Your Success Story

Storytelling Your Success Story

It doesn’t need to be how you starved for years before people bought some of your art.

It doesn’t need to be how you read thousands and thousands of books as a child before you realized you were a writer.

It doesn’t need to be who your family is connected to.

You know these stories because of their popularity. They were once rare, which made them famous stories at the time. Now a starving artist is expected, writers are expected to read a lot, and if you have a lot of money, people first wonder who you’re related to, not how you did it.

These don’t make for good stories anymore, so why try replicating them?

By all means, learn from the already-accomplished, have idols, imitate morning habits if you want to, but make your success story your own.

 

Stay Positive & Tell A Story No One Has Told Before

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The Great Discourager

Better Than You

Here’s the sitch when it comes to going down the path of your passion: you’re not the only one, and nearly all the others down the same path are much, much better than you.

Want to be a beer writer? There are so many others better than you, more experienced. Steve Hindy, Maytag, Heather Vandenengel, Robin Shepard, this list could run a thousand.

Want to be a graphic designer for fortune 500 companies? The slots are already filled by someone bigger, taller, stronger, faster, and with a better stretched and exercised imagination than you.

Even something extremely specific, like a crêpe artist. There’s someone already more artistic with crepes who others will choose over you.

Unless.

Unless you tell a better story. Your story is the leverage you can have over someone more excelled than you. Your story is how you not only get a bite out of the stranger pool, but you turn the strangers into friends. Your story is your competitive advantage.

The decision you need to realize you’re making when you start following your heart and putting your passion to practice is that there will always be someone better than you, more skilled, more talented. You can’t let that be the great discourager.

The world can never have too many stories nor too many artists.

 

Stay Positive & Those Who You Feel Discouraged Be Can Be The Most Encouraging

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After Years Of Arguing It

Writer Garth Beyer

I’ll finally admit it… Identifying your passion, discovering what it is you really love to do, finding your purpose is a damn difficult thing to do.

For some it seems to come so natural. That, too, I once believed. I don’t anymore. Being more forward with you, I thought I knew I always wanted to be a writer, an entrepreneur and a PR guy (even though I didn’t know the term PR at the time). “It’s  just who I am!” I would tell people.

Investigating my past, though, I can’t recall the moment when I knew. There was no epiphany, no wide-realization, no godly pronouncement of my passion.

After scrutinizing my past, I realized that it was through a series of forcing, tricking, and driving myself to love the things I did that lead me to declare I was a writer, I was an entrepreneur, I was what I now know is called a public relations strategist.

I didn’t always love writing, but I was always finding ways to love it. (Still am.) It started with poetry because I knew I couldn’t fail. It moved on to bullshitting school papers because I could mock the system when I received the same grade as someone who spent weeks on the same paper, and I, only hours. Writing became more fun when I could write love letters and make women blush. And starting this blog? Best decision of my life for reasons it would take a book to detail.

I didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur either, but I always found ways to love it. (Still do.) I started my own vending machine business with my dad because I loved eating the leftover candy. I helped run a card shop because I loved collecting pokemon cards at the time and got to watch old batman movies when no one was in the shop. Instead of a lemonade stand, I had a beanie babies stand because it connected me with more kids my age.

I didn’t always want to go into Public Relations, but it was a knack of mine finding ways to love it. (Still is.) Meeting new people and going to events alone was rough, but I made business cards for myself. They made me feel I deserved to be there even though I didn’t have an established PR business. I went to dozens of Toastmaster (public speaking org) meetings, not because I was fearless, but because I could learn from others’ failures so I didn’t make the same when I finally forced myself to the podium.

Passion isn’t really something you seek out on purpose, it’s more of something you come across. You don’t need an “aha” moment to realize what it is you’ve been put on this world to do. You get there by finding reasons to love what you’re already doing.

 

Stay Positive & You’ll Do What You Love, When You Love What You Do

10 Lessons From A Successful #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

This year (2013) was my first year attempting National Novel Writing Month, shortened to #NaNoWriMo. I am ecstatically happy to report that it was a success. I will be editing the book through December and January and will have it available hopefully at the end of January.

Here are some of the best lessons and reflections while writing.

1. Stick to the schedule of 1,700 words a day, but don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day. I skipped a total of 9 days. It was fun having a larger word count to write some days. It mixed things up.

2. No editing. No review. No changes.

3. Following lesson two. Keep writing forward. How you ask?

4. Remember that you can do absolutely anything. I was riding in a car looking at the scenery and saw a park. I thought to myself “my main character should go to a park.” My main character never did, but I realized I could do anything I wanted.

5. Go at it with the goal of surprising yourself. I didn’t plan to share the novel with anyone or sell it on Amazon, but I will because I surprised myself with how good I think it is.

6. When you’re sticking to the schedule of 1,700 words. Stick it out in one sitting.

7. Keep your fingers on the keyboard as often as possible. Don’t sit back to think, don’t drink water to think, keep your fingers on the keyboard and think. Each time you lift your fingers off the keyboard, you’re disconnecting yourself from the story.

8. It never gets easier. You will have your spurts of incredible writing sprees and inspiration, but each day that you sit down to write, you’re essentially starting over. I laughed each time I would check off my writing on the calendar because each day is the shape of a square. “Tomorrow I’m back to square one.”

9. Coffee.

10. Do NOT talk about your story while writing it. I don’t care who is asking or why they want to know. I don’t care how good you think your story is or how many people are asking to hear about your story. I don’t care if you’re being bribed or blackmailed. Do NOT talk about your story while writing it. Just to set it in stone for you, I’m going to repeat myself a third time. DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR STORY WHILE WRITING IT.

NaNoWriMoGarth

Stay Positive & Next Year, Do It All Again

Garth E. Beyer

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For Starters

First sentences are expensive, mentally that is.

I’ve had writers, teachers, and friends remind me that the first sentence of any writing (the attention grabber) is the most important sentence and needs to be perfect. I squirm when I hear people tell me the first sentence must be perfect because they talk as if there is only one perfect way to start.

There are thousands of great ways to start. My philosophy is to find one that is great and move on. Most changes I see writers make with their first sentence doesn’t make it better, it just changes it into another great one.

Artists, not just writers, spend so much time on perfecting that first sentence.

Make it great and move on.

 

Stay Positive & Chasing Perfection Is Time Not Well Spent

Garth E. Beyer

People don’t remember the first sentence anyway. They do, however, remember the story and the ending.

Some Now. More Later.

People are talking now. Not so much about you, but to you. That you’re crazy, that you’re weird, that what you are doing isn’t going to work out. Some are even saying (for a fact, they are at least thinking) you will fail.

I am amazed at how many people have the guts to say things to our faces that they would normally have only said behind our backs. This leaves us – the dreamers, those with ambition, and those who try new things all the time – with a new challenge to face.

So for those that are being talked to (negatively) now. I have one piece of wisdom that will meet the challenge.

Just remember that people talk later more than they talk now. Will they say that you gave up? Or will they say how they used to know this crazy person that actually went off and made it as an artist, a fitness expert, a writer? Will they say how they got you mad and upset and question if you’re doing the right thing? Or will they say how despite all resistance, you carried on doing what you knew was right?

People talk. Some now. More Later.

 

Stay Positive & Keep Going

Garth E. Beyer

The Journalist Consul Conundrum

SamanthaPower

The short story of journalist diplomat, Samantha Power, is that she once (I am sure, still does) write about genocide and foreign policy. Then Power worked with the Obama administration and now is a UN Ambassador implementing change that she wrote was vital for society in her earlier works as a journalist.

Featured in an article by Jason Zengerle, he writes that,

“It’s almost as if her journalism and her advocacy were working against her. From the outside it was great, but from the inside she had to prove that she was a team player and could be trusted not to put her own template on everything.”

I couldn’t help but completely understand the predicament and responsibility that Power has. Recently I applied to an Officer Protocol position for the National Security Agency. After a few weeks, I have yet to hear anything. Naturally, I wondered why.

The simple answer: I blog.

An agency as large as the NSA (and not to mention the recent whistle blowing news surrounding the agency) wants someone invisible, someone who can follow orders, and someone who understands how the system works.

While I can connect with the last requirement, I’m a bit too… visible and opinionated to be what they are looking for. After all, I am an Op-Ed writer. Conclusively, I have to agree with Zengerle’s assumption that it is extremely difficult to be a journalist diplomat; the responsibilities, connections, habits, and overall lifestyle are completely different.

The article nearly ends by noting, “The truth is, the Power who wrote A Problem From Hell is not—and can’t be—the same Power now responsible for solving that problem.”

As a writer though, all I hope is that Power is still writing, even if it’s not seen for another 20 years.

 

Stay Positive & Sometimes It’s Better To Find Writing After The Fact

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