3 min read

Writing #20 - Forget about "them"!

Only you can stop you!

Forget about "them"!

Have you ever noticed how everyone talks about "them"? You know what I mean, those guys --the ones who have it easy, the entitled generation, the blood sucking baby boomers -- them.

They don't have to work very hard. They have more time. They are uniquely situated to achieve. They get everything you want.

So many writers talk about how easy it is for famous authors like Janet Evanovich or James Patterson or Stephen King or Mark Twain or Earnest Hemingway... (fill in the blank).

Those guys? They had it easy. It's much harder now.

Maybe it's true. Maybe they don't work very hard. Maybe they have more time. Maybe they are uniquely situated to achieve. Maybe they have everything you want.

Who cares? While you're busy reviewing their life with envy, they're out their living the life you want!

If you want to be successful, you have to forget about them and focus on your own life.

There are only two questions that matter:

1. What do you want?

2. What are you willing to do to achieve it?

Are you willing to spend a couple of years hanging out with cops so you can get the lingo down? (That's what Janet Evanovich did.)

Are you willing to work obsessively on a manuscript, even if a co-author gets the credit for writing it? (That's what James Patterson does.)

Are you willing to leave your family for months at a time, travel by train, to sell books? (Mark Twain)

Are you willing to submit to arbitrary writing rules, tremendous ridicule, and live in a city where you don't speak the language for a year so you can improve your writing skills? (Earnest Hemingway)

Are you willing to spend most of your childhood slaving to perfect your creative skills? (Stephen King, Pablo Picasso)

What do you want?

What are you willing to do to achieve it?

According to Malcolm Gladwell, it's ten thousand hours to mastery.

That's ten thousand hours for everyone. It took at least ten thousand hours for the Beatles and James Patterson (who spent it in an advertising agency) and Stephen King (who started at 10 years old) and Nora Roberts (who spent it writing) and Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens and the Rolling Stones and every other single person who wants to master something.

Stop focusing on them and get to work.

(Here's Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on 10,000 hours. Yes, that's Macklemore's wrist.)

Now get to work!


This month, I will attempt to share thirty thoughts about writing - one a day for thirty days. (Missed 3 days when Typepad was attacked by a DDOS.)

Writing #1 : The difference between fiction and non-fiction

Writing #2 : Writing schedules.

Writing #3 : Just show up.

Writing #4 :  "You missed a comma" and the Copy Edit Banshees

Writing #5 : Do it now! Write your story. Share it with the world

Writing #6 : How to put down a writer with a smug smile on your face

Writing #7 : Myth about what "Publisher's used to" do

Writing #8 : Want to be a writer? Get fit

Writing #9 : Want live your dream of being a professional author? Stay inspired

Writing #10 : Why we quit Wordpress

Writing #11 : Ah Shit! Something blew up!

Writing #12 : Tools we use (instead of Wordpress)

Writing #13 : Say something!

Writing #14 : Writing is a lonely life

Writing #15 : Best way to rest your day? Take a nap!

Writing #16 : How not to be a lonely writer

Writing #17 : The writer's cloak is woven from threads of shame and humiliation.

Writing #18 : Why should I? Because you can!

Writing #19 - How authors die or dead author's club

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