Monday, October 6, 2008

Get up and do it!

Hey Guys, I did it! I finished the St. George Marathon. I didn't get the time I wanted, but I came so close I'm trying to figure out how to do it better next time. I discovered I could run 25 miles and be okay, but the last 1.2 nearly killed me (I still wonder if that is literally.) But coming within 96% of my goal on my first try, just made me a little more determined. My goal is not that far away.

I started wondering about us (you) as a group of writers. I can't get up each morning and run if I don't have an event that I'm looking forward to. It can be a 5k or 10k or 1/2. Aren't all of our goals about the same? We can't write day after day if we aren't looking forward to publishing and especially to reaching readers.

I can't beat 2:22 minutes (Saturday's winning time). But I like knowing someone did and I enjoy looking at the large area that I have for improvement. Even though I'm getting older, I know I can do better than I did Saturday.

I thought it would be fun to look at the earnings of the world's top writers. What do you think?

This year's Forbes list includes:

J.K. Rowling ($300 million)
James Patterson ($50 million)
Stephen King ($45 million)
Tom Clancy ($35 million)
Danielle Steel ($30 million)
John Grisham (tied at $25 million)
Dean Koontz (tied at $25 million)
Ken Follett ($20 million)
Janet Evanovich ($17 million)
Nicholas Sparks ($16 million)

It's not that I think we should be motivated by dollars. But those dollars represent readers and the influence each of those authors has.

What can each of us do to come closer to those amounts? I'd be thrilled if one of my authors earned 3.1% of what Nicholas Sparks did. What can we do to get more readers? To produce better product? To make it more effective?

Every Monday morning when Lee and I talk, we just imagine that today is the day, or this week is the week, that one of our authors is going to submit the book that is going to be just that much better—the book that hundreds of thousands of people are going to be talking about.

We may not be the first ones to the finish line, but nothing happens unless we just get up and do it. I like one of Lee's favorite quotes: "Endless patience brings immediate results." Keep at it! Maybe this is the magic Monday.


Rebecca Talley said...

Running a marathon? Wow, that's impressive. I'm not a runner, I'm a chaser (after kids).

Don't we all dream about being "that writer," or submitting "that book?"

For me, receiving emails from readers that love my book makes it all worth it and motivates me to keep writing.

Kammi Rencher said...

How about all that rain? Wow, I felt bad for you and everyone else running the marathon. It was cool in St. G, so I know it had to be icy up there at the starting line. Glad you made it!

Terri Ferran said...

Congrats on the marathon! Running a marathon seems impossible to me, but a marathon begins with that first step, and a best-selling novel begins with that first word...

Lyle Mortimer said...

Great comment Terri. Thanks. I agree wholeheartedly.

Shirley Bahlmann said...

All of these comments remind me of those little paper animals with leg hole cut-outs you put on your fingers and then use your fingers as "legs." It's so funny!
Writer's fingers run across the keyboard, just as Lyle's legs took him across the finish line.
Whoo-ee! I liked seeing those figures. I could retire on that. (Of course, I'd never want to stop writing. Work is play when you love what you do!)