Thursday, April 24, 2014

If you keep doing what you've always done...



Scrub sleep out of eyes...Wait.

What day is it? Thursday? How the heck did that happen?

I missed the Monday Morning blog. I know half of you probably forgave me because of the holiday. Then Tuesday was my birthday. But I have no excuse for Wednesday.

Actually...I do have an excuse, but you may not like it. I'm up to my ears in books to write. It's the perfect problem for a self-employed writer to have. LOL But it also means something's got to go. And it might be the regularity with which I do this blog. :(

At one point last year, I came across the quote, "If you always do what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always gotten." I took that to mean unless I ramped up my productivity, I would always only write the same ## of books per year and I wouldn't be able to branch out.

I desperately wanted to branch out. So I signed a contract with a second publisher and now I'm doing some serious producing! And I am very happy. VERY happy.

And it made me wonder...Does this principle apply to writing your book?

If you always do what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always gotten...


Think this through with me.

What result are you getting?

If you're published, how are your reviews? How are your sales? Are you winning contests?

If so...You might want to stick with what you're doing! LOL

If you're not published, are you finalling in contests? Getting good feedback from editors and agents? Feeling you're a gnat's eyelash away from a coveted contract?

If so, you might want to keep doing what you're doing! (As long as you're continually making progress.)

But if you're stuck, if you're not improving, if your contest entries are coming back looking like they're bleeding from red ink, if your reviews are lackluster, if your sales are iffy...

Maybe it's time for a change.

I'm not talking big change here. I'm not saying find a new agent, editor, publisher, genre. I want you to look at your writing habits.

If you write slowly, and write and rewrite your first chapters so much you never get to chapter 4, try fast drafting. Force yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you write fast, try slowing down.

If you pants, try writing an outline.

If you outline, try pantsing.

Revolutionary, I know!

Whatever you try might not work. You might realize you're not made for outlining, but it could teach you some better plotting skills. You might realize you can't write fast, but it could teach you how to move on from chapter 3! LOL

When I signed these contracts that forced me to put my butt in the chair for more than 4 hours a day and to create a good storyboard and stick to it, I found a whole new joy in my work. And I think I'm writing better stories than ever before. Why? Because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

As I said, no genre shift, no agent firing, no editor change was required, but more of a look at how I was writing.

So take a minute and repeat our phrase...If you always do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten ... and ask yourself, "Are you satisfied?"

If not, take a deep breath and try something different...

Happy Thursday.

susan meier

1 comment:

Samantha Hunter said...

Awesome blog, Susan, and I'm so thankful you included change in all directions, both speeding up or slowing down. :)

I think this quote is true -- and in some ways, I'm okay with "getting what I've always gotten" -- some of it has been very good, the things I've gotten, but I also think change is good, and I would like to carry them forward into new ventures.

Trying new things and reaching is always a good choice!