How to Become an Author

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Do you want to become an author? If so, you might be surprised at how easy it can be by following the daily steps outlined in this post. As a matter of fact, you can use these daily steps to achieve any worthwhile goal.

Principle #23 in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” is “Practice the Rule of Five” and you can use the principle with daily steps like this.

  • Write down your goal at the top of a piece of paper.
  • Think of five things you can do today that will get you a step closer to achieving your goal and write them down.
  • Do the five things.

“Great things are not done by impulse,
but by a series of small things brought together.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

You can create the list first thing in the morning, but you’ll find that it is often more effective to create your list the night before. A wonderful side effect is that your mind often works on the list while you sleep making it that much easier to finish the tasks.

As an example, here is my list for today related to the following goal: I will publish A+ 220-901 and 220-902 products on the site by June 30th.

  • Write at least 10 new A+ practice test questions.
  • Pass at least 10 smoothed A+ practice test questions to my editor.
  • Smooth at least 10 A+ practice test questions received back from my editor.
  • Pass at least 10 A+ practice test questions to my virtual assistant to post on the site.
  • Smooth at least 10 A+ acronyms.

Riddle Me This

Have you heard this old math riddle? Seven frogs are sunbathing on their lily pads after a large meal. Five decide to roll over and take a swim. How many are left on the lily pads?


How to Become an Author – Write

I have been asked many times how to become an author. The answer is simple: Write.

It sounds silly, I know. However, I’ve heard from many people telling me that they’d like to be an author, but they don’t seem to be willing to write. Here are a few examples:

  • Several years ago I agreed to be a writing coach for a woman that wanted to write a book. After several coaching calls, she had still yet to give me a single paragraph.
  • In the past month, I’ve received a few emails from a gentleman that says he wants to write a technical blog post for the site. I’ve replied that it sounds great, but recommended he write a paragraph outlining the topic before he started. In each subsequent email, he indicates he still wants to write a post. Unfortunately, that single paragraph seems to be the stumbling block.
  • This past week, a gentleman sent me an email indicating he wants to write an IT book and has a few ideas in mind. He wants to “chat” but I’ve gone that route before. I suggested he focus his efforts and if he has a specific question, to send it along. Sometimes, simply creating a clear question is a challenge but it is one of the most powerful ways to learn.

How to Accomplish Anything – Take Action

The same principle applies to any worthwhile goal. If you want to achieve it, take action. And this action doesn’t need to be earth shattering. All you need to do is take five simple action steps a day. At the end of the week, you’ll have taken at least 25 to 35 action steps depending on how dedicated you are to achieving your goal.

As an example, imagine you want to take and pass the Security+ exam and you have a copy of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Your daily list might include the following five action items.

  1. Read at least ten new pages in the book.
  2. Do at least ten questions in the book.
  3. Review at least ten questions previously missed.
  4. Read at least one blog post from the Security+ blog list.
  5. Review at least one review section from a chapter I have completed.

None of these are huge action steps. However, if you take action steps like this regularly, they add up. If you did the first three steps every day, you will have:

  • read all of the content (not including the table of contents, the appendix, the index, or the practice test questions) in about 33 days.
  • completed all of the 420 practice test questions at least once in 42 days.
  • reviewed questions you previously missed many times.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

– Robert Collier

How Many Frogs Are Left?

Back to those frogs. Seven were sunbathing and five decided to roll over and take a swim. How many are left?*


Deciding to do something is one thing.

Doing it is something completely different.

Deciding to become an author is one thing.

Taking the time to regularly write and achieve your dream is completely different.

Deciding to earn the Security+ certification is one thing.

Taking regular action steps necessary to take and pass the exam is completely different.

“What great accomplishments we’d have in the world if everybody had done what they intended to do.”

– Frank Clark

*Note: I first heard the original five frogs on a log riddle from John Maxwell’s excellent book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

How to Become Who You Were Meant to Be

Ask yourself this.

Is there something I decided I want to do or be but haven’t made any progress lately?

Are there five simple steps I can take today (or tomorrow) to get a step closer?

About This Post

I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.

Here’s a link to other musing’s on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

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