Irrefutable Law of Success #1–No Whining

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Memekode.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Memekode.

When I first started teaching social media to writers, I was new thus insecure. Often, I’d give advice like, “Well, if you don’t like it, don’t do it.” Bad advice. Hey, I’m learning and growing, too. There are a lot of writers out there only doing what they enjoy. That is the masses, the average.

“Average” is the top of the bottom, the best of the worst, the bottom of the top, the worst of the best.” ~John C. Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

This advice to only do what we enjoy might have flown four years ago (though barely). These days? Discoverability is a nightmare for all authors. If we want to do this “writing thing” long-term and be successful?

Average=DEATH

Chasing Sasquatch Wastes Valuable TIME

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Derek Hatfield

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Derek Hatfield

Thing is, I want that job where I never have to do anything I don’t enjoy, but it doesn’t exist. It’s Sasquatch. I don’t enjoy payroll or calling my accountants. I enjoy doing taxes even less.

In fact, I might take on staying one minute in a vat of man-eating pirañas over doing taxes…but the government isn’t going to give me a pass. I can’t call the IRS and say, “You know, as a self-employed person, taxes are super hard. I just really don’t enjoy doing taxes. So we’re cool, right?”

All Jobs Entail Doing the Un-Fun Stuff

Writing is fabulous. It’s the best job in the world. But those who think writing is simply being an artist? Creating? And drinking copious amounts of coffee? There is a word for that; “amateur” (though “wanna-be” can be used as a synonym).

Granted, there was a time when all writers did was write. They drank whiskey by the gallon, chain-smoked and stayed in their hole until it was time to hand their nicotine-stained manuscript to their agents and editors. Back then, writers never had to worry their pretty little heads about all the business stuff (they also suffered a 93% failure rate as late as 2006, per Book Expo of America statistics).

The climate has changed. The world has changed. In 1980, we didn’t have to know how to use a computer to land a premium corporate job. Now, try finding employment at The Gap without possessing even basic computer skills.

Choosing traditional publishing will not free us from the un-fun stuff. Yet, I will admit that, if we choose to go indie or self-publish, we must accept that more un-fun stuff will go with the territory.

Yet, it’s the price we pay for being paid really well to do what we love.

No Whining

Every time I speak at a conference, I have someone in the audience wail, “But I don’t like social media. It’s so haaaaard. I just wanna wriiiiiiiite.”

Don’t we all?

I used to try to placate these writers and encourage them to embrace the new freedom and power a social media platform gives authors. Now? There are too many writers willing to do the hard stuff. There’s a lot of reasons why this business isn’t for everyone.

Suck it up, Buttercup

And yes, maybe I sound mean, but you have no idea how many times I use that same phrase on myself. When I catch myself whining (and, yes, it happens) I remind myself that there are plenty or people willing to fill any vacuum I leave. The hard truth is there are talented, hard-working authors who will gladly take the readers we leave on the table because we only want to do what we find pleasant.

Education and Focus are Key

Recently, on FB, one of my followers posted a link to an author bellyaching about how much he hated self-promotion. This writer went on and on about how haaaard it was, and detailed how he was on every last social media platform known to humankind. How he didn’t like talking about personal stuff and only wanted to talk about himself and his book (yes, ONE book). He lamented how he spent an HOUR a day on Twitter…

….yet failed to see what he was doing wrong.

***Whining keeps us from honestly evaluating our processes.

First of all, professionals don’t whine. Secondly, social media is only as good as our plan. It was clear to me that this writer was making a LOT of obvious mistakes.

  1. Whining—no one likes a whiner. Though I suppose they do. This guy was sniveling as if no one ever responded to him, yet this dreadful post had over 310 shares when I stopped by. Misery loves company (but misery clearly wasn’t translating into sales).
  2. Lack of Focus—we can’t be everywhere. WANA methods are about selecting the right social platform for our audience, then having laser focus.
  3. More Writing—an HOUR on Twitter a DAY? Seriously? O_o. I’m good to have an hour on Twitter a WEEK. Less can be more. Understanding how to properly use social media can save precious time, which should be reserved for doing the most important aspect of what we do…WRITE MORE BOOKS.

Study all the indie successes and most became successful AFTER BOOK THREE. John Locke didn’t sell a million copies of ONE book in five months. The same is true for traditional authors. Flukes aside, most successful traditional authors gained market traction at or after BOOK THREE.

Time for a Gut Check

We all whine. I do. I do it a lot less and have become better at catching myself early in the process. Whining is negative. Whining sees only problems, not solutions. It drains valuable creative energy. It discourages us and stands in the way of progress.

Winners don’t whine.

If something is hard, look to mentors and resources. Sometimes we don’t like doing something because we’re afraid of it. Why are we afraid? We don’t understand it. Ignorance breeds fear, often irrational fear. 

WANA rests on simplicity and timelessness. Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World is designed to make social media fast, effective and fun. It’s designed to harness the creative personality, not change it. Because of this, WANA methods have been responsible for selling hundreds of thousands of books and elevating unknowns into record books.

Right now, I am reading all kinds of business books and books on strategic planning and management. Why? Because I was WHINING! I caught myself mid-whine, then decided to look for solutions instead of spinning the Wheels of Self-Pity.

Whiny Me: “I’m just not naturally good at administration.” 

Hard@$$ Me: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Have you caught yourself whining? What did you do? Was your whining birthed from fear? Were you able to find solutions once you faced what scared you?

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of August, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

ANNOUNCEMENTS: I have a class coming up SOON, Creating Conflict and Tension on Every Page if you want to learn how to apply these tactics to your writing. Use WANA15 to get 15% off.

Also, August 21st, I am running a Your First Five Pages webinar. Bronze is $40 and Gold is $55 (I look at your first five pages) and use WANA15 for 15% off.

The webinars are all recorded in case you can’t make the time and a PDF with notes will be sent to you following the class.

Also, my new book, Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World is NOW AVAILABLE.

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  1. #1 by Dennis Langley on August 12, 2013 - 9:38 am

    Sometimes it’s hard not to whine. But, I find that recently I’ve been catching it quicker and doing something about it. Having a plan has helped tremendously.

  2. #2 by Jack Flacco on August 12, 2013 - 9:41 am

    Everything is much easier when we do what we’re supposed to do. We’re not living in the 80s anymore where an author is a recluse in some cabin somewhere writing to his heart’s content only to resurface when he needs to book a signing tour. Gone are those days. I know I didn’t like the idea myself of opening my life to the public in order to sell my writing. But–that’s just what authors have to do nowadays. We can’t be in all places at once. That would make us God. Like you said, though, with razor sharp focus we can pick the areas where we’d like to appear and concentrate on those areas–if those areas will be beneficial to selling our writing.

    It’s really a brilliant strategy, Kristen, and I’m not sure why others are not following it!

    I think some writery folks believe that once they write their books, people we gravitate to it and buy it without their supporting the product. My goodness, wouldn’t that be awesome. We wouldn’t have to do a thing except wait for the magic.

    Anyway, joking aside, I think your WANA method works. That, I do not doubt!

  3. #3 by @danicollinsbook on August 12, 2013 - 9:45 am

    Great post as always, Kristen. I had a similar moment of truth about blogging, which I felt was a huge PITA for a long time and then realized my angst sprang from not being good at it. I always tell my kids if they want to be good at something to practice. I won’t call myself Queen Of Blogging, but I picked a few things I could do without hurting myself (eg. Thurday 13, SampleSunday) and did a blog tour of a dozen stops which was hard, but not horrible. Now I’m not afraid of it. If you just skip the whining and get into doing the work, you become more proficient and voila! You don’t hate it as much. At the very least, you’re fast and it’s over sooner :)

  4. #4 by katbiggie on August 12, 2013 - 9:51 am

    I love using social media. It puts me in contact with people and audiences (and other writers that I like to follow) that I would NEVER be able to reach without it. But, it is a significant time drain if not done efficiently. I can easily get so distracted by reading other stuff, that I’m not working on writing my own materials! :-)

    • #5 by Gry Ranfelt on August 12, 2013 - 10:05 am

      I love looking at social media as a giant cocktail party, as Kristen puts it in her book. It’s such a nice analogy. Sometimes it can get pretty lonely, just sitting at the desk, and then getting online to chat with others is really nice :D

  5. #6 by Patricia Woods on August 12, 2013 - 9:58 am

    This is too funny….I needed that kick today because I have to set up a new blog, do more about Social Media, and other tasks I’d rather not do. I’m a writer, remember, not in sales. Not true…as we all know. Thank you for the upbeat reminder that my words are not cast in gold, another writer waits in the wings, customers don’t grow on trees, and my job is to communicate with people. Have a blessed day!

  6. #7 by Mariam Kobras on August 12, 2013 - 9:59 am

    I think the focus here is that knowing about how to use social media doesn’t automatically come with a book deal. Fear or refusal of using social media means “I don’t know how”, and THAT is the hard part: getting over the fact that, as a published author, you must pull your own weight and promote your own work.
    It’s really quite simple: you wrote it, it’s your project, you sell it.

  7. #8 by Gry Ranfelt on August 12, 2013 - 10:02 am

    Yeah, whining is bad, *Looks at self with resignation and sighs*
    This is where we show who we really are, by stepping into action. But really, hearing about all the other hard working people isn’t very nice, though motivating enough xD Sometimes all it takes is to know that there is competition out there.
    Looking forward to the class!

  8. #9 by Elke Feuer on August 12, 2013 - 10:02 am

    I whine about not having enough time to write (working full-time) and catch myself when I remember other authors who are single mothers working full-time with more kids and they manage to find time to write, so I have NO excuse to whine.

    Love your saying, “Suck it up, Buttercup!”

  9. #10 by Crystal Thieringer on August 12, 2013 - 10:05 am

    This was perfect for me today. I’m just trying now to set up a blog/website and it’s a big learning curve. But, I’m giving it my best shot.

  10. #11 by Addy Rae on August 12, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Oh, I whine a fair bit, but I try to do it where only my dog can hear me, and I try to stay in motion working on what I need to do at the same time. So there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth while I use twitter especially, but I put the best face I can manage and try to encourage other people. If I can’t think of something to say, I look for someone else who is struggling and cheer them on. :)

  11. #12 by broadsideblog on August 12, 2013 - 10:13 am

    I met a younger writer recently who wants to hang out and ask for advice, but she tends to whine, which is boring and irritating. Take a class. Read a book. Network more effectively.

    Whining is tedious to people who have already done the hard work and figured it out — the ones you really need the most help from. It also tends to produce no income.

  12. #13 by moxeyns on August 12, 2013 - 10:17 am

    Writing admin – yes, OK, a necessary evil. But I retain the right to whine whilst filling in my tax forms!

  13. #14 by Jen Fournier on August 12, 2013 - 10:17 am

    I have to say that what I love about your blog and the WANA classes I’ve taken is the down to earth tone. I’m a novice writer, and other sites I’ve visited have left me feeling like one of the awkward kids on the playground. This post exemplifies bringing humanity to the process. It’s like having a loving mom with high standards. :)

  14. #16 by Elaine Stock on August 12, 2013 - 10:30 am

    This is just the pep talk I needed on a Monday that followed last week’s computer & car breakdown, and root canal. I don’t have so much trouble self-promoting myself (or others) or balancing social media and writing time, as I have whining over the daily obstacles that pop up that threaten my writing time. So, I appreciate the tough talk, which I need to use more on myself!

  15. #17 by pamelacreese on August 12, 2013 - 10:38 am

    I whine. Not about writing…well, limited whining regarding teen-spawn who refuse to respect the mom-writer’s need for “uninterrupted” (are you bleeding? anything broken? No. Wait.) time. No, I whine about things I can’t change. That would be the old lack-of-control monster lurking within me.

    I like control. I need it. Hubby died and took it all away. I am slowly gaining ground and eventually will recover that control of my life, my finances, possibly (though not likely) even some control over the teen-spawn. :)

    The whining must stop. Thank you for clarifying that so eloquently.

    I will learn to master this new ‘paradigm’ you constantly throw before us…and write on.

    • #18 by Lynne Spreen on August 12, 2013 - 4:57 pm

      But be a little easy on yourself, Pamela. You’ve got reason. You’ll be fine eventually, but don’t rush it. Best wishes.

      • #19 by pamelacreese on August 12, 2013 - 7:30 pm

        Thanks Lynne. Still, as Kristen, said… no whining. We keep on till we learn how to get it right :)

  16. #20 by Robin on August 12, 2013 - 10:41 am

    As a marketer by career, and a newer writer, I tend to get caught up in the marketing and social aspect. Love it. But then again, very much appreciate your reminder about whining. Being a mom though, I deal with whining all the time w/my kid and just wish someone would listen to mine every once in a while :). Thanks for your pep talk! Love your point about “being average”….

  17. #21 by Shea Ford on August 12, 2013 - 10:43 am

    I’m happy to say that the only thing I tend to whine about is my hubby’s ‘Debbie Downer’ attitude about my writing and whether or not I’ll succeed. I’m ready to put my nose to the grindstone and see what happens. ( Though I don’t look forward to taxes.)

  18. #22 by cynthiagrstacey on August 12, 2013 - 10:45 am

    I must admit that I did whine about using social media. However I have given myself a slap, read your book and now am hooked on twitter. My daughter calls it ‘the twitter’…lol she is 15 so it must be cool right?! Anyway great advice as always. Off to tweet! or twittering as she says, a non conformist and future author!

  19. #23 by cynthiagrstacey on August 12, 2013 - 10:46 am

    Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
    No whining allowed. Awesome advice from Author Kristen Lamb!

  20. #24 by Ken Farmer on August 12, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Thanks, Kristen. I hope a lot of people read it. Can’t stand whiners, they’re just a short step from a quitter. It’s just a negative approach…I’ll be glad to furnish the cheese.

  21. #25 by Tamara LeBlanc on August 12, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Lately my whining has toned down. To me, doing social media, spending time on Twitter and FB is a hell of a lot easier than worrying about my husband’s health. Hell, I’d take my chances in a vat filled with Piranhas, too, if it would guarantee a clean scan during my husband’s next MRI.
    So I guess I’ve been putting things into perspective… and that tends to help silence the whining.
    But, I’ll be honest, I still whine. I’m human and working two jobs now to help support the family, put my son through college and pay for freaking expensive meds is getting on my nerves. Grrrrrrr…I’d love to win the lottery :) write all day and not worry.
    But then I try and remember that I’m doing some amazing things now that I’m older. I’m actually paying bills and yesterday I bought my daughter a pair of cleats she needed for soccer with money I’d earned, myself, and that was pretty damn rewarding. I’d never been able to do that before and now, I’m rocking it and helping out instead of blowing money on things I really didn’t need in the first place. :)
    Thank you for putting things into perspective, Kristen…you rock, too!!!
    Have a GREAT week,
    Tamara

  22. #26 by Elizabeth Seckman on August 12, 2013 - 11:04 am

    I love interacting with readers! I don’t quite get why it’s a hassle. I also love blogging. But then I’m also the kind of gal who takes two hours to talk my way through Wal Mart.

  23. #27 by Chrstine Ahern on August 12, 2013 - 11:29 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I don’t tolerate whiny people in my day to day yet, for some reason, I tolerate the whining that goes on in my own head.

  24. #28 by nancyrae4 on August 12, 2013 - 11:33 am

    Fantastic post! Thank you. Yes, I admit it. I am a terrible whiner. Partly because I’m scared and impatient. There’s so much to learn. You hit the nail on the head with the necessity of self-promotion, and it is daunting. But, times are changing. I either change with them or I’ll be writing only for my own pleasure forever.
    Figuring out what you want, learning how to get it, and moving forward reduces whining – even nervous types like me.

    • #29 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 12, 2013 - 11:44 am

      Actually self-promotion is not that necessary. Community building is. This guy was a non-stop infomercial and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work. WE ARE TIRED OF ADS. Social media is SOCIAL. I rarely mention my books beyond the gratis mention at the end of my blogs (which people are free to skip and I SERVED FIRST). My blogs aren’t about me unless they are also about YOU. It isn’t a monument to my ego and relentless drum beating the sole tune of “Buy my book!”

      • #30 by notjustablonde on August 12, 2013 - 7:31 pm

        This offers great clarity and insight! As a newbie blogger I am soaking all of this wisdom in… perhaps it will come in useful one day! :o) THANKS!

  25. #31 by Maryann Miller (@maryannwrites) on August 12, 2013 - 12:08 pm

    Spot on post, and I Tweeted your “suck it up, Buttercup.” Loved it. This post reminded me of a group that some of my friends and I formed years ago called, Stitch and Bitch. We started so we could complain about whatever we wanted to while we were knitting or quilting or doing some other kind of hand work. After a while one member said she thought she would stop coming. When asked why, she said she couldn’t stand all the negative energy we created. “All we do is gripe,” she said. “Where’s the fun?” The group quickly changed focus, and that is a lesson that has stayed with me ever since.

  26. #32 by Susan F. Craft on August 12, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    I don’t whine (not much anyway), but, because of limited time, I’ve had to organize and prioritize. I work fulltime at a stressful job where my hours are 8:30 to 5:00, but we often work into the evenings. I have one Revolutionary War romantic suspense, The Chamomile, traditionally published. I haven’t done many bookstore signings, but I’m asked to speak to lots of DAR groups and sign books at Rev War reenactments, and participate in regional art festivals on author panels, and have given talks to local groups on the different aspects of writing. I have a website and my own blog; FB and 2 Pinterest sites (one for me and one for a group of authors who write colonial American novels); contribute a post once a month to three blogs; and have been interviewed on 8 blogs in the past 3 months. I regularly read ARC’s for authors and write reviews (another way to get my name and book, “out there” as some of the reviews have been used on backcover blurbs.) Because “good history” means a lot to me, I must spend time researching (reading books and visiting the archives and history department) for my WIPs. Recently, I was at the hospital with a friend and then at the ER with my husband and was away from my computer two days. When I returned, I had 220 emails. And then there’s the time needed to develop proposals for the WIPs for my literary agent. And, of course, the writing.
    I haven’t used Twitter, not because it intimidates me, but because I don’t understand yet what the benefits of it are. Once I understand that, I’ll have to decide how much time and effort I should put into it.
    (I guess here comes the whining part) I gave up being in my church choir, something I loved doing. I don’t have time to paint anymore either. I’ve got to keep up my health and now go to the local university pool only once a week for aerobic exercises. I make appointments now for date nights with my husband of 43 years. Also, I have two grown children and a 15-year-old granddaughter I try to keep in touch with. Dinner dates with friends are rare occasions now. To repeat what some have said, I love the writing. I tolerate the other stuff. I tried to convince myself that it was “fun,” but it’s not. It’s like having perpetual hard homework. And hearing from authors turned down by publishers because they didn’t have an impressive platform.
    I know, I know. Do I want some cheese with that whine?

  27. #33 by Heather on August 12, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    I have realized on my own, and with other people that when we talk negatively about something (or someone) nobody wants to be around that something or someone either. So I changed my tune. When I was complaining about work, my friend asked if I was happy. I said yes, just that right now was the tougher part of the job. Writing has it’s tough moments too. I just have to suck-it up. Now is tough, but I still love what I do.

    • #34 by Heather on August 12, 2013 - 12:39 pm

      also, waiting for your book on Kobo!

  28. #35 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on August 12, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Was recently in PNWA conference social media session (wish the speaker had been you, Kristen). Anyway, it was a good session, but there was the usual representative whiner protesting that he had to do social media — actually it sounded like he was blaming the speaker. She let him talk, and responded. “If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Your choice.” And we moved on. You make the same point, Kristen. No one is pointing a gun to our heads and saying life required social media. No one says it matters if anyone buys our book. Our choice. Our, dare I say, responsibility.

  29. #36 by Jade Reyner on August 12, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    I love this post and it is a timely reminder to us all. It is hard to use social media but it is the way of the world. For me it is trying to get the right balance between which social media I use and I don’t think that I get that right at the moment! I also love the comment about writing more books, it’s like everything, if you give up and don’t keep at it then you’ll never get anywhere! :-)

  30. #37 by saundrafox on August 12, 2013 - 1:07 pm

    I hated this post because I whine like there is no tomorrow and I feel it is my birthright to whine! Seriously though, these are some great insights and thank you for writing this. It should be common sense really. “Deadpool: Shhhh. My common sense is tingling!”

  31. #38 by Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) on August 12, 2013 - 1:13 pm

    Great post. Great reminder. Do what you can do & don’t whine about what you can’t. Thanks, Kristen.

  32. #39 by Yatin on August 12, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    But then isn’t it true that squeaky wheel gets the grease

    • #40 by Addy Rae on August 12, 2013 - 1:21 pm

      In Japan it’s ‘The nail that sticks up gets hammered down’. ;)

      • #41 by Yatin on August 12, 2013 - 1:24 pm

        So a silent appearance gets a noisy smack! I get it :)

  33. #42 by Kessie Carroll on August 12, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    Haha, good reminder. I try to battle the urge to whine by researching methods at succeeding at what I’m trying to do. Gotta have an arsenal if you’re going to win the war, right?

  34. #43 by KarlaAkins on August 12, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    I concur with everything you said. I’m launching my first novel and I’ve spent far too much time trying to launch it high but reading your comments about about the third book encourages me to keep writing. I’ve had a lot of gut checks the past few weeks. And I’ve worked too hard to stop now! It is worth it. It is worth it. It is worth it.

  35. #44 by angiemflanagan on August 12, 2013 - 2:37 pm

    Thanks! Great advice. I just bought your book and look forward to reading!

  36. #46 by Inion N. Mathair on August 12, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    Great post, Kristen. Definitely needed the tough love. It’s common knowledge that I (Inion) am the whiner in mine and Mathair’s team. She had been taking care of most of the social media aspect of our career, but due to time constraints and because I wanted to get over my aversion, we’ve taken the responsibility as a 50/50. I’ve made no qualms that I’d much prefer to be the old school author, but that’s never going to happen and whining about it isn’t going to change my current situation. So, I’ve learned to accept it and though I have my moments of weakness, it’s not long before Mathair is bringing me back to reality. Here’s to accepting what we can’t change and embracing what can only help us in the end. Cheers! :)

  37. #47 by Widdershins on August 12, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    I think anyone who is foolish … erm … inspired enough to contemplate a writing career, ought to have, ‘writing is a business’ tattooed on a visible and sensitive part of their anatomy. Then they can start writing.

  38. #48 by Bob M on August 12, 2013 - 3:56 pm

    Great post, and timely. The ceding possible readers part was an attention-getter, as was the picture of Bigfoot.

  39. #49 by juleseddy1 on August 12, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    When I find myself whining, I usually end up coming across one of your informative posts and end up laughing so hard I forget what I am whining about. Thanks again for your entertaining and educational posts!

  40. #50 by jameskaniainc on August 12, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Whining is an inability to accept things as they are. No one said it was going to be easy!! Great article.

  41. #51 by Lynne Spreen on August 12, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    I saw your interview with Chloe Jeffreys, which is how I knew about Rise, which I bought, which I’m reading, which is why I’m here. So in the WANA spirit, let me share a good article by writer Elizabeth Sims about “hand selling” one’s book: http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/10-simple-steps-to-handselling-your-book

    • #52 by Elizabeth Sims on August 13, 2013 - 10:33 am

      Hey Lynne, thanks for the mention! And Kristen, great blog!

  42. #53 by Iola on August 12, 2013 - 5:31 pm

    I may have shared that post you’re talking about – as an example of what not to do. No one wants to listen to a whiner, and no one wants to give them money.

  43. #54 by Holly Michael on August 12, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    Winners don’t whine…professionals don’t whine….needed to hear those words of wisdom today.

  44. #55 by Holly Michael on August 12, 2013 - 5:56 pm

    So, I’m quitting whining….and I bought your book…I already read two of your other books. They helped a lot!

    • #56 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 12, 2013 - 6:03 pm

      I think this one will blow you away. I have LEARNED A LOT since writing the others and this has over TWO YEARS of research. Thanks for the love and support *hugs*. I really hope ROM blesses you in tremendous ways!

      • #57 by pamelacreese on August 12, 2013 - 7:42 pm

        ROM is def a blessing (esp for those of us who are working on our ‘socially network challenged’ status. Gotta say it also scares me. So much to learn!
        Thankful you are such an inspired teacher.

        But the whole… choosing which platforms are best suited to your work? Scary.

        I will read and re-read your book until I get this thing figured out. Hopefully before I am needing to market my book, lol.

        Which leads to another question… if it takes 3 or 4 books to build your audience before you can really hope to ‘catch on’… then should we be working on 3 ‘good books’ (as in worthy of publication, not just any old thing you can throw together…that would totally defeat the purpose) to get out there and start building that rapport and name recognition before we roll out the one we ‘want’ our readers to love?

        Seems rather self-defeating no matter which way you go.

  45. #58 by Sonia G Medeiros on August 12, 2013 - 6:06 pm

    And, since whining doesn’t make us feel any better, it’s worse than useless. I tell my kiddos that we often have to do things we don’t really want to do in life in order to do what we really want. Instead of hating a necessary task, find a way to like it even a little bit. Even if you have to pretend.

  46. #59 by Sophia Kimble on August 12, 2013 - 6:25 pm

    Reblogged this on Sophia Kimble and commented:
    Very interesting for you writers out there.

  47. #60 by Lucy Taylor on August 12, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    My whining is definitely coming from the ‘inexperienced writer’ place that keeps telling me to fast forward all of the important bits. I can’t just whip up this novel without the necessary research and it is going to take time. It is taking time! I’ve decided my blog will help to provide a little bit of gratification that comes from seeing something pretty on a page and hearing some feedback.

  48. #61 by malindalou on August 12, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    I chuckle when people who work from home complain about how hard it is. As if working from home shouldn’t entail actual work. And as if working 8 hours a day from home on a home based business (like writing, graphic design, illustrating etc.) is so much harder than working in an office for 10 or 12. As you said, if you whine, you’re either doing it wrong or are freaking out.

    • #62 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 12, 2013 - 6:50 pm

      Working from home ROCKS but it can suck too. 1) No one thinks you are working and 2) You NEVER get away from work. There is no “clocking out.” I’ve had to really discipline myself in this area.

      • #63 by malindalou on August 12, 2013 - 7:29 pm

        Agreed!! And likewise.

      • #64 by pamelacreese on August 12, 2013 - 7:33 pm

        so true… one of the bigger obstacles work-from-home-writers/parents face. Even my kids don’t think it is ‘work’

        No whining. We are blessed to be able to do what we love where we love.

  49. #65 by Linda Williams Stirling on August 12, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Always love your posts, because they’re always full of wonderful nuggets of help, inspiration, reality… So, thank you. I’ve been waiting for your book in print and am very happy to see it’s out! I’m going over to buy it! Hooray!

  50. #66 by Kathryn on August 12, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    A very dear, long-time friend who has scratched out a very bare living as a writer for the 40+ years we’ve known each other, whining all along about how nobody loved him enough, was shocked when I asked him the same question that I ask acquaintances who claim they can’t find a job: Since holding a job (or maintaining a writing career) would use, say, 70 or so hours per week if you include commute time, lunch hour, thinking about the job, etc, do you spend 70 hours per week job hunting / writing and marketing your writing? After the initial shock, the job hunters tend to get that; my friend the writer didn’t. He stared at me in incomprehension for a moment, then picked up the whine again. Sigh.

  51. #67 by Juliet Adams on August 12, 2013 - 7:54 pm

    Hi Kristen, Yep I was definitely whining last week to a writing friend last week about social media and how the hell…She told me to buy your Rise of the Machines so I did. I am now in the midst of reading it :) I will let you know how I go.

  52. #69 by ontyrepassages on August 12, 2013 - 9:21 pm

    First I whine and then I tell myself, “Well then, you’re done. It’s over. You fell short, not because your effort wasn’t great enough, but because you gave up before you’d given all the effort you had to give.” Then I return to writing, reading, and learning. Your book was excellent and so packed with good information that I’m going to go back through it, though I’ve already begun to institute changes. Thank you.

  53. #70 by RJ Crayton on August 12, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Great post. Just what I needed to hear as I was just about to whine about the fact that I’m spending time writing guest blog posts instead of writing. But, part of the job is promotion, and guest blogging can help. It’s good to be reminded that no one has the perfect job. It’s good if you can find a job that’s awesome more often than it is not. And being a writer certainly fits the bill for me.

  54. #71 by Sinistra Inksteyne on August 13, 2013 - 12:46 am

    I’m trying to break my whining habit! Preferably without acquiring a wining habit…

  55. #72 by tonsapemor on August 13, 2013 - 4:10 am

    I once saw an author tweet, “If you want to read a good book, don’t read mine: (link to book. )” Totally not kidding. There’s a time and place for reverse psychology, but this was neither. It was the literary equivalent of “This stinks. Here, smell! ” Yeah, gonna have to go with no on that one. Maybe some folks really should steer clear of social media.

  56. #73 by awax1217 on August 13, 2013 - 6:37 am

    When ever I think of whining I remember my grandson Michael. He could have yelled and screamed, he was dealt brain cancer at the age of two and through powers I can yet to understand he survived. The odds were against him, the pain immense, the chances minimal and yet through luck, circumstance and maybe even God he is alive today at the age of twelve and playing baseball with his friends and studying Chinese at the Berkley Prep School in Tampa. If you get a chance read about his story on my blog, it is inspiration and brings credence to keep moving and just do not whine.

  57. #74 by jcollyer on August 13, 2013 - 9:31 am

    Reblogged this on The Path – J. Collyer's Writing Blog and commented:
    More useful advice and ideas around using social media and the work you have to expect from yourself if you want to make it in this game.

  58. #75 by Ryder Islington on August 14, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    You nailed me Kristen. I whine all the time about how hard it is to understand this social media thing, let alone how hard it is to do it. I buy books to tell me how to do it, and then I need an interpreter to understand the books! No, I don’t enjoy social media–because I don’t have a clue how it works. Yes, I’d rather be writing–but who’s gonna buy my books if I don’t show up on Facebook, Twitter, and a thousand other sites? I’d rather sit in the corner with a dunce cap, and my laptop, than try to figure out what, where, when and how to lick this #&$@&* social media gap in my brain.
    So I keep returning to you. Maybe some of your insight will rub off on me if I just keep coming here.
    Ryder

  59. #76 by Lauren Layne on August 14, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    You said this beautifully, and I’m so relieved to know that it’s not just me who has zero tolerance for whiners. Whenever I hear someone consistently going down that path, I like to ask the question, “What can you do to improve the situation?” Usually I get a dirty look and the implication that I’m being unsympathetic or “not a good listener.” This makes me crazy! When I feel the urge to whine, I remind myself that I have two choices:

    Change my outlook
    or
    Change my situation

    This reminds me that I’m never “stuck.” Personal accountability, people!!!

    Your article was also a great personal reminder for me that just because social media feels “hard” doesn’t mean I get to ignore it!

  60. #77 by Brian on August 14, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    Procrastination goes hand in hand with this. We don’t want to do it. We whine. We find excuses. The result is procrastination. I like to create a checklist of to do items and it feels good to knock off items so I don’t have to look at them anymore.

  61. #78 by Thomas Rydder on August 19, 2013 - 7:14 am

    Kristen, what you say is so true. First, there aren’t simply any jobs out there that don’t have their down side, and second – so the hell what? If it’s what you want to do, no matter if it’s balancing a clients accounts or writing fiction, then you take the whole enchilada – or else put your draft away and go watch football. It’s a choice…make it, and shut up :)

    Duly blogged, faced, digged, linked, pinned, tumbled and stumbled…

    Thomas Rydder

    http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/

  62. #79 by Laura Russell on August 21, 2013 - 5:28 am

    My children are happy to help me out by pointing out when I whine. Part of pitching in to support my career and I need the coaching.

  63. #80 by Jason Gallagher on August 28, 2013 - 12:50 am

    Kristen – I know you wrote this over two weeks ago, but I just discovered it, and it was very timely for me! I had a friend today telling me (in an honest way that only a good friend will do) that I need to stop the excuses. Whining/excuses are the same difference, so your irrefutable law was just the extra reinforcement that I needed (I am stubborn and need to hear things from multiple sources before I believe.) Thanks Again.

    • #81 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 28, 2013 - 7:05 am

      LOL. We all do it. The trick is to recognize when we’re whining/complaining and stop it and get back to work :D.

  64. #82 by Raani York on September 17, 2013 - 5:09 pm

    I do whine once in a while… normally because things aren’t going the way I had planned them to go. but in the meantime I understand that hearing me whine and wail through the entire Northern Hemisphere isn’t cool – nor is it helpful. I therefore complain into my pillow, then think of something else – and hope this time my plans are going to work. After all: things are going to go the way the have to – and there’s not much I can do.
    Thanks to you I had a great time of success and it gave me a lot of my smile back.

    I’ve never been shying away of hard work and even though networking, online platforms and so on are hard work – in the meantime I do enjoy it – and in particular I welcome every single follower and reader of my blog – every new friend and connection as a success.

    Time to smile, I would say. :-)

  1. Irrefutable Law of Success #1–No Whining | Sophia Kimble
  2. Accepting the Writing Rhythm | The struggle to be a writer that writes
  3. Irrefutable Law of Success #2—Plan Your Work, Then Work Your Plan | Kristen Lamb's Blog
  4. Irrefutable Law of Success #3—We Learn By Doing | Kristen Lamb's Blog
  5. A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – Mid-August 2013 | KD DID IT Takes on Books
  6. My Toddler Tantrum with Editing | Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer
  7. Reading Time? Ha, Ha. - Cora J Ramos, Author

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