Saturday, December 31, 2011

Turning Pro in 2012

As the year winds down, every blogger, media outlet, television show, and radio program looks back at the past year and reminisces about the best and worst of 2011. If they are not doing that, they are hammering you with Resolutions. I’m here to wish you a Happy New Year and avoid doing those things.

With the sun setting on 2011, many of you have achieved the success that you’ve been wishing and working toward, and for others, you may not be where you want to be, yet. 

What makes the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t? Is it talent? Effort? Knowledge? Marketing? While these things play a role, I’ll offer my two cents on what makes the difference. 

Your mind and thoughts … 

It’s that simple. Get out of your own way and put success in your head.

This blog post is not for everyone, because many of you believe that you are there. I wasn’t. Exactly one year ago, I had never published a book, created a cover, formatted the interior, or even wrote, THE END. Sure I had been working on my debut novel and I knew that someday I would finish. But, someday never came. 

Then, I read a blog post from Larry Brooks at If you haven’t stumbled across Larry yet, he is one of the best out there. In his post, he sidetracked from his usual story engineering and six core principles for writing success and hit me with something that burned into my core.

I formed a sort of mantra with it and posted it on my computer. I read it every morning. I read it every time I found my wheels spinning. I read it after spending ten straight hours with final revisions. I read it after "working" my real job all day with no time to write. I believe it was the most important change that put me on the fast track to success. I’ll share it with you now.   

This year I will officially turn pro as a storyteller.
I will establish a schedule. I will set goals. I will solicit feedback. I will study. I will become a scholar of my genre.

I will render myself fluent in the language of my craft.
I am writing for an audience. For money. For my career. Acceptance of that awareness changes everything.
Larry Brooks,

It’s that simple. Believe it. Post it. Say it, everyday. Start everyday with this affirmation, then come back next year and share with me your success. It will happen. It has to happen. The universe works that way.

Happy New Year!


  1. Jim, very well said sir!! I was there for part of the journey and know how hard you worked at it, and I loved the final result! That mantra you shared can be tweaked for any goal, and I plan to do so for the big rides I have plann this year.

    Keep at it and looking forward to the 2nd book pal!


  2. Thanks Tony, you're the best. You're right, this can be used for anything. Happy New Year!

  3. Wow . . . I can say, "I knew him when . . . " I'm sure you will succeed at whatever you set your goals toward, Jim. Being a pro at writing, well, I know you are good at it so why not? Woody and I enjoyed your first book. I think you found the right audience and if you enjoy it, the rest will follow. Go get 'em!!
    Happy New Year to you and Mel!
    Max & Woody

  4. Great inspiration. I just finished a Ph.D. this Summer after 5 years in School and started setting goals, getting feedback and learning my craft in September by starting a blog. I work full-time at another job so I appreciate your comment that it is hard with no time to write (or some days just the energy). But i've started thinking of my writing as talking over a cup of coffee with my best friend: I'm now writing for them, not me. I hope I'm on target as it's easy to get distracted these days. Thanks for the post. I hope to have a book ready for publication by the end of this year. Regards, Agatha

  5. Max, you're too much. We miss you guys. Say Happy New Year to Woody for us.

  6. Agatha,

    You touched my heart. Please keep in contact and let me know how it is going. Happy New Year, and if I can help in any way, please let me know.

  7. Jim, thanks for sharing. This is the fundamental idea that so many people miss.

  8. Thanks Mystichawker, I appreciate the comments.