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Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author

There is more to writing for a living than penning the book. You have run a business as an author. This is something that isn't taught in schools or in the industry. This book bridges that gap.

Write It Forward is a one-of-a-kind book focusing on you, the author. In Write It Forward Bob Mayer applies the time- tested strategies of the Green Berets to the world of being a successful author. He has taught thousands of writers over the years, but this new and innovative program probes deeper than words on the page. It is designed to teach writers how to think, plan and become the future best-sellers of the new age of publishing. The benefits you'll gain from this book will extend far beyond your writing and reach into all areas of your life making dreams a reality.

"I have always loved how your programs delved deeply into the psychological models you need to develop characters. No you are using that to develop people." Co-Creator of the Chicken Soup Books Jack Canfield

"Whatever Bob Mayer has to tell us about writing is something we should know. His Toolkit proves an invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned writers alike. Don't miss out." #1 NY Times best-selling author Terry Brooks

"Bob Mayer is a gifted writer and a generous teacher." #1 NY Times best-selling author Susan Wiggs

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Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author

  2. 2. What Is Holding You Back? YOU
  3. 3. Why Use Write It Forward? Many sucessful people use elements of it. Nora Roberts sells 27 books a 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 shoulder.”
  4. 4. I’ll do anything to achieve my writing goal, except don’t ask me to do . . . . .? This is a thing you know you ought to do, but simply can’t muster the courage/energy to accomplish.
  5. 5. •Clearly understanding your goals keeps you on target to succeed •Both your goals and your book’s goals Goals-- What
  6. 6. •A dream with an external visible outcome that is written down with an end date becomes a goal. •A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. •A plan backed by action becomes reality. Goals-- What
  7. 7. •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 long-term strategic goal Strategic Goals.
  8. 8. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re liable to end up somewhere else.” ~Casey Stengel
  9. 9. •Overall career goal (Strategic) •Book goal (Tactical) •Business goal (Tactical) •Shorter range/daily goals (Tactical) The Hierarchy of Goals
  10. 10. • I want to be a NY Times best-selling author in 5 years. • I want to write my memoir for my grandchildren. • I want to write part-time simply because it is a hobby. • 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 Anything.
  11. 11. •Have a positive verb that indicates the action you want to use to achieve your goal. •The verb indicates an action you control. •Concise, understandable wording. •An external, visible outcome. •A time lock for achieving the goal. •KEEP IT POSITIVE- A NEGATIVE GOAL INVITES DEFEAT State your goals in one sentence.
  12. 12. •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 approach publishing?
  13. 13. •Is talent or perseverance more important? •Science has too long focused on intelligence & talent as determiners of success. •It’s not. Strategic Goals: GRIT
  14. 14. Grit is: Combination of passion and long- term perseverance. Professor Duckworth studied West Point Beast Barracks and the Special Forces Qualification Course for determiners of ucces: She found grit was the determining factor. I’ve successfully complete both course (and helped design the new version of the Q-Course). I agree.
  15. 15. Setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been achieved. Thus the Key To Success is:
  16. 16. “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” ~Nietzsche
  17. 17. • Look for their goals (WHAT). • See what worked. See what didn’t. • Study the career paths of writers and artists in all fields. • Their creative paths. Their break-out. • But understand you are unique & so are they. Study Artists
  18. 18. WHERE-- The Problem • You are working in conflict with yourself. • You are working in conflict with your personal environment. • You are working in conflict with the publishing world (Yes, it makes no sense, but it is what it is— use it; don’t fight it).
  19. 19. •The Three Hardest Words are “I am wrong.” Followed by “I need to change.” •Willingness to Surrender •Growth Mindset •Buridan’s Ass: Either eat or drink, but stop procrastinating or else you’ll collapse of hunger and thirst! •When we have too many options, we don’t focus on the ones we should Open-Mindedness
  20. 20. •When we have too many options, we don’t focus on the ones we should •Close doors— we always have the power to say “NO!” •You can’t do everything. •You have to pick which ones you’re going to do and let go of the others. •Make a decision! Open-Mindedness
  21. 21. •How do you think? •How do your create? •What is your pathological need? •How do you sabotage yourself? Your Creative Process
  22. 22. • Male linear thinking. • Female circular thinking. • Big picture thinking. • Detail thinking. • Aka pantser vs a planner. Archetypes & Creativity.
  23. 23. “Because writing is such a solitary, inwardly-directed job, a woman writer really has to carve out a space for herself to work. Which means she has to take it seriously. As John Gardner once said: ‘If you believe that what you’re doing isn’t important, you’re right’.” ~Dennis Palumbo
  24. 24. INTP= Architect ENTP= Inventor INTJ= Scientist ENTJ= Field Marshall INFP= Questor ENFP= Journalist INFJ= Author ENJF= Pedagogue ESJF= Seller ISFJ= Conservator ESFP= Entertainer ISFP= Artist ESTJ= Administrator ISTJ= Trustee ESTP= Promoter ISTP= Artisan Myers-Briggs Types
  25. 25. • Don’t focus on what you are. • Focus on what you aren’t! This shows you what you have to change. • What is the opposite of your type? • If you are an INFJ (author), the opposite is ESTP (promoter). Myers-Briggs Types
  26. 26. •If you aren’t where you want to be, YOU must change. •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. Change.
  27. 27. •Can people change? Of course. •You want to show change through action, not just talk about it. •Change requires three things to happen . . . Change.
  28. 28. •Moment of Enlightenment •Make a decision •Implement Sustained Action Three Steps of Change:
  29. 29. • 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, especially for men. Moment of Enlightenment
  30. 30. • 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. Decision
  31. 31. • Because of the decision, behavior is changed. • The changed behavior is sustained long enough to become habit. • In the military, this is called training. • Sustained action leads to change. • We develop a new habit. Sustained Action.
  32. 32. •Denial •Anger •Bargaining •Depression •Acceptance Emotional Stages of Change
  33. 33. • Sliding back on the five emotional stages stops change. • Acceptance is not easy-- your reality has changed. Sustained Action.
  34. 34. What step of change do you believe you have the most trouble with? • Moment of Enlightenment? • Decision? • Sustained Action?
  35. 35. What step of change do you believe you have the most trouble with? • Most people believe it is sustained action. • The reality, though, is that you have to get to sustained action first. • Think back on times in your life when you’ve changed and examine them. What was the hardest part? • For some it was realizing the need to change. For others it was making the decision. • Sometimes, making the decision isn’t the problem: it’s being afraid of making a mistake that keeps us from making the hard decision.
  36. 36. •5% of people are capable of self-motivated change: GRIT! •Statistically born out by: weight loss, AA, Black Belts, getting published, Death & Dying, etc.. •Many people are wanna-be’s. The 5% Rule
  37. 37. “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 need.” ~Terry Gilliam
  38. 38. •Fear of failure •Fear of success •Fear of rejection •Fear of starting Fears of Writers
  39. 39. •Fear of finishing •Fear of revealing too much about ourselves •Fear of criticism Fears of Writers
  40. 40. •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 Fears of Writers
  41. 41. • The first step is to rip away the denial. • Look at what you think is your greatest strength and turn it around. Your fear hides there in your blind spot. • Most fear is subconscious-- you will likely need help finding the true root. Yep. Therapy. • We bend our lives around our fears. • Your fear won’t change things-- it has no power--it won’t keep the plane flying • Fear can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dealing with Fears
  42. 42. •Many people have difficulty internalizing their accomplishments •We look to external things like luck and contacts as the reason for our successes •We feel like we are ‘fooling’ everyone •The more success someone has, the greater this feeling The Impostor Syndrome
  43. 43. •Many writers/artists feel like a fraud “I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don't know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn't consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read.” Neil Gaiman The Impostor Syndrome
  44. 44. •Many writers/artists feel like a fraud “I have written 11 books, but each time I think ‘Uh-oh’, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find out.” Maya Angelou “I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.” John Steinbeck. •Everyone has doubts The Impostor Syndrome
  45. 45. • I can give the impression I am more competent than I really am. • I often compare myself to those around me and consider them more intelligent than I am. • I get discouraged if I’m not the ‘best’ in an endeavor. The more you agree with the following statements, the greater your Impostor Syndrome
  46. 46. • I hate being evaluated by others. • If someone gives me praise for something I’ve accomplished, it makes me fear that I won’t live up to his or her expectations in the future. • I’ve achieved my current position via luck and/or being in the right place at the right time. The more you agree with the following statements, the greater your Impostor Syndrome
  47. 47. • When I think back to the past, incidents where I made mistakes or failed come more readily to mind than times when I was successful • When I finish a manuscript, I usually feel like I could have done so much better. • When someone compliments me, I feel uncomfortable The more you agree with the following statements, the greater your Impostor Syndrome
  48. 48. • I’m afraid others will find out my lack of knowledge/expertise. • When I start a new manuscript, I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish it, even though I’ve already finished X number of manuscripts. The more you agree with the following statements, the greater your Impostor Syndrome
  49. 49. • If I’ve been successful at something, I often doubt I can do it again successfully. Impostor Syndrome
  50. 50. Women tend to agree more with IS statements than men. Women tend to believe that intelligence is a fixed trait that cannot be improved over time. Women who feel like impostors tend to seek favorable comparisons with their peers. Men who feel like impostors tend to avoid comparisons with their peers. Often, they work harder so other people won’t think them incapable or dumb, but the work is a smoke screen. Impostor Syndrome
  51. 51. •HALO effect. Step out of yourself. Look at your own resume. •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 The Impostor Syndrome
  52. 52. Have mule-like stupidity. The Impostor Syndrome
  53. 53. • Acknowledge it is exists. • Define what you really fear, often the blind spot. • Factor it in, both positively and negatively. • Open and honest communication reduces anxiety and fear. • Trust reduces anxiety and fear. • Recognize which of the three steps of change is your flaw Overcoming Fear
  54. 54. • The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger with self-possession, confidence, and resolution, • The ability to do something that frightens one. • Strength in the face of pain or grief. What is Courage?
  55. 55. • Expand your comfort zone into your courage zone. • Courage is acting in the face of fear. • Your strongest emotional defenses are around your greatest weaknesses. • Often what we think is our strongest character strength hides our weakest. • As writers, most of us must fight being an introvert. Courage
  56. 56. “Have no fear of perfection-- you’ll never reach it.” ~Dali.
  57. 57. • You can’t separate your writing from you, the writer • Living with fear is ultimately worse than confronting it • Attack the ambush. Face your fear head on. • Put long-term goals ahead of short-term goals • Write what you know- maybe write what you are afraid to know. • Lean into fear-- if you can’t face it head on, face it incrementally. • Be curious about your fear-- it’s a cave- but treasure could be inside • Bottom line: Take action. Overcoming Fear
  58. 58. Overcoming Fear
  59. 59. • Every day try to do something that you dislike doing, but need to do. • Action is the only way to grow courage. • If you’re introverted, talk to a stranger every day. • If you’re a practical person, do something intuitive every day. • Do the opposite of your Myers-Briggs character. Overcoming Fear
  60. 60. • You must first master the craft. • Learn the “rules” of writing and publishing. • Study, practice. • Consider your first manuscript an investment in the future. • The vast majority of wanna-be writers never go beyond that first learning manuscript, especially with the lure of self-publishing. • Then, to become an artist, you must break rules. Or else you’re just like everyone else. Rule Breaking
  61. 61. 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.
  62. 62. For more free slideshows on writing, survival, history and other topics, go to:
  63. 63. How to write the book How to be an author “A book to inspire, instruct and challenge the writer in everyone.” #1 NY Times Best-Selling Author Susan Wiggs "An invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned writers alike. Don't miss out." #1 NY Times Best-Selling Author Terry Brooks
  64. 64. “In Who Dares Wins, Bob Mayer gives us a unique and valuable window into the shadowy world of our country’s elite fighting forces and how you can apply many of the concepts and tactics they use for success in your own life and organization.” Jack Canfield: Co-creator Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Success Principles “Success in life—as in combat—has always demanded depth of character. Who Dares Wins reveals what it takes for you to move into the world of elite warriors and how their training developed that Can Do spirit and Special Forces ethos of excellence.” Lewis C. Merletti: Director United States Secret Service (retired), Former Sgt 5th Special Forces Group (Vietnam); Cleveland Browns Executive Vice President & COO
  65. 65. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 80 books published across an array of genres, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Shadow Warriors, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s presented for over 1,000 organizations during three decades of writing full time. If you’re interested in his weekend intensive workshop or having him present for your group, email him at: