Done is the engine of more

February 16, 2010

I found this while reading Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin.

If you need a kick in your writer’s pants, here you go.

There are three states of being: Not Knowing, Action and Completion.
Accept that everything is a draft. It helps get things done.
Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
Failures count as done. So do mistakes.
Done is the engine of more.
– Bre Pettis

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Jane Friedman, my editor at Writer’s Digest for Write is a Verb, has compiled her best tough love reality slap for those of you who are really serious about being published writers. To paraphrase Betty Davis (who said Old age is not for sissies), writing and publishing are not for wimps.

Get some tough love from Jane and go get published if you (and you work) are up to it:

http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2009/10/06/TheSecretsToPublishingSuccessJanes2009ToughLoveGuide.aspx

A year from now

July 13, 2009

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” —Karen Lamb

How many times have I had people tell me they want to write a book “someday?” Many. The only way to write a book is to write it. And the only way to write it is to start and finish it.

A year from now, will you still be saying to yourself and others that you want to write a book someday? If you start today, perhaps next year you could tell someone that you have written a book.

“I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this.” –Cormac McCarthy

I came across this quotation the other day and had to laugh. I also realized it spoke to something very important for people who would be authors.

There is a business side to writing and publishing: making sure you write something people will want to read; getting agents and publishers to take the book on; getting readers to buy the book when it is published; getting the word out about the book; managed the money aspects of being a writer.

I cover all this stuff in my live and online courses on writing and publishing.

There are two faces to writing:
1. Your raw energy and writing abilities;
2. Your ability to get the book into the world and have it support your writing.

Some people are better at one than the other, but you must attend to and master both to get the book written and published.

Bill

As usual, I invite you to learn more by visiting: http://www.getyourbookwritten.com

Grammar Girl. Former freelance science writer Mignon Fogarty decides to create a podcast discussing common grammatical errors she encounters in her editing work. She launches Grammar Girl, a lighthearted and kindly guide to grammar. Fast forward sometime later. Oprah is doing a show on grammar. Several of her staffers tell Oprah she must get Grammar Girl. Problem: Grammar Girl has a book contract but no book to tout when she is to go on Oprah, wasting a golden opportunity. Solution: She and her publisher, working non-stop for several days, create an audio book version from Grammar Girls podcast audio files and make the book available through Audible.com. Many audiobooks are sold, saving the day. Writers will find this essential and the rest of you may just find it amusing and helpful. You can learn about Spoonerisms, when to use lay vs. lie, when to use sit vs. set and other good stuff, presented with a light touch. You can get the podcast through iTunes or visit GG’s website: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
 
The point for those of you who are aspiring writers? Pursue your interests and passions. Put something out into the world rather than sitting and dreaming about it. (Of course, make sure this isn’t a distraction from your writing or something you are doing instead of writing). Podcasts, like blogs, can enhance your platform and can generate material to use in your writing project. And as Grammar Girl has shown, it might even get you a book contract or a spot on Oprah.