When your work begins to pay off, don’t spend your time in celebration or take a vacation. It’s time to “hit the gas.”
In the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot of good news from writing friends. They’re selling books and short stories, winning awards, and so on. But often in the past, I’ve known people who celebrate their good fortune by taking a vacation. “I’ve earned it,” they tell themselves, as they take a trip to Trinidad or just flop on the couch.
In one respect, they’re right. They do deserve it.
But in another respect, they’re completely wrong. You see, when good things begin to happen in your writing career, they tend to come in droves. You develop a reputation for being “hot.” So when you win an award, the right response is to go out and write more. When you sell a book, write a new one—fast!
As you do, you’ll create a snowball effect, and your good fortune will multiply ten times over, and you’ll soon find yourself hitting higher and higher on the bestseller lists, selling movie options, winning more awards, and getting invitations to speak at various literary gatherings.
On the other hand, if you really do feel that you deserve to take a rest, go ahead and relax. You can always lay back in your easy chair and watch life go by.
I could give you some examples of authors who have made this mistake, and companies that have floundered because their managers celebrated their small victories instead of working on great ones. But I don’t want to embarrass anyone.
Just remember: when your career is going fantastic and you feel like you’re on the verge of spinning out of control, HIT THE GAS!
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