Growing up, I didn’t always want to be a writer. I thought writing was stupid. In grade school, I entered a writing contest. My story was about vampire children, who sucked sugar out of gummy bears and turned them into gummbies, don’t judge me. On a side note, I lost because it was a non-fiction contest. Anyway, I started writing more, mostly in my diary, because that’s what all the pre-teen girls on Nickelodeon was doing. I graduated from Password Journal to WordPerfect, and so on.
Throughout my years as a student, I was always told to follow my dream, live in my truth, follow my passion. I studied the works of famous people, I knew I’d never meet, such as; James Altucher, Jeff Goins, and that one guy with the Purple Cow Book, oh, Mr. Seth Godin. I wanted so much to be like them, living the dream. But, when I tried to go straight to the living the dream part. It didn’t work for me. No one read my blog posts. No one purchased my first and only self-published novella. And, every year I pitched a story to the same agency, and every year they said “NO”.
I did what any sane person would do upon multiple rejections.
I gave up.
I graduated from high school with an A.A. Degree, and turned down a one year scholarship to a private university. I worked full-time at an insurance company. And, I made my mother mildly happy, when I told her, I’m not writing on my laptop ever again.
So, you’d think all that defiant, stuffing my dream into the back of my head stuff would work. Sigh, it didn’t. I started to get the writing bug.
It started with that chick who wrote a Twilight fan-fic that became an “allegedly” steamy romance novel. Then I discovered, people can make money from their dreams and passions. Today, self-publishing is whooping traditional publishing houses’ tails.
Then, what makes me different from those people who made their first million writing a sub-par novel?
Or who blogged for a year and exploded into fame and fortune?
Or the person who ignored conventional wisdom and made up their own rules, and now everyone wants a piece of their formulas?
It’s the one word that sums up the answer to this blog’s title: HOW?
It’s such a simple word, and yet powerful. You’re probably thinking, wow, this is stupid. I could be watching Family Guy instead of reading this madness. But, check the comment sections in a blog post for any self-help blog, think Tiny Buddha.
The commenters say the same thing along these lines, “Yeah, [name post] was great and all, thanks for the numbered list, but how do I…”
Everyone wants to know how. But, they don’t know how to get those answers. Think about it. If someone tells you, okay go ahead and make one thousand dollars in a month, without a full-time job, government subsidies, or a personal loan. What would you say?
Now, what have I learned? The How comes with a hefty price tag. It’s not as simple as a blog post from Wiki-How or some other similar content mill. It comes in the form of online courses, face-to-face classes, and study aids. If you follow a blog, that gives you all the whys and whats, but charges you for the how, welcome to the real world.
And, by all means, the how is worth it. It adds value to your life. And, it’s worth it when you’re trying to make a dream work. If I thought about the how, instead of focusing on the when am I going to start making money, or why can’t I get enough followers to read my awesome posts, I wouldn’t be running in circles.
The point of this post is to look deeper into how you’re reaching your dream or goals. Giving up isn’t the answer, because all you’re doing is suppressing your true self.
So, how am I going to write a science fiction novel that sells? How am I going to bring more traffic to my blog? How am I going to turn my dream into a reality?
It starts with making a mental switch and forgetting the starving artist mentality. It also means giving myself to others and helping them fulfill their dreams. Whatever you put into your work, you should hope to receive back. You can’t give a project thirty-five percent and pray you get ninety-five percent back.
I visit other writers. I post on their boards. I follow them. I get their names out there, and maybe they’ll be nice enough to put my name out there.
And, what if nothing comes about from my helpfulness? I need to change strategies. Find a different how to work on, and keep going.
Nothing gets created if it’s stuck in a dream. Nothing is sold if it’s stuck as a prototype. Nothing is accomplished if you don’t try.
So tell me, what is your ultimate how?
Examples for the heck of it: How do I write a novel? How do I get five hundred followers? How do I dump my boyfriend/girlfriend? How, how, how!
I don’t have the answers to your hows. That’s not the purpose of this post. But, the purpose is to bring it to your attention. I’m not sure how many people try everything in their power to accomplish some goal, but they eventually learn how to get started. Find your how!