Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writer Board of Directors - Overcoming Loner Mentality

From the lap desk of Tamela Buhrke

Poke. Poke. Hey, you. Yes, you. The one who doesn’t need anybody. The writer who can do it all. Write. Publish. Market. How’s that working for you? Are you where you want to be? Published. Wealthy. Worshiped. Conquering the Best Seller’s List?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

So let’s take a look at this loner mentality. We know it's not working, but why? According to popular author and speaker on achieving your dreams, Barbara Sher, there is one consistent reason why people fail. She says over and over that isolation is the dream killer. Isolation. The very thing most writers crave, is the thing that will take us down.

The reason?

Isolation limits you. There’s no one to bounce ideas off, and no one to give you advice. You are cut off from resources, ideas and situations that can help you build your dream. After awhile, becoming a successful author sounds too difficult. You get disillusioned and give up. That leads to the final reason for why isolation kills dreams... there is no one there to kick you in the butt and get you back on track.

However, if you have a board of directors, then they will motivate you to succeed. According to Sher, they will also provide a key ingredient to success: guilt. Imagine telling a team of people who are dedicated to your success that you will have a book finished by the end of the month. You don't. The disappointed looks on their faces will guilt you into getting it done.

All of this means that you have a choice. You can be the hermit who never gets the job done, or the hero of your own story. For those smart asses who don’t want to be a hero, feel free to be the villain who dominates the world. Either way, it is time to get out, meet people and build your own personal board of directors. Consider me your temporary butt kicker.

Where do you start? Look for people in your life who can act as your cheer leaders, your critique partners, or your butt-kickers. The people you choose should have writing experience and their own writing goals. Put them on a tentative list. If you don’t know any people who would fit the job, then it’s time to join some writing classes, organizations or social networks.

For the time being, just look around your associates for potential board members. Don’t approach them yet. Don't go crazy trying to find new people. Next week we’ll go over specific positions you will need to fill on the board and how to entice great people to be part of the team.


Patricia Stoltey said...

I belong to a great critique group, so that helps me more than anything else. Even while I claim I'm not competitive (snort!), I still ramp up my game when I see my critique partners writing more and better than me.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I think my grammar needs a little work. Don't tell my board of directors. :)