Disclaimer: This post doesn’t contain affiliate links. The book is my own, not a review copy.
Now, I know that I can’t nearly write the amount of fiction that Sterling and Stone put out — I am only a single mortal, after all — but I seriously needed a pep talk to keep me going. I actually started reading this book on the day I found out that the company I worked for as a senior copywriter was closing down. It was a good choice of book under the circumstances.
I am well aware that I am taking much, much longer writing and publishing the fiction that I want to write and get out there and that that needed to change.
But how? I would ask myself as I was already writing all day every day for work and was spending only a little time writing fiction and didn’t quite know how to change that.
Sometimes you need a kick to the backside to get you writing what you are passionate about. (In my case this is fiction. I really enjoy my job, don’t get me wrong, but fiction will always be my first love.)
This book was the kick I needed.
“[t]he true skills you must [have to] achieve, begin in the mind.”— The 10X Author
Well know, I thought, starting to see Mr Miyagi in the back of my mind. When I read that “It’s not finished because it wasn’t perfect” beats saying “I was afraid” every time, I saw him even more.
I haven’t really stood in front of my mind and beat the part that is afraid of failing into submission. It’s much easier to sit and tinker with stuff and never actually getting around to showing the world, isn’t it? Especially when you start analysing every little way in which the story can be thought to be a huge flop or simply silly.
(But, then again, there are people who absolutely hate the books and stories I love, while I wouldn’t touch their favourite books with a 10-foot pole. I should probably put that up in the Writing Closet so that I’m reminded more…)
However, don’t think that the whole book is just a pep talk to let you feel like you’re on top of the world and can do anything. Hard work, perseverance, “boring stuff that makes everyone roll their eyes, but that only truly successful authors do to the extent that’s required” is not underplayed at all.
“Stick to your guns, even in the face of naysayers… never lose hope in what you’re trying to build.”— The 10X Author
One massive change that has come about because of reading this book, is starting the Substack newsletter, The Worlds of Carin Marais, a few weeks ago. Forcing myself to put my work out there is actually getting to work my creative muscles some more and freeing my mind to start thinking of new ways in which I can create and tell the stories that I want to tell.
I really liked this quick read — and will probably read it again some time in the future when I need a good kick — and found that it has a good balance of lifting your spirits and making you feel like you can do it all and bringing you back down and reminding you that a lot of hard work is still in front of you.
I think it’s best for writers who are already busy writing and are not just starting out and writing their first short story, for example. However, it’s not necessarily for people who have already been published. If you’re only writing as a hobby, though, and not really as a job, this is probably not the book for you.
Take caution, though — you never know what you’ll tackle after finishing this book!