If someone in your industry is more successful than you, it’s probably because he or she has worked harder at it than you do.
Sure, maybe she is inherently more talented writer than you, had more opportunities than you, is more adept at networking than you; but consistency will always beat talent. Overtime those advantage counts for less and less. This is why the world is full of highly talented, lucky, network-savvy, failed mediocres.
Talent wins initially; consistency wills the long race.
Consistency comes with stamina.
Stamina is misunderstood, however.
Stamina is not the ability to sustain the prolonged effort as the definition as it.
Stamina is not even endurance. It is not the ability to withstand unpleasant or difficult endeavors without giving way.
Stamina is the ability to stay longest in the arena.
It is to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, so that you can stay in the game as long as it takes.
Having the stamina means knowing that you have a long road ahead of you. Your job is to figure out how best to manage it.
The tortoise had more stamina than the hare because the tortoise was consistent.
Stamina is utterly important.
Stamina is only possible if it’s managed well.
People think all they need to do is endure one crazy, intense, job-free creative burst, and their dreams will come true. They are wrong. They are insanely wrong.
Being good at anything is like figure skating — the definition of being good can make it look easy. But it is never easy. That is what people continue to forget.
More than anything else, you will need stamina for writing.
As an authorpreneur, you will be writing endlessly and for most of your life.
Take any successful writer. They write thousands of articles and dozens of books, that too with a day job, while raising a family and facing all the things life throw at them.
How do they manage that. The stamina they had developed in the early stages of their writing life.
A book takes several passes — first draft, structural edit, second-edit, third-edit. I know a writer who has done 56 edits on a single book. It takes even seasoned writers six to twelve months to publish a book. And they keep a steady frequency of their books.
But they don’t write ten hours a day.
You don’t have to write ten hours a day to become an authorpreneur.
Not even the bestselling writers do that.
But they write every day.
Find an hour or two in your day. An hour or two is all you need. In that hour or two, do write something. A sentence. A paragraph. A scene. An article.
You don’t even have to publish an article a day. Or a book a year. Don’t worry about all that. First, build the habit of writing every day. That is the stamina you need to build. Writing every day. Even if it is fifteen minutes to start with.
Toni Morrison wrote her books in fifteen minutes intervals. That is all she had with a family to raise and living to make.
It might mean you will not get to watch TV as much you are used to watching before. Or you will not get to surf the net as much as you used to. Or you will not be able to socialize like before. But who cares. You are doing something that is most important to you.
Fifteen minutes a day is insanely easy to find.
Even an hour or two is very manageable.
You can make that in fifteen minutes intervals. Fifteen minutes before going to work, fifteen minutes at lunchtime, fifteen minutes before dinner, and maybe an hour after dinner. Cut out that TV, and you will find all the time you need for your writing.
Guard that time with all your passion. Use it in the best possible way. Not to give output but to build stamina.
It is time a marathon runner spends running around the block every day.
No one is demanding anything from you in that time. No one is pressuring you to write something publishable. Write to build your writing muscles. Write to satisfy yourself. Write to practice putting your thoughts on the paper.
Put the hours in; build the stamina, do it for long enough, and magical life-transforming things will happen eventually.