Jeff Goins has a great article called Nobody’s Heard of You (and That’s a Good Thing): The Advantages of Anonymity. He insinuates that perhaps he is not as successful as he would like to be. Which is hilarious because he is one author I admire and follow.
He has managed to monetize writing.
I like his attitude. He works hard and gets things done. He does not follow the myth that writers are starving and will sell no books. He decides he wants to be on the NY Times Bestseller list and does whatever he has to, to get there. He does not leave his writing career to night fairies who appear when everyone is asleep.
Anyway, if Jeff Goins was even hinting that nobody’s heard of him, I happen to exist a zillion levels below him. I mean I am a certified nobody’s-heard-of-me-person.
I’m OK with this. One day things will change and then you will all be clamoring for my autographed books. LOL.
So I’m not saying I know a lot about writing or I am Stephen King. Not.
I started innocently writing in the start of 2014. Out of sheer boredom. Writing has permeated my soul and body like nothing else has. Who knew?
Here are a few things I’ve picked up over the three years.
My writing has its own distinct personality. I can’t force it to do what I want it to do. Like write to make money. Not going to happen. Imagine you pay me to write something I have no idea about or interest it…..let’s say The Northern Nights or my night in an ice hotel. That article will be a struggle for me and then readers will somehow pick up the disconnect. The article will be an epic fail.
I was born in Kenya, lived in Dallas and Dubai…winter and I are not buddies. I am never going to see The Northern Lights or even contemplate checking into an ice hotel.
The articles which connect with people are those talking about something I face in reality. If it brings me suffering, even better.
I’ve also learnt not to pay too much attention to what other people are doing. Writing is one field that actually pays dividends if you embrace yourself. They say even if other people have written something, it has not been written in your voice. This is where whatever makes you you, matters. In writing, the YOU in YOU is needed.
Looking what other people are doing or trying to be like them is very harmful. I do the best I can with the resources I have. For instance, I am so untechy and the day you see me doing a webinar, having a podcast and releasing awesome videos; know that I have a team working with me. Managing WordPress alone is a huge accomplishment.
So looking at Michael Hyatt’s bells and whistles does not leave me depressed because I do not know how many years he has given to the craft and know he has a team of people. I also don’t know what he had to go through to get to where he is.
Pastor and author Steven Furtick once said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
On this note I have picked my lane and I’m sticking there. Some people have 200 blogs and have monetized all of them. I can’t do this. Even if by some miracle I had 4 blogs…my articles would lack me and not resonate with anyone.
I also think as a writer today you have to question and challenge myths that are out there. Just because F. Scott Fitzgerald used to drink does not mean you now have permission to be alcoholic.I had a Swedish violin player friend who was alcoholic and thought it came with the territory coz many successful musicians had to be alcoholic to handle their talent. That is a load of B.*
I have not accepted the starving artist myth either. That I will release a book that no one will read coz as one lady said,”At least I now know who I am.” Excuse me lady, I already know who I am. I was successful at work before so this writing is going to be successful one day. Has to happen. Otherwise there is no point. I would rather use my MBA and go back to HR. (crazy person talk)
Actually if I had money I would just buy Tim Grahl to launch all my books. The guy has results. If someone follows a system that works to sell your book, there’s no reason to be happy with selling less than five books.
Says Miss-Who-Are-You-Again? “And where is your book, Nyakarima?”
Vänta lite. That’s Swedish for be patient lol. Pronounced venta. The o with the funny dots is pronounced eh.
I’ve struggled with this concept from day one. I may or may not suffer from writers. If writers block is creating time to write then I suffer from that. I told you my writing has its own distinct personality. I can only write when my head is very clear like when you just get up. When you have an unused energy reserve.
If writers block is opening up your computer and banging your head against a wall trying to come up with what to write about then I do not suffer from that. If it is talking a walk to get ideas or get inspired then I really do not have that.
A clean word document and quiet time is writing time for me. Every time I approach my old Dell to write is a blissful experience.
I collect writing material all the time, books I read, sermons I listen to, conversations I have with people. I am collecting data all the time.
Jeff Goins has a fancy way of describing this……he calls it a 3 bucket system. If you follow it no way you will approach your computer with dread and trepidation.
This year I have to go somewhere in the morning for 4 hours 4 times a week. So my writing time is messed up. I’ve however unearthed a trick. If I take a power nap in the afternoon, my body thinks I have just woken up and then I can write. Lol.
I am so glad coz if I stress when I can’t write. And I hardly ever stress.
This whole writers block myth needs further investigation. I have a theory that very succeful and prolific writers do not have writers block.
Personally if I take a day or two away from writing then I am dying to write. Maybe writers block is you forcing your writing. Just saying.
Maybe you need rest.
I finally think that today’s writer needs to question things like “I can only write I cannot market.” Well, the more people who read your book the better so learn the damn marketing. Be like Jeff Goins. There are tons of book marketing podcasts. In fact Tim Grahl just started his podcast.
photo credit: gruntzooki Shelfie for Peter Hudson 3, the office, Burbank, Californai via photopin (license)