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 “Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which is never advisable.”    ~Oscar Wilde

Last week I talked about the “Three Perpetual Keys to Success as an Author.” Another important key to success as an author and one I didn’t mention last week is to refrain from over-thinking. How many times have you told yourself, “I’m going to do this, or I won’t miss that, or I must get this done before 2015.” We have all done it. We plan, we meditate, we organize … and yet, we still don’t quite get “it” done. Why? The old “analysis paralysis.” Like a dumpster diver faced with twenty bins bursting with old aluminum cans but only minutes until the garbage truck arrives … we have too many choices, too many obstacles, and too many considerations.

Suspend judgment, put down that list of pros and cons and listen to your heart. What does it say? Should I go to that conference and spend money on me? Should I take the afternoon and visit the museum to do the research on that story I have been working on? Should I take a different route on my morning walk? Yes, yes, and yes!

Stop analyzing and take action. Action is the fifth key in how to be successful as an author. Most people don’t even know the one-step required before any action can be taken—good or bad. That one-step is making a decision. Decision is the foundation of action. We cannot take action without first making a decision.

I want to challenge you today and all this week to make decisions. Did you know that statistically your decision will be right at least 51 percent of the time? That means that “the odds are ev’ah in  your fa’vah.”

Start small if you like: “Which shall I have this morning? Coffee or tea? I’ll have coffee. Shall I read the paper or go write 1,000 words? I’ll go write. Spend $4.51 on a Starbucks Venti Chai Tea Latte, Non-Fat, or take that $234 I will save in a year and sign up for a writer’s conference? I’ll sign up for a writer’s conference.”

Are you beginning to see the power of decision? According to an article by Glen Liopis in Forbes magazine, successful executives share one trait: they all make decisions quickly and then live with the consequences. As you have no doubt heard me say before, “Your book is not your baby—your book is your business.” That means that making smart business decisions, quickly, (based on the best information available at the time) will position you for success in the future.

There is one more thing … energy. A decision is more than just a decision; it is a determination to follow a course of action. That course of action will lead you to a wonderful place called completion. If I decide to write 1,000 words every day for a month, by the end of the month I will have written 30,000 words. A novella. Making a decision sets us on a course of action … action sets us up for completion … and completion creates energy and success.

Decision    ->  Action     -> Completion    -> Energy    -> Success

I hope you will take the challenge and make some key decisions this week. I want to hear from you. Tell me how you did and how you feel after a week of decisiveness, action, completion, energy and success.

Still need a motivator? Check out the Ted.com video on making hard choices by Ruth Chang. Is  your dream to participate in a book fair, if it is take a minute to watch the short video taken at the Kentucky Book Fair in 2011. Want to attend a great writer’s conference? Check out the link to the Business of Writing International Summit.
 
Ruth Chang on How to Make Hard Choices
Book fair video
Business of Writing International Summit
 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
 

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