third Tuesday.
But in general, success is no accident. It is visualized, plotted, planned, executed and achieved by a variety of factors, most of which start with developing strong work habits and work ethic.
WHAAA!!!! WHAAAA!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAA! Come on, that's not fair, we're doing what we love, we're writing the books of our hearts, clearly it's not the right time, the editor doesn't like me, I'm ahead of my time!
Come here, Grasshoppers, come close, and I'll whisper the secret in your ear. (Ruthy waits while folks gather close, and then says...) "There is no secret. Work hard, pray harder, keep writing, write, write, write and never, never give up."
(Notice how she sneaked her good friend Winston Churchill into this, oh that Ruthy's a clever one!)
This post isn't about writing each day, though. It's about visualizing, looking around, assessing success and emulating it.
Yes. Basically I'm telling you to COPY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.
Because it worked for me and I want you to be as happy with your writing career as I am. Simple, right?
|When Patti Jo's cats love you, you know you've made it big!!!|
John Grisham attributed his inspiration to a MAGAZINE ARTICLE in Writer's Digest. Do I need to repeat that??? (waits, tapping foot, watching crowd...)
For $4.00 he was inspired to launch a career that has netted him millions. Now I'm not telling you what to do, I'm advising you to THINK about each step you take, assess and choose wisely. If you have the money and love the social aspects and can afford the time off, then sure... But remember the line from "As Good As It Gets?" when Jack Nicholson is asked how he writes women so well... and he says, "I think of a man... and take away reason and accountability."
Who to emulate: I used Karen White, Holly Jacobs, Nora Roberts and Lisa Wingate as my examples, because each one of these authors worked to evolve as opportunity took them. Lines closed, publishers faded from sight, editors changed houses, and these women weren't afraid to zig, zag and sometimes take a right turn to develop their strong writing styles and their readership. Yes, some of these have adult content, but I wanted to study/learn from the most successful with styles I loved. Those gals made the short list!
Here are words of wisdom from my buddy, multi-published, best-selling, award-winning Holly Jacobs:
We can technically start with Kensington Precious Gems, then Harlequin Duets, Silhouette Romance, Harlequin Flipside, Harlequin Signature, Harlequin American Romance (though they didn't die...I just don't do cowboys and that's what they wanted), Harlequin Everlasting Love, Harlequin SuperRomance (not dead yet! LOL I have an August book w/ them) and oh, Avalon Books, which got bought out by Montlake Romance so those books are still available (actually more widely available now) and still happily writing for Montlake Romance, too (my next release is out in two weeks!!). I should add, I've done indie books, too!
Here's the thing...I love what I do. I'm fortunate that readers have followed me from comedy, to sweet romance, to emotional stories, to the women's fiction/romances I'm writing now. (I've been thinking about this designation and really, I think they're very much a woman's journey...with romance more than anything.) Oh, and the indie mysteries. It might seem like I'm all over the place. But each time a line died, I moved on to something new...and that new home brought with it some gift. I learned to expand and grow my writing. I've been very, very lucky! And I'm so thankful so many readers have taken this weird journey with me!
I love that fortitude in all these women. I love the example they set of loving their work, but treating it as a job.
What have you done to make your dream come true today? Are you procrastinating?
Visualize yourself, see yourself, put yourself in that successful author's shoes and then do what it takes to get there.
Many years ago I had an appointment to meet an author at a major Christian conference, it was one of those "sign up here!" things and I was totally starstruck and did it. Please note right here and right now that you will NEVER NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO MEET ME. EVER.
Just walk up and start talking as if we're besties and we'll be fine.
Anyway, I was kind of in awe, I mean she was going to talk to me!!! Like just ME!!! And when this author sat down for our fifteen minute appointment, she asked, "Ruth, where do you see yourself in five years?"
Being Ruthy, I replied, "Right where you are, publishing all kinds of books and winning awards."
She stared at me, folded her hands and said, "Let's pray."
No encouragement. No 'atta girl!'. No positive feedback, she simply prayed for my discernment.
Did that reaction cause me to doubt myself? Heck, no! It made me realize that no one longed for my success more than God... and me. And that in the world of publishing, there were only so many slots on the schedule and competition isn't always welcome.
I love encouraging people. I love competition. I love sharing the podium, the chairs, the advice and I'm always taken aback when folks don't do that, because Christ emulated that for us. To give... to love... to encourage... to accept.
Visualize yourself where you want to be. Believe you can do it, because I believe you can!
And if you are ever tempted to make an appointment to talk with an author... well, come meet me in the lobby when I hang out at these things, and we'll chat, no appointment needed, just like coffee hour after church.
Oh, how sweet!
Okay, NEXT NEWS ITEM!!!!
My highly acclaimed and poignant best seller "Running on Empty" is FREE UNTIL MIDNIGHT THURSDAY on Amazon! Free for your Kindle and Kindle app on any device.
CLICK HERE TO GO DOWNLOAD IT!!!!
And going back to that author's gentle skepticism, today we're giving away five copies of "Healing the Lawman's Heart", my upcoming 4 1/2 Star Love Inspired release! I'm over-the-top delighted with Leslie McKee's beautiful review, and I'm so grateful for Melissa Endlich's encouragement and advice as I brought Julia and Tanner's story to life...
Because that's why God designed us this way!
Come on inside, the coffee's fresh all day, I've got sweet tea for my southern sweeties and I made us some fresh, warm home-made bread and sour cherry jam, proper tea fare for us country folks!