There is a weird writing trick used by bestselling authors to propel themeselves and thier novels to bestsellerdom.
This is the trick many aspiring authors don’t know and don’t use, unknowingly trapping themselves in the realm of unpublished, frustrated writer. As writers discover this strange secret, they can loose themselves from the debilitating fears that hamper creativity, spontaneity and passion.
Before we dig into the unusual technique, a quick review of the WRAP Method is often helpful. This is the fourth and final post in the WRAP series. If you haven’t read the first three posts, I strongly encourage you to check them out.
WRAP is an acronym from the bestselling non-fiction book, Decisive, by Chip and Dan Health.
W = Widen your options
R = Reality test your assumptions
A = Attain emotional distance
P = Prepare for the Worst
If you’ve been following along, each letter and strategy in WRAP applies to bestselling authors as much as any other professional decision maker. Today, we focus on the “P” in the WRAP Method, Prepare for the Worst.
Bestselling authors know that perpetually successful stories involve not only preparing for the worst, but planning for it.
Application for the Writing Process
- Engage Multiple Ideas: Successful Writing careers are not only about passion and creativity, but also about thoughtful planning with Plan B, C and D. Have more than one idea, more than one story, novel or screenplay in play. If one doesn’t boost you to success overnight, be prepared with other ideas until one of them “clicks” with agents, publishers and readers.
- Build While You Create: As you write your novels, build your audience through social media, public speaking, publishing articles and expanding expertise in your chosen niche. Both your artful storytelling and your platform have the potential to help you breakthrough to the bestseller lists.
- Bookend the Future: Prepare for both the worst and the best that can happen in your writing career. Are you prepared for long years of rigorously mastering your craft? How will you pay the bills? On the other end of the spectrum, are you ready for outlandish success? Do you have a responsible plan for the fame and financial boon of being a bestselling author? Prepare for both the worst and best that can happen and you will be ready for anything.
- Set Tripwires: Tripwires are scheduled times, dates or amounts that can save you a lot of heartache in life and writing. Set tripwires for focusing on a certain idea, character or or query submission effort. For example, an author may say, I’ll send out 100 query letters for this novel. If I don’t receive a positive response by the time I reach 100 submissions (tripwire), I’ll put that story aside for awhile and focus on another novel. Dean Koontz’s gave himself three years to achieve success as a writer while his wife worked and paid the bills. We all know how that tripwire turned out.
Bonus Tip: You can also apply the “Prepare for the Worst” approach to designing a bestselling novel. In every stage of writing, ask “What’s the worst that can happen?” and then make that happen. Terrible, unthinkable events are the fodder of unforgettable stories.
How can you prepare for the worst?