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30 Ways to Get Out of the Author Rut: Part II

Are you in an author rut? All of us have been there. Repeat this quote to yourself each day, “Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau

Point of View.

If you believe that you are in a rut, then something happened recently to influence your mind. Your confidence had somehow been shaken. Every author goes through this from time-to-time.

What feelings do you have right now? Are you depressed with how your career is developing as an author? That is a good thing, because your brain and emotions are telling you what is right and what is wrong. But why are you feeling that now, rather than a week ago, or a month ago? Deep down, you are telling yourself that drastic changes in your life must be made.

What has to happen in order for you to believe you are an author? For example, you may only feel like an author if you sold 50,000 books. Or maybe your books have to be on the bestsellers list. Then, and only then, will you feel like an author. Or perhaps you could think like this, “If I am able to write and sell books, I would feel like an author.”

Professional authors know how to handle setbacks. Also, experienced authors handle rejection and keep their emotions on an even level. They have spent their lives fighting through tough times and know how to handle future hardships. They understand that the publishing industry is cutthroat, but nothing will get in their way.

What is your point of view?

Have Fun.

Authors in a rut cannot enjoy what they are doing. In fact, it is impossible to do much of anything. First, give yourself some credit. You work hard every day. Have a little fun to get out of that rut. Do something spontaneous. Get a massage. Play Wii all day without feeling guilty. Walk around the mall and let your mind wander. Do something that you have enjoyed in the past.

If you have fun in your life, then you can get back to having fun as an author.

Do not compare your career to other authors.

You want the type of success that Stephen King has? Okay, then you should know that he had been run over by a van and almost died while flown to the hospital. Maybe you want the type of success that Nora Roberts has? To help her family, she had to sew her children’s clothes. Maybe you want to be the next Charles Dickens. He was imprisoned for spending, “Over his means.”

The belief you have in yourself is what makes you unique. It is certainly permissible to be motivated by what other authors had to endure. Just remember that your dream has a distinctive path. If you ever become jealous of someone else’s success, then you can plan on being in a rut.

And remember that your fans are interested in you…not someone else.

Do things better than others.

Every author in the world thinks they can write better than most published authors. I think that brings out a healthy competition and motivates authors to succeed. If you are angry that the shelves are filled with average books, that anger has put you into a rut.

Then suddenly, without knowing it, your subconscious is taking pride at being less, because that is all you can think about. If you continue down this path, your rut can turn into the destruction of your career.

The good news is that your observation of weak books on the shelves, is your mind saying that you have the ability to do something about it. Motivation is more powerful than anger.

If you can really write better than most published authors, show the world what you have, instead of complaining what you do not have.

Help someone else.

Helping others is overlooked as the most significant way to succeed. For example, if you find a way to solve your reader’s problems, then you will have fans for life. If you find a way to make a true difference in the lives of your fans, then you will have success beyond your dreams. Pledge to be helpful and you will succeed.

The first step to getting out of a rut is to envision where you are going in the future. The next step is to believe it…

Ron Knight 

(Part I of this blog at www.upauthors.com/blog  More advice coming tomorrow.) 

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