How NOT to “Suck on Sour Anxiety for The Rest of Your Days”


There’s an old legend about the great mystery writer John D. McDonald.

When he was just getting started, he heard writers don’t get “good” until after they write their 10th novel. 

That seemed like a long road to get to “good…” 

So…he put it in gear and wrote 10 novels in ONE year. 

In no time, he became one of the most successful novelists around. 

I heard that story from John Carlton — one of the most successful copywriters around.

He told it in his GREAT book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your Sh*&% Together.” 

Here’s Carlton’s take:

McDonald “…just banged ’em out, to get past whatever obstacles awaited new authors. It worked, too…I’m pretty certain that one of those kinks he worked out… was learning how to deal with the anxiety of the creative process.”

McDonald died in 1986 so I don’t think he remained prolific when Carlton published The Entrepreneurs Guide…in 2013. 

And I don’t even know if that 10-novels-in-one-year thing is true. 

But that’s not the point. 

The point is McDonald burst out of the gate and got busy. And the more he wrote, the better he got. 

When it’s time to create, we can tie ourselves in knots. We tell ourselves we’re “not good.” Our inner voice proclaims: 

“I don’t know how to write.” 

“I’m not creative.” 

“I’m not a storyteller.” 

So you think you suck? So you’re anxious about content creation and writing and storytelling? 

Get over it. Pick up a pen, put fingers to the keyboard, and start creating. Put it in gear. Just go. 

That’s what John D. McDonald did, and he was merely a human, not a creative unicorn, and not a machine.

You don’t have to write 10 novels. Just write something in your journal. Then bang out an email. Then another. And another. It will get easier. You will get better. 

More from Carlton: 

“So let me be clear: The anxiety won’t kill you.  Really. However, avoiding going THROUGH the process of creation — either by drinking, or procrastinating, or pretending it’s not there — will doom you to suck on sour anxiety for the rest of your days. The pro knows what he has to do… and just gets on with it.”

Here’s the good news: As you get on with it, you will always have people to turn to who can help you. 

I’m one of those people. See the p.s. below. I can help.

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

Want to get great content like this...

...delivered straight to your inbox?

Join our email list...

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Post Categories

Previous Post

Next Post

Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.