A little author inspiration

author inspiration quote

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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Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her BuildBookBuzz.com site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

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43 Responses to A little author inspiration
  1. carrie staples
    March 2, 2016 | 11:31 am

    Good point. Too many loose ends every day!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 12:10 pm

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


  2. Heidi Angell
    March 2, 2016 | 11:41 am

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 12:11 pm

      So wise, Heidi. Thanks!


  3. ricoSacto
    March 2, 2016 | 12:06 pm

    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

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 12:12 pm

      I hope you make a lot of money selling on the off ramp, Rico. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Joy V. Smith
    March 2, 2016 | 12:20 pm

    Yes. Breaking projects down into little steps makes it less overwhelming.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 12:46 pm

      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.


  5. Virginia Reeves
    March 2, 2016 | 12:42 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 12:45 pm

      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!


  6. Shannon
    March 2, 2016 | 2:41 pm

    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!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 2:49 pm

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


  7. Marcia
    March 2, 2016 | 5:46 pm

    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

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 2, 2016 | 6:51 pm

      Thank you, Marcia. It works for me.


  8. Kerry Dexter
    March 3, 2016 | 9:36 am

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 3, 2016 | 9:50 am

      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!


  9. D.A. Pupa
    March 3, 2016 | 12:09 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 3, 2016 | 1:10 pm

      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.)


  10. Jo Anne Valentine Simson
    March 3, 2016 | 12:40 pm

    With so many projects in the works, I have had to learn to be comfortable with unfinished business. But the danger is that leaving things unfinished can become a habit.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 3, 2016 | 1:08 pm

      Amen to that, Jo Anne.


  11. Flora Morris Brown
    March 3, 2016 | 2:47 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 4, 2016 | 9:53 am

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


  12. Maria Jasmine Freeman
    March 4, 2016 | 5:06 am

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 4, 2016 | 9:52 am

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, Maria.


  13. εκπαιδευτής σκύλων
    March 4, 2016 | 4:17 pm

    Really nice share…

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 4, 2016 | 4:29 pm

      Thank you.


  14. Lindy MacLaine
    March 6, 2016 | 2:21 am

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 6, 2016 | 11:37 am

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


  15. Anne Costa
    March 6, 2016 | 6:13 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 6, 2016 | 9:06 pm

      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.


  16. Mary Jo Beswick
    March 7, 2016 | 9:45 am

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 7, 2016 | 10:10 am

      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.


  17. Glenna Mason (Harris)
    March 7, 2016 | 12:46 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 7, 2016 | 5:16 pm

      So glad the timing worked for you, Glenna. Good luck with your giveaways.


  18. Dana Michaels
    March 9, 2016 | 12:15 pm

    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?

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 9, 2016 | 12:38 pm

      Dana, for me, the first draft is easier than a re-write, for sure.


  19. Lois Melbourne
    March 9, 2016 | 1:18 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 9, 2016 | 1:22 pm

      I love how you expressed that, Lois. Thank you.


  20. Leonard D Nourse
    March 9, 2016 | 5:59 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 9, 2016 | 6:05 pm

      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.


  21. Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
    March 14, 2016 | 4:40 pm

    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 . . . .”


    Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

    • Sandra Beckwith
      March 14, 2016 | 4:55 pm

      It’s perfect, MaryAnn. Thank you.


  22. Dilip
    March 17, 2016 | 2:37 am

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

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