October 20th, 2010 by Bob Mayer
“I’m convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing.” Stephen King

I start my Warrior Writer presentation with that saying.

Actually, fear is the root of most failure.  When I was talking to a CEO about using some of my Special Forces strategies and tactics to help her company, I asked her what was the #1 constant problem.  She said fear.  It’s insidious and tears away at people and it the main obstacle to success.  This works on many levels.  We’re afraid our abilities aren’t good enough to get published.  We’re afraid our voice isn’t strong enough to write what we really should be writing.  We’re afraid to take chances, to break rules, to break out of the norm.

When I turned my Who Dares Wins concepts to writing and developed Warrior Writer, my goal was to look back on my 20 year career as an author and combine that with my 20 years of experience in Special Forces.  I mainly blundered my way through my writing career, like many of us do.  In today’s world, we can’t afford such inefficiency.

Warrior Writer focuses on educating writers how to be authors and conquer their fears. Warrior Writer is a holistic approach encompassing goals, intent, environment, personality, change, courage, communication and leadership that gives the writer a road map to become a successful author. Many writers become focused on either the writing or the business end; Warrior Writer integrates the two.

Warrior-Writer fills a critical gap in the publishing industry paradigm. While there are numerous books and workshops focused on just the writing, this one focuses on the strategies, tactics and mindset a writer needs to develop in order to be a successful author.

Under the current publishing business model, authors learn by trial and error and networking with other authors; sometimes it is the blind leading the blind. The learning curve to become a successful author is a steep one. In the past, the author might have had years to learn, and when needed, re-invent one’s self, but the business is now moving at a much faster pace. It is expected that authors not only have to write the books, but also become promoters of their books. Interestingly enough, promoter is the complete opposite of author in the Myer-Briggs personality indicator. It is difficult to go from one mindset to the other.

Authors are the producer of the product in publishing. Agents, editors, publishers and bookstores are currently the primary contractors, processors, and sellers of that product. While most agents and editors normally get educated in a career path starting at the bottom of an agency/publishing house, writers, from the moment they sign a contract, are thrust immediately into the role of author as well as promoter. For the new author it is sink or swim. Unfortunately, with the lack of author training, most sink. First novels have a 90% failure rate, which is simply foolhardy.

When I run my Writers Workshop, the first thing we do is find the one sentence original idea or kernel of the story.

When I run my Warrior Writer Workshop, the first thing we do is try to find in one sentence each writer’s Strategic Goal as a writer.  Do you have a strategic goal?  Where do you want to be in five years?  As Michael Hague asks:  “I’ll do anything to become successful as a writer, just don’t ask me to do ?????”  Whatever the answer to that question is, is the fear you must face.

If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you ever going to get there?  No one else can come up with your goal for you.  Not your agent.  Not your editor.  You have to develop it and write it down and then everything else you do after that is based on that one goal.

Warrior Writer Tip:  We can’t force other people to change unless they are willing, and few are.  But, to a large extent, we teach other people how to treat us by the way we interact with them.  This is the Warrior Writer version of the Golden Rule.  So be the person you want to be treated as.  Warrior Writer: From Writer To Published Author and the full day workshop of Warrior Writer and Novel Writer are available as an MP3 download or CD set.

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5 comments to ““I’m convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing.” Stephen King”

  1. Frankie Robertson
     · October 20th, 2010 at 4:05 pm · Link

    When you say first novels have a 90% failure rate, how is failure defined?

  2. Frankie Robertson
     · October 20th, 2010 at 4:07 pm · Link

    I read and enjoyed Who Dares Wins. What new/different content is there in Warrior Writer?

  3. Bob Mayer
     · October 20th, 2010 at 5:59 pm · Link

    Warrior Writer is Who Dares Wins boiled down for specifically writers. I used all I’ve learned in 20 years as an author and put it in the book, combining it with my Special Forces experience.
    Failure in traditional publishing is roughly looked at as the book didn’t earn back its advance.

  4. Frankie Robertson
     · October 21st, 2010 at 12:18 am · Link


    I’ve seen that statistic elsewhere, but since traditional publishers still make money even if a book doesn’t earn out (they’d have to!), I thought I’d check.

  5. Janice
     · October 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am · Link

    I enjoyed your post, Bob so much so I ordered all of the mp3s. Looking forward to listening to them.

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