You know how to reach success as a writer because you’ve heard it a million times: It’s all about the baby steps, baby.
Break down your goal into manageable chunks and take one tiny step at a time towards your vision so you don’t get overwhelmed — and you’ll make steady, if slow, progress.
Well, maybe that works for some people. But for me, taking teeny steps towards my goals is hugely demotivating.
Seriously, when I think about sending out a single email sales letter, making one cold call, or buying the supplies I need for my business one Post-it note at a time, it makes me want to just give up and binge-watch Project Runway instead of writing.
And I suspect a lot of writers and entrepreneurs are the same way.
For those of us who aren’t into the baby steps approach, a much more motivating way to create momentum in your business is to blast off towards your goals in grand style.
Do it up, do it big. Get the ball rolling so forcefully that it steamrolls right past obstacles and problems, and keeps on going with little extra effort.
I call it Committing. That’s right, with a capital C. Because I made it up.
I used this concept of Committing to start my own writing business in 1997.
Instead of sending out a few pitches here and there and then whining that I wasn’t landing any gigs — as most new writers do — I considered it my full-time job to send out query letters to magazines and sales letters (snail mailed!) to dozens and dozens of markets. Every few days I would trek to the post office with an armload of 9 x 12 envelopes.
And you know what? In my first year of freelancing, I beat out the income from my last full-time office job by 50 percent. I took massive action to get clients, and it worked.
And even better, once I had a full roster of clients, I could slack off on the pitching. The colossal push got things started, and then they chugged along on their own. That’s the beauty of Committing.
There are many, many tactics you can use to Commit your way to success as a writer. Here are five to try right now.
1. Commit by … getting a move on
Many of us feel that our natural working pace is simply the best we can do. But in reality, we can usually will ourselves to move faster than normal. How much more would you earn if you typed faster, answered emails more quickly, or cut down on the time it takes you to pitch a client or write a blog post?
The faster you work, the more you get done, the more clients you land, and the more money you rake in.
Also, nothing is more motivating than getting a metric butt-ton of work done towards your goals in short order. That momentum can carry you through your day feeling mightily productive.
Time yourself completing various work tasks. Then, when you do them next, try cutting the time it takes in half. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
2. Commit by … getting geared up
Instead of limping along with a rickety computer, scrambling when you need a paperclip, and having to head to Staples every time you need to scan a contract, invest in all the equipment and supplies you need for your business.
Buying exactly what you need to run your writing business doesn’t just help you work more efficiently — it sends a powerful message to your subconscious that you’re serious about earning money as a writer.
If you can, gather your gear all at once. Outfit your workspace with all the gadgets of the trade, and revel in the feeling you get when you know you have exactly what you need, when you need it. (As the classic L’Oréal ad says, “Because you’re worth it.”)
3. Commit by … going big or going home
What is the one, biggest, craziest, awesomest thing you could do to blast off to success as a writer?
Ditch logic, don’t judge, and don’t worry about being realistic. Could you move to a cheaper location to save money to invest in your business? Get Oprah to endorse your ebook? Grow your email list to 500,000 subscribers?
Now, you don’t need to actually do any of these things. But contemplating these massive actions can inspire ideas for reasonable alternatives you might not have thought of.
For example, maybe you can’t move to a less expensive part of the country, but can you lower your bills to take some of the pressure off while you build your business?
Oprah might pooh-pooh your ebook, but is there some local celebrity or well-known industry guru who might plug it for you? Half a mil is a lot of subscribers, but if you take action with that goal in mind, even if you fall way, way short, you can still build a humongous list.
4. Commit by … speed reading
If you’re looking to gain a new skill to improve your business, you could surf the web half-assedly and read a couple of articles online. That’s what most of us would do.
Or, you could gather an armload of books on freelancing, blogging, or copywriting, and read them all as quickly as you can. After studying 10 books on a topic, you’ll have gained substantial knowledge and the motivation to boost your writing income.
You can buy ebooks, but it’s even better to have a nice, tall stack of hardcopy books on your side table, along with a notebook and pen, as a visual reminder of your Commitment to your business.
5. Commit by … hiring help
Hiring people tells your subconscious:
- Your goals are so important that other people are working on them.
- You’re worth the investment.
- Someone’s got your back.
My income always shoots up whenever I hire a life coach or business coach; I earn many times over what I paid the coach.
You can also hire transcriptionists to turn your podcasts and webinars into attractive transcripts; virtual assistants to get control over your inbox; accountants to do your taxes; voiceover artists to turn your ebooks into audio books, and more.
Still at the starting line? If you hire these pros before you’re even “ready” to begin building your business, it will give you a massive boost of motivation at the start.
You’ll know that when you’re ready to start earning, you’ll have pro backup — and these experts are waiting for you to come through with what they need to get their tasks done, so you have accountability too.
Now you know how to Commit to your writing goals.
There’s one more trick: Don’t just pick one Commit tactic — mix and match to dynamite your results. Work faster and hire help and dream up crazy big actions and read 10 books.
The more you do up front, the faster you’ll blast off to success.
Do you have your own effective tips that tremendously help you meet your writing goals?
Share them in the discussion on LinkedIn …
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Image source: tpsdave via Pixabay.