Can you think your way to writing success?
Yes! Let’s take a look at a perfect example: Chicken Soup for the Soul. It took the authors 144 attempts to land a publisher.
One hundred and forty-four submissions. What if they gave up after 25, 50, or 100 rejections?
Co-authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had a positive mindset and clear vision. They had focus and determination. They knew exactly what they wanted — for Chicken Soup for the Soul to be a New York Times best seller. In fact, according to Canfield, the number one reason for being stuck and not realizing your potential or goals is the lack of clarity.
Canfield and Hansen fulfilled their dream with positive thinking, clarity, and perseverance.
Whether you call it positive thinking, a positive attitude, or a winning mindset, it’s the strategy of having a dream, creating a plan, projecting the positive results of that plan, and taking the necessary actions to accomplish your writing goal.
Part of positive thinking is the importance of determining your true motivation. In other words, what is your purpose? Why do you want to succeed? And, what do you want to succeed at?
All this matters.
You need to know and be focused on what you want, what success means to you, and exactly what you want to succeed at. You also need to know your motivation, your purpose. Do you want to:
- Write and market as a hobby or just pass the time?
- Earn a supplemental income to be able to buy the extras you can’t afford now?
- Make a full-time living at writing and marketing — be able to support yourself?
- Become rich?
- Become successful in the writing and marketing world?
- Become a famous author?
Will becoming a New York Times bestselling author be your pinnacle? Or, is your heart set on becoming a multi-millionaire, or a billionaire? Maybe you simply want to be a career author, getting contracts for your work on a regular basis. What about a freelance writer who works regularly? Only you know what success means to you.
This strategy of a positive mindset and positive projection is nothing new. In 1953, Norman Vincent Peale made the psychological term ‘think positive’ popular via his book, The Power of Positive Thinking. And in 1958, Napoleon Hill, using Andrew Carnegie as inspiration, wrote Think and Grow Rich.
Now it’s referred to as the scientific realm of positive psychology, and more and more people are being made aware of the positive mindset strategy — especially through sources such as The Secret. Adding to this, super successful people like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Louise L. Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Tony Robbins enthusiastically proclaim the benefits.
Harnessing this ‘mind power’ can lead to writing success, better health, wealth, and even happiness. This is the premise behind the strategy and many believe it really works.
So, what does it take to create and nurture positive thinking?
Hill wrote, “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.”
Seven Steps to Writing and Online Marketing Success
- 1. Answer the questions raised earlier. What do you want to succeed at and why? Take time and think carefully about these questions. Determine exactly what success is to you. Imagine it and see it clearly.
- 2. Put your vision into words and other visuals. Write it out in detail and make it readily visible. Read it every day . . . envision it every day. Canfield and Hansen put projection notes all over the place, even in the bathroom. This is a visualization technique and you can also use images or objects to help with your projection.
- 3. Create a realistic writing and marketing plan. Again, you will need to make it detailed. List the steps needed to go from point A to point B? TIP: Include learning the ropes as part of your plan. Even if you’re already a pro, there’s always more to learn. Learn the craft of writing and learn and test marketing strategies to find those that will work for you.
- 4. Give yourself a timeline. Don’t leave your success plan open-ended. State when you will achieve the success you want. It may be six months, it may be a year — just be sure to be realistic. Make it doable. This will help keep you on track.
- 5. Don’t just talk the talk. You must walk the walk. This means do the work. Take the action steps necessary to attain your objective. Go into it realistically, knowing it will take time and effort.
- 6. Keep positive. No matter how positive you are, there will be times when negativity rears its head. Simply stop it in its tracks. One technique is to recognize negative thoughts when they come. Suppose you’re taking all the right steps, but you just can’t seem to make it all work. You begin to doubt your ability. Take note of those thoughts and actually replace them with the vision of attaining your goal. Talking to friend, peer, or coach is another strategy to help you get back the ‘right’ mindset. You can also repeat simple positive affirmations such as “I am a successful writer; I am a successful marketer; my efforts are successful.” Come up with ones you feel comfortable with and are appropriate for you.
- 7. Keep focused and persevere. To help keep focused, prepare weekly writing and marketing plans and read them every morning, then actually act on them. It’s hard to lose focus if you keep your objective front and center. A coach or mentor can help in this area also. And in regard to perseverance, Norman Vincent Peale said, “It’s always too soon to quit.”
Nothing in life is guaranteed to go smoothly, so expect the unexpected. Know where you’re heading, envision where you want to be, and ride through any obstacles that may come your way.
What are your thoughts on the power of positive thinking to boost your freelance writing career?
Karen Cioffi is a multi-award-winning author, freelance/ghostwriter, editor, and online marketer. For more writing and marketing tips, go to her site and sign up for her free newsletter, The Writing World.