Create Your Dream Nonfiction Writing Career in 2015

nonfiction writing successYou always can think of a reason not to do what you say you want to do, which is to create a fabulous career as a nonfiction writer. How often do you find reasons to do what is necessary instead? Not often.

I’ve heard the reasons: You don’t have the money. You don’t have the time. Your significant other (or your mother or siblings or friends) won’t approve. You don’t think you’re good enough, smart enough, expert enough, old enough, or young enough. You have too many responsibilities. Truthfully, these “reasons” are excuses.

How do I know this? Because the people who really want to do something always do. They find the money. They find the time. They drop their self-doubt and fear. They make realizing their dreams a priority despite other responsibilities.

What about you? Are you ready? Will this be the year that you drop the excuses and do whatever it takes to create your dream nonfiction writing career? Do you really want to become a successful writer? I hope so.

How to Move in the Direction of Your Dreams

Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” It can be that simple.

To begin creating your dream writing career in 2015, start by taking the two steps mentioned by Thoreau:

  1. Take steps toward your dream.
  2. Live the life you imagine.

First, chunk down your dream career into manageable pieces you work on one by one. Identifying smaller pieces helps you feel less overwhelmed, gives you a starting point and helps you take action. If you want to become a freelance writer, your small steps might include:

  • Brainstorm 10 article ideas
  • Write query letters for each idea
  • Find suitable magazines for each idea
  • Tweak the query letters (and ideas) to fit the magazines
  • Send out the query letters
  • Write the articles

If you want to become a nonfiction author, you might break down your goal into the following steps:

  • Brainstorm a book idea
  • Brainstorm associated spin-off books and products
  • Develop a business plan for the book
  • Build author platform
  • Polish the business plan into a book proposal
  • Write a query letter
  • Research agents and publishers
  • Write sample chapters
  • Have the proposal, chapters and query professionally edited
  • Send out query letters to agents

Or you might want to build a business around your book or books. Your steps might be:

  • Develop a distinct suite of products and services related to each book and/or area of expertise
  • Create a clear “funnel” from low-end to high-end products and services

Once you have identified your small steps, begin moving toward your goals one step at a time. In this way, you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the live which you have imagined.

Behave as if you’ve already achieved your goal of successful authorship. The more you act as if you already are successful, the more easily you become that.

Create a Vision of Success

Additionally, to live the life you imagine—to create your dream nonfiction writing career, envision it. See yourself as a successful nonfiction writer—have a mental picture of yourself already having achieved your goal or manifested your dream of a successful writing career. This aligns you with what you desire.

Consider creating a written vision that details what success looks like for you–actually achieved. Or create a vision map, a visual depiction of your goal or dream; this is a bit like a collage.

Professional athletes know the value of visualizing success—creating a mental picture of themselves crossing the finish line, hitting the ball or finishing a routine. The mind doesn’t realize that mental images aren’t real; the body fires off the same messages to the muscles and helps athletes train even though they aren’t physically moving muscles. The same holds true for you. The more often you visualize yourself achieving success, the easier it will become to do so when the time arises.

Be Prepared to Work

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Attaining success in any industry is difficult; publishing is no different—maybe it’s harder. And many aspiring writers and authors give up before they achieve their dream.

To achieve your dream of creating a successful writing career, be prepared to work hard and long if necessary. To ensure you have the stamina and don’t become the type of person who gives up on a dream, know why you want to achieve it. Understand your purpose and your passion. Determine if you have a calling or a mission. When you know your big “why,” you are more likely to continue moving forward no matter what.

I hate to say that nothing easy is worth doing; it’s nice when you can achieve your dreams with little effort and that doesn’t make the achievement of that dream or goal unimportant or meaningless. But you must be ready, willing and prepared to work hard and sometimes long for successful authorship.

You’ll have more tenacity when your goals are on purpose—when you build them upon the reason you want to realize your dreams. And that willingness to persevere will carry you through when the work feels hard. It will help you maintain your Author Attitude.

Look for Opportunities that Lead to Your Dreams

A dearth of opportunities exists to help you manifest your dream nonfiction writing career. You can find a number of coaches and consultants, tools and systems, books and blogs, classes and conferences, and experts and authorities to help you get where you are going. The only question is this: Will you take advantage of these opportunities?

Possessing an awareness of opportunities and taking advantage of the right ones and the right time is the last skill you need to develop if you want to manifest your dream nonfiction writing career in 2015. The times when I have charged a class I felt could teach me the skills I needed, used my last dime to attend a writers conference or dipped into resources (both time and money) to hire a coach have always been worthwhile. In fact, they helped me achieve the success I now enjoy. And more often than not those classes, conferences and coaches showed up when I needed them most. As the adage says, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

As you decide how to manifest your dream nonfiction writing career this coming year, pay attention to the chances you have to get the support you need. I’m not advocating going into debt or stretching your resources beyond you limits, but ask yourself the tough questions: Would taking that class or hiring that coach help you get where you want to go? Is it what you need most right now to realize your dream? And…is saying that you don’t have the money or the time (or whatever) just an excuse?

How badly do you want to become a successful writer? How badly do you want to create your dream career?

Imagine what your life would be like if you had that dream nonfiction writing career…

This year, don’t let anything stop you from taking the necessary steps to fulfill your potential and realize your dreams.

Happy Holiday Super Sale for Writers!
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Photo courtesy of michaklootwijk | stockfresh.com

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