Be Extreme!

“Be extreme. Do more than expected. Surpass yourself.” Dr. Rob Gilbert

Can taking this advice really make a difference? Can becoming more intense about our work and really stepping on the gas create results? A success I’ve just enjoyed proves that it can. Here’s what happened:

1) We all have projects sitting on our computers that we’ve poured a lot of time and energy into but never took flight and made it out into the world. I had a story called, “September 11, 1776,” that I’d written quite a while ago and that meant a lot to me. I’d had a bite from a magazine a while ago, but nothing happened. With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, I decided to pull my story out and take a look at it.

2). I revisited it and felt very strongly about it. It’s a story about what was happening in New York in September of 1776 when Washington and his Continental army fought the British. It’s a story of hope, grit, and resilience. I felt it might be uplifting and even inspiring for people to read in the midst of all the dispiriting 9/11 coverage.

3). I decided I really wanted to see it in print. It was July. I put everything else aside and focused on getting it published. I revised it and quickly sent it our to family and friends and revised again.

4). I asked for help. I canvassed friends and family for publishing referrals and leads. I asked my son Alex to draft a query for me. I put together a list of possible publications and sent the story to still more friends. I came up with a list of more than 20 candidates—everything from Oprah and to Slate, Buzzfeed, and even LitHub.

5). I spent almost 2 days ferreting out email addresses. I UPSed the story to several publications and emailed queries or queries and drafts to more than 20 possible outlets.

6). Over the next few weeks, I got three responses. One was from “American Heritage”—a wonderful magazine I feel is the perfect home for my story. I sent the draft and in September the story was published along with a beautiful layout that made it come alive on the page. Here’s the story:

Writing dangerously means not just taking chances creatively, it also means taking action to get our work out into the world. Write on!

For a daily dose of inspiration, check out Dr. Rob Gilbert’s podcast, The Success Hotline!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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