"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What We Can Learn From the "Little Engine That Could!" Tips to Move Forward...

 
Sometimes as writers and bloggers, our goals seem a bit lofty.
Perhaps it's to win a prestigious award, or to pen a best selling novel, or to earn six figures in the next 12 months.

We start out with the best intentions, as we chart our course and prepare for the journey.
But later we become discouraged. We lose steam. There are many detours along the way: a financial setback, rejections, self-doubt. The load becomes heavy. Our view becomes clouded. We can't seem to see "the light at the end of the tunnel."

Sound familiar?  Don't let obstacles take you off course.
Just look at the "Little Engine that Could."
Raise your hand if you remember the story. :-)

For those that don't, here's a brief 4-1-1.
It's a kid's story that is said to have origins back in the 1930's.
It tells the tale of how several large engines were asked to pull a long train over a difficult mountain; they all refused.

All except a little blue engine, who with a little positivity, "forward" thinking and determination, was able to get the job done.

Here are a few lessons we can take from it, as we move forward in our careers in 2014.
  1. There's great truth to the adage: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." Do something. Join a writer's group. Find a mentor. Take a class. Start a blog. Stop wasting time. You'd be surprised how a small investment of your time can yield major results. 
  2. When you feel like you're losing steam, keep going...take a break as needed, but don't give up. Change your routine. Or your scenery. Or simply reframe your thoughts. And don't forget to be your own cheerleader by celebrating small successes and victories along the way.
  3. Don't be intimidated by your size. Are you a blogger with a small audience? Do you feel "little" in comparison to the big sites that get loads of comments and awards? Know that there's a place for you too in your niche. You don't have to have a big audience to make a big impact. Always do your best and be authentically you.
  4. Think positively. Remember, "As a man thinketh, so it is." Our history is full of "famous" people that were told that they "couldn't"--actors, athletes, and entrepreneurs like Lucille Ball, Walt Disney, Michael Jordan---but they refused to allow others to define their dreams. You shouldn't either. Don't let negative people derail you.
  5. Carry your weight. Don't expect others to do the work for you. Ask for help when needed, but know that the road to success comes from plugging away and pushing ahead through your own efforts. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Consistently.
Heed these timely strategies to cover more ground and go the distance in 2014.
I think you can! I think you can! I think you can!

Thoughts here? Anything you would add?

20 comments:

  1. Jennifer--Great post. Thinking back on the story, I can't add a thing. I especially like the part about keeping our voices authentic. If we aren't coming from a true place, no one will listen because we'll sound fake.

    I know I can, I know I can, I know I can...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sioux,

      Thanks so much for weighing in and starting us off. I hate fake. I agree :-)

      Delete
  2. Hi, Jen:

    One of the setbacks I've been encountering is a change in course that I'm contemplating. As I just told our pal Karen L., I may take a blogging hiatus while I examine some options that have been catching my eye as of late.

    Thank you for the constant tips and encouragement. It's always sunny over at your place, so thanks for the rays!

    Smooches...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a sweetheart! Hey, how come you told her first? I thought I was your "bestie"? LOL
      Wishing you much sucess on whatever path you choose to travel. Keep me posted. :-)

      Delete
  3. Jennifer-Thank you for the pep talk. I sometimes find myself on a plateau, going nowhere, I still have to keep my goal in mind and move ahead. I had almost forgotten the power behind that children's story,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple but powerful, right? :-) Keep on chug-a-lugging along---you'll get there. And keep the faith. :-) It was great to connect with you today, quietspirit.

      Delete
  4. #4 resonates with me. I have always believed in me, and I am patient. Your encouraging posts are what keeps us coming back. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And fabulous followers like you keep me coming back to the Blog scene. Week after week, month after month, year after year. A little encouragement, a little "tough love" that's what this Blog is about. Thanks, Lin! :-)

      Delete
  5. I love these tips - such sage advice. I appreciate these encouraging words. Keep moving forward, yes, this is key. I agree with the others, and especially Janette's comment. Your place is a ray of sunshine, warm and encouraging. Thanks, Jen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww...You're too kind. And I'm basking in the warmth here. :-) Much appreciation.

      Delete
  6. I'm #3 all the way. But I am "authentically me." And sometimes small is powerful - kind of like the atom. =0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Tru 'dat!" I couldn't have said it better; thanks for saying it here. :-)
      Hope all is well.

      Delete
  7. My words for this year are, "move forward." :)

    I'll add another item to the mix: help others reach their goals, and they'll support your dreams.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tips Jennifer. With NowNovel.com we have a lot of writers aiming to finish their novel, and its actually the perspiration which is more of a challenge than the inspiration.
    Actually sitting down and writing (even when you think the muse has deserted you) is tougher than having a blinding flash of inspiration and having an idea. Thanks for calling that challenge out for others

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brendan,

      Welcome! And thanks so much for adding input and connecting. :-)

      Delete
  9. Those are great tips to move forward Jennifer, one of the thing that I like about blogging is that you can view a blog somewhat as a 'Self-Reliant-House'

    As you can read about in this blog post about How Blog Maintenance Can Become Inspirational

    Because with a blog, - especially when you also get interesting & inspiring readers feedback, and some time to think about the topics again - the blogs archive can be an ongoing source of inspiration for writing - crispy fresh - new blog posts.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How true. Thanks for adding this to the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  12. Especially lesson Nr.2 about keep on going, (like for example writing a follow up comment:)) and the possiblitity to reframe thoughts is practical for what moving forward is concerned. (it is actually one of the things that you can also read about on the Writing Secret page of my blog)

    For example sometimes when publishing a new blog post that I am excited about, instantly expecting lot's of views and comments & replies when nothing seems to be happening, it's easy to get somewhat disappointed.

    Than when realizing that you might not alway's will get instant 'Cheering Crowds' , for what ever reason, than instead of instantly expecting lot's of views comments & replies, you might better look at it as a blog posts that just need to be discovered,

    Because sometimes in the archive I see old blog post that I thought to be practically ignored, over time actually made it to the Most Popular Posts list!

    ReplyDelete