Want to Be a “Success”? Learn to Be an Outlaster

Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons

Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons

Happy New Year! 2015 is now here and it is up to us what we will do with the time each of us is allotted. We all have heard the saying, “DaVinci had the same 7 days and 24 hours.” I would actually make a different point. Folks like DaVinci, Mozart, Shakespeare actually had LESS time.

There was no electric lighting and pulling all-nighters was a good way to go blind by candlelight. Thus, I’d say the difference is that these artists lived intentionally.

We all want to know the secret to “success.” First of all, I am going to add a caveat. “Success” is a very personal thing. What is “success” for you isn’t “success” for me. Yet, study after study shows that people who write down their goals are far more likely to reach them.

Why?

We have forced our minds to have a Mission Statement and our subconscious will use that to guide us. That is where the cool dreams and great ideas are born. Also, we are far more likely to recognize opportunity when we see it.

Living intentionally is vital because it allows us what I believe is one of the HUGE keys to reaching our dreams—learning to be an OUTLASTER.

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

***I learned this term from minister and speaker Craig Groeschel and it has REALLY helped me.

We can take craft classes, join a gym, type on the WIP, start a blog, but the difference between those who make it and those who don’t is that those who make it KEPT GOING, even if it was just a tiny bit of effort daily.

Business

Actual image of Kristen's Guardian Angel

Actual image of Kristen’s Guardian Angel

I began W.A.N.A. International almost three years ago, and the business setbacks alone have been crushing. It is no easy feat to reinvent publishing and writing classes and conferences as we know them. W.A.N.A. was the first to have a GENUINE global writing conference (with a HUGE thanks to Tech Surgeons and Jay Donovan). We had real classes with NYTBSAs, agents, editors and attendees from all over the globe.

***W.A.N.A. stands for We Are Not Alone, btw.

And, though we enjoyed success, it came with a heavy price. It was one kick in the teeth after another. We were working with brand new technology, trying to schedule a conference that would accommodate everyone from New York to New Zealand. We also had legal battles, turnover, betrayals, LOCUSTS!

THANK GOD I had the great W.A.N.A. instructors by my side simply because they believed in what we are doing.  And we are STILL HERE!

Blogging & Writing

When I started blogging, I was THRILLED to have 40 visits a day. Granted, most were spam bots, but hey! They counted, RIGHT? One of my close writing friends and I were talking about how many people used to blog regularly 5 years ago and almost all of them are no longer blogging.

Blogging is crucial for a brand and selling books. It is the STRONGEST and most resilient form of social media, yet most people give up.

I also have noticed how many people were SO passionate about writing, would do ANYTHING to publish and write full-time. Now? Most are gone. New people filled with the wonder and dreams have taken their place, but how long will they last?

***Refer to What Are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author?

Here’s the thing. Starting is easy (okay, “easier”). It is fresh and wonderful and emotional. Starting is CRUCIAL. There might even be all kinds of people to cheer you on.

But how will you fare when the new wears off and those who pledged undying support and loyalty move on to a new shiny because we weren’t an overnight success?

The key to making it in ANYTHING from writing to business to marriage to losing weight is to become an OUTLASTER.

Traits of an Outlaster

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons

Outlasters have clear and achievable goals.

Notice I didn’t say realistic goals. Reach for the stars and we may hit the moon. BUT, my goal to be a NYTBSA is realistic because I am a writer. If I have a goal to become a high-fashion model? Um, at a fluffy 5’3″ and 40 years old? Uh…NO.

Outlasters write down goals and have CLEAR Mission Statements.

The Mission Statement keeps us focused. We learn where to say yes and where and when to say no.

If my goal is to become a NYTBSA in the next five years, I know it is unwise to volunteer for every church event, school event, and family drama need. It becomes clear that I need to set word count based off MY goals. My word count will be very different if I want to write ONE book a year versus THREE.

Three sayings I kept with me from my days in sales?

Plan your work and work your plan.

Fail to plan and plan to fail.

Coffee is for Closers.

Outlasters understand the power of letting go.

Yes, Outlasters MUST hold on, hold on for LIFE! But to the right things.

Often letting go is more important than holding fast. This can involve letting go of hobbies, hangups and habits or even WIPs that just need to be put to bed. But the toughest? Letting go of people.

The best analogy I can think of for this is climbing Everest. If we want to climb Everest, there are teams of sherpas that guide you to the first base camp. As you go to each higher level, the team gets smaller and this is necessary.

Not everyone in our life is meant for the summit. Some could even get us killed.

I’ve had some SERIOUS issues with this. A writer I spent many years mentoring was caught on-line wholesale plagiarizing, and giving ME credit for his WONDERFUL work. This was a HARD blow to my brand and thank goodness kind people sided with me and realized HIS inexcusable behavior didn’t reflect MY character.

But, my brand was far smaller at the time. What if this happened later, when the damage could have been catastrophic? Sometimes the only thing we can be grateful for amidst the pain is TIMING.

We will mourn people we need to let go of, but often this is a good thing. We WANT the friends who believe in us even when all outside evidence says we are a failure. We never know who our real friends are when life is all kittens and unicorns. We find them (and they reach for us) in the darkness.

Outlasters Know NOTHING is WASTED

2014 was a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE year. I had to back off everything because we had so many family members die or become critically ill. Right after this past Thanksgiving, both my grandparents (who raised me) were sent to the ICU on the same day. I just got off the phone from that news and received a call five minutes later that my aunt died. This was also after four months of debilitating Shingles.

I’ve done my share of grieving, of feeling badly about what I needed to do, should do, and beating myself up. But that isn’t productive. This past year, I’ve not been the Kristen Lighting the World on Fire and yet? Most of you stayed. New people joined.

This taught me that I not only could be the light for YOU, but that y’all could also be the light for ME.

I learned the value of rest. I backed off and slept (A LOT) to remove myself from the fray and really see where my priorities needed to be. Sometimes we get so caught in the artillery fire of life that we lose our bearings.

But that lost job or lost friend? That sickness or setback might just be a gift in hiding. We choose. What can this terrible event or mistake TEACH us?

Failures can be tombstones of stepping stones. Our choice.

Outlasters WORK 

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 9.58.49 AM

Luck is fabulous and would LUV me some luck. But I still believe the harder I work, the luckier I get. This said, working smarter is key. Sure, feel free to handmade all your clothes, but running to Target for new t-shirts might be a better use of time if your goal is to be a pro writer instead of a clothing designer.

There are no shortcuts. We MUST endure. And endurance can be small. It can mean we are so ill we can’t see straight, but we post a couple things on Facebook or ask a friend to guest blog…then go back to sleep. It is the small deposits and investments that accumulate over time.

But we write that book, remove that debt, lose that weight little by little. That’s what endures. Fad diets and quick fixes don’t change our character. Just like eating well and exercise should be a lifestyle, being a writer is a WHOLE new way of living. It isn’t a hobby or a thing or our little fun…it is who we ARE. Writers WRITE.

Outlasters Understand the Long-Tail

If we look at life day by day we will get discouraged. It’s kind of like going back to the gym and then getting on the scale every hour to see what’s changed. Formula for a breakdown. Outlasters just keep writing, keep failing, keep learning, keep trying and they do it over and over and over and over.

Outlasters CANNOT Succeed Alone

Part of why I created the W.A.N.A. Community is that we are who we hang around. Show me your closest friends and I’ll show you your future. We need a team, especially in The Digital Age. There is simply too much to learn or know.

Too many predators who see dollar signs over the newbie writer’s head. Conversely, there are a LOT of great people in the industry and your connections can save you time and guide you.

Find positive, professional, driven people and you WILL come up higher. Psychic vampires, whiners and complainers need to GO. Take inventory and seek out those you admire. Study them. Listen and learn from them. This is a tough road, but no one ever said we had to do it alone.

We all fall, bump our noses and bloody our knees. That is GOOD. Keep pressing. You got this😉 .

So what are your plans for the New Year? Are you working on valuing baby steps? Reframing setbacks? Letting go of bad habits or toxic people? Any tips you might want to offer?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, 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 novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

I will announce December’s winner later in the week when I have had some SLEEP.

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by mstaciestark21 on January 1, 2015 - 1:09 pm

    Reblogged this on StacieMStarkActivist.

  2. #2 by coldhandboyack on January 1, 2015 - 1:09 pm

    Very uplifting, thanks for sharing it.

  3. #3 by Kylie Betzner on January 1, 2015 - 1:14 pm

    Great post! Just in time for 2015!

  4. #4 by Daven Anderson on January 1, 2015 - 1:27 pm

    When you have doubts about yourself and feel like quitting, that’s precisely when you NEED to keep going!
    Happy New Year to you, Kristen, and the whole WANA tribe!

  5. #5 by Angie on January 1, 2015 - 1:40 pm

    Reblogged this on Life, Love, and Laughter and commented:
    Grab a rope, writers! Hang in there to make 2015 rock!

  6. #6 by Angie on January 1, 2015 - 1:41 pm

    Perfect timing for 2015! Praying that the new year is much better for you!

  7. #7 by Collette Cameron on January 1, 2015 - 1:56 pm

    Perfect for the dramatic changes I plan on making in 2015! Thank so much!

  8. #8 by alicamckennajohnson on January 1, 2015 - 2:03 pm

    *hugs* I hope 2015 is an easier year for you!! I am slowly creating my goals, I write them down but don’t post them as the Universe seems to find that an easy list to use to fuck with me LOL Each year they become more focused and realistic with the BIG goals on a vision board in my room🙂

  9. #9 by jamieayres on January 1, 2015 - 2:06 pm

    Cheers to 2015!! No matter how many times we get knocked down, by God’s grace, we get back up again🙂 Thanks so much for this wonderful post today–such great reminders!!

  10. #10 by Sam Cheever on January 1, 2015 - 2:13 pm

    Thanks for this, Kristen! I really needed it right now. Here’s hoping 2015 is wonderful for you and your beautiful family!

  11. #11 by Tricia Drammeh on January 1, 2015 - 2:21 pm

    I certainly hope you have a better 2015, Kristen. Thank you so much for everything you do for authors. You have made a difference in my life and have inspired me in so many ways. Thank you!

  12. #12 by frenchc1955 on January 1, 2015 - 2:24 pm

    thanks for sharing a great post!

  13. #13 by VampWereZombie on January 1, 2015 - 2:28 pm

    Reblogged this on rebekahganiere and commented:
    This is a great article to start off the New Year. As I have only just started Publishing this year I was focused on the instant success of being a writer. What I have found is that it takes time and perseverance! Writing isn’t a one time or overnight thing. It is years of building your brand, your fan base and your talent.

    Thank you Kristen for reminding me that I need to keep the long term goal in mind as well as the short term ones!

    May all of your 2015 years be fruitful!

  14. #14 by VampWereZombie on January 1, 2015 - 2:30 pm

    This is such a great reminder that it isn’t the instant gratification but the long term that we need to be looking at! I just started publishing in 2014, but I was able to publish 6 books. I have another 6 slated for this year. The difference is, this year, I am not longer focused on the instant success that I was hoping for this last year. This year I am focused on my 5 year plan. I am focused on broadening my brand, my reader base and my talent!
    Thank you so much for this great article! I SERIOUSLY need to join your WANA! When is the next one?

  15. #15 by Pamela DuMond (@Pamela_DuMond) on January 1, 2015 - 2:49 pm

    Great post. I lost my mom unexpectedly in 2014 and it just threw me hard against a very cold wall. And then the family just fell apart, because it turned out — mom was the glue. But I write everyday and I know that nothing comes easy. Your guardian angel looks like mine by the way. God bless. xo

  16. #16 by mallorb on January 1, 2015 - 2:58 pm

    Excellent. . .definitely worthy of a re-read, or several in fact/I appreciate the connection you make in your books and posts between business and art–in today’s digital society, these are important lessons for aspiring writers/bloggers!!!

  17. #17 by LA Edwards on January 1, 2015 - 3:00 pm

    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about the passing of your aunt. I know loss only too well over the course of the past several years. That said, this was a great post! 2015 will be an outstanding year Kristen. I saw myself in so much of what you said. It takes positive energy and happy thoughts to get through even the toughest times. No matter the situation, always, always think positively.The outcome might not be the one you were hoping for, but turn that into something positive instead of taking the poor me approach.There is nothing greater than a band of individuals who thing positively. There is a lot to be said about writers who band together to help each other succeed. No longer is writing considered a solitary career choice, or position. It takes many people working together to successfully ensure a writer will do well. Obviously, the writer must work hard, but when that writer does we can surprise even ourselves at how great we can be. Thanks Kristen for this post. I am certain it will resonate with many, as it did me.

  18. #18 by mallorb on January 1, 2015 - 3:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Robert Malloy and commented:
    Re-blogged this excellent post to Robert Malloy.

  19. #19 by orthodoxmom3 on January 1, 2015 - 3:12 pm

    Oh how I want to be an OUTLASTER!!!! 🙂 It’s so important to break down those goals into long-term and then short-term. It makes such a difference!

  20. #20 by davidjhovsepian on January 1, 2015 - 3:18 pm

    It’s like climbing a mountain. I like that picture..

  21. #21 by ravennewcastle on January 1, 2015 - 3:37 pm

    Truths are hard to hear, but necessary in life to reach higher goals. Leaving behind longtime toxic friends is hard on the psyche, till one day you wake up and the guilt is gone. Freedom from negativity is a delightful freeing of our own minds. Thank you for the wonderful reminder!

  22. #22 by ravennewcastle on January 1, 2015 - 3:39 pm

    Reblogged this on raven newcastle.

  23. #23 by mansaramjogiyal on January 1, 2015 - 3:44 pm

    Thanks, Happy new year ! Goals is a steps climbing to success.

  24. #24 by Barbara Barbex on January 1, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    Reblogged this on The 960 Writers and commented:
    I’m taking Kristen’s words as my New Years resolution. I’m going to be an Outlaster.

  25. #25 by laurieboris on January 1, 2015 - 3:52 pm

    Inspiring. Thank you. I am and continue to be an Outlaster. I’m just learning how to do it better.

  26. #26 by Leila on January 1, 2015 - 4:15 pm

    Oh no! Thought I’d reblogged but just linked in a new post…Not used to all these buttons!

    Love the post, written about it here:
    http://lkhowlwriting.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/want-to-be-a-success-learn-to-be-an-outlaster/

  27. #27 by Judy Hudson/ Writer on January 1, 2015 - 4:22 pm

    I am at a very low ebb today and this was just what I needed to hear. Still haven’t decided the direction my new work will go, but I feel more confident that once I shake this flu, there will be new work.
    I hope 2015 is joyful and peaceful for you and yours.

  28. #28 by Rachel Thompson on January 1, 2015 - 4:36 pm

    Like 12 step programs goal setting and life/ business planing is a way to give yourself permission or an excuse to move forward– you trick yourself into motivation–it’s a replacement for force of will. If it pushes you forward it’s good, but mind tricks more often become feedback loops and thus a replacement focus. A lack of willpower is why people choke. It’s not that hard–it’s a simple decision: butt in chair and write, or whatever distraction means more to you than writing. Outside of life’s necessities, what is the priority? Setting personal goals is meaningless without fixing priorities. If self tricks is what it takes to have the will to write, perhaps there are deeper issues to address. How does a junky really lick it, or a writer really get the job done: willpower. Decide to write or not. Like Yoda said, “do or do not, there is no try.” Write every day weather you want to or not–that’s what makes one a writer, not publishing–publishing is a result unrelated to one’s state of being.

  29. #29 by elizasarahgraham on January 1, 2015 - 4:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Eliza Sarah Graham and commented:
    The following pretty much expresses my own feelings on this new day of the new year 2015. I’m always surprised when someone “reads my mind” in the way Kristen does. Enjoy!

  30. #30 by Deborah Makarios on January 1, 2015 - 6:30 pm

    “It is the small deposits and investments that accumulate over time.” Good to hear! I’ve been blogging regularly for two years now, and sometimes it seems like I’m just spinning my wheels – but perhaps in time I’ll find I’ve been spinning straw into gold🙂

  31. #31 by moirainori77 on January 1, 2015 - 6:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Sunflowers for Moira.

  32. #32 by Jessica Vasko on January 1, 2015 - 6:51 pm

    That’s what I tell myself when I realize I’ve been working on my book for over 2 years. At least I haven’t quit yet.

  33. #33 by Margo Owen on January 1, 2015 - 7:27 pm

    Hi…sorry but the VISUAL of pink peak Mountain being eleventymillion miles from where I was starting…sunk me.

  34. #34 by Lucie on January 1, 2015 - 7:40 pm

    I can sooo relate to what you said. Everything for me I’ve turned into a “learning experience” as I’ve gotten older and I’m a much happier person in “my old age”. As a realative “newbie” to the world of blogging, I have to continually remind myself that I write for myself and that one other person that I bring laughter and a smile to and that as long as I continue learning, continue growing and keep setting realistic goals for myself, I’ll “always succeed”. It’s on those few occassions, that I compare myself to someone else (their blog’s layout, their number of followers, their physical layout and pictures on their blog, etc.) that I start feeling “crappy” about my little blog and my small (but highly loyal) followers. And then I have to remind myself: Hey, Sweet Pea! You’re EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be!!! Ultimately, God/the universe gives me EXACTLY what I need every day and when I STOP and listen to this “inner voice/inner spirit”, I sleep well and am much happier. You, Kristen, are a beautiful, beautiful woman….both inside and out. Thank you for taking the time to share your very personal, heartfelt life challenges with us. You’re truly a model example of what an “outlaster” is….. ❤

  35. #35 by Joanne Guidoccio on January 1, 2015 - 7:46 pm

    Thanks for another inspiring and motivating post. Happy New Year🙂

  36. #36 by elieaxelroth on January 1, 2015 - 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this post. I also think “outlasters” find what works for them. And then stick to it.
    http://www.elieaxelroth.com

  37. #37 by suecoletta on January 1, 2015 - 8:47 pm

    Love, love, love this post! It’s a hard lesson to learn, that you need to outlast the doubters who believe that since you received x-amount of rejections you will never “make it”, but a necessary one. I’ve removed many who roll their eyes or put writer in quotes when referring to me. Because I AM a writer. A thick-skinned, want-to-learn-something-new-everyday writer. And I will be victorious! Happy New Year, Kristen. You have my best wishes that this year will bring you nothing but joy and success!

  38. #38 by emhof on January 1, 2015 - 9:00 pm

    I loved this entry and I like the term ‘Outlaster.’ Sounds so fancy! I even tweeted it I loved it so much. Happy 2015!

  39. #39 by kimberlywenzler on January 1, 2015 - 10:05 pm

    Thanks for another great post! I hope you have a happy, healthy 2015. Looking forward to more🙂

  40. #40 by Lanette Kauten on January 1, 2015 - 10:43 pm

    I’m just glad 2014 is over. It has been one of my most difficult years, but on the back end of the year my son’s language processing issues dramatically improved, my rocky relationship with my daughter has smoothed out, and I signed with a new publisher. Going forward for 2015, I have laid out a four-year plan for my son’s education, I will finish the edits for my publisher, and I will write another book. I also hope to attract interest for my literary novel, but I understand that part’s out of my hands. What I can do is keep looking for representation.

  41. #41 by bardconstantine on January 1, 2015 - 11:35 pm

    Excellent post. I truly believe in being an outlaster, and plan to keep trying. It’s a marathon and like you said, a lot of people don’t have the endurance. It takes a lot to keep going, but I believe in what I’m doing and enjoy the hell out of it. So long as that’s the case, the race goes on…

  42. #42 by Carolyn Dekat on January 2, 2015 - 12:54 am

    Thank you, Kristen!

  43. #43 by bethcasey1961 on January 2, 2015 - 1:57 am

    Hi Kristen! Just finished reading your blog post, and I want to be an outlaster. Like you, 2014 was not the year I expected. I’ve spent the last 11 months in and out of hospitals very ill. I vowed to myself that 2015 would be my year — I would start and maintain a blog daily, and when I start my nonfiction book, I would blog it as well. I hope when you have a minute you’ll read my blog introduction, too. Have a great 2015!😀

  44. #44 by tambra nicole on January 2, 2015 - 2:16 am

    Loved your post! It meshes with the blog I wrote earlier (great minds or something like that). Everything you’ve said is true and I hope those who’ve just begun their writing journey think about what you’ve written. Going to check out your book, it sounds like just what I need.

  45. #45 by Lee S. Hawke on January 2, 2015 - 2:23 am

    Happy New Year, Kristen! I’m sorry to hear 2014 was so tough for you. 2014 was the year I came across you and began being inspired by your work. Thank you for all of your hilarious and invaluable blog posts, and I wish you the best for 2015.

  46. #46 by ashokbhatia on January 2, 2015 - 3:06 am

    Profound!

  47. #47 by John Baker on January 2, 2015 - 3:50 am

    If you live long enough you will have an interesting story to tell. This is probably why we cannot get enough of fictional immortals. Imagine how much better the nonfiction version might be. Keep outlasting and you may find out.

  48. #48 by Richard A Snow on January 2, 2015 - 5:56 am

    This is an amazing blog post. I’m sorry you had such a bad year, and I think your determination is amazing. Best wishes.

  49. #49 by vichetchou on January 2, 2015 - 7:53 am

    Reblogged this on Vichet and commented:
    Want to Be a “Success”? Learn to Be an Outlaster

  50. #50 by Paula Cappa on January 2, 2015 - 8:08 am

    Wow, you’ve got some really powerful thoughts here. I belong to a local authors’ group and we are all struggling to bump sales and stimulate our readership. I do find sharing with other authors helpful and encouraging. I’ve got my third novel at final draft and two published novels out there and short stories in the hoper. It’s a tough road to keep going sometimes. Your blog feels like a shot in the arm. Thanks! Wishing you the best for 2015.

  51. #51 by Allie P. on January 2, 2015 - 8:14 am

    I am truly sorry to read about your losses, but I’m glad to see you refuse to lay down and quit. I hope that 2015 is somewhat kinder to you.

  52. #52 by TraceyLynnTobin on January 2, 2015 - 8:27 am

    This was a great post, but one part stood out:
    “But how will you fare when the new wears off and those who pledged undying support and loyalty move on to a new shiny because we weren’t an overnight success?”
    I love this because it makes me feel that I’m heading in the right direction. This past October I self-published my zombie novel, “Nowhere to Hide”, and despite the fact that I’ve been anything BUT an overnight success, having gone this far only makes me desperate to go further. It makes me want to write more, publish more, market more, and just keep moving forward with unwavering persistence. This is a good thing. I think. lol

    My plans for the New Year are to write more than every before, and part of that is letting go of other goals that I thought were important to be but are really just a way of stressing myself out. If anything, that’s my tip: figure out what you REALLY want, and leave everything else for another time. You’ll be much happier and less stressed.

  53. #53 by Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR on January 2, 2015 - 9:50 am

    An amazing post, and at the perfect time. I’ll be reblogging this if I can ever figure out how to do it!

  54. #54 by Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR on January 2, 2015 - 10:00 am

    Reblogged this on Management Matters and commented:
    Wonderful blog from Kristen Lamb. Great way to start 2015 whether you’re a writer, business owner, manager, leader, human resources pro, or a wannabe any of the above. Read and learn! And don’t forget to let me know what you think!

  55. #55 by conniecockrell on January 2, 2015 - 10:45 am

    Thanks for the post. Great points to keep me going through the year.

  56. #56 by Shannon on January 2, 2015 - 10:57 am

    Thank you! I needed to hear this more than you know!! It’s like it was written for me…I am also fluffy, 40 and 5’3″ 🙂 Haha! You have inspired me to realize that my baby steps, however small, will get me to my destination eventually. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  57. #57 by Mindy on January 2, 2015 - 12:15 pm

    Kristen, you ROCK! I needed this —Today’s post really resonated with me. 2014 has been one of the best and one of the worst years for me. We bought a great home with a view of water – a lifelong dream, and my novel was published – another lifelong dream. but in all the hectic activity my cancer returned. As I look at all I need to do to market my novel, I am exhausted and realize that I have to pay more attention to the exhaustion than to the lifelong dream. Your post made me realize I needed help (DUH!) and that I could find some in like minded people. It also made it clear to me I need to cleanse some toxic relationships from my life and make room for the new (supportive) ones to come. Thank you for your post, for sharing,and for lifting me up when most needed. Cheers to a happier & healthier new year for us all! Mindy Halleck

  58. #58 by Robin Witt on January 2, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the post. I always enjoy them. And I bet you have a lot more than 40 regular blog readers these days🙂

  59. #59 by Suzanne Lilly on January 2, 2015 - 12:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Suzanne Lilly and commented:
    Kristen Lamb always has good things to say, and this New Year’s post is no exception. Been there, experienced that, kept on writing! You can do it too!

  60. #60 by Suzanne Lilly on January 2, 2015 - 12:23 pm

    Terrific advice as usual. I’m reblogging this on my TeacherWriter.net blog. Thanks!

  61. #61 by TeacherWriter on January 2, 2015 - 12:26 pm

    Reblogged this on Suzanne Lilly the TeacherWriter and commented:
    Kristen Lamb always has meaningful posts, and this is no exception. This New Year’s post will help you set priorities. Been there, experienced that, kept on writing! You can do it too!

  62. #62 by lylenicholson on January 2, 2015 - 12:30 pm

    Thanks for another inspiring post Kristen. Yes, the hardest thing to do is keep writing when all the shiny and new ideas turn into pages and pages of edits, and then rewrites. Those who keep going and slog on become writers.

    Thank you so much for reminding us all of that. Have a healthy and happy year, and keep up the posts. They are always so entertaining with my morning coffee.

  63. #63 by Shelby on January 2, 2015 - 2:54 pm

    I have been writing my book for 8 years now, that is a long time, and I am almost done. Now I haven’t spent hours everyday writing, but I am going to keep at it till it is done. Some day I want to be published, even if I am 80 when that day comes.

  64. #64 by Mari on January 2, 2015 - 4:39 pm

    This couldn’t POSSIBLY have arrived at a better time. I’ll read it again and re-read it often as I try to fold it into my new world view. Thanks for the permission to share. I’m going to schedule it for January 6th.

  65. #65 by Dawn DeSousa (@DawnDeSousa) on January 2, 2015 - 5:59 pm

    Hugs and wishing you a healthier 2015!

  66. #66 by mitchteemley on January 2, 2015 - 6:24 pm

    Good stuff, as always, Kristen. Happy New Year! http://mitchteemley.com/2015/01/02/the-only-resolution-that-matters/

  67. #67 by C.B. Wentworth on January 2, 2015 - 6:27 pm

    I needed this post! Thank you for reinforcing my chosen word for this year: persistence. 2014 was a bit of a rough year for me, too. Four people in my inner circle passed away and it was traumatizing. I never stopped writing, but I had to focus on smaller projects to allow myself time to grieve. My novel was shelved for a few months (even after coming back from an editor).

    Now that some time has passed and 2014 is behind me, I’m feeling a huge surge of energy for the new year. LIfe sometimes gets a little rough and pulls us away from our goals, but we never ever give up, right! May we both stick it out for the haul as outlasters!

  68. #68 by Raani York on January 2, 2015 - 7:36 pm

    Outlaster… I want to be one – or I am one…
    Maybe you will allow me to ask a question: Can I be an Outlaster but still work to get me food on the table (and into three cat bowls) and pay my bills?
    I hope you’re not angry about me – but I have set my goals in my head – and I’m working hard for them – but isn’t being a little “realistic” to keep me on the ground part of life?
    I’m asking because I’d love to be an Outlaster – but being that – and starving to death doesn’t really make sense.

    • #69 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 2, 2015 - 8:24 pm

      We all have to be realistic. I worked three years as a TECHNICAL WRITER, but I still plodded away on fiction and learning craft. The trick of being an Outlaster is yes, do what needs to be done, but realize dreams can be reached with baby steps as well😉 .

      • #70 by Raani York on January 3, 2015 - 11:26 am

        Thank you very much Kristen!! I’ll walk in baby steps then.🙂

  69. #71 by lovelylynettelaughs on January 3, 2015 - 1:19 am

    Fantastic advice! Thank you! I’m an INFJ with the desire to do it all, but I know I can’t and decided to work on my writing. Thank you for such great advice!

  70. #72 by lovelylynettelaughs on January 3, 2015 - 1:20 am

    Reblogged this on Lovely Lynette Laughs and commented:
    Great article!

  71. #73 by mbscully on January 3, 2015 - 8:38 am

    As a new author just getting started on her writing career, your words are very inspiring. I have had an extremely hard time over the past year or so getting my writing career moving, mostly crippled by my own fear of stepping out and just doing it. This year, however, I WILL reach my goals

  72. #74 by mbscully on January 3, 2015 - 8:38 am

    Reblogged this on M.B. Scully.

  73. #75 by Icy Sedgwick on January 3, 2015 - 9:34 am

    I’m a bad one for saying yes to everything when I should be saying “not right now”, and I always hated to say no because I don’t like letting people down. Trouble is, when you keep putting other people ahead of your own goals, they come to expect that, and they move the line of what is and isn’t acceptable. Every time you bend and say “yes”, they expect a little more. I’ve always prided myself on being flexible but even a hypermobile nutjob like me needs to say “Enough!” I’m making 2015 the Year of the Priority, and if people don’t want to bend to accommodate me, then…I guess I’ll know who IS worth my time!

  74. #76 by Emery Llewellyn Albertson on January 3, 2015 - 4:24 pm

    I found it very timely. It is the new year. After several months of chronic fatigue, I’ve got a new doctor and I feel better .I’m writing again and I found your words inspirational.

  75. #77 by katkent2014 on January 4, 2015 - 3:32 am

    Treating my daily writing like a professional with a serious daily writing job has been really important for me to get my YA thriller completed. This is an amazing article to remind me there are some really negative, toxic people in the world and its okay to distance yourself from them; but its also important to remember there are alot of really good people you meet in the writing business and its important to be there and supportive (a two-way street) in return. Thank you for an uplifting article and I can completely relate to the sticktoitness a writer must embrace to one day reach their goals; not really unlike many other professions. Thanks again.

  76. #78 by ccmanny on January 4, 2015 - 9:58 am

    Reblogged this on ccmanny and commented:
    Your so right. “We must endure” health and family setbacks. I find untimely, slow and hurts. Through all , we move forward. . Learning to be an outlaster.

  77. #79 by A Writer With Something To Say on January 4, 2015 - 9:56 pm

    First, I just want to say thanks so much for conversing with me via Facebook. For the 2015,my system to develop (not goal) is to read and write more. Currently, I work full-time and I’m a PhD doctoral student studying research psychology. I’m a writer also, but lately I haven’t been writing much on my w.i.p’s. Notice the ‘s, I need to get it together, lol. I love the W.A.N.A community on twitter. People have accepted me with open arms! Thanks again for all that you do and I’m sorry about your mishaps with the legal stuff. I hope it all gets better for you.

  78. #80 by A Writer With Something To Say on January 4, 2015 - 9:57 pm

    Reblogged this on The Krystol Meth(od) and commented:
    Great advice here on this blog! Writers, you have to check this out. I would not stir you wrong. Happy New Year and keep writing and blogging! All the best, Krystol

  79. #81 by Jeffrey McChesney on January 5, 2015 - 11:26 am

    If it is one thing I have noticed after making this journey, it is that we can’t work alone. I’m starting to grow into different communities to help me push this writer dream forward. I’ve tried for years on my own, and so far nothing. Getting involved is helping me get more things done and I love sharing in the success of those around me.

  80. #82 by newfsull on January 5, 2015 - 12:55 pm

    Great blog! Sorry you had such a challenging year.
    Even at sixty I get moments, (days) where the challenge to continue gets pounded by a resolve to concede. Such episodes usually follow where I have let down my guard and my normal routines have gone on vacation. A new day and a new focus wins every time.
    I wish you the best in 2015.

  81. #83 by amywrite on January 5, 2015 - 4:25 pm

    Thank you for encouraging us to hold on and reach our goals thank u so much

  82. #84 by Another Take on January 5, 2015 - 11:38 pm

    A key to achieving one’s goals is not just writing them down and posting them on the wall so that you see them every time you sit down at your desk or work station, but sharing them with someone who will help you keep your feet to the fire.

    It might feel a little like when you were in high school. You wanted to go hang out with your friends, but your mother asked you if your homework was done. So now even though we are adults and think we don’t need anyone looking over our shoulders, sometimes we need someone to ask us, “Have you reached your word count goal for the week?” when you want to go garage sale shopping on a Saturday or sit in front of the TV watching a classic movie.

    So find that strong supportive partner and share the goal you have the most difficulty working towards and ask them to stay on your case. Next Dec. 31, you’ll be glad that you did.

  83. #85 by Every Day is Saturday on January 6, 2015 - 12:09 pm

    Great stuff, as always. It’s about how much we’re willing to dig in and keep at it, not how passionately we feel about it. Bless you; I hope 2015 is kinder to you than 2014 was!

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