How To Prepare - The Oprah or Cricket Way
I will use the release of my debut book as an example in this article, but I use the same “brainwashing” technique in other aspects of life, for instance, when I applied for my current job.
How I prepare for success and failure
I truly believe failure is part of success, and that success is subjective. We all have hopes, dreams, and expectations. Sometimes they’re met, sometimes not, and sometimes we exceed our expectations.
This way of preparing is something I have used most of my life. And even though it may seem weird, it works great for me, and I believe there might be something in here for you.
For my debut book release, I supercharged my AirPods, put on my favorite playlist, and went for a 2- hour walk. Doing what I do best - Daydreaming.
I daydreamt with a director, in two acts. Two scenarios. Two binary outcomes.
Scenario 1 — The Big Win
For the first hour, I dreamt my book became a monster hit out of the gate. I was the unicorn everyone was talking about. I let my imagination take me on a wild ride. And it was fantastic!
I dreamt about how my family, friends, and co-workers would react when I hit mainstream media with my book.
I imagined they asked me to co-host the Writing Excuse podcast, sitting there, talking bad English (I’m a Norwegian) about writing with some of my heroes: Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Taylor.
But I went even further; Dancing with Ellen at the Ellen show, crying with Oprah, and laughing with Trevor Noah. When I got back home, it was as if the Norwegian football team had won the world championship; the airport crowded with people, welcoming me. No, there was no Corona in my daydream. My dream, my rules.
I was walking around in my small town, smiling weirdly at nothing.
Then I started thinking about what it would mean to my life, not being able to go around anonymously, daydreaming, as the neighborhood weird-smiling- dude, not being able to live my comfortable and non-complicated life. Maybe I even had to quit the day job I love. That’s when I segued into the last hour.
Scenario 2 — Crash and burn
What if I got no sales? What if everyone reading it hated it? I started daydreaming about how I would react if this happened. You might think it was a depressive walk back home, but wait for it…
The stress I felt about scenario 1— Gone. Instead, I dreamt about my climb. I dreamt about what I would say to people that asked how my sales were going, what I would work on, and how I could level up my writing.
I like to gamify things. If I’m a level 1 writer (in English), then I need to kill some boars to get to level 2. Or crickets in this analogy. I daydreamed about how I would write book two, how I would test different marketing strategies. How I would continue to learn, and how I could continue to level up throughout 2021.
I dreamt of what I would do if my series flopped. About how I would be true to myself and quit the project in time, how I would use all the things I’ve learned and implement them into my next project.
I daydreamed of getting my writing business to a zero-sum business within a couple of years.
In fact, I was not daydreaming anymore. I was preparing and planning.
The good thing about this technique is that you will always land somewhere in-between. It prepared me for success, and even more important, it prepared me for failure.
When publishing this, on Sunday, January 10th, 2021, my book is one month old.
I have sold 24 copies, have 277 pages read, have one 5 star review, and it has earned me the astronomical amount of $36,34.
And I am a happy camper. I never expected to earn much on book 1 this early. It’s a short 52 pager, the first in a series, and priced at $2.99. My next season is coming in March, and that’s when I will start promoting book one.