Monday, June 1, 2009

Belief and Action—The Tools of Success!

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." ~David Brinkley

There's an old saying, 'you can't please all the people all the time.' Which begs the question, why would we want to? When did we decide our Job was to please others? Although it may be a strange question to consider, I think as writers it's bound to come up.

Here's why. We Want Readers. We want readers to enjoy our books and to read them. Agents and editors have a vested interest in making sales, so they have their own personal stake in this (which often may be driven right through the heart of the book we adore).

So… what to do?

First thing is to remember is this. Writing is an art. Can an artist switch to please the market and be successful? Or happy? Hmmmm…

"At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important"M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher is known for his brilliant, precise work. Drawings and etchings of such magnificent complexity it truly boggles the mind. His work features alternate realities and optical illusions with a strong mathematical component. Now, imagine for a moment if he fretted about chasing the market and instead focused on painting in an impressionistic style. Or if the daring masters of Impressionism balked under public pressure (the "newfangled approach" baffled and offended many at the time).

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." ~Vincent Van Gogh

While we do need to balance an awareness of the market in our work, moving forward is essential. Part of moving forward is to Embrace What You Love To Write.

"The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable." ~Paul Tillich

Here's a thought. There's someone out there who will love your voice, even if you first encounter a dozen who don't. The more books you write, the more books you submit, the more books you publish, the greater the chance You Will Find Your Audience.

Yet there will be fans who feel dismayed or betrayed. Who imagine the story being something different. Or who wish you would write in a particular way. When some romance authors made the change to suspense (Lisa Jackson, for example), fans were disappointed. And boy did they let her know it.

Pete Forever, Ringo Never… Heck, when the Beatles switched out Pete Best for Ringo Starr their fans were outraged too. And we all know how THAT worked out. *smile*

"Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality." ~Les Brown

As a writer, you will face naysayers before you finish that first manuscript. When you're submitting, the rejections will feel like a slap in the face. *sigh* The reviews will sometimes hit you where it hurts. *groan* So, what are you going to do about that? Well, I have an idea. WRITE! Write, write, and write some more. You Are A Writer. You Can Do It! Dare to dream, dare to write.

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." ~Jean Sibelius

Critics can explain in great detail why something won't work (Thank Goodness the Wright Brothers didn't listen) but what do they know? You can spend your life reinforcing all the negative crap that is flung your way OR you can realize this. You Are A Success. You Can Achieve Anything. Anything at all.

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway." ~Mary Kay Ash

Here's an inspiring tidbit. At age 45, Mary Kay Ash quit her sales job when yet another fellow SHE Had Trained got promoted above her. (Let's all chime in with a collective, Grrrrrrr…) Determined to prove she had the Right Stuff, she started her own business with five grand. Within two years, Mary Kay Cosmetics sales hit the $2 million mark. Talk about determination! So flap those wings, fellow authors, and take to the skies!

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown

Take a moment and breathe deep. Close your eyes and wiggle your fingers and toes. Consider all your dreams, your ambitions, your hopes for the future. Now… Visualize The Reality You Want To Create. If you're working on your first (or fifth) manuscript, visualize typing the words The End. If you're sending out a query (or ten), picture an agent or editor devouring your story, then picking up the phone and giving you a call. Visualize your gorgeous shiny book clutched in your trembling hands. If you're waiting for reviews, paint a picture in your mind of the Best Review Ever.

I'm serious now. Take a few moments and etch that image until you feel the excitement tingling inside. Once you get that tingle, say these words: This Is The Truth. This Is My True Reality. I Am A Success. Anything else is simply an illusion I no longer need. This Is My True Reality.

Belief and Action are the tools you need to make it happen. Write Your Books. Believe In Your Success. You Can Do It!

One more piece to inspire you…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson A Return to Love

Here's to another productive week tingling with potential! Go-go-GO!!

Chiron O'Keefe
Also Featured at Pop Culture Divas!


Carol Ericson said...

Great post, Chiron. I ALWAYS visualize! It gives me hope and makes me feel good. Sure there are disappointments, but if we succeeded all the time at everything, there would be no joy or excitement in the success.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Excellent advice! :-) Seems my voice catches people one of two ways: they love my work or hate it to the depths of their souls. There is no middle ground. :-) I'm glad for that because it makes people think and it surely makes them never forget ;-)

My favorite quote right now comes from Duff Goldman, the Ace of Cakes on the Food Network: "Maybe they'll take one look at my cake and say wow, that's a horrible cake. But at least they'll say wow." (paraphrase).

I want to make people say wow :-)

J Hali said...

How true! Chiron, each time I visit your site, I understand "The Write Soul"! Well done, again.

Sandy said...

Yes, you have to believe in yourself and do what is right for you in spite of the naysayers, Chiron.

I ran into that at my chapter meeting Saturday. I mentioned that I had three sex scenes in Addiction, the book coming out in November. The woman I was talking to said to close the door on sex. Needless, to say, I'm going to talk about sex on my blog next Monday. Smile. There will be a lot of comments then. lol

lienaferror said...

Awesome post, Chiron. It is so true. Our worst critic is ourself. Well, at least for me. But your quote about nobody erecting a statue to a critic made me grin.

Thanks for an excellent post.

Liena Ferror

Tiffany James said...


I posted a couple of the quotes from this post into my "Inspiration" file. Then a couple of your paragraphs. Then I just gave up and printed the whole damn thing. It's now hanging next to my computer!

When I closed my eyes and it felt good! I'm going to hang onto that, check in with your post frequently and get this WIP finished and out the door!

Thanks for your wonderful inspiration and motivation.


Chiron said...

Hello Carol!

You make a good point. One of the reasons I moved from Southern Cal to the Pacific Northwest! Seasons come and go. The winters make us appreciate spring all the more.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Chiron said...

Hello Sandra!

Okay, that made me laugh. *snort* Yup, love us or hate us, we all prefer to make an impact. Look at Simon Cowell! Thanks for jumping in!


Chiron said...

Oh J,

Thanks so much. What a lovely thing to say. *blush* You're a treasure!


Chiron said...

Hey Sandy!

Oh wow. And to think I got grief for NOT including sex! *snort* As the old saying goes, you can please some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but never both!!

Looking forward to your 'sexy' blog. *grin*


Chiron said...

Hello Liena!

That really is a great quote, isn't it? I still remember Eleanor Roosevelt's quote: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.Bottom-line, our view of ourselves is what leaves the door open to criticism from others or slams it shut! My goal is to treat myself with the same kindness I would treat my best friend. After all, if we don't look out for ourselves, who will?

Thanks for visiting!!


Chiron said...

Ah, Tiffany, what a nice thing to hear! Bless your heart, you really made my day. *smile*

Here's to keeping that motivation up and writing our own happy endings. *grin*


Celia Yeary said...

Chiron--I see we have somewhat similar posts this week--in a way. Yours is just more sophisticated than mine! But then, I never have been so. Are you saving all your blogs? You might want to compile them someday--they're good. Just a thought. I save mine, but it's only because I never discard anything.Very well done. Celia

Miss Mae said...

Chiron, I've wanted to hold my "own" book in my hands since I was ten years old. When my "Said the Spider to the Fly" finally arrived this past March (my second sale, but first in print), I had my hubby to open the box and then I stared at them to see if they were real. He and I had to do a "happy dance of joy" to celebrate my achievement! LOL

Kathy Otten said...

Great post, probably because I struggle so much with self-doubt. I love Van Gough's art work, thanks for sharing his quote.

Linda LaRoque said...

Another wonderful post, Chiron, and so true. We must please ourselves before we can please anyone else.


Chiron said...

Oh, Celia, thanks so much! I do keep all my blogs. In fact, I must confess sometimes when my schedule gets too packed I do a 're-run', like I did this week. Luckily, it still seems to resonate with people!

Someday I may compile a selection of my essays and offer them as a motivational book for writers. When the time is just 'write'. *grin*

Bless you for your kind words!


Chiron said...

Hello Miss Mae!

Why of course you did a happy dance! It's really the only proper response to a Dream Come True, after all! *wink* Good for you, my dear. YOU are a successful, published writer. *high-five*


Chiron said...

Hi Kathy!

I have yet to meet a writer who doesn't struggle with self-doubt. *sympathetic hug* It's the nature of the biz, I think. I love Van Gogh's art and his quote too! Very inspirational.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Chiron said...

Thanks, Linda! It's so true... I think it's part of the growth cycle that writers have to come to that realization. To *know* that their truest audience must be their own selves.

Thanks for being here, my dear!


EA said...

Finally, I got to your blog! I must have typing it wrong, leaving a letter out or something. I've been here before, but it's been some time. Lovely post, Chiron. Always uplifting, always positive.

Chiron said...

Evie! So great to see you here!

I know how it goes trying to find blogs. Once I kept clinking a link a friend sent me to no avail. Finally I used a search engine and found it. Whew! If you have a google account, you can sign up to be a follower and then just go in through the dashboard. I do that with the blogs I want to keep in touch with. It makes life easier overall. *grin* Thanks for making an effort to find me!

Also, Thanks SO MUCH for your kind words about my essays. You really made me glow! *grin*