Through the years, new books pour into my house from other authors, publishers and publicists. I open the packages then take the path of least resistance--put them in a stack. But the lack of action works against me. Stacks of books are sometimes scattered in different places in my office. It is only as I take action and process these books or take action, will things get moving forward. Some books I will read, write a review and tell others about the books. Others will be given away and others I will keep to hopefully read later or sometimes then give them away.
I’ve written about my consistent action to write book reviews for the books that I read or hear in audio format. In fact, I’ve developed a detailed system about how I handle such books and after writing my review, promote them to others. No one pays me for such actions and it’s a way I support other authors.
In this article, consistent action is the critical difference maker that I’m writing about today. Opening books then stacking them doesn’t count. It’s the same with writing. When you think about writing, that doesn’t count. The only action which counts on the writing front is putting your fingers on the keyboard and creating sentences, paragraphs and pages of cohesive writing.
For example, I’ve been thinking about writing another book. I’ve created a title, audience, shape and theme--even imagined the book proposal and other elements in it. Yet my work on this future book is all in my head. I have not taken the actions which will lead to an actual book: writing at my keyboard. Without the actual writing, this future book is simply a daydream and not a forthcoming reality.
As writers, we play many mindgames with our work and at the end of the day your actions (writing) moves everything forward so something happens.
Whatever you are writing, take action and do a little bit every day. As you set personal and professional deadlines, you can make daily progress on your writing. This process is not a sprint but a marathon. Your persistence and consistency will pay off in the long run. There is a saying which is filled with truth about the writing life: “Inch by inch, it's a cinch.”
Finally, keep building new relationships in the publishing community with editors, agents, publicists and other professionals. I encourage you to continue to pitch new ideas with these relationships. When you get an opportunity, take action and seize it. It’s the path that I’ve been taking for many years.
When I was in school, I often used the Encyclopedia Britannica which has an entry: Carpe Deim and says, “carpe diem, (Latin: “pluck the day” or “seize the day”) phrase used by the Roman poet Horace to express the idea that one should enjoy life while one can.” If you want to get published, there are many steps along this journey but at the most basic level, each of us have to seize the day and take action and get some words into our computer.
With this article, I pictured a rock climber. Just like a writer, he will never be able to scale the top if he doesn’t take action and begin to scale the wall. Your dreams of writing and publishing will never happen if you don’t sit in your chair and keep your fingers moving on the keyboard. Action is the critical difference maker for every writer. What steps are you taking with this critical difference maker? Let me know in the comments below.
Labels: A Critical Difference Maker, action, consistency, keyboard, persistence, publishing, Terry Whalin, The Writing Life, writing