Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Can't" is a four-letter word

Right up there with the worst curse words, but I'd also advocate "can't" for removal from the English language. Seriously. The next time someone says, "I can't..." to me, I will bitch slap that person into next year. To the poor unfortunate soul (s): don't say you weren't warned!

In case you CAN'T tell, this particularly offensive word has been uttered a little too much within my hearing this past week. There is no such thing as "can't" - there is "won't" as in hampering our own efforts to accomplish something, by refusing to try in the first place. There's also "couldn't" as in not permitting something to happen that rightfully and naturally could / should occur. If someone told me today, "You can't..." it would be the most powerful motivator I have ever received. That was not always true. There have been incredible moments in my life where I once thought, "I can't do this. I should just give up now." Like:

  • I can't get into law school - I did. 
  • I can't find a good job- I have, a few, in fact. 
  • I can't write, attend classes and work full-time, I have too much to do - I carved out blocks of time during the morning and evening commute, which allowed me to finish my first novel. 
  • I can't get an agent to take on my stories - I did, found two of them. 
  • I can't self-publish. It's too hard, too much work - I'm putting out my fifth title this summer, working on my sixth for a 2013 publication date, and have a schedule of titles up through 2016. 
  • I can't make any money at self-publishing - I've earned more in the first four months of 2012 than the total sales generated for 2011. 
  • If I self-publish, I can't get any publishers to take me on - two of my titles are being translated by a Turkish publisher and I'm considering a Polish deal.

Notice a trend here?      

Those of you who have inspired this post - you know who you are cause I cussed you out - take notice: don't let I won't become I can't. We use excuses to avoid fear, added effort and potential failure too many times. We're so afraid, we won't even try. Not every endeavor will yield a positive result, but isn't the possibility worth an attempt? 



Anita Davison said...

Wow, Lisa I can actually hear you saying this - and you are so right. You did the same for me remember - of course you can get published, Anita, just do it girl! But spare a thought for those who don't have your drive and determination - not to mention your talent.
But bravo to you and I shall be following you and saying, 'I knew her when..'

Lisa Yarde said...

I know you're right, Anita, I just hate to see my friends letting this business kill their love of writing. People who've quit after one too many agent rejections or because they have modest sales compared to others. That's just sad to me.

I know from the experiences of others that a lot of personal success starts with the determination to try. A friend of a friend sealed a deal with Simon & Schuster on a proposal for fiction recently. She has never written a thing in her life, except that book proposal probably.

My boss recently asked if I have insecurities. I should have told her to contact my shrinks, you and Mirella, about my insecurities. The thing is, of course I have them, I just don't pay attention to them. There's a place I'm striving to get to and I don't have time to let insecurities or anything else get in my way. But I can appreciate that others struggle with this concept.

FLASH SALE - Free on Kindle today: Sultana: The Pomegranate Tree

For the first time! Download for free and save $3.99; this weekend only.  ENDED MAY 13.  Check out other promos on my website . Bo...