1.) Keep God First: Out of the rules my daughter and I discuss, keeping God first is my favorite. It helps her to try and see (she’s only 5 you know) that the owness of life’s hard times isn’t her own and thanks should be given in good and especially bad times This is done by keeping God first. As an author, especially a self published one, you will face more than your fair share of frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments. Keeping God first just as an author will take away the lonely feeling of no one understanding your struggle and giving you the strength to go on when you have ran out of reasons on why you should.
2.) Work Hard: Marlee wants to be an artist when she grows up, I’m sure that’s subject to change at least 20 times before she finds her life’s true calling, but as it stands now she wants to be the Basquiat of the crayon and pad. So when I come home from work and she has her markers, crayons, and drawing paper spread across the coffee table, but the t.v. on and the drawing paper still clean, I ask her just one question. ‘Marlee what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And with a sheepish grin she reaches for the remote and cuts the t.v. off. She understands that without hard work, her being an artist is just an answer to a question to what she wants to be when she gets older. As an author you are working on what you want to be. Now if you want to be a successful author , nothing will give you that much sought after success than hard work. Nothing. Period. Forget the ads you see on Facebook of how someone’s 3 secret steps will have you sell thousands of books. Or how by using their tried and true system, you too can become a bestselling author. If you were listening to me read this then you surely would have heard me laugh at the B.S. Anyone can write a book and for that you DON”T have to work hard, but if you want a successful career as an author than be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life
3.) I am Great: When Marlee and I first started to go over her rules together I would have her say I’m going to be great, now I have her say it in the present tense that she is already great and working on becoming greater. Being an author I think it’s vital to your success to know the day you sat down and dedicated yourself to becoming a successful author that at that very moment you became great and as you continue to hone your craft, you will without fail, become greater. I know you look at your favorite authors and think ‘wow’, but your favorite authors at one time in their writing careers was exactly where you are today. And the one thing that not only your favorite author , but all successful authors have in common, is they know that they are great at what they do already.
4.) I’m A Leader, Not A Follower: If the first rule is my favorite, then I’m a leader, not a follower has to be a close second. When Marlee gets around other kids and she’s ripping, running, and being bad as sometimes kids do, so I pull her to the side and ask her to recite all the rules. With an exhausted look on her face she just says rule number four since she knows that’s where I’ll stop her at to point out that she’s not currently being a leader, but a follower. And as you read rule number four, stop and ask yourself are you a leader or a follower. Are you playing it safe and continuously writing about what’s popular, or are you looking to write your truth, giving readers something else to think about instead of the same ol’ same. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are NO NEW stories under the sun sorry, but the way you present those stories can provoke thought and feed the passion of the masses. Sounds like a good leader to me.
5.) Time is More Valuable than Money: Out of the 8 rules, this one was the hardest for Marlee to comprehend… at first. And for that matter, most people that don’t understand the true value of time. You see time well spent can’t be priced at anything, but since we are at a lost for just how valuable time truly is, we waste it and wait for tomorrow with another 24 hours to be gifted to us. And the sad thing about that is we will waste those 24 hours too because we still don’t value time like we do money. Case in point you’re an author looking to be a success author, but that will never happen because you don’t value the most precious thing you have in your possession and that’s time. You never miss your favorite television shows, your phone is never too far from your hand, and the only time you feel socially awkward is when you’re not caught up in the redundant cycle of social media. The way you spend your time directly affects the amount of money you can spend.
6.) I’m Responsible for my Own Success and Happiness: Most adults can’t fathom that it isn’t someone else’s fault when they haven’t achieved the amount of success and happiness they’d like to have because as children they’ve been raised to believe that responsibility falls on someone else besides them. Any time Marlee is upset because other kids might not want to play as she’s playing or she didn’t get the desired results from the amount of work she put into a project, I clearly point out to her that she and no one else is responsible for her success or happiness. NO ONE. As all the rules that apply to my daughter, I think this one aptly applies to the majority of the authors today. YOU and no one else, but you are DIRECTLY responsible for where you’re at in your career as an author. If you feel you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be at this stage of your career, well look no further than the amount of work you’ve put in. No, honestly, take a hard, long look and if you can say you left it all on the table (or wherever you write at) before you go to bed then all left for you to do is be patient and wait on the work you put in to pay off. This is no one else’s life or career, but your own, so the responsibility of your life and career rests squarely with you.
7.) I’m A Problem Solver, Not A Problem: If you’re blessed with kids then you know they will come crying to you when the slightest thing goes wrong until you fix it and then five minutes later something else is wrong. So how do you get them to want to fix things for themselves? Help change their thinking that’s how. I help Marlee to see herself as a problem solver so when a problem arises her mindset is not to focus on the problem, but what’s the best way to fix it. As authors you will face problem after problem after problem; where does it end? It doesn’t, but a change in thinking is where you should begin. I learned the very hard way (or maybe that should be expensive) that you can’t pay everyone to fix your problems, especially on a shoestring budget. So you better become a problem solver quick or add being broke to the long list of mounting problems. And the beautiful thing about looking at potential problems as only questions that need to be answered, is that it always makes you more knowledgeable for it. Through that acquired knowledge I’ve learned to typeset, format, design e-book and full book covers, plus a host of other services . FIND OUT HERE to see all that En El Publishing Service offers.
8.) I Love Rainbows: In the beginning all we had was seven rules, I guess it was my ode to The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, but at the end of the rules I put together with Marlee she would always add ‘I Love Rainbows’ at the end. I would tell Marlee I’m trying to teach her life lessons early and loving rainbows really didn’t have anything to help you deal with the harshness of life. She would bury her cute chin in her chest and sulk upstairs to her room. One day my wife waited until we got done with “our” rules and wanted to talk with me as Marlee walked off, head down and feeling defeated because I wasn’t trying to hear anything about rainbows. My wife calmly explained to me that she thought what I was doing with Marlee was great, but I could be doing more harm than good. I asked how did she figure that and she sweetly said to me that I wasn’t letting her be herself by expressing her like for rainbows. That if helping Marlee to be the best she could be shouldn’t she have a say in the matter? I sat back and thought about what my wife was saying to me and felt horrible. As an author I’m one of the biggest proponents of writing what YOU want to write and be free and as expressive as you possible could be. The next time Marlee and I were going over the rules she stopped at seven and didn’t bother mentioning anything about rainbows, I lifted her chin off her chest and asked her was she going to add rainbows this time? Her little crooked smile and bright eyes said it all. So authors be free, be creative, be unique, but most of all be you.