Friday, June 6, 2008

Going, going, gone

I've noticed something about people in general.

Most are quitters.

As those of you who have been with me since the first of the year know, I used to be a leader in Direct Sales for a home party company. Anyone who has worked in that line of work begins to notice patterns.

You have an excited new person who is ready to "work until they're making the big money". They come to trainings, they call their leader, they call as many potential customers as possible.

Then something changes. You don't see them as often at the trainings. They're not returning phone calls or emails. They're not reporting in or asking questions.

Then one day they're gone.

They quit. Many times you don't know why.

Surprisingly I've also begun to notice this among writers. They are excited about their story. They sit down with their laptop and write a page, then two, then ten.

But somewhere after the first draft they decide it is too hard and they quit. They give up.

Or they decide that their work is too refined for the common man and they keep it to themselves.

Either way, they stop just short of their goal. They never reach their fullest potential.

They GO through the first level of effort. Learning some craft and maybe going to a conference. They join a couple of clubs, buy ink and paper and create their lovely office. They stare at a blank computer screen.

Then they're GOING. This is where they decide it is a little hard. They're "Going" to write something tomorrow or they're "Going" to attend conference some time. They're "Going" to really focus as soon as the kids go back to school in the fall. They never do anything-they're always "Going" to do things [I've been to this spot more times than I'd like to admit].

Then they're GONE. They give up. They decide they weren't called [and some aren't], it isn't for everyone or they just don't have time. They stick the paper in a drawer, sell their writing books at a garage sale and tell everyone why it is too hard for anyone to write.

I'm not trying to be negative at all. It is reality. All of us want to give up sometimes. I heard Liz Curtis Higgs [a woman who has sold over a million books I think] speak at a conference a couple of years ago. She said that once she considered all of the hours she spends writing, editing, marketing and promoting each book you end up making pennies per hour. PENNIES.

There are a very few who rise to the top-many do not. There are also a fair number who make a living writing.

You need to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your craft, build your platform and work on marketing. You will never excel if you put forth mediocre effort.

This is not to discourage anyone, only inform. If you want to be at the top then know that you will need to do more then write one draft of one manuscript. It will take effort and focus.

But then Everest wasn't conquered in a day either. I love the challenge.

I have to go, there are mountains to climb.

Your coach for the journey, Tiffany Colter


Rachel Starr Thomson said...

Hi! I just found you by following online course links on The Christian PEN site ... I'm on the email list, though not (yet) a contributing member. I thought I'd pop over here when I realized you were a fellow homeschooler :). Just wanted to say that I loved this post! I'm currently making my living doing writing-related things, and you're right--no way would I be here if I'd quit trying, putting in the hours, and developing my craft. Of course, having a good God to write for helps too! Thanks for the thoughtful post :).

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter said...


Glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. And spread the word. I'd love to get a dialog going on how to best market our books.