People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are or are not. In a moment of doubt yesterday and even this morning, I questioned if I should do this writing thing. Criticism stung; harsh and well-intentioned words kicked me in my chest. My writing doesn’t fit the market, so should I give up. Then I remembered these two quotations:
“I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw
Which is echoed by Bruce Lee: “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
The race isn’t given to the swift or the one who fits in; the race is always given to those who work past the circumstances, plow through turbulence and keep their perspective straight.
This weekend, I am attending the Moonlight & Magnoliasconference, sponsored by the Georgia Romance Writers. Lots of great information, insight and inspiration has been and is getting shared. I am soaking up all I can. Will post about this experience once I am in a place where I can reflect.
Here’s the thoughts for today–all inspired by what I heard at Moonlight & Magnolias:
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”―Jonathan Winters
“The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business–or almost anywhere else for that matter.”―Lee Iacocca
“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”―Robert Heinlein
“I hate writing, I love having written.”― Dorothy Parker
Finally….“The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.”―Dolly Parton, the singer who inspired my love of big hair and spangles. She is five feet of loveliness, sugar, and spice.
We all have some big, audacious goals: Become a New York Times bestseller. Make oodles of money. Become a part of the global canon. Become an author with XYZ line. And it’s great to have goals. But when and with whom should you share those goals? This TEDTalk
is contrary to everything you have ever been told. The advice in this video is an outlier to the conventional and unconventional wisdom I’ve heard (and given). According to Derek Sivers in this brilliant (and short) talk, telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen. As Michael Hyatt recapped in his blog:
Why is this true? According to him, it is because you get the psychological satisfaction of accomplishing the goal without having to actually do the work. In other words, talking becomes a substitute for doing.
Hmmm….Raise your hand if you know more people who expressed some big writing goal and become focused on talking about the goal rather than breaking that goal apart and doing it.
Raise your hand if you know people who have talked about writing a book, story, or screenplay for years but nothing has ever materialized except talk.
Raise your hand if you have talked a good game about what you intend on doing but you are still facing a blank page or screen.
Let’s not confuse the declaration of the dream as the action needed to make the dream come to life. As Michael Hyatt briliantly summed it up,
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do,” so why announce it until you have accomplished it?
So what do you think: Do you agree or disagree with Derek Sivers? Should you be outright and public with your goals?
“Write what you like; there is no other rule.”
– O. Henry
At every writers conference, RWA meeting, or email loop, there is a discussion on social media and branding. But one consistent theme always pops up: You need to blog.
I am not sure if I agree with that statement, but I do agree that you do need a parking place online, a tiny piece of the immense Interwebs that is all your own.
This is my space. But what do I have to say?
I currently subscribe to RSS feed from over 200 writing blogs. Some are blah. Some are decent. Some are amazingly chock full of awesomeness. My qualitative analysis are all based on content. Some blogs give great, reliable content that keep me coming back for more.
Content is the currency of the social web. It’s what people search for. What makes them click, share, comment, subscribe, donate, follow or buy from you.
I am not trying to replicate those great content blogs. My goal with this blog is to create a repository of resources for myself and to establish a hub of knowledge that circles around the things I am most passionate about: good romance, good writing, good publishers, good music, and good-looking people. I am creating new content that features my perspective on writing, and I am <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_curation”>curating</a
href> the valuable information that I find for other.
Lofty goals, I know. But I am figuring this out and you are welcome to come with me on this journey. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.