The Not-So-Secret Code Of Writers: Be Obsessed Or Be Busy

The other day, a friend of mine told me a story about how she’d gotten her first book deal. I asked her how long it had taken her to write it and she said, “Three years.” I was impressed by this answer because, as someone who has written hundreds of thousands of words in the past three years myself, I can tell you that writing anything over 100 pages is no easy feat. 

But when my friend told me that she’d spent an additional year working on the proposal for that book before finally submitting it to agents (and then waiting another six months before selling it), my jaw dropped. It must have taken at least seven years total for this novel to get published an eternity if you’re trying to make money by writing books!

The rest of the post discusses ways to be obsessed and not busy as a writer

Summary of Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
Embrace obsession for exceptional writing.
Prioritize commitment and relentless focus.
Dedication leads to achieving greatness.
Consistent effort is key to becoming skilled.
Success requires going beyond the ordinary.

Follow Through

“Part of being a professional is following through. If you make a promise to someone, or yourself, keep your word. Don’t make commitments if you’re not willing to fulfill them. And when promises fail, own up and apologize.

The secret to success as a creator isn’t just about doing what’s easy; it’s about doing what needs doing even when it’s hard or scary or tedious and seeing things through until they’re done right. 

Often this means putting yourself out there first and making yourself vulnerable (and risking rejection), but the more times we do that, the quicker we’ll become comfortable with our ability to survive failure (or even thrive on it!). We’ll find ourselves more confident in our instincts and less apt to doubt ourselves when facing difficult decisions down the road.”

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Take A Little More Time To Research

You’re not going to just sit down and write a story. You have to do research and figure out what you want your story to be about, right? Well, maybe not all the time. Sometimes you can just start writing and see where it takes you. But research is still important because it can:

Help You Find New Ideas For Stories

Introduce new words into your vocabulary so that when someone asks what an arcane word means that no one else has heard of before, they’ll look at you with awe as if “Oh my god! Where did this person get that from?” instead of saying “You’ve got some kind of weird thing going on in here.”

Help with word choice when writing dialogue or narration

Be Conscious Of Your Surroundings

To be a writer, you have to be conscious of your surroundings. The world around you is full of inspiration. 

Pay attention to what you see, hear, and feel as well as how it makes you feel. Notice the words people use in their everyday speech; they may very well become the foundation of your next story! Also, pay attention to what you eat; if it tastes good then chances are that others will enjoy it too, and don’t forget what they say: “you are what you eat!”

If there’s something in particular that interests or motivates me at any given time (e.g., I’m interested in learning more about yoga right now) I try my hardest not only because something seems interesting but also because I know that there’s probably at least one other person out there who would love reading about it too!

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Find Time For Serendipity

As you write, keep a notepad and pen handy. You should be open to new ideas and inspiration from anywhere. Be aware of the world around you, even if it’s just the people sitting next to you at the coffee shop. 

Look for interesting details like their clothing or a funny conversation they’re having with each other. Try to imagine how those details could fit into your story or even better, think about how those details could take over the story entirely!

Serendipity will happen when you least expect it; maybe on an elevator ride or when your friend mentions an idea she had for a book club book discussion (if she’s willing). 

Maybe while driving home from work listening to music or podcasts that feed your writing brain with inspiration (or just distraction!). The important thing is that we keep our eyes open and don’t ignore these little moments because they aren’t ready-to-go plot points yet because they may never be ready-to-go plot points!

Write What Makes You Uncomfortable

If you want to be a writer, it’s not enough to simply write. You must also be obsessed with the craft. And if you’re going to be obsessed with writing, then you need to write about something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

That’s right: It’s time for some uncomfortable sobering truths! As a writer, you must recognize that there are countless things out there in this world that scare the hell out of you some more than others and if those fears aren’t part of your creative process now and again (or every day!), then what exactly is your goal? 

To produce blandly mediocre work? Or maybe even worse…to never get published at all?

No thank-you! We’d rather die than see such atrocities committed against our precious genre(s).

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Be Present In Your Writing, Not Just With Yourself

Writers are often told to be “at the moment,” and for good reason: you can’t write something that doesn’t exist yet. But some writers take this idea too far, focusing so much on the present that they lose track of their surroundings and get themselves into trouble. 

They’ve been caught in a fire and don’t realize it until it’s too late; they’re walking down a street during rush hour without noticing the angry honking of cars behind them; they’re driving without looking at the road because they’re busy reading their work out loud.

Be aware of your surroundings! This includes your physical environment as well as your emotional state and physical body. 

If something isn’t working in one of those areas (or all three), then you should adjust accordingly. 

You’ll need to find a balance between being completely present with yourself and therefore missing out on details around you and considering too many external factors when writing fiction; just remember not to lose sight of what matters most: telling stories through words!

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Make Notes As You Go Along

Make notes as you go along. Make a note of what you are reading, your ideas, your thoughts, your dreams, and conversations; make notes of everything.

I like to carry around a notepad and pen so that I can jot down ideas whenever they strike me. 

This has become an essential part of my routine: when I’m reading something that sparks an idea for me or when someone says something funny during the conversation (or even if it’s just something random in passing) I write it down immediately so that I have access to it later on. 

It also helps with remembering dates and events if you write them down at the time rather than trying to remember them later.

Keep An Eye Out For Other People’s Works And Obsess About Them

A lot of people think that they don’t have time to read, but they do. They just need to find it. For example:

If you’re watching TV or listening to music, ask yourself if certain songs or shows seem to get stuck in your head more than others which means those songs and shows resonate with you deeply on some level. Find out more about them.

Are there any actors whose work inspires you? Read about their lives and careers; watch interviews with them; learn what inspired them when creating these characters or projects.

Go see plays at local theaters; go see movies at the theater (or even better, rent one).

You can be a successful writer without all the time in the world

Learn to say no. Sometimes you will be asked to do things that are beyond your capabilities and outside of your comfort zone. Don’t feel bad about saying no, because you’ll need to say it a lot.

Be realistic about your time, abilities, money, and goals. If you’re going to write a novel in the next month before school starts, I have news for you: It’s not going to happen. 

We all know this intuitively, but sometimes we forget how someone else perceives us when they ask us something seemingly impossible like “Can I borrow $10k so I can start my own business?” or “Will you help me move tomorrow?”

The truth is that if they want an answer from us and they probably do (unless they’ve never heard of Google) then they’re going to get one because we aren’t going through life being rude or inconsiderate just because we don’t want anything from them at the moment (though usually our answer will be “no”).

Be realistic about what constitutes success for yourself personally and professionally.”

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At the end of the day, it all comes down to two things: obsession and busyness. If you’re obsessed with the thing you do, then you’ll be able to make a career out of it. And if you’re busy doing something else (like reading fiction or watching movies), then that can sometimes give you more inspiration for your writing.

Further Reading

High Note 4 Teacher’s Book: Access the teacher’s guide for High Note 4, a comprehensive resource for educators teaching English language skills.

Why Nobody Is Reading Your Content: Uncover the reasons behind low engagement with your content and discover effective strategies to enhance reader engagement.

Be Obsessed or Be Average – Summary: Read a concise summary of “Be Obsessed or Be Average” to gain insights into the book’s core concepts about achieving greatness through dedication.


What is the core message of “Be Obsessed or Be Average”?

“Be Obsessed or Be Average” emphasizes the significance of embracing obsession as a means to achieve exceptional success in life. The book advocates that having a relentless focus and commitment is crucial for reaching one’s full potential.

How can I improve reader engagement with my content?

To enhance reader engagement, consider employing various strategies such as creating compelling headlines, crafting valuable and relevant content, utilizing visuals, and incorporating interactive elements like quizzes and polls.

What does “High Note 4 Teacher’s Book” offer to educators?

The “High Note 4 Teacher’s Book” provides educators with a comprehensive guide to effectively teach English language skills. It offers lesson plans, teaching strategies, and resources to support educators in their teaching endeavors.

What are common reasons for low content engagement?

Low content engagement can result from factors like poor formatting, lack of relevance, insufficient promotion, and a failure to address the needs and interests of the target audience.

How can obsession lead to success?

Obsession can drive success by fostering an unwavering commitment to one’s goals. It fuels determination, focus, and continuous improvement, leading individuals to go above and beyond in their pursuits.