It’s been estimated that 80% of people have at some stage in their life stated that they’d like to write a book. With 7 billion people in the world at present, that’s almost 6 billion potential books.
That’s a lot of books, and it dwarfs Amazon’s current catalogue of 45 million titles, yet the reality is that barely 0.5% of people will actually follow through and get their book written. That’s 35 million people alive today, and probably still an overestimation of the number of people who will successfully write the book they say they will.
The reasons (or excuses) why the majority of people never get around to it are just as numerous as potential books – fear of not being good enough, fear of ridicule, fear of failure, fear of success, just to name a handful – and yet the reasons why a book actually does get written are far fewer.
In fact, there’s probably only 3 things required for a book to see the light of day, and this is true for any successful endeavour for that matter:
- The Dream
- The Desire
- The Drive
It sounds simple enough, but without 1 of these 3 keys – without a dream, without the desire, without the drive – writing success will more often than not be just another unlocked idea abandoned and forgotten in the filing cabinet of history. But used correctly, these 3 keys will enable you to unlock your potential, utilize your talents and unleash your passion.
1: The Dream is Your Destination
As Seneca, the Roman poet, said, ‘If you do not know to which port you wish to sail, no wind is helpful.’
Your dream is simply the port to which you wish to sail. It is your destination, the place where you want to be, to arrive at. In writing terms, your dream could be to finish writing your family history, it could be to complete your memoir, or it could be to become a published author.
The specifics of the dream does not matter. It is unique to each individual. But what does matter is that the dream exists. Without the dream, there’s no destination, no port of arrival.
As Mark Gorman, author and motivational speaker, said,
“Not all dreamers are winners, but all winners are dreamers. Your dream is the key to your future… you need a dream if you’re going to succeed in anything you do.”
The first key to writing success—Having a Dream—sets the Why? of your success. Your dream is your purpose, the reason you do what you do, the reason you invest the time, money and effort into writing your book.
According to Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, your Why? leads to the How? leads to the What?
Without your Why?, without your Dream, your ship won’t even leave harbour.
2: Your Desire is Your Want!
Paul Newman, Hollywood actor, once lamented during an Inside the Actor’s Studio interview that one of the things he hated seeing most was talented actors wasting their opportunity through laziness and lack of drive. He saw himself as only moderately talented, and to see other actors with far more talent than he had and not appreciating their unique gift made him sad and frustrated because he had to work so hard to get where he was and achieve the success he was able to.
This issue at hand is want. If you want something badly enough, so bad you want it more than you want to breathe, you’ll find a way to get it. If you don’t really want something, if it doesn’t matter either way whether you get it or not, if you’re ambivalent about the outcome, then achieving your dream comes down to luck. You either succeed or you don’t.
But why trust luck? Successful people, and especially successful authors, don’t. They increase the odds in their favour by increasing their desire for success. They already have their Why? Increasing their desire motivates their mind to find the How? to be successful.
Success in writing might not come instantly, there will be mistakes made, periods of trial and error, but these times are used constructively by successful writers to learn from their mistakes, take note of what works and what doesn’t, and thereby build a strategy – a How? – of success.
3: Your Drive is Your Go!
Your dream won’t work unless you do, as John Maxwell and Lori Prokop have been credited as saying.
If your desire or want is your motivation, then your drive is your get up and go. It’s your action. Without action, dreams are just dreams. You need a dream (a destination to reach), you need the desire to get there (want it badly), but you also need activation. You need momentum, and momentum doesn’t start on its own. It builds on what went before it. Even the tiniest action can lead to great things. But first effort and energy must be used to get things moving.
Your drive becomes your What? You start doing what needs doing. In the case of writing, that means planning your manuscript, setting the scene, developing the characters, and writing the plot. Your book won’t be written on its own. You must act. You must write.
So in order to turn your dreams into reality, in order to unlock the potential of your writing, ensure you use the 3 keys of successful writing:
- Dream big and set your destination far.
- Desire it more than you want to breathe.
- Drive yourself to achieve more than you ever believed.
You can do it.
*This article first appeared on ContentPlexus.com and is re-published with permission.
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