You’re on Fire—Three Keys to Writing Success


Fire needs three things—fuel, heat, and oxygen. Without any of these, there is no fire.


Success is similar. It needs these three—time, motivation, and a plan.



Did you know that you could save over $8,000 for your child’s college by saving $1 each day starting at birth? Wow! Or if you invest $5,000/year for 10 years beginning at age 25, you could have over $600,000 by age 65. (Compare this to the $400,000 earned by investing $5,000 from age 35 to 60.)

Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.

Similarly, many goals simply take time. Writing a book is rarely possible in a month. (I personally think it’s impossible for myself, but others have done it) Generally speaking, it takes months at the least to get a rough draft, followed by editing, publishing, and marketing. In all, it’s a long, tedious process, which require time and thus leads many to give up.

But you have time, right?

I’m curious if there is some tipping point for writing, at which a writer earns the right for success. It seems that any author who has published twenty novels sells them. Why? Here’s the paradox. Only by being a success can one devote that much time to novel writing.

I hope twenty is not necessary! But even just having a goal like that makes it seem possible.



Why are you writing?

Write a list of 100 reasons you want your goal. This may take a while, so keep a notepad with you for a week or so. Write down every idea, even the silly ones. Later, collect the best of them and post this list where you can see it—read it when you’re discouraged.

Here’s why. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to write a book if you lack the motivation to do so. Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”

What about when you have multiple goals, like taking care of a family? Check out these two posts: 



Although it helps to hire a coach, it is not necessary. Think through the basics and work backwards.

For example, first I need to write a book.

How long do I want it to be?

I can finish a 300 page book in one year by writing twenty-five pages each month. That means I need 6-7 pages each week, or a little over one every day Monday through Friday. Instead, if I write 1,000 words each day, it will only take 4-5 months to finish.

Then I need to publish it.

Easy decision—traditional/self publish?

Then either begin sending to agents or checking out self publishing companies.

Control what you can.

In an ideal world, you could write a best seller by writing a certain number of words each day, sending to a specific number of agents or publishers, and having enough followers on social media.

But wake up! This world is not ideal.

Can you control how many people follow you? Not exactly. But you can control how many blogs you post and how often you tweet.

Can you control whether or not an agent will accept your work? No. But you can control being prepared by checking submission guidelines and having a publishable manuscript.

Can you control how many books you sell? I wish! But you can control how many words you write.

By controlling what you can, you influence what you cannot control, eventually leading to success.

Be careful, however, NOT to stay with a plan that isn’t working. A plan is only helpful if it leads you to success.


So, go burn things. Light a fire for all the world to see. Realize that you need time to find success. Figure out why you want the goal so you stay motivated through discouragement. And have a plan that takes you from where you are to where you wish to be.

God bless and good writing.


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