The Business of Writing

Making Sense of Misfortune: Deservingness, Self-Esteem, and Patterns of Self-Defeat

1 August 2014

From The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:

Drawing on theorizing and research suggesting that people are motivated to view their world as an orderly and predictable place in which people get what they deserve, the authors proposed that (a) random and uncontrollable bad outcomes will lower self-esteem and (b) this, in turn, will lead to the adoption of self-defeating beliefs and behaviors.

. . . .

Most people can remember an occasion when through bad luck or bad timing they experienced a negative outcome, such as ending up on the losing side of a coin flip, failing an important task despite their best intentions and efforts, or accidently causing someone else harm or embarrassment. Anecdotal observation and experimental evidence suggest that such negative experiences, despite being unintended and unforeseeable, often elicit feelings of guilt and sadness.
. . . .

Perhaps even more intriguing and puzzling is research showing that people may be so moved by these experiences that they will even devalue themselves.
. . . .

For instance, Comer and Laird (1975) found that a large majority of their participants who were randomly assigned to suffer an ill-fate (i.e., to eat a live worm) later chose to suffer the same ill-fate even when they were given the opportunity to opt for a less aversive outcome. In a similar vein, innocent victims of extreme injustices (e.g., rape victims) sometimes try to breathe meaning into their experiences by devaluing, or somehow finding fault in, themselves.

. . . .

The notion that people may, at times, adopt self-defeating beliefs and behaviors following negative experiences may become less of a paradox in light of what we know about the psychology of deservingness.

. . . .

Specifically, theorizing and research—much of it originating with Lerner’s (1980) Just World Theory—indicates that people need to maintain the belief that the world is basically an orderly, non-random place where people—including ourselves—get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

. . . .

We adopted Baumeister and Scher’s (1988) definition of self-defeating behavior as “any deliberate or intentional behavior that has clear, definitely or probably negative effects on the self or the self’s projects” (p. 3). Specifically, we tested the general idea that, to the extent people are motivated to view the world as an orderly place that conforms to rules of deservingness, they might adopt various self-defeating beliefs and behaviors (e.g., self-handicapping, thoughts of self-harm, choosing to self-punish) following the experience of misfortune because people feel compelled to view misfortune—even though, by definition, it is uncontrollable—as deserved.

Link to the rest at The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

PG wonders whether continuing in an abusive business relationship with a traditional publisher is like eating worms because the author has devalued him/herself.

How Big is Your Pond?

14 July 2014

From NYT besteller and former writing professor Dave Farland:

Many new authors feel torn between two loves. They might ask, “Should I write science fiction, or should I focus more on young adult novels? Which way should I go?” There are three answers to this question.

You should be aware that this really is a big problem. I know many authors who start writing for small markets, only to realize that they can’t make a living in that market. For example, one author who pens religious fiction for a small church recently came to me for help, trying to figure out how to crack the national thriller market. He was one of the best-sellers in his pond, but it is a very small pond. So far, he is still struggling to make it big. Another who was writing little novels about kids on sports teams wanted to move into YA fantasy—and fortunately he was able to quickly transition into a much larger pond. He went from making perhaps $10,000 per novel to making, literally, millions.

. . . .

So, here is my advice.

1) Write what you love the most. When you love one particular genre more than another, you will usually invest yourself into it more fully, master it more quickly, and develop a name. It is possible to write a truly monumental novel in just about any genre. So if you’re 80% drawn to, say, science fiction and only 20% drawn to young adult, the choice should be easy, right?

But hold on just one moment!

Yesterday I read a piece of advice that said, “Write what you love.” The author pointed out that when George R. R. Martin wrote Game of Thrones, the fantasy genre was “mostly dead.” He stated that when Rowling wrote Harry Potter, she was writing the same Middle Grade story about a wizard school that had been written dozens of times before, and no one expected it to go big.

However, I have to say this. When Martin wrote Game of Thrones in 1996, fantasy was doing quite well. Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Stephen Donaldson, and a host of others were all making a very good living in the field. That was just about the time that I jumped into it. So it wasn’t “mostly dead” at that time, it was the healthiest that it had ever been.

And with Rowling? She was writing Middle Grade, jumping into a pond that is quite large, where authors often do strike it rich. For example, when R.L. Stine wrote in the Goosebumps series in the mid-1990s, he captured 45% of all sales in his market for a time, making tens of millions. Now, it’s true that others had written novels about schools for wizards (heck, I began writing one when I was 17), but Rowling’s love for the idea really did shine through. Hers was by far the best.

So really loving a genre is important, but it helps immensely if that genre is already huge.

. . . .

So if you’re 50/50 on which field to write in, money might sway you. Just be aware that genres are always shifting in popularity. Editors right now are getting a little jaded about dystopian YA, and it might be more difficult to sell this year than it was three years ago. So try to stay educated on your markets.

Link to the rest at Dave Farland and thanks to Eric for the tip.

Do Writers Need a Union?

6 July 2014

From Hugh Howey:

SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is drawing heat in some quarters for endorsing Hachette’s side in the ongoing negotiations with Amazon. The move was made unilaterally and without the consultation of its members (of which I am one). Author Don Sakers posted on his blog that SFWA does not represent him, and I add my voice to Don’s.

On the website ThePassiveVoice, commenters bring up trade and labor disputes and organizations, and I think these and class warfare comments I’ve seen elsewhere are spot-on. Trade fiction and narrative nonfiction authors do not have any meaningful representation. There is no group busting balls on behalf of writers, and there are a lot of balls out there to be busted. Amazon, the Big 5, B&N, Apple, Google … no one is fighting these people for better terms and pay. The Writers’ Guild seems to exist to fight Amazon and stands for the rights of bookstores and major publishers.

. . . .

So what we’re seeing is a protest of a lot of little voices, and they add up. It’s what a union is supposed to do, to unite a bunch of smaller, weaker forces so they can negotiate with a single, larger force. Writers have never had this before. I’m not confident they have it now. There is excitement from some, but also a call from others to get back to work, that this doesn’t affect us. Protests pop up now and then, but they rarely sustain themselves. They fizzle.

Here’s the tricky thing, I’m learning: How can anyone represent so many disparate interests? I sympathize with unions and trade groups like never before, as people are emailing me to ask me what authors stand for. I can’t speak for writers.

. . . .

Our readers are probably the one thing I can say with confidence that we love and adore. Without them, we in this trade are whispering to ourselves. Starting from there, I might be comfortable saying that anyone who serves our readers and facilitates our getting together with them is better than anyone who abuses our readers and works to keep us apart. I would sign that charter, and I think most writers would.

When physical bookstores decided to ban Amazon imprint titles, thinking that attacking a tiny fraction of larger Amazon was worth decimating the individual authors, they fell into the coming-between-us camp. When 5 out of the then-Big-6 got together to raise prices on consumers, they fell into the coming-between-us-camp. When B&N refused to stock Simon & Schuster authors last year, and when they decided to manipulate their online bestseller lists, they fell into the coming-between-us-camp. These middlemen work to blockade. Whatever you think of Amazon’s faults, they have worked to unite storytellers with listeners and readers. They have done this like perhaps no other entity in history.

So when this division broke, there was of course a 1% element to this movement not unlike many other protests. A small group of elitists think the universe aligns with their ideals. The system that made them rich is to be preserved, and screw anyone who disagrees. When you gain power, you tend to use it to maintain power, not to empower others. Human history is littered with these stories. But all it takes is a few megaphones in the crowd and gathering bodies to show them the other side.

. . . .

My fear, however, is that nothing will change. Nothing will come of this. I think the power is in the hands of our opponents, because they own the media (actually, the media owns them. Several of the major publishers are owned by companies like CBS). They have the bigger names. They also have the support of a lot of mid-list writers who really want to make the jump up and win the respect of those above them. And there are a lot of readers who haven’t given indie books a chance and see us as ditherers and cranks.

So I don’t have my hopes up, which is rare for me. My unabashed optimism is on hiatus. What I do see is the potential, the response to be had if there’s the right spark. And it highlights for me the need for a trade organization that represents writers, an organization with a focus on those who NEED representation, not those at the very top.

Link to the rest at Hugh Howey and thanks to SFR for the tip.

PG is grateful for Hugh’s kind words about his assistance to authors.

PG believes a strong and articulate association representing the interests of all authors – indie and traditional – would be beneficial. By their nature, authors are scattered and focused on their individual labors. The Internet has done wonderful things to create communities of interest, but that doesn’t always translate into influence in the non-internet world.

The artificial distinction between traditionally-published authors and indie authors does not enhance authors’ overall power and influence. As Hugh suggests, PG believes this distinction includes an elitist attitude on the part of some tradpub authors. Joe Konrath’s Stockholm Syndrome comparison may also apply.

Both indie and traditional authors are involved in the disparate power relationship between themselves as individuals and large corporate organizations.

Some individuals and groups have tried to form associations for indie authors, but PG isn’t certain any have really taken hold yet.

PG isn’t certain exactly how he can help, but he’s happy to contribute to a larger effort to create an effective organization of authors.

Amazon, Hachette, Publishing, Etc — It’s Not a Football Game, People

4 July 2014

From John Scalzi:

And now, some thoughts on subjects pertaining to publishing. I’ll use myself as an example for much of this.

1. I am in business with Amazon, though its Audible.com subsidiary. As you might be able to tell by my post yesterday, I am deeply happy with my experience working with Audible (and thus, by extension, Amazon). They’ve been a very good business partner to me.

2. I am also in business with Hachette, via its Gollancz imprint in the UK. I think what Amazon’s doing to US Hachette authors at the moment well and truly sucks. I heartily remind people that just because Amazon has been screwing these authors by making it impossible to buy their books there, doesn’t mean you can’t get those books — pretty much immediately — from all sorts of other retailers, including local bookstores. This might also be a fine time to install a Kobo or Nook or iBook app on your tablet or smartphone and diversify your eBook retailers.

. . . .

4. I am in business with Macmillan, through Tor Books. As most of you know, I have been very happy with Tor, who treats me very well and who is very supportive of my career; I have the career I have because Tor has done well by me. What most of you may not know is that one major reason there was a three-year gap betweenZoe’s Tale and Fuzzy Nation was because Tor and I had a substantial business disagreement, and I chose not to write new work for Tor for a while. The details of that disagreement are not important now — water under the bridge — but it was significant enough that I walked away from the company and worked on other things. Then it was done, we came to an understanding, and now we are working together again, quite happily.

. . . .

Publishing is a business. As a writer, you are enaging in business with others, sometimes including large corporations. It’s not a team sport. It’s not an arena where there are “sides.” There’s no “either/or” choice one has to make, either with the businesses one works with or how one publishes one’s work. Anyone who simplifies it down to that sort of construct either doesn’t understand the business or is actively disingenuous, and isn’t doing you any favors regardless. The “side” you should be on is your own (and, if you choose, that of other authors).

These businesses and corporations are not your friends. They will seek to extract the maximum benefit from you that they can, and from others with whom they engage in business, consistent with their current set of business goals. This does not make them evil — it makes them business entities (they might also be evil, or might not be, but that’s a different thing). If you’re treating these businesses as friends, you’re likely to get screwed.

Link to the rest at Whatever and thanks to Liana and several others for the tip.

99% of what Writers are hearing in terms of advice comes from 1% of Authors

29 June 2014

From author Bob Mayer:

[W]e want to hear from success stories, not failures. Still, if it were easy to replicate those successes, then everyone would be doing it. Plus, many success stories feel their path is thepath, and don’t take into account not only other paths, but the changes in the business and even in story telling since they started.

For decades the spiel was pretty much the same: write a great novel following a traditional form of narrative structure (I still teach the five part structure) and then query an agent, hope the agent takes you on, then the agent pitches an editor, etc. etc. etc.

That’s somewhat true now, but there are so many more options, if I were new to publishing I’d be completely confused, as many writers I’ve met at conferences are.

First—does what the 1% say regarding their career path even apply any more? Things are different now than they were just six months ago. For trad authors issues like rights granted, reversion clauses, and non-compete clauses are growing more and more important. For indie authors, the market is saturated, so how do you get a toehold in it and leverage your way up, especially if you don’t have backlist, which is the conundrum for the new author?

When I was listening to an agent present I felt like I was in a time warp going back five years or more. Much of what she said was applicable but some of it had cobwebs hanging all over it. In fact, the success story she touted was a couple of years out of date and no longer applicable. But in a similar manner, I’ve heard some on the indie side speak and while what they say is often cutting edge, the cut is often very much slanted toward indie, while disparaging to trad publishing. I tend to believe for a new author, trad is probably the better option simply because the learning curve in publishing is so steep, that to learn it and break in while publishing yourself (while still writing, being a parent, working a job, etc.) might be more a cliff than a curve.

Link to the rest at Write on the River and thanks to Glinda for the tip.

Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing: #8… I’ve Missed the Boat

16 June 2014

From Dean Wesley Smith:

Myths ignore facts. Myths are often beliefs built from fear or past actions.

In this series, and in the previous series of Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing, I call the myths that control writers “Sacred Cows.”

Writers hold onto myths like lifelines that are keeping them from drowning in a raging river of information. Sometimes sane people in the normal world will follow a publishing myth that makes no sense at all because it has something to do with the publishing business. And they follow the myth without thought.

So this new series is an attempt to help the new world of indie publishing with the growing list of myths that plague it.

The eighth myth to hit Indie writers and publishers is this:

I HAVE MISSED MY CHANCE

…or in similar think…I AM SO FAR BEHIND, WHY BOTHER STARTING?

This myth, of course, has a lot of origins, but the biggest one is the totally false thinking that this indie world is a gold rush. Nope. It’s not anymore. Indie publishing is now a new part of publishing here to stay for any foreseeable future.

And it might, if some people are correct, become the dominant form of publishing. Who knows.

. . . .

But this new world has made it very, very possible for writers with no knowledge of the publishing business to get their books to readers directly. That ability for nonprofessional publishing professionals and writers has only been around since the KDP program started up.

Those early few years of this new wave happened fast, first with the KDP program, followed by Smashwords, and then B&N opening up their bookstores. That was followed by the POD programs to get paper into regular bookstores. All those changes happened seemingly instantly and every indie publisher seemed to be in a huge hurry.

Kris and I were no exception to that in those first few years. It felt like a gold rush, no doubt.

But then everything settled. The explosive growth of electronic books has slowed to a tiny and healthy growth. We are now in a new normal.

Granted, there are major changes coming in publishing because of disruptive technology hitting big companies not capable of handling the changes. But for indie publishers, we are now playing on a level field with all traditional publishers.

. . . .

— First off, stop comparing yourself to other people.

Look around at what other indie publishers are doing and learn and adapt ideas that work for you and ignore all the rest.

— Ask yourself a simple question. “Do I want to be in this exact spot five years from now?”

If the answer is no, then start figuring out where you want to be in five years and in ten years. For those of you without any sense of business, this is called “Making a Business Plan.”

Link to the rest at Dean Wesley Smith

The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

12 June 2014

From author Russell Blake:

Why do some succeed, but most fail? Is it random chance, or is there more to it? Are there habits that successful people have, that their less successful brethren don’t? Sure. There are countless books on the topic. They involve things like being driven, focused, organized, hard working, etc.

So that’s not what this blog’s about. Instead, I thought I’d list the seven habits of highly ineffective people – people who don’t seem to accomplish nearly what their successful peers do, no matter the timing, or the industry. I’m using self-publishing as an example, but these are constants in any industry.

. . . .

3) Treat your muse as though it were an uncontrollable force of nature, like rain or snow. Completely outside of your ability to make it dance for you. Another aspect of this odd view is that everyone’s different, and not everyone can be creative on command, or work up the motivation to write on a regular schedule. Tell that to the countless Hollywood script writers, journalists, ad copy and web content creators who do in fact create to a schedule in order to be paid. There’s a word for those who can’t master their muse: Unemployed, at least if they’re writers. Or broke, if you prefer brevity.

. . . .

5) Have no consistency to your work. Jump around a lot of different genres and ignore what’s working. Keep your readers guessing what your next one’s going to be about, how long or short it will be, when it will be released, or even whether there will be a next one. The ineffective seem to mistake the liberty to fail in multiple genres or form factors with freedom of expression. They ignore the avisos to stick to your knitting, preferring to write whatever their illusive and mercurial muse dictates. Generally to empty seats. A good warning sign is if you’re asking questions like, “Why don’t my short stories sell?” or “Who says you have to do a series to make a decent living at this?” on author forums.

Link to the rest at Russell Blake and thanks to Eric for the tip.

With ‘Stay Lit,’ Writers Persevere in a Hostile World

11 June 2014

From The New York Times:

Writing is scary. It is especially scary now, as advances shrink, publishers fight with Amazon, and the death of the novel is forecast with ever-increasing frequency. It’s a time when it would make a lot of sense to quit — and a time when simply not quitting is becoming its own art form.

Those who leave academia have “quit lit” — stories of how and why they exited an institution that they felt undervalued them and their work. But many creative writers today seem to be writing what you might call “stay lit” — accounts of how the publishing world has bruised and sometimes bloodied their egos, and why they’re still writing anyway.

In an essay recently published on The Rumpus, the novelist Russell Rowland describes being dropped by his agent after years of underwhelming books sales and dwindling advances, the most recent in the two figures. These disappointments weigh on him: “Every time I get my royalty statements, which come every six months, my resolve gets tested in ways that sometimes take weeks to overcome.” Yet he keeps coming back: “The desire to write, it seems, is a sickness for which there is no cure. Except writing.”

. . . .

Stay lit is practiced by writers with more success under their belts as well. Emily Gould wrote in Medium about the slow realization that, despite a big advance for her memoir, she wouldn’t be able to support herself with writing:

“In January 2013 I began a full-time job that, while it leaves me no time to write, is helping me slowly repay the debts I incurred by imagining that writing was my livelihood. Act 1 is over — it’s been over for a while — and I’m headed back into the woods.”

. . . .

“I have this kneejerk desire to be honest about it. It’s never just what it appears to be. Writing lives and writing careers are very hard-won even when they’re successful, and I feel like it’s important to say all that, and to be open about that because otherwise, especially because we all do what we do alone in a room, there’s a tendency to think, Oh, it’s just me.”

For her, this kind of openness feels especially important at a time when she and many other writers maintain upbeat social media presences that might make things look more effortless than they are: “I know almost no writer who isn’t always kind of scrappily figuring it out, living by our wits in various ways, whether it’s teaching or it’s lecturing or it’s writing for Big Pharma or it’s ghostwriting or it’s doing editorial work, and I just think that that’s important especially in this age of the curated self-image, for people to know.”

Link to the rest at The New York Times and thanks to Andy for the tip.

This woman is writing a VC-backed novel & looking for new revenue for book publishers

5 May 2014

From VentureBeat:

What comes to your mind when you put Charles Dickens and soap operas together?

For Michelle Miller, a banker-turned-writer, it’s a venture-capital backed serial novel that’s trying to create a new revenue model in the much-squeezed book industry.

With its own music, audio, and photography, The Underwriting runs like a TV series. Each Wednesday, it releases a new “episode” on its website and will be free to read for 24 hours. After the “air,” the episode will only become available by subscription, which costs readers $1.50.

At a time when the traditional publishing industry is constantly challenged by the digital media, The Underwriting tries to find a new space for not-so-established writers to distribute their books. Unlike traditional publishing houses that design, package, and market the books, or self-publishing platforms such as Amazon.com that only distributes e-books for self-publishers, The Underwriting takes the responsibility of both publishing and distributing.

. . . .

 Though the self-publishing percentage seems more tempting for authors, Miller said authors actually couldn’t get as much since they have to pay for design and marketing out of their own pockets. The problem with traditional publishing, on the other hand, is that not so much effort would be put into a book written by an unknown author.

. . . .

The revenue model of The Underwriting allows the author to take full control of the costs and profits of the publishing process. Besides the $1.50 per-episode fee or the $10 subscription fee for all 12 episodes this “season”, the author also profits from the sponsorship provided by various companies, including boutique confectionery Lavolio and mobile hotel booking app Hotel Tonight. Readers who purchase an episode of The Underwriting will get a discount for the products of that week’s sponsor, and part of the sales revenue generated by the readers will go to The Underwriting.

No gains come without investment. To create the multisensory experience, Miller has to put together her own team of editor, designer, photographer, music composer, web developer, and audiobook narrators. Though she raised money from angel investors and venture capitalists from both the U.S. and the U.K., recruiting the team was costly.

Still, Miller said she’s profiting more than she would have been earning had she published with Amazon.com. So far, The Underwriting has more than 6,000 monthly readers, most of which come from Miller’s targeted cities: New York, San Francisco, and London.

Link to the rest at VentureBeat

Author Myths – 3

4 May 2014

From suspense writer Russell Blake:

In this final installment, I cover a few of the most destructive myths. A warning before you read further: if you’re looking for feel good affirmations, this ain’t gonna be your brand of cereal. But I’ve always believed that it’s best to go into any enterprise with your eyes wide open. God knows I’ve done a few where I didn’t, and those were always failures.

(1) Write a good book and you will make decent money. Or write a lot of good books and you will make decent money. Would that it were so. Reality is that the overwhelming majority of good books, which is to say competently written-and-edited tomes, fail to sell much. That’s the harsh truth. If you dislike that fact, that’s fine. The world should be fair, but it’s not. Puppies starve or are crushed by cars or brutalized by sadists every day, good, hard working people are maimed or killed in horrible circumstances, and evil men who have never contributed anything worthwhile to the world prosper while screwing everyone else. So let’s get clear on that. The world is not only not fair, but it’s highly unfair much of the time. Never more so than in the arts.

In the old days of trad publishing, if you rubbed shoulders with the right people in a small area of New York, your odds of being published were off the charts compared to the great unwashed. One of the reasons is because of nepotism. It’s natural. People are more likely to sign you if they know you. Just the way things work. But even so, that was no guarantee you’d have much more than bragging rights. Because readers reject most books traditional publishing slings at them. Whether that’s because the trad establishment’s hopelessly out of touch with what the vast majority of readers prefer and are victims of their own inbred literary tastes, which are usually far more advanced and nuanced than yours or mine, or because nobody has the faintest idea what the public prefers (even on their best day), is debatable. If you’re reading this, it’s probably not your problem, because you’ve chosen to self-publish. Which is a double-edged sword.

Let’s assume you’ve written a good book. Hell, let’s assume it’s a frigging awesome book. I mean, Lord of the Flies-level prose, an incredibly innovative story with unexpected hooks and a message frenzied crowds can rally behind, mesmerizing mastery of craft…the whole shooting match. And let’s further assume you package it well, and have a competent editor polish it, and a proofreader catch most of the nits. You put it out there with an awesome cover and a breathtaking blurb, you do all the right things, you tweet, you facebook, you advertise, you blog, you do interviews, you go to bookstores and kiss babies and shake hands…and nothing happens. The book doesn’t move. You’ve lost a grand or two and are scratching your head, or if like me, are standing on the roof of your house, brandishing a broadsword and a tequila bottle, screaming incoherently at passers-by whilst making obscene gestures with your man thong. Meanwhile, your slow cousin who can barely cobble together three sentences makes a hundred grand from her zombie-vampire love triangle potboiler, with more typos per page than a prison menu and a plot that would make Dr. Seuss cringe.

. . . .

It’s a depressing business. There’s no certainty to any of it. You dance at the king’s pleasure, and there’s no reason to it – it seems completely random…and yes, unfair. Most authors I talk to don’t like hearing that, or think that somehow, they’re the exception. Only they aren’t. Everyone thinks they’re the exception. Every. Single. Person. They’re right and they’re wrong. We’re all special snowflakes, but the world doesn’t really give a crap. So what to do?

I’m a big proponent of choosing a genre that can support you, which means one that’s popular, and sticking to it (with the caveat that if it doesn’t meet your expectations after a massive, concentrated effort, pay attention to the result you’re getting, and switch to something with better odds). I’m also big on publishing regularly, meaning every three or four months (more often if possible) if you intend to make this your living. I’m huge on pro editing and covers and proofreading. I consider your cover and your blurb essential to success. But those are the basics. Important basics, but still, building blocks.

. . . .

What’s my point? That self-publishing is both exciting in its possibilities and daunting in its requirements. And that very few businesses succeed, whether it’s a new shoe shop, or a convenience store, or a restaurant, or a software start-up…or a publishing company. But it’s more possible now to succeed than at any point in the past. I’m living proof. Authors like Bella Andre (who I’ll be featuring this month on an Author Spotlight), Holly Ward, Melissa Foster, Barbara Freethy, Courtney Milan, Hugh Howey, LT Ryan, CJ Lyons, Jay Allen, Saxon Andrew, Joe Nobody, BV Larson, Colleen Hoover, and on and on and on, are doing it every day, and making bank. They’re all exceptions. Every single one. Not one chose the same path. Not one did exactly the same thing. They all made their own way, in their own way.

The good news is there’s plenty of room for more. The question is not whether there will be more, the question is whether you will be one of them, and what your plan is to get there.

Link to the rest at Russell Blake and thanks to John for the tip.

UPDATE: Originally, PG inadvertently put up excerpts from the first of three posts that Russell created. This repeated something PG did a few weeks ago. This updated version is an excerpt from Post# 3, which PG intended to include in the first place.

PG must remember to ignore the squirrels while blogging.

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