by- Tom Kubrak
Whoever said, “All you have to do is work hard to get what you want in this world,” is/was full of shit. Every time I listen to one of those motivational speakers or business gurus say this, I immediately stop listening to them.
Because, if that’s all it took, then all of us would be where we want to be. I just think it’s so easy to say this, that most of the people saying this, do so to avoid speaking for too long on stage or they were just too lazy to come up with something actually good.
I think most of us understand how to work hard, but it’s the little things that they don’t talk about, that we really need to do to get what we want. I learned these things after I burned out after “working hard” and “not sleeping.” I mean that’s what they told me to do!
Not that working hard isn’t part of it, I mean it is, but they never tell us what “working hard” means after they go on that “work hard” speech. It’s open-ended or up-to-your-interpretation. They say this and then go home on their private jets or in their luxury sports car and tell themselves, “I inspired so many people today.”
I mean hell, maybe it works for other professions, but for mine, creative writing, it’s all about working-smarter not harder. And the recipe is a lot more than hard work. And I’m going to go into detail in this post about what that means.
One thing that working smarter entails is patience. Just because you’re writing for hours a day doesn’t mean you’re a good writer or that that book is going to sell. Only write at that pace if you believe every word that you’re writing down is good. SLOW DOWN dude.
I mean here’s a piece of cliche advice to understand that one: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
In this post I’m talking to the writer who hasn’t made it yet. Like me. So, if you haven’t made it yet, keep reading. If you have, then this post may be unnecessary for you.
As an unsuccessful writer, it’s hard to imagine myself with successful accolades, best sellers, scripts that I’ve sold, or several published works.
For me, when I think about these things, the only thing I find myself getting is depressed.
To avoid this trap here’s a few things that I do:
STOP THINKING ABOUT IT
I think there’s something to be said about visualizing your success, but I don’t think this works for everyone. So, I say, don’t do this at all, because this path is so uncertain. Think about the things that you can control like, writing the first draft or editing the second draft. To me, those things are worth celebrating because of the time it takes to do these. So, there’s just no time to think about ‘being a success’ when you haven’t even written a word down on paper!
In order to think about those things, you have to first have a small track record of personal-writing-wins. Thinking too far ahead without getting momentum is a dangerous thing. Because you can overwhelm yourself easily. Then, an only then, can you raise the thinking-stakes and think about the bigger things like selling the script or book.
YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL
Another way to get depressed is asking yourself, “Am I successful yet?” The better thing to do, that I’ve discovered for myself, is to believe that you are successful already and that you are a damn good writer. Because you are! No one needs to validate your success. You’ve already written a bunch of works. Who cares if they’re not published. That doesn’t mean you’re not good. That just means you haven’t put yourself out there enough or you haven’t found the right person yet to publish your works.
You’ll figure it out and someone will find you.
This eliminates the possibility of going down that never ending rabbit hole of, “What if?”
It will happen one day but stop thinking about it. It’s a matter of when not if. Just keep moving forward.
Follow other writers and their journeys. Be congratulatory of their success, but don’t ask yourself that, “Why not me” question. Instead, Get Mad!
By “getting mad” I don’t mean yelling and screaming and saying, “This is bullshit!”
By “getting mad” I mean, get mad at yourself. Tell yourself, “What the hell are you waiting for? You call yourself a good writer? Prove it!”
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH…
Yeah, I bet you thought I was going to say, “keep going,” but I’m not your favorite motivational speaker, who gives open ended advice, that can lead you to doing something you shouldn’t do.
So, after you stop, you need to figure out why things aren’t going your way, or you’ll end up going down the wrong path. This could be many things including:
A- A bad eating habit you developed
B- A different bad habit you need to address by cutting down or quitting entirely
C- Bad sleeping patterns
D- Money Problems
E- Something else
During the time that you’ve stopped to address what the problem is, which could take days, weeks or month, then and only then can you get back on course.
The key is patience. The writing path requires this because each day is different. Each page you write is different. Create good habits and a good foundation and you’ll be able to Stay the Course.
By- Tom Kubrak
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this post helpful. If you did let me know. If you didn’t let me know what you didn’t like. I like to hear both sides.