Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The Secret Formula to Success
Last week I started a running class. To distract myself from my heavy breathing (imagine a beached wheel gasping desperately for breath)and pounding heart (think war drums being beaten at a frenzied pace) I eavesdropped on the conversations of my fellow classmates.
I was amused by the way one woman was grilling the instructor. She asked him a dozen questions about how he'd become a runner and lost a significant amount of weight. How long had it taken him...how many miles did he run each week...what were his diet secrets...etc. etc.
What she really wanted to know was, "What's the secret formula to success?"
I think most of us would like to know the secret forumula for succeeding at something in our lives, whether it's writing a novel, losing weight, being a better spouse/parent/child/friend, entertaining effortlessly, moving up the corporate ladder, wrapping gifts, keeping house, helping the environment, achieving inner peace, etc.
Personally, I feel like I fail a lot more than I succed. I don't have a secret formula for anything, except "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." (But don't try the same thing again and again, because as they say, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results"".)
I'm taking this running class because I've tried (and failed numerous times) to learn to become a runner on my own. I've completed two half marathons as a solitary walker, but I'd like to improve my time, so I'm hoping this class will be my "secret formula".
In January, my next novel, CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN will be released by Avon Impulse. The secret formula I used for writing this book was a combination of 1) writing the book I wanted to write, not the one my former agent approved of 2) breaking the novel down to a four act structure instead of three 3) Using WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass BEFORE starting the manuscript.
What do YOU wish you had the secret formula for? Even if you don't have the formula, what tricks/tips have you found through trial and error that work for you?
My tips are:
-- I was not born with the housekeeping gene, but I've found FlyLady to be very helpful as a system to keep my home running smoothly.
-- I find that using Jennifer Louden's THE LIFE ORGANIZER helps me to get back on track when I feel as though I've gone off the rails.