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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Authors Need To Ride Out Track Changes



“Track change for the train to Harrison.  Customers please go to track 27.  Track 27 to Harrison.  Please note, track change,” blared out of the surprisingly clear train PA system.

I was sitting on my Metro North 5:57 train, having arrived early.  I usually rush last minute to catch my train but this time I had an unheard of 10-minute advantage.  I was about to use some of those minutes uprooting myself from my seat on the train occupying track 109.

No one likes a track change.  It causes a mad rush, mass confusion, and disturbs everyone.  I was about to dig into my dinner-on-the-run (sushi, if you must know) and settle into a good book (My Five Sisters, if you must know) and then the disruption unfolds.

People vacate the train as if a fire was announced.  They rush to the new train as if chasing a Christmas Eve sale.  Ok, it wasn’t the rampage that killed over 700 worshippers in the Middle East, but there was a stampede.  

People get upset with change, especially when it comes to something so scheduled and routine as one’s daily train.  The truth is, most of us don’t like a track change, whether it regards our transit system or the flow of any aspect of our lives.

It occurred to me, as I became a train refugee for a few minutes, that authors need to embrace the track changes of their career.

Here’s how writers can best deal with their track changes:

1.      Expect them.  Every routine, schedule, or pattern will get altered, changed, or wiped out at some point.  Sometimes it’s temporary.  Other times it’s a mere modification to things.  Ultimately, the change will be permanent.

2.      Change may mean something is different, but not necessarily worse.  It may even be better.  Give change a chance before you dismiss it as unworkable.  Remember, something had to change before your last routine or schedule fell into place – and that worked out fine.

3.      Look not for what you lost or is no longer the same, but at what you gained and at what’s different.  Appreciate the change.

4.      Look to see how this change may position you for another change, one that could rely be advantageous to you.

5.      Let change become part of the norm.  Nurture the change muscle and build on it.  Grow your versatility and allow yourself to see yourself as one who can handle change.

6.      Where possible, seek out your track change.  Instead of reacting to something, initiate action.  Maybe you switch to take another train time.  Or you find an alternate mode of transportation.  Or change your destination.   You can dictate change, not just deal with it.

Sometimes I benefit from a track change.  Though it usually delays a train’s departure, sometimes it gives me an opportunity to go from standing on one train, to sitting on the other. In other cases, I may have missed my train if it hadn’t been for the track change delaying that train, thus allowing me to get home sooner than planned.

Authors face all kinds of track changes in regards to editing, getting published, book marketing, promotions, and sales.  Be ready for a bumpy ride with lots of curves.  You may have to – or want to – switch trains, but the goal is to find the path and means to reaching your desired destination.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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