Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Business of Writing: Moving into Success Mode

Editor's Note: Please welcome Linda Rohrbough back to the blog. It's so wonderful to have her contributing again, and what a timely subject.

By: Linda Rohrbough

I recently listened to several new writers, (and by new, I mean pre-published) talk about the struggles they were going through. They were polite and respectful, but my condensed version of their monologue was “what you said didn’t work.” Meaning they didn’t sell their work even though they followed my plan, got in front of agents, and got a “send it.”

Discouraged was putting it mildly. They had a throw-up-your-hands, what’s-a-body-to-do attitude. They did admit they felt like they had won the lotto when they executed my advice and got a send it (after using my pitching formula). But once they got turned down, the publishing world became all gray and gloomy again for them.

I know no one wants to hear this, but there’s a term for this mode. It’s called victim.
Here’s the truth. There are people like me who cheer others on, and I’m happy to do it. Giving you formulas and keys to help you move toward your goals is part of who I am.

But folks, bestselling authors are not order-takers. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you what to do and how to do it, then what happens when you hit an obstacle you’ve never seen before? (You may hit an obstacle no one has seen before, or at least one no one will admit to seeing before.) Part of the reason bestselling authors get paid so well is they are risk-takers. They are willing to get out there and fail, then get up again and try. 

They are not victims.

Yes, life is unfair. Yes, ouch, it hurts when you get a "no thanks." Or the same advice, again. (Which, by the way, you need to listen to, especially if you keep hearing the same thing over and over. Repetition of the same comment from different people is a major clue to solving your problem.)

One of the principles I teach in my workshops is the game changes at each stage. If you’ve figured out how to get a send it from agents or editors, then you’ve moved into a new stage. And the game changes. It’s not over. It’s never over. You’re just at a new level.

I recently had a skin treatment for some scarring on my arms, which involves micro-injuries. Turns out micro-injuries produce healing and great results. After treatment with an electric “pen” that pokes my skin with nine tiny needles really, really fast, the injuries made stimulate my brain and nervous system to send healing resources. 

Does it hurt? You betcha. It hurts more hours later because they numb you during the process. It feels and looks like a bad sunburn, and peels like one, too. But the end result over time is firmer skin, reduced or eliminated scarring, and overall glowing health. There are several treatments involved that are six weeks apart, so this is not a fast process.

The fact that micro-injuries cause pain and it's not a fast process is a great metaphor for life, and it especially applies for life as an author. Any published author can tell you the micro-injuries are many along the way. And some injuries are not so micro. They limit the time they spend in “poor me” victim mode and instead find a way to use the stuff that hurts to move themselves forward. If you can roll with the micro-injuries, they can be healing for you and strengthen you as an author. The key is letting the injuries produce the results.

My goal with this article is to help you set your expectations, see these events as stepping stones, so you can be successful.

So, my pre-published friends, and my published friends, consider an attitude adjustment. Because, in reality, our ultimate choice in life, no matter what happens, is to choose our attitude. Success requires it, and that’s how you enter success mode.

Bio: Linda Rohrbough has been writing since 1989, and has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit, along with writing for television, and seven national awards for her fiction and non-fiction. An iPhone App of Linda’s popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Find her on Facebook as "Linda Rohrbough - Author" or visit her website: