Guarantee you will find something that works on your team and works in your personal lifeY."  She concentrates on one novel at a time,  writing eight hours a day, every day, even while on vacation. Rather than begin with an outline or plot summary, Roberts instead envisions a key incident, character, or setting. She then writes a short first draft that has the basic elements of a story. After finishing the first draft, Roberts goes back to the beginning of the novel. The second draft usually sees the addition of details, the "texture and color" of the work, as well as a more in-depth study of the characters. She then does a final pass to polish the novel before sending it to her agent, Amy Berkower. She often writes trilogies, finishing the three books in a row so that she can remain with the same characters.
GO AROUND ROOM-- THIS IS goal setting for workshop
Last two go to personality-- Myers-Briggs-- we’ll discuss it later
Last two go to personality-- Myers-Briggs-- we’ll discuss it later
This is also true in your book-- a neg protag
Cross-dresses-- Officer in ST Louis
The Passionate Friends= English Patient
MOST THINK SUSTAINED ACTION IS HARDEST- BUT NOT NECESSARILY
GO AROUND ROOM-- THIS IS goal setting for workshop
Kubler-Ross’s stages of death and dying also the editorial process
Thus the SAR Ambushes
Change leads us to Leadership
Impostor syndrome next-- Fraud
What was your favorite book? Reading Lehane all weekend
Schwarzeneger and Real Estate Writing scared
why does the team exist?
Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author 10-24-17
Write it Forward:
From Writer to Successful Author
“I’m convinced fear is at
the root of most bad
• He tried even though the odds of rejection were high.
• He walked in the door, even though he was afraid.
• He went even though his wife didn’t think he had it.
• He stayed after being rejected.
• He stayed after being told not only was the work rejected, he was.
• He asked questions.
• Even though he was angry, he was respectful.
• He listened.
• He used his PLATFORM and tried again.
• He used his real self and mined his emotions.
• He conquered his FEAR.
• He CHANGED.
What Did Johnny Cash Do?
Many successful people use elements of it, they just don’t call
Nora Roberts sells 27 books every minute.
She has 182 books in print.
“You're going to be unemployed if you really think you just
have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your
Why Use Write It Forward?
“I am always doing that which I
cannot do in order to learn how to do
I’ll do anything to achieve
my writing goal, except
don’t ask me to do . . . . .?
Special Force One:
WHAT do you want to
“Creativity without strategy or
strategy without creativity is
unlikely to get either parties the
results they are anticipating.”
• Most writers are desperate to get published
• Once published, they’re desperate to sell the next
book. Then the next.
• Or they’re under contract to deliver the next book,
then the next, and . . .
• Most writers don’t have a strategic goal
•Is talent or perseverance more important?
•Science has too long focused on intelligence & talent
as determiners of success. And it’s not.
•Setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it
takes until the goal has been achieved.
•1869 Galton-- Hereditary Genius: ‘ability combined with
zeal & capacity for hard work’ trumps talent.
•Duckworth study 2008 West Point: Grit was determining
factor of Beast Barracks success.
•Woody Allen: “80% of success is showing up.” Again
•Jim Carrey and the Hollywood Sign
•Overall writing goal (Strategic)
•Book goal (Tactical)
•Business goal (Tactical)
•Shorter range/daily goals (Tactical)
The Hierarchy of Goals
• I want to be a NY Times best-selling author in 5
• I want to write my memoir for my grandchildren.
• I want to write part-time simply because it is a
• I want to get published within 2 years.
• I want to have my book in print within 6 months.
• I want to write a book that will help people with -----.
Strategic Goals Can Be
• Have a positive verb that indicates the action you
want to use to achieve your goal.
• The verb must indicate an action you control*.
• Concise, understandable wording.
• An external, visible outcome.
• A time lock for achieving the goal.
• KEEP IT POSITIVE- A NEGATIVE GOAL ACCEPTS
State your goals in one
•State your strategic writing goal in one
sentence of 25 words or less.
•Then write down all your tactical goals in
support of your strategic goal.
•Align the hierarchy of goals.
The One Sentence Goal
& Hierarchy-- The Solutions.
•It starts your creative and practical process.
•It determines your subordinate goals.
•Remembering it keeps you focused.
•It is the core of your work regime.
•It is the core of your marketing campaign.
•All other subordinate goals must align with it in
of Your Strategic Goal
•Do you want mainstream publishing?
•Do you want to self-publish?
•Do you want a major, NY publisher?
•Do you want a regional, prestige publisher?
•Do you want e-publishing?
Key Tactical Goal: How do you
•I will be a New York Times best-
selling author within five years.
•I will write a unique thriller, in the vein of
James Rollins, but different because of ????,
in the next six months.
•I will be researching and finish outlining the
second book in the series.
•I will research and come up with the idea for
the third book in the series.
Tactical Goal (Book)
• My thriller will be the first of three similar thrillers featuring
the same protagonist, an ex- Navy SEAL, Harvard
educated, anthropologist with one arm who secretly cross-
• Every week I will research and make a list of five agents
interested in this genre.
• I will attend a writers conference this month where there is
an author who has what I want and attend every session I
• I will attend a writers conference in four months where
there will be agents that represent my type of novel to get
feedback from them.
• I will follow the publishing business to see what the trends
Tactical Goal (Business)
• I will get up an hour earlier every day to write.
• I will stay up an hour later every night to write.
• I will write five pages a day. Every day.
• I will have a draft done in ten weeks.
• I will rewrite the draft for plot, for character, for symbols, for
• As I rewrite, I will write my query letter and synopsis.
• I will continue to rewrite my query letter and synopsis until
they are the best I can make them.
Tactical Goal (Shorter Range)
•This is your responsibility, not your agent’s or
•If goals are not aligned, there is inherent conflict
and wasted time and energy.
•Awareness and honesty are key.
of Goals Must Be Aligned
“He who has a why to
live can bear with
almost any how.”
•Understanding WHY you want to achieve
your goals increases innovation and
•Understanding WHY allows you to focus on
the real goal.
•Understanding your environment helps you
work with it and those around you.
•You need to understand the personal
environment in which you write and the
publishing environment in which you want to
• Look for the goals (WHAT).
• Look for the intent (WHY).
• See what works.
• See what doesn’t.
• Study the career paths of writers.
• Their publishing paths.
• Their break-out book.
Study And Find Similar
Writers (Author dissection)
• The Three Hardest Words
• Willingness to Surrender
• Growth Mindset
• Buridan’s Ass
• When we have too many options, we don’t focus on
the ones we should
• Close doors
•Male linear thinking.
•Female circular thinking.
•Big picture thinking.
•Aka pantser vs a planner.
•Which leads to profiling yourself.
Archetypes & Creativity.
•If you aren’t where you want to be, you must
•Change isn’t just thinking differently, but the
1st step of change is to think differently.
•Make is externally imposed.
•Become is internally motivated.
•The successful become.
•Can people change?
•You want to show change, not just talk about
•Change requires three things to happen . . .
•Moment of Enlightenment
•Make a decision
•Implement Sustained Action
What is Change?
What step of change do you
believe you have the most
• Sustained Action?
• Experience something never experienced before.
• Experience something you’ve experienced before, but it affects you
differently than ever before.
• This is the classic ‘light bulb going on’.
• By itself, it is not change, just a momentary awareness.
• Denial often blocks MOEs.
• Anger stops MOEs when it is actually an indicator of an MOE.
Moment of Enlightenment
• Because of the Moment of Enlightenment, a decision is made.
• It is not necessarily a good decision.
• You then are either:
• Stuck with the decision (externally imposed change) or
• Stick with the decision (internally motivated change)
• By itself, a decision is not change, just a fleeting commitment.
• Bargaining can dilute a decision.
• Depression can cause you to give up on decision.
• Because of the decision, behavior is changed.
• The changed behavior is sustained long enough to become habit.
• In the military, this is called training.
• The 5% rule for external and internal sustained action.
• Sustained action leads to change.
• Sliding back on the five stages stops this.
• Acceptance is not easy-- your reality has changed.
• Is perseverance more important than talent?
• Statistically born out by: weight loss, AA, Black Belts, getting
published, Death & Dying, etc..
• Many people are wanna-be’s.
• Cannot do three steps on own.
• Can’t get through five stages on own.
• (You will need to ask for help, BTW)
The 5% Rule
“Talent is less important in film-
making than patience. If you
really want your films to say
something that you hope is
unique, then patience and
stamina, thick skin and a kind
of stupidity, a mule-like
stupidity, is what you really
“Life shrinks or expands in
proportion to one’s courage.”
• Fear of failure
• Fear of success
• Fear of rejection
• Fear of starting
• Fear of finishing
• Fear of revealing too much about ourselves
• Fear of criticism
• Fear of making the wrong decision
• Fear of having hit one’s peak
• Fear of making a mistake
• Fear of not being good enough
• Fear of the business
• Fear of having regrets
• The first step is to rip away the denial.
• Look at what you think is your greatest strength and turn it around.
• Most fear is subconscious-- you will likely need help finding the true
• We bend our lives around our fears.
• Your fear won’t change things-- it has no power--it won’t keep the
• Fear can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
• Many people have difficulty internalizing their accomplishments
• We look to external things like luck and contacts as the reason for
• We feel like we are ‘fooling’ everyone
• The more success someone has, the greater this feeling
The Impostor Syndrome
• Many writers/artists feel like a fraud
“I still think People will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m not
very good. It’s all been a big sham.” Michelle Pfeiffer
“Sometimes I wake up before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do
this: I’m a fraud. They’re going to fire me. I’m Fat. I’m ugly...” Kate
• Everyone has doubts
The Impostor Syndrome
• HALO effect
• Focus on positive feedback
• Weed out your parent’s voice in your head if negative
• Be aware of using self-deprecation as a social strategy
• Internalize your accomplishments
• Read your own resume
The Impostor Syndrome
• Communication is essential to success.
• It is how you interact with the world.
• Two way street-- get your message across to others and receive
• You must understand your creative process in communicating;
where you are strong and where you need to improve.
• As writers, we are communicators.
• Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front and to
prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Horse artillery may
accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate.
• The primary goal of communication is to evoke a response.
• Thus, the receiver of the communique is more important than the
• Thus, the sender needs to take the point of view of the person the
message is intended for.
• We are transmitting both logic and emotion.
• We are transmitting on the conscious and subconscious levels.
• We are externalizing something internal.
• How do you organize your daily life-- this is how you will organize
• If you outline, do you outline just plot, or do you ‘outline’ characters?
• If you’re a pantser, how much rewriting do you do?
• Is your rewriting focused on plot or character?
• Consider front-loading the part of the book that is your weakest
• Consider genre in terms of your strengths & weaknesses as a
The Creative Process
• A detail person needs to ‘see’ the big picture: aka collage?
• A big picture person needs to ‘see’ the details: aka story grid.
“This is not a book to be tossed
aside lightly. It should be
thrown with great force.”
• Content and procedure
• Have a purpose.
• You must inform and entertain.
• Is it a time suck-- yes-- but only if you do it badly.
“We are all
warriors in the
battle of life, but
some lead and
~ Kahlil Gibran
• You must be able to lead yourself.
• You must be able to interact with others and ‘lead’ them
• You have to take charge of your career.
• Take command of your situation and assess it.
• In publishing every deal, every development is a ‘good’ news-‘bad’
• You are responsible.
• Expecting your publisher to promote your book, is like expecting
your OB-GYN to raise your child
• You worst-case the scenario.
• You plan for the worst case-- Go To S$%# plan to avoid the worst
• It relies only on you and your readily available assets.
• If the worst case happens, you have a plan.
• Most importantly, knowing that if thing Go To S$%#, you have a
plan, reduces fear and anxiety.
Special Force Nine:
COMPLETE the Circle of
• The elements are in place, but not synchronized.
• Time is not used efficiently.
The paradoxical rules of rule breaking:
• 1. Know the rule.
• 2. Have a good reason for breaking the rule.
• 3. Accept the consequences of breaking the rule.
• Unifying concept.
• Unifying theme.
• Aka: Concept= West Point graduates
• Aka: Theme= Honor vs loyalty
• Setting: Backdropped against the Civil War
• Working on large level and at personal level.
For a Series
1.WHAT: Set and align goals.
2.WHY: State your intent.
3.WHERE: Conduct an Area Study.
4.CHARACTER: Understand self & others.
5.CHANGE: Change using the three steps.
6.COURAGE: Understand fear and the blind spot.
7.COMMUNICATE: Use effective communication.
8.COMMAND: Use personal and team leadership.
9.COMPLETE: Put it all together for mission execution.
Writing Scenic Workshop
•An intense, on-premises workshop focusing on idea, conflict, story and the ever-
changing business of publishing.
•At our house on Scenic Drive in Knoxville, TN
•Most importantly, this workshop focuses on developing your creative process as
•Led by Bob Mayer and his wife, Debbie.
•We’ve worked with everyone from #1 NY Times best-selling authors to novices
writing their first book.
•Limited to four people per workshop. This workshop can also come to you if you
have four interested writers. For schedule contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Mayer is a New York Times bestselling author, a graduate of West
Point, a former Green Beret, grandfather to two future Leaders of the
Resistance against the Machines, and feeder of two yellow Labs, most
famously Cool Gus. He’s had over seventy books published, including the
#1 bestselling series Time Patrol, Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets.
Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world (usually not the tourist
spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife and his Labs. Sort of.
Conflict the Fuel of Your Story and the Conflict Box
Plot I: Research and Narrative Questions
Plot II: Outlining
Plot III: Narrative Structure
Point of View
Write It Forward: From Writer to Bestselling Author
Writers Conference Guide (Free eBook)
Three P’s: Platform, Product, Promotion
Writers’ Block and Rewriting
How to Write the Query/Synopsis
Planning for NaNoWriMo Success
Bob Mayer’s Workshops, Seminars & Presentations
Your Creative Process: How You Write
The Present and Future of Publishing for Writers
Writers Workshop and Retreat
ON WRITING SLIDESHARES
For More Information click on covers
The Complete Writer is four books at discount in
New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green
Beret, and feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had
over seventy books published, including the #1 bestselling series Time
Patrol, Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. Born in the Bronx and
having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and labs.
Sort of. Free books below available HERE