The secret of publishing success is hard to define but to be a successful author takes willpower! It doesn’t matter how good your prose is. It doesn’t matter if you have a great idea for a book. If you don’t have the willpower to see it through from the first page to the last, you will never achieve your dreams. In fact, a recent poll conducted by Kronos Publishing of over 6,000 authors revealed that a lack of will power was the biggest stumbling block facing would-be authors. But if you are a fledgling author or an established author who is struggling to sustain your own level of willpower we have some good news for you.
Despite what some successful authors would have you believe. Willpower isn’t some elusive secret sauce. It isn’t something some people have and others don’t. Surprisingly, willpower can be reduced down to a clear formula and it is M + H =Motivational Habits + RGS (Realistic Goal Settings) = WP In simple terms, willpower is not a singular attribute but the result of a succinct number of actions any of us can take. If you feel you lack willpower, stop beating yourself up about it, take a step back and follow these simple steps to harness the same level of willpower that all the top authors have.
1 Develop Motivational Habits
On the face of it, this may seem an obvious statement but if you are struggling to find the will power to write ask yourself if you should actually be writing. Too many people in life jump on the bandwagon and the relative ease of self-publishing has made everyone with a reasonable vocabulary a would-be author. But as with anything in life, the ones who invariably succeed are those who are emotionally motivated. Yes, some individuals turn out books by rote but they are the exception and they are rarely in the fiction genre. It’s not enough to simply like the idea of being published because you see someone else doing it. The motivation that comes from an emotional connection with your subject is incredibly powerful and will sustain you through the many ups and downs of the writing process. But motivation is influenced by external factors in your life and this is where habits are important. Without habits, it is a bit like the tail wagging the dog. You can drift, feeling unmotivated, till eventually you lose sight of your goal.
Good habits are easy to form if you can avoid potential distractions. Unfortunately, we live in a world where distraction vies for our attention 24 hours a day and we have to learn to recognize those distractions for what they are. Social media feeds, emails, online marketing, if you find them eating away at your time, then try this simple visualization exercise. Imagine yourself filled with bright golden energy. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Focus on it. Imagine it nourishing your body. Then imagine giant billboards in front of you with the logos of the social media platforms you use on them. Imagine them grey and gloomy. Weather-beaten and faded. Then imagine your bright golden energy flowing from you to them. As they become brighter and revitalised you can feel yourself becoming heavier, slower and sluggish. That’s what distractions do to us. Identify all your distractions and simply refuse to let them feed off your energy. In time you will begrudge the energy they leech from you as you begin forming the habits that will motivate you.
2 Be honest with yourself and set realistic goals. Think of motivation as the fuel that gets you to where you are going. But the mechanics of getting there are an entirely different thing, To achieve anything in life you have to have the relevant knowledge or the ability to acquire it. Far too many authors set unrealistic goals for themselves and it inevitably proves their failing. It’s easy with online services to buy a nice book cover, add some eye-catching blurb with the right keywords but if your writing is below par it will ultimately catapult your novel into the pits of obscurity.
Learn the mechanics of writing fiction before you start writing your novel. If you don’t you will ultimately end up frustrated. Be honest with yourself. Set realistic goals based upon the knowledge you have and when you have it you will find that motivational habits combined with realistic goal setting will fuel enviable reserves of will power. It really is that simple. And no secret sauce!