(Transcript) – How do you KNOW whether you’re going to be a successful author?

Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :   Today we are talking about how to know whether YOU are going to be a successful author, because this is like the… Thanks for sharing Ron… question that looms in the back of our mind… Miguel, you got a new handle. I haven’t followed you on Twitter yet. I haven’t even BEEN on Twitter in like several days. I’ve been, kind of, crazy – a little bit busy, [and] I’ve got to get back in my social media groove… Thank you Ron for sharing…[the looming question is], “Is this all going to be worthwhile later?”


So [for] a quick intro,  I am Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach,  editor, and author… Thanks Miguel for sharing… I run my business and my blog out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com , and I take Scope Notes for you. So if you ever want to have the notes for later http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope is where the notes and replays, and soon the transcripts, will all be, so you can always stay caught up. Yes..


Okay. So let’s get into it guys. How do you KNOW if you’re going to be a successful write? You don’t [laughter]. That’s terrible, isn’t it? You DON’T know. There’s no magic ball, or checklist. What I want to really drive home for you today is that there’s only COMMITMENT, because in the beginning no one else is going to believe in you. When you say, “Hey! I’m a writer! Or, “I’m an author!” no one is going to say, “Wow! I bet you’re going to be rich and famous!” [laughter] Has anyone EVER had that happen to them [laughter]? Have you ever told anyone at a dinner party, “I’m a writer.”, and they’re like, “Wow! You’re going to make SO MUCH money doing that.” Uh, no. No one has EVER said that, because there IS a cultural skepticism where you have this idea of the “starving artist” and the person who bartends…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Mostly pity.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    … [laughter] “Mostly pity”…   who waits tables by day, bartends at night, and writes in the middle [laughter]. Right? I mean, this is the cultural imagination of what it means to be a writer. And this is going weigh heavily on your mind unless you can make a commitment to yourself to be OKAY with that. So people aren’t doing that INTENTIONALLY. They’re really just parroting this general cultural skepticism. But it’s going to feel really heavy and discouraging to YOU, until you wrap your mind around the fact that that’s ALWAYS going to be there.


Unless you hit J.K. Rowling’s status, when you say, “I’m an author”, people are going to say, “Eh, good for you.” [laughter] If you’re LUCKY that’s what they’re going to say. So the commitment piece is that BEFORE you are a successful writer, the only one who is going to believe in your potential is YOU. So you have go to get on board with YOURSELF. You have to believe in yourself, and your potential, in order to justify GETTING UP at 4:30 in the morning to write. You have to believe in your own potential, and your own success, in order to justify hiring an editor for a draft that you finished, or in order to justify putting it up on Amazon to market, [and] to call a local book store and ask for a table to sign books. You have to believe…


Kesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) : 4:30 ???


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    : … [laughter] Kesha, yes, 4:30am. I recommend [it] [laughter]. That’s what I do… You have to believe in yourself FIRST, BEFORE you have the guts…..


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Hire this one ^^^^


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    … [laughter] Thanks Ron… to go out and do the things that will make you successful, you have to first BELIEVE in yourself that it is possible. So how do you do that?… …Thanks for the hearts guys [laughter] …  I’m recommending you have even just a few minutes – actually the longer the better, AT LEAST five  minutes, but come on…


Tracy Borgmeyer ( https://twitter.com/tracyborgmeyer ) :    Yes – she's a great editor and coach!!!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    … Oh, thanks Tracy… Tracy is JUST about to finish her book. I’m SO excited for you. I can’t believe it. It’s almost here…I’m an editor and writing coach, and it’s ALMOST more exciting for me to help a CLIENT finish a book than for me to finish my OWN book…Maybe [laughter].


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Go Tracy!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    …Yes. Ron says, “Go Tracy”… We’re all very excited. I will let you guys know as soon as her book is out too… [So I am recommending] at least five minutes. But if you can sit down and have a glass of wine with yourself, and have a serious check-in, ENVISION the reality that it will look like when YOU are a successful author. What does that MEAN to you? Get really specific here. When you say the [term] “successful author” what are you thinking? Are you thinking that it can support you FULLY…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Or two glasses.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :     … [laughter] Or two glasses… Or a shot of tequila – also my preference [laughter]… Is this something that you want to support you FULLY? What kind of a LIFESTYLE are you looking at? What do you HOPE and DREAM and WISH that this [author life] could make possible for you? Is it starting a new BUSINESS? Is it TRANSFORMING your business in some way? Is it starting a MOVEMENT?…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Support my $9 wine habit.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    … [laughter] Your $9 wine habit… That’s what Ron wants. He wants his book to support his $9 bottle of wine habit. I think that is doable Ron [laughter]. So you can be pessimistic, or you can be OPTIMISTIC. But what is the underlying purpose behind your writing? What LIFE do you hope becomes possible because of your writing.


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Sick of the $5 stuff


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :    … You got sick of the $5 stuff [laughter]…. You DOUBLED the quality of your wine. That’s really impressive [laughter]… So really think about, [and] flesh it all out in your mind. I like to WRITE it out, like “What life do I want to make possible through the writing?” Also be really realistic with this. This DOES mean you will be writing every day. If you’re going to be a successful author, are you OKAY with, I estimate, at least 500 hours a YEAR sitting down typing words? Are you okay with that? Does that sound appealing to you? Because hopefully the writing itself is enjoyable enough that you WANT to write multiple hundreds of hours every year. And HOPEFULLY it makes way for this life that you want to live. Both happen simultaneously. Do you want THAT is my is my question to you? [Is] the thought of writing multiple hundreds of hours a year AND living this life on freedom and flexibility EXCITING? Is it SO exciting that you feel like you’re going to fall out of your chair? That, for me, is like the tell-tale sign. If I get so excited [that] I’m about to FALL OVER [laughter], [and] can’t wait for that reality to happen – including the hundreds of hours of writing – then I’m on the right track. [That means] I WANT to be a successful author. If imagining those hours of writing, along with the lifestyle makes me…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Falling over!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … [laughter] Ron is falling over… develop this knot of anxiety and dread, and I don’t want that, then I need to do some serious soul-searching here, because something is off. What I’m getting at is [that] your desire to be a successful author should RAISE an energy of excitement and pursuit and enthusiasm in you. When you think about “successful author” your energy level should RAISE…


Kesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) : Sounds exciting, but I'm still in my chair ;->


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … Kesha says, “Sounds exciting, but I'm still in my chair.” [laughter]… Yeah. You know what I mean. I didn’t actually fall out of my chair EITHER, but – and I don’t want to go all “loosy-goosy woo-woo” on you here – but the VIBRATION, in terms of like REAL, physical energy. Your energy should RISE when you think of “successful author”. If, when you hear the words “successful author”, your energy LOWERS in a very REAL sense – like you become anxious, and a little bit depressed, and [you get] knots in your stomach – there is something deeper going on that you have to address BEFORE you can make the leap to to believing yourself and taking the action steps necessary to become a successful author.


So I, kind of, went a little bit around in this Scope [laughter], so let me do a little recap [so] maybe you can follow my train of thought here. The question that’s usually in the FOREFRONT of our mind is, “Am I going to be a successful author?” But I’M telling you that it starts in a different PLACE. So there’s no easy “yes or no” to, “Am I going to be a successful author?” Because FIRST you have to believe in yourself, right? In order to take all of those ACTION steps necessary; the writing, finding an editor, finding a designer to do your cover, sending query letters  – whatever action steps you have to take – YOU have to believe in yourself first, because nobody else is going to. But those action steps are the only thing that’s going to LEAD you to success.


Okay. So you have to BELIEVE in yourself first. I’m telling you [that] in order to check in with yourself about whether or not you ACTUALLY believe this is POSSIBLE, the best, sort of, exercise is to envision your life. When you say the [term] “ successful author” what do you envision. Envision the reality of writing hundreds of hours, and envision the reality of what COULD be – a lifestyle, a business, a movement, whatever it is. If that imagination RAISES your energy you’re on the right track. Stay in that energy and that will PROPEL you forward into action steps.


If you’ve got knots of anxiety and [feel] like, “Oh! This is never going to happen!” then it’s never going to happen! You might as well [just] put the PAUSE button on, and revisit what’s going on, because very likely YOU are sabotaging YOURSELF. That’s what’s going on. So if YOU are the one who is not believing that this is possible, no matter HOW MANY action steps you take, you are going to continually sabotage yourself at EVERY level. You’re going to hit the snooze button at 4:30 in the morning. You’re going to pick a crappy editor [laughter] who’s not going do anything to help your manuscript. You’re going to choose a crappy marketing service…


MIguel Rubbio ( https://twitter.com/MiguelangRubio ) : I'm going to have to catch the replay,I'm having bad connection. I'm sorry Morgan!   


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … MIguel [says], “I'm going to have to catch the replay. I'm having bad connection.”… Yeah. Sorry Miguel. I saw you hopping in and out, but the replay is up and you know where it is… So if you don’t have this foundational BELIEF that this is possible you’re going to sabotage yourself at every turn. So you need to get REAL with yourself about whether YOU, in fact, are your biggest supporter. You HAVE to be your biggest supporter. You have to be your OWN BEST coach. I say that as a writing coach, which is, sort of, funny. But if you need help sorting this out it can ALSO be good to TALK through it. Okay? [We’ve] talked about this in OTHER Scopes. If there’s ANY WAY that you can find another writer to talk to I HIGHLY recommend it, because it’s in talking through these things that we PROCESS and figure out what’s going on inside of us. And, really and truly, you need other connections, other writers…


Tracy Borgmeyer ( https://twitter.com/tracyborgmeyer ) :    Optimism always wins!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … [laughter] Tracy says, “Optimism always wins!”. We talked about that recently… You need to find AT LEAST one other person to talk to who is an OPTIMISTIC person. If you’re best friend is a “Debbie Downer” YOU’RE going to be a “Debbie Downer”…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Like on Periscope!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …Ron say, “Like on Periscope!”. That’s right…


Ron Estrada (https://twitter.com/RonEstrada ) : Or Blab.


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  …”Or Blab.”. Right…You need to find this level of positive energy within yourself – this WELL of positive energy – and if you just CAN’T find it, you ought to find someone ELSE who is ALSO a well of positive energy, and try to tap into that somehow.  But if [all you are is] DOWN on yourself, and your best friend is down on HERSELF all the time there’s nowhere to go. But if YOU are optimistic, and your best friend is optimistic, [then] you’re going up. That’s really the general message I have…


Tracy Borgmeyer ( https://twitter.com/tracyborgmeyer ) :    Don't pick Debbie Downer beta readers!


Morgan MacDonald ( https://twitter.com/morgangmac) :  … [laughter] Tracy says, “Don't pick Debbie downer beta readers!”… True statement. Your beta readers are REALLY important. Next week we’re going to talk a little bit more about the actual practical steps of writing a book, sort of, step-by-step, and beta readers are going to be PART of that PROCESS. But a really SAD moment in the life of a manuscript is when a beta reader tears it down, and then the author gives up. So be CAREFUL who you give your manuscript to before it’s finished [laughter], because if someone trashes it then you’re like, “Man, this is TERRIBLE! This is never going to work!” [laughter]. So you need positive, optimistic beta readers, and a writing coach [laughter] – just kidding, sort of.


Alrighty guys. That’s it for today. I’ve got a big editing project I’m churning through, so I’m using this as a DISTRACTION, but it’s a GOOD distraction, because you guys are fun, and you bring my ENERGY levels and my VIBRATION up, so I appreciate it. Thank you all for the hearts, and [I’ll] see you soon. Follow, and we’ll do this again tomorrow.


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