In Part One I shared with you the importance of coming to grips with the fundamental idea that you must be willing to do the work. While that may seem obvious to you, the reality is we all have goals we claim to want to achieve, but never do simply because we aren’t willing to do the necessary work required.
Success takes effort and effort is the fundamental reason you get what you want in life, or you don’t. As Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
I begin there because if you fail to accept the fact that hard work is required, then all the other secrets to success do not matter. If and only if, you come to grips with this fact then you can move on to the second lesson I learned from writing my first book.
Writing isn’t all glory.
Most of the time when we picture success, we imagine the end result. In doing so, we fail to acknowledge all the early mornings and late nights it takes to achieve that magnificent result. We see the finished product in our minds and imagine all the rewards we believe it will bring us.
In my case, I had always pictured a book cover with my name on the front cover and photograph on the back. I could see my books in stores, flying off the shelves without much effort. Marketing? Who needs marketing? In my imaginary world, my books just sold.
I also imagined living the lifestyle of a successful writer. I saw myself getting up in the morning, working my way towards my desk and effortlessly entering the words into my word processor. In my fantasy world, it all seemed so simple.
After deciding it would take work to become successful and see the production of my book from the starting line to the finish, I learned there isn’t as much glory in the process as I had previously thought. In fact, the long hours sitting alone at my computer can become quite daunting.
Not only must I sit down and extract words out of nowhere, but I must also edit those words over and over again. Looking for grammar mistakes, poor word choices, misspelled words, and overall flow takes hours.
Once the first draft is completed, and the editing is done, I also learned how to create a cover that will hopefully grab my potential reader’s attention.
Next, I learned how to format my book so that it would look good on Kindle as well as in print.
The next step was learning to market it so that it doesn’t just sit on the proverbial shelf just gathering dust. Or in the case of the electronic age, getting lost in the infinite knowledge of some subcategory on Amazon, only to be found by a lonely soul beginning their search for wisdom on the 101st page of the Amazon search engine.
While I have come to enjoy every moment of my journey from the conception of my book idea to hitting publish on Amazon (four times now because I keep noticing formatting errors), I have also learned a crucial lesson of success. Not only is it hard work and you are better off excepting that up front, but it is also short in glory.
All the hours of work one contribute to becoming good at what they do is rarely seen. And when it is, it is compiled into a 90-minute documentary that undermines the overall years of dedication and hard work that helped them to gain their glory. Success then is not what one achieves, it is what one does. It is acquired by being committed to doing what others only dream of, but never do.
What dream or goal do you have that you have been putting off? If you really want to achieve it, begin by acknowledging it will take hard work and that the glory is not in showing off the end product, but rather it is in the knowing you have put in the effort day-after-day to move towards your desired result.
Until then, Live Intentionally!
Question: What dream or goal do you have that you have been putting off? You can leave a comment by clicking here.