by Jaime Buckley
You and I need to have a conversation.
It’s about time, ya know.
I watch you putting forth so much effort, weaving your creativity, shaping your ideas, but then you stress.
You wonder if you’re doing the right thing. You question each decision you make, then watch other people make headway while you feel stagnant. So you change things up, hoping it’ll make a difference — instead of giving your plans enough time to manifest enough results to measure.
You've been following people on In-Yer-Facebook and InstaGlam who make it seem like they have no issues and a perfect life. You’re clicking on ‘secrets’ spewed out on YouTube adverts by people showing paychecks I can outdo in three minutes with Photoshop and an iPhone.
Seriously, just stop all of it.
You’re in a better place than you think you are. That’s why we need to have this conversation. I’ve been where you are. I’ve done what you’re doing.
…and I’ve used the same potty-mouth words you did last time. I know, it frustrated you and you had to vent out loud.
It’s going to be okay, I promise.
…and it’s a promise I can keep.
There are no ‘secrets’.
You already know this, but something in you wants the lie to be true.
‘Secrets’ is just a marketing word used to get your attention. A tactic encouraging you to make irrational decisions. When you see this used in any form of writing, you don’t have to be fearful. Just know it is always, always, always, a hook. The person using the word is manipulating you. That’s the intent when using that specific word in an explanation or copy, plain and simple.
Since you already knew that, and I’ve slapped you with a reminder, let me slap you again for good measure.
There are no shortcuts.
Oh, there may be a better path, a more efficient way of doing things, but no shortcuts. Not if you want anything to last.
What about luck, you ask?
That can happen, sure. You don’t control it, you can’t guarantee it, and it also isn’t a shortcut, it’s…luck.
Now that we have those two aspects of reality out of the way, take a moment and shake the stress off. It’s time to take you on a mental ride you won’t soon forget.
Strange question to start our conversation?
Oh, and the answer to that question is an unequivocal ‘yes’.
You can guarantee your own success, and you should be promising this to yourself every day of your creative life.
How can you do this? Simple.
Start with the end in mind.
When I was training to be a bodyguard, they trained me to approach every conflict with the end in mind. The absolute resolution that I was going to get home to my wife and children, no matter what. It forced me to see every confrontation from a new perspective.
Physical contact was no longer ‘self-defense,' it was damage control. Avoidance, negotiations, body language, and positioning became critical skills. My first line of defense became the actual self-defense. I also developed a complete disregard for personal property. If a life was at stake, anything but an innocent was fair game to be used, abused and destroyed if it helped me do my job.
I decided not to take that path in the end. Learning about myself and what I could do opened my eyes. My very existence changed in how I viewed the world and interacted with those in it. My personality transformed forever.
The same goes for writing.
When I started shaping the Wanted Hero story in 2004, I started with the focus. How I wanted readers to feel about my comic books. My ‘going home no matter what’ became my ‘what does the story have to be to make it into the mind and heart of a reader’?
Virtually everyone I talked to in 2004 said what I wanted to do, making a traditional comic into a ¢.97 downloadable PDF, wouldn’t work. I’d never sell any. People wouldn’t be interested. I wouldn’t make any money. Blah-blah-blah. That pessimism doubled when I said I’d learn HTML and build the site myself in a world where programmers held the world hostage.
One year later, I had readers in 60 countries. Over 750,000 visitors came to my website, and I had a message board with 15,000 active members. Years before the invention of the Kindle, I earned a full-time living by creating comics alone.
Now that I’m writing these stories as fantasy novels, I ask the same questions during that process:
Answering those questions provides a roadmap to success. Then I apply that to the stories.
The point of this article is to help you shift your views. To change the words you use, specifically about yourself, because words matter. Words have power.
When we use the wrong words, we train our minds and skew our perspectives to accept lies.
Lies about ourselves.
Lies abut our work, and the things we want to bring into this world.
When you start with the end in mind, you take something that may seem “impossible” and transform it into “probable”.
Your success goes from ‘if’…. to ‘when’.
…and that, my friend, if you will remain consistent and not give up, is a guarantee.
I have to go for now, but I want to continue this conversation soon. There are some specific details I’d like to propose to you and show you how you’re perfectly aligned to succeed as a writer.
Until then, keep writing.
If you want to find that success, it’s the best decision you’ve made this year.
I guarantee it.
* * * * * *
Jaime Buckley is a cartoonist and best-selling author.
More importantly, he’s a loving husband and father of 13 children. Since 1986 he’s worked for famous authors and TV personalities, and illustrated for hundreds of new authors across the genre spectrum. If you can think of a creative project or marketing strategy, Jaime's likely done it… but always finds his greatest success by being himself. You can find Jaime writing fantasy for readers on LifeOfFiction.com and sharing his parenting antics through kidCLANS.com.
Check out Jaime's current books:
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