Friday, January 9, 2015

Edie Melson: Life Lessons For Writers

Everyone's Story welcomes author and blogger extraordinaire Edie Melson. Edie is my go-to expert when I need advice on blog kinks or other related social media dilemma. I'm a fan and subscriber to her blog, The Write Conversation. She has a generous heart, which I'm grateful for. It's my pleasure to host Edie this new "blog week" and I'm sure you will enjoy visiting Edie as well. Please check out her lovely BookGiveaway. We're both looking forward to hearing from you.



BookGiveaway:
Edie is offering 1 copy of either her FIGHTING FEAR: Winning The War At Home or CONNECTIONS: Social Media and Networking Techniques For Writers to 1 randomly drawn commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, January 16th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment



Life Lessons—14 Things We Do To Keep From Being Successful In Writing and in Life by Edie Melson

I’ve never met a person—writer or otherwise—who didn’t want to be successful. Sure everyone’s definition of success is different, but we all want to succeed. And a lot of blogs offer advice on how to find that success. And while it’s vitally important to learn how to write well, network, and market. Often those aren’t the only things that stand between us and our goals.

The one thing I’ve discovered on my own writing journey is that I’m often my own worst enemy. I’m the person who has—most often—stood between me and success. So today I’m sharing 14 things we do to KEEP from being successful.

1. We spend too much time watching TV. There are some great television shows out there right now (Castle, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D, Bones, are some of my favorites). And while they can provide inspiration, they can also stand between me and writing time. I have to decide which is more important, writing or watching TV.

2. We spend too much time reading about writing instead of writing. You’ve seen this one a lot on my blog lately. But the reason is that I’m running into this a lot with wannabe writers.

3. We don’t track our time online. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re surfing the web. Social media (can anyone say Facebook?) is a big sinkhole for time. Because of this, I pay very close attention to the clock when I’m online.

4. We don’t follow a schedule. I get a lot done during my writing day, and the primary reason is that I follow a schedule. I’ve learned that it’s the best way for me to stay productive with my ADD tendencies.

5. We don’t set goals. It’s really hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.

6.  We don’t have a plan or track our progress. Just like #5 above. If you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to tell if you’re actually making progress. Beyond that, if you’re not tracking your progress, it’s much easier to get discouraged and give up.

7. We rely too much on inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is great, but perspiration is gold. The transition from writing as a hobby to serious writing comes right here. It’s when a writer can and will put words on paper even when he doesn’t feel like it.

8. We make too many assumptions. Making assumptions is rarely a good idea, and that’s especially true in the publishing industry.

9. We aren’t willing to wait. Waiting is never fun. And patience isn’t in my arsenal of super powers. But I’ve learned how this business works and waiting is part of it. If you’re willing to wait, good things will come.

10. We don’t listen to the experts. I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to me as a freelance editor and paid me to edit a manuscript. Then, completely ignored my advice. I get that it’s our work and we’re in charge, but don’t ask my advice if you’re just going to argue with my expertise. That’s a waste of my time and your money.

11. We take the advice of EVERYONE. No this isn’t contradicting #10. Choose the people you take advice from and realize that not every piece of advice is the right thing for you.

12. We read passively. Words are our business. Don’t waste an opportunity to learn. Look at the book or article or blog you’re reading as an opportunity to improve. Why do you like it? Why did you choose that book? Don’t pass up what amounts to a free workshop when you read.


13. We don’t believe in ourselves. Ultimately my success and my failure rests with me. If I don’t believe in myself, in the calling and gift that God has given me, then no one else can help me.

14. We give up too early. This one is related to #9. When I started writing seriously, I was part of a group of women and we were all about the same level. Today, I’m one of the few left. I’m not more talented than the others, I just refused to give up. Talent will only take you so far. Success comes from pig-headed diligence.

Well this is my list of things that stand between me and success. What would you add to the list?

Edie's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Edie Melson @EdieMelson: 14 Things We Do To Keep From Being Successful (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: What did author & social media pro@EdieMelson discover on her writing journey? (Tweet This)

Don’t miss this: Check out social media expert @EdieMelson’s #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author's Bio and Places To Connect:
Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, including the devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, and Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She's also a well known freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.








39 comments:

  1. I so agree with # 10, And #s 4 & 5. And phooey all 14 points. I especially found the the last one true. I could have given up after writing 30 years without success, but I didn't and now I'm frantically trying to meet 2 deadlines. :-)

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    1. Am I ever thankful you never gave up, Pat!

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    2. Pat, I agree with Elaine. I'm SOOOOOO thankful you never gave up!? I love your books! Blessings, E

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  2. Thank you for sharing this very practical list. it's all about choices. Blessings as you encourage us all in our writing journey!sarahlynnphillips3@gmail.com

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    1. Sarah, thanks for visiting this evening. I don't know about you, but I can never have enough encouragement, especially from someone who has "walked the walk and talked the talk."

      Hope to see you again!

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    2. Sarah, it really does help when we realize we all struggle with the same things!

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  3. I too follow Edie. I have enjoyed her blogposts. I would love to read Connections - even if it means breaking rule #2. Great job Elaine. Thanks for sharing Edie's wisdom with all of us.

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    1. I always love to see you here, Barbara.

      LOL about breaking Rule #2… maybe Edie can overlook you doing that if you're reading her book :)

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    2. Barbara, I'll write you a pass on number two, as long as you stick with your goals! LOL!

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  4. Oh, #8 is a tricky one! Thanks.

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    1. Sara, I'm thankful for your visit today. Always am!

      That's one perk that I've received from my day job: you just never know!

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    2. Sara, making this list was easy because I've struggled with ALL of these at some point!

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  5. #4 is tough for me, but I've never had a regular schedule, except when I worked full time, and then that schedule was only from 8 - 5. But I've learned to write whenever I have time, and I do make it a priority.

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    1. Oh, Ane, how I hear you!

      Thanks for your visit.

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    2. Ane, some can make that work and I know you're one that can! I think I should add a number 15; Trying to follow rules that don't work for you!

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    3. Edie, I know you already need to come back on Everyone's Story and write an entire segment on that #15 :)

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  6. Excellent as always. #13 rushes in when I take my eyes off of Jesus who has called me His own. If I don't know whose I am, I will never know who I am and why He has brought me to the kingdom for such a time as this,

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    1. Margie, welcome back to Everyone's Story. Well said! Instead of a one-word New Year's resolution I'm trying extra hard to make it my daily resolution to keep my eyes on Him.

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    2. Margie, you're so right!

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  7. I met Edie years ago at the Blue Ridge Conference and have watched her grow and expand her writing ministry. I admire her determination and all she has accomplished. Like everyone else, she started at the very beginning but refused to give up when things were tough. Kudos to Edie!

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    1. Nice to see you again, Cynthia. What a strong testimony you've shared of Edie's refusal to give up her dreams.

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    2. Cynthia, you have been one of the many blessings from Blue Ridge! I hope I get to see you again this year.

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  8. Great list of practical tips. When it comes to writing and tasks I am my own worst enemy.... not sticking to a schedule and plain old procrastination. Found your blog through a friend! Glad to find this resource. Thank you!

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    1. Rachel, I'm so glad you found your way here and that you have enjoyed Edie's encouragement. Hope to see you again.

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    2. Rachel, I'm like that too - my own worst enemy. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  9. Edie, this is such great advice! You had me at #1. I decided recently it was either TV or writing, because I don't have time at the moment for both. And since very few of us have been "called" to watch TV... well, you get my drift :) Elaine, thank you for hosting Edie this week!

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    1. Kathy, you cracked me up with the call to TV watching! Thanks for the LOL moment, thanks for visiting.

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    2. Kathy, I love that! "Very few of us have been "called to watch TV." Thanks for sharing you're insight.

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  10. Okay, # 13 is definitely MINE! I'm taking Ane's course on the lies our characters believe, and if I were a character, this would be my lie - I'm not worthy of being believed in. What a bad sentence! Anyway, I SO hear you on this one, and would like to hear more about how you developed your belief in yourself, Edie.
    And I would love to win either book. I married into the military and deployments have taught me so much. My info is g kittleson at my omnitel. com

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    1. I'm grateful for your visit, Gail! I'm curious about Edie's reply on how she began seeing herself as worthy of believing in herself… I used to have huge problems with that until I accepted that since God loves me, He believes in me and wants the best for me, and therefore I must accept this gift of His and believe in myself. Yet, humanly, I tend to forget this every now and then and do have to remind myself that He knows what He's doing when it comes to loving me :)

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    2. Gail, as far as believing in myself, that was a tough one and it took a while. It was a similar process to Elaine. But it finally hit me one day that if God believed in me enough to call me and equip me, who was I to stand in His way? He showed me that refusing to believe in myself was, in large part, a rebellion. I had to get past thinking that believing in myself had anything to do with worthiness. For me, it's about obedience.

      Since you're a military wife, I'd love to invite you to visit me at my Guideposts blog for military families. Please thank your husband for his service, and accept my thanks for yours!

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  11. Happy belated birthday wishes, Edie!

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    1. Thank you, I had an amazing day!

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  12. All good, and I'm guilty of most...ok, maybe all. But I am also #14 - pigheaded! Thanks for this great post Edie!

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    1. Ellen, thanks so much for your visit today.

      Like you & Edie, I also refuse to give up. That's really the key to making it in this biz; that is, our beefing up our sweat after taking our heart & needs to God first.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. Ellen, pigheaded is another word for successful in this industry! You've on the right road. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  13. It's been a fun week, as well as introspective, thanks to Edie Melson putting us all to task. Thanks, Edie, for making us think twice whether or not we're sabotaging ourselves as writers, or really just about anything we want to succeed at. Most of all, special thanks for being a lovely guest!

    Thanks too for your generous BookGiveaway. The winner is…

    Sarah!! Congratulations, Sarah Lynn. Both Edie and I will contact you shortly in direct emails.

    Blessings to all.

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    1. Elaine, this has been a great week! I've loved hanging out with everyone and you are an excellent host. I've always loved your blog and it's been so much fun being a guest. Thanks & Blessings, Edie

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    2. Thanks so much for your sweet words, Edie. I take that as a compliment and a half from you :)

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