How A Little Known Solution to Writers' #1 Problem Solves Problems #2 Through #5 Too...
You wanna do WHAT?!
If you've been a writer for any length of time, you know it’s hard to get yourself to sit down everyday and write. In War of Art, Steven Pressfield shows how Resistance causes writers to do almost anything to avoid their work. Here are some things writers do instead:
What does Pressfield advise writers to do? "Do your work." But you already knew that.
If you have trouble sitting down and writing, how are you going to take on PUBLISHING, LAUNCHING and SELLING your book too? Plus building your PLATFORM?
Umm. If you already lack support necessary to WRITE, isn't taking on the additional projects to PUBLISH, LAUNCH and SELL your books a recipe for TROUBLE?
It is. Please see the complete recipe for TROUBLE below...
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
What's Your REAL Problem?
You CAN'T sit down and write. Because, fundamentally, some part of youself knows it's just plain weird. Sitting by yourself, writing words on a paper, screen, papyrus, stone tablet? People don't do that. For good reason, too: it's ANTI-SOCIAL. The more you sit there and write words to no one, the more the entire world looks at you and scratches its dandruffy head, squints and says: "WHO ARE YOU?"
Despite the world looking quite creepy with all those dandruff flakes and wars and famines and people living in cardboard boxes downtown, deep in your timorous heart you don't know. You can't answer the world...because you don't really know who you are.
Wasn't that why you were writing in the first place? Because you wanted to FIND OUT who you are? At least... that question lurked somewhere in a dark corner of your mind. If you write enough words in enough combinations, isn't it a mathematical certainty that eventually, like the roomful of monkeys banging on typewriters to reproduce Shakespeare's opus or a cloud of atoms from the big bang smashing into each other for seven billion years eventually forming Helen of Troy, your words will eventually create a perfect likeness of yourself?
It's a desperate race. Is it worth it? YOU ARE LONELY. Does your memoir need editing? Or should you just throw the whole thing away and write about someone else for a change? What the hell?! This writer's life is just too damn depressing. So, it's off to church! I mean the attorney's office! I mean the AA meeting! I mean the airport! I mean the Golden Gate Bridge!
Show me the Science!
There is a shocking lack of external inducement to be a writer. Look at the income chart and you will see that 93% of traditionally published authors earn a wage that would classify them below the poverty line (depending on kids and lacking other income). Among self-published authors, the case is worse: 97% earn below poverty. All the fame and romance of "the writing life" is definitely on ice.
How do you explain the motivation to write in the face of dismal statistics? Of course, there is the plenteous self-delusion that "it won't apply to me;" that somehow, being your special self, you'll be spared. Then, too, there are the purveyors of the "six-figure myth." I have made $250,000/year writing—but not books for people. Six figure hawkers are mostly in self-help books. There are easier ways to make money. Apart from a few credulous fools, fame and fortune is not a writer's motivation.
What is it then?
I think Daniel Pink is on to something. In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink says neither of two traditional motivational theories hold today. The old idea that we are only motivated by survival needs to eat, drink, sleep and procreate one the one hand or by reward and punishment on the other, is simply insufficient to explain facts we observe—of writers for example.
Pink says there's a third, more powerful motivation that he calls Intrinsic desire, or Type I ("I" for "Intrinsic") motivation. A person influenced by this motivation wants to be challenged and passionate. Instead of being driven by fear or desire for outcome or rewards (so-called "Type X" or eXtrinsic motivation), Type I is about loving the work itself. Type X motivation is disastrous wherever creativity is needed; there, only Type I will work.
Science Magazine says the same is true in a military academy. In a 10-year study of 11,320 West Point Cadets, those with high Type I motivation were 20% more likely to graduate from the academy. Not only that: as the graphic here shows, when Type I motivations were mixed with Type X motivations, those candidates actually did WORSE. West Point does nothing to instill or cultivate Type I motivation, since its entire history and power structure is based on Type X. Nonetheless, the study clearly shows that Type X motivation is inferior in cultivating high performance AND it degrades Type I motivation when the two are combined.
All of which begs the question: Why do writers write?
What You Believe Explains Why You Write
I have insufficient data to give a comprehensive answer to the question "Why do writers write?" But I have a guess. It is based on my personal experience as a writer and is informed by the intensity to which a writer holds to writing, despite all the world.
I believe there are 3 fundamental beliefs that underlie our Type I motivation to write. Whatever other reasons writers may give, these I believe underlie everything.
1. We believe life is precious and must not, at any cost, be wasted.
What all writers have in common is a self-identification: "I am a writer." Given this self-definition (and the self-imposed limitations and definition it implies), a writer's meaning and existence are tied up in the thing written: the text. The text stands for us. It is our sign. As such, it signifies our life on Earth. If the text is exists, I have significance. Conversely, if my text is unwritten, I have wasted my life. It is as if I MYSELF do not exist.
2. No matter what our religion, race or culture, we believe John 1:1.
We believe the credo: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Whether a philologist atheist like Nietzche or poetic mystics like Blake or Baudelaire or sages Tolstoy or Rumi, the Word holds divine importance. Our signs separate us from all other animals and raise us into divinity.
3. We believe we have a unique experience and perspective worth sharing with others. Our existence hinges on putting our Experience of life (item #1 above) into Words (item #2 above).
Our experience is either inchoate, unreal or meaningless unless we find a way to say it in words that ring true for other people. Writers, above all, wish to share themselves with others in words. The sheer immensity of this destiny often causes writers to want to ESCAPE. Writing to a writer is an endeavor of the greatest moment and gravity; we take it up with so much sincerity that every moment we question our mettle and worthiness to the task.
No Problems. Except these Five.
PROBLEM #1: Yes, writing is terribly important. But you're lonely. And you don't know if your writing is any good. When it's time to write, you want to RUN.
When you finish this book (if you EVER DO), you'll have more problems:
PROBLEM #2: You have to self-publish (even if you don't know how!)
PROBLEM #3: You have to launch your self-published book (whatever that means!)
PROBLEM #4: You have to sell the book (can't sell your way out of a paper bag?)
PROBLEM #5: You have to build your own audience too! (WTF?)
Is This Even Possible?
I know, it seems impossible.
How are you supposed to:
At the same time you are:
"If It Exists, It's Possible."
I've spent the last 5 years perfecting a system guarantees that self-publishing writers will get all their work done. This system, called Bookgame, helps writers Write, Publish, Launch and Sell, all while building a Platform (your audience). We've learned the latest science in human development and applied it. Bookgame is a productivity system for writers using:
If you'd like to see how it works, join my FREE CHALLENGE!