30 Ways to Get Out of the Author Rut: Part I

I think the “Author Rut” can be just as stressful as writers block. You do not know where you are going. Then you start to wonder how your dreams will come true, while the confidence is drained from your once unshakeable author spirit.

Suddenly, you are in a rut.

Well, let’s get you out of that rut and back to work.

Break tradition.

Tradition turns into routine and routine turns into a regular chore, which slams you into a wall and holds off your dreams. Remember that traditional publishing has not changed in eighty years. If you are a self-published author, then you are deciding not to play by the rules. However, self-publishing has been around so long, it is starting to be a tradition.

Authors frequently fall into a rut when they focus 90% of their attention on publishing. Do you know what publishing really is to authors? Publishing is a reinforcement to prove to the world that you are actually an author. This is why it can easily consume your life.

Publishing was never meant to be an author’s job. That is what publishers are for.

I am going to tell you something very important. “Your success is based not on how many books you publish, but how many days you spend as an author.”

Stop depending on others.

If you are placing your hopes and dreams on someone else to launch you into a successful career, then you will fall into a rut. I like the fact that my success is totally dependant on my actions. If no one else in the world were going to help you, then how would you reach your goal as an author? What steps will you take? What resources do you have? Use whatever is available to you.

Keep this in mind every single day:

  1. I am an author.
  2. Being an author is the only career I really want.
  3. Everyday I will do something to make my dream come true.

All famous authors kept those three beliefs in mind. The third belief is different for everyone.

Work on one area to improve today.

If you are always searching for ways to improve, then it is impossible to be in a rut. The moment you stop searching, is when you stop moving forward.

The amount of success will be determined by the amount of your dedication. If one author spends three hours a week on reading, writing, marketing, and publishing research, while another author spends fifteen hours doing the same thing, which will have more success?

If you want to feel secure as an author and get out of a rut, excel at reading. Excel at writing. Excel in marketing. Excel in publishing research. You can improve in any of these areas each day.

Create a short-term goal.

The second you create a goal, will be the exact moment you climb out of that rut. By developing a goal, you are generating momentum to move forward. I’ll give you four examples that will propel you forward and build your confidence:

  1. Read an entire book in five days. No excuses.
  2. Tell your family and friends that you will not be available for the weekend. Have a writing marathon. Keep writing until your mind and body is drained, your fingers are sore, and your imagination has been stretched beyond its limits.
  3. Have a marketing week. Spend the next seven days looking for your target audience in social media groups. Try to find the location of 100,000 possible new fans. How does your book solve a problem for those 100,000 fans? Since you know where those fans are, decide on how to reach them.
  4. (This is my favorite to get out of a rut.) Spend an entire weekend at the library or bookstore. Look at every book in the same genre as you write. Read the first lines. Study how the descriptions of each book were written. Look at the illustration on the covers. The title. Flip through the pages. Look at five hundred books. You will learn more in that weekend than you have your entire life as an author. You will also be motivated like never before.

Remember that people are counting on you.

Your family and friends believe in you. If you are reading this blog, then I understand what kind of person you are and I believe in you as well. I need other authors to succeed, in order to keep our craft alive. It would be a shame if your books do not reach others. Your words can actually change the lives of readers.

What if J.K. Rowling decided to stay in a rut? How would that influence the lives of millions of people? How many jobs were created because she would not give up? Millions of students that became motivated readers because of Rowling. The world was counting on an author to succeed on the highest level.

Today, that author is you.

Ron Knight 

(Part II of this blog at www.authorronknight.com More advice coming tomorrow.)

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Ron Knight

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