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A little author inspiration

I’ve been throwing a lot of instructional content at you the past few weeks, so I thought I’d slow it down a bit today with a little author inspiration and motivation.

Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don’t do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals.”

I selected this quote to share because it reminded me of what I do when faced with a large, overwhelming project, such as launching a book. I break it down into smaller pieces because I am less overwhelmed by the individual actions I need to take than I am by the end goal.

Just one thing

So today, instead of dreaming about how you’d really like your book to be a New York Times best-seller or launch your speaking career, focus on doing just one thing that will bring you closer to your dream. Keep that dream in mind as you take one action step toward it.

Just one thing.

Just one thing today added to just one thing tomorrow will add up to significant progress by month’s end.

If you’d like a daily reminder about what to do, check out our “365 Daily Book Marketing Tips” — one tip a day via email for an entire year for just 99 cents total. Your first tip arrives in your inbox the day after you sign up for these daily gems.

Here’s one tip for today: Create an image quote like the one above with a sentence from your book to share on social media

If it’s nonfiction, use your book title for the source. If it’s fiction and it’s a quote from a character, use the character’s name plus the book title as the source. Learn how in the article, “How to create shareable images with quotes.

What inspires you?

I’d love to hear from you about how you stay inspired and motivated while writing or promoting your book. We can all learn from each other. What tip would you offer other authors? Please share it in a comment.

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43 Comments

    1. Thanks, Carrie! Getting rid of a few loose ends by finishing something sure does feel good!

      Sandy

  1. What keeps me inspired during a tour, is interacting with the future fans. I love working with bloggers, and readers, and seeing their thoughts.

    What gets me through the three months of pre-launch planning, is remembering all the fun I am going to have once the launch tour starts.

  2. EYE NEW DAT, I GOT SO MANY SMALL DREAMS, I SELL THEM AT THE OFF RAMP AT I-5 @ THE compton exit…kiddin’….i will copy & paste to my FB wall for the minions to laugh at me! 😉 I’m still dreamin’ BIG & IN COLOR! 😉 Rico

    1. Sure works for me, Joy. I think it applies to dreams, goals, etc., too. If you have that big dream staring at you all the time, it’s easy to think, “Oh, I could never do that,” which leads to inaction or even giving up on it.

      Sandy

  3. Sandra – I’ve been putting off publishing eBooks so to fill that gap I began submitting articles on LinkedIn (it’s so easy). At least I’m getting my words ‘out there’ instead of languishing in my file cabinet. A small start is incentive to move forward.

    1. That’s really smart (and productive), Virginia. Publishing on LinkedIn Pulse will help build your platform, too. Don’t procrastinate too long, though…that next e-book from you could really help somebody!

      Sandy

  4. I love that! I always have such a large “to do” list that I try to pick just 3 of things a day to try to complete. And often those 3 items on my list are specific sections of my writing. If I complete those 3 items I give myself a reward, like watching a favorite show, making cookies with my kids etc. Then after those things add up and I have a complete manuscript I reward my self with something larger, like a pedicure!

    1. Those rewards are important, aren’t they Shannon? We all need to remember to do that. Thanks for stopping by!

      Sandy

  5. Thanks for sharing this nugget of wisdom (smile). Though not working on a manuscript like Shannon, I reward myself for tasks accomplished.

    Connected by the written word,
    Marcia, USA-Atlanta, GA

  6. Sandra,
    Breaking projects into smaller chunks, sure, I agree with that. Dreaming big dreams and keeping them in mind is what keeps me going through the sometimes hard aspects of going through those smaller parts though, and what helps me get back on track when I fall off. So that first sentence you have there is not for me.

    One sentence that has been resonating with me lately is this from musician and coach Christine Kane: “Make your decisions not from where you are, but from where you want to be.” No easy thing but invites shifts in perspective, certainly.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I use that philosophy you quoted with my goals. Once the goals are set, I refer back to them when making choices about how to use my time. I ask, “Will doing this help me reach a goal?” If the answer is “No,” I pass on the opportunity.

      Thanks for the feedback — always good to hear from you!

      Sandy

  7. I think the quote you used is one way to certainly combat the “Sisyphus nature” of the uphill struggle authors face. Every goal accomplished feels good and motivates…so start with achieving small steps and before you know it you’ve taken a giant leap forward.
    Also, every positive review or statement from a reader provides me with fuel when I feel like stopping.
    BELIEVE IN YOURSELF FIRST AND FOREMOST because you will always run into naysayers and they are your enemy. Your mind feeds on energy…so keep it positive.

    1. That’s excellent advice, D.A. — thank you! Whenever you’re trying to push past the status quo, you want to surround yourself with cheerleaders, not those who want to keep you back with them. (And there are a lot of them.)

      Sandy

  8. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of accomplishing small dreams. After all,any big dream is made of many small steps, dreams, or tasks that we must complete as we progress toward that big one. We must honor those small steps and praise ourselves for completing them. This is what Lao Tzu meant when he said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

    I claim joy for each small step forward.

    1. Flora, I hope coming weeks bring you much joy and that soon, you will be back to taking big steps.

      Sandy

  9. Thanks Sandra for your efforts.
    A huge dream should crucially be taken step by step, in smaller dreams. I could never give up pursuing my dream- promoting my book The Cross Of Menopause, as it was my living means through my virtual death and closing-in to literal death over that period, i.e. my life then; would anyone give away one’s life?!
    A book is a writer’s child and it should be dealt with accordingly, sparing no passion, effort, and money for its flourishing, never making way for despair, until the last breath.

  10. Breaking the big task into smaller tasks is a must for having an on-going sense of accomplishment for me, but I’m with Kerry Dexter—it’s the big dream that fuels me when I feel overwhelmed. I may not see exactly how it will come to be, but I need to stay connected to the emotional “high” that I’m going for in order to stay committed.

    1. That’s wonderful, Lindy. Hold on to your big dreams, then, while you take those smaller steps. I’m cheering you on.

      Sandy

  11. What inspires me is connecting with other authors and sharing our journey. Writing is so solitary and I love that but just getting around other people who are doing the same thing, trying to complete a manuscript or marketing a project really energizes me.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Anne. And it helps to be able to bounce ideas off others, learn from their experiences, or get some help brainstorming, right? I’m glad that energizes you.

      Sandy

  12. Hi Sandra,
    What keeps me motivated is believing dreams can come true if you just keep leaning into them. I chunk down my dream into smaller goals and do something each day that moves the ball towards that goal line. Sometimes it feels like I am trying to push a marble on the floor with my nose but if I can go to bed at night and can say today I moved the marble forward, then that’s progress. Sometimes the marble moves forward quickly and easily but more often it is Inch by inch. But you would be surprised how far you can go by just by leaning into your dream.

    I also love the Albert Einstein quote you used in your lesson on using images with quotes. How can I be of value to those with whom I wish to connect ? That quote has given me direction with how to reach my audience in my own unique way and I thank you.

    1. Thanks, Mary Jo. I agree that you have to do something daily to reach your big dreams. And I’m glad you like that Einstein quote — I do, too! It’s a favorite.

      Sandy

  13. Your quote fit quite neatly into my plans for today. I have a new self-published mystery that I have been waiting for help to publish. I am a novice on the computer; however, help is slow to materialize. So today I decided to do what I could. I put my mystery, IN THE RAFTERS A MILLICENT/LUTE MYSTERY/ROMANCE, out there for free. I have it on kindle for free March 7- March 12 and ten copies at the Goodreads Giveaway in print March 22 – March 31. So I hope my friends on Book Buzz will take advantage of either and then write me a good review.

  14. My brain must be wired differently. It was easier than I expected to sit down and write a 750-page story, then cut it down to around 400 pages and proofread/edit. Now, I’ve been advised to add more excitement and difficulty to the plot, and my mind just goes blank. It’s depressing. Wouldn’t you think rewriting would be easier than coming up with the whole project?

  15. Nature is my inspiration. It continually deals with change, both expected and unexpected. Nature adapts to change, it doesn’t whimper about it. It moves on incrementally and occasionally in leaps and bounds. It is an inspiring example, continually.

  16. Telling kids bedtime stories and their enjoyment with participation was my inspiration to write them up when my granddaughters asked me to do so. They are about JP and his animal detective team as outlined in my website http://www.leonardnourse.com. Now I just have to try to enjoy your art in getting them known and hopefully read. I sincerely thank you for revealing these as I read above many others have done.

    1. Leonard, how cool that your grandchildren thought your stories would make goods. That would inspire me to keep going, too. Congratulations, and thanks for stopping by and commenting. You made me smile.

      Sandy

  17. Thank you very much for your inspiring post. One of my favorite Bible verses is found in Zechariah 4: 10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin . . . .”

    Blessings,

    Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

  18. Dreams give you the certainty to go ahead to higher objectives.But make sure that they don’t overpower you.

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