Change or Stay the Course?
Some routines feel delicious and familiar. For example, I love to get up early in the morning, make some coffee and read my Bible then my newspaper. The coffee cup feels familiar and I love the routine of the experience. I find this familiar routine carries over in my writing. It’s easiest (but not always best) to follow the same familiar course. It’s easy to write for the same magazines or book publishers or write the same type of material. Change isn’t easy for anyone but it’s how we grow as writers.
Last night I began to consider this topic (again) as I read the Editor’s Note in the March Entrepreneur magazine from Rieva Lesonsky, the Editorial Director. Her article, Change Is In The Air, was focused on telling the reader about the magazine redesign. Her last paragraph is what struck me [and you can substitute writer or editor for the word “entrepreneur], “Most people think all entrepreneurs automatically embrace change. But the truth is, while some jump at the chance to transform, others fear the unknown. As change advocates, we strongly believe change should play a major part in all entrepreneurs’ businesses, for as noted author Gail Sheeny once wrote, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow.”
As a writer and editor, I want to constantly be evaluating my work. Is something working or not? How can I change and grow in this situation? It’s a continual process of growth. Last night with my wife, we began to discuss some recent lessons from the past—just to make sure I’ve fully learned from those experiences. It’s simply stubborn to continue the familiar routine if it’s not taking me where I want to go with my writing and editing life. The key is to be discerning and try and know when to change and grow.
The March issue of Entrepreneur includes a terrific article by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager called Mind Over Market. I suspect this article will be online in a month or so but isn’t at the moment. It talks about having a market mind-set. In a sidebar, it included the Guerrilla Marketing Creed encouraging the reader to keep it where you could see it all the time. These words are also relevant for writers and editors. You can keep the word “market” or you could substitute “writer” for some added insight:
I Am Committed To Marketing. I will always think of my customers’ needs and desires first, and shape my business, products and services around them
I Will Approach My Thinking Creatively, using my talents and all available resources to develop the best solutions for clients and customers.
I Will Always Strive To Improve My Marketing Knowledge, seeking new and innovative ways to develop products and services and ways to communicate with customers and prospects.
I Will Give My Customers And Prospects The Proper Attention, all the time. This will be done in a proactive manner, not a reactive one.
I Will Continue To Seek Out New Business Opportunities. These include strategic alliances, fusion marketing, joint ventures, cooperation and other partnerships.
I Will “Think Marketing” all the time.
Do I have it all figured out? Not even close. I continue to learn and grow as a writer and editor. One of the continual themes is the focus on the reader for my writing efforts. It’s the needs of the reader and the needs of the editor which will make a difference in my ability to be published or to continue to get rejected.