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Dedication, Discipline & Cultivating Self-Worth in 2018 with The Story Farm

It's A New Year - So What?

This is part of a weekly email series delivered to The Story Farm email list by the ISA's Max Timm. If you would like to join the email list and receive inspiring messages and upcoming offers from Max and The Story Farm, CLICK HERE


A note from the founder of The Story Farm, and the ISA's Director of Education & Outreach, Max Timm:

It's 2018 and I'm wondering how long I will be accidentally writing 2017 in all of my correspondence. If only that was my biggest challenge in the coming year!

What challenges will be presented to us in the coming year, and how are we going to address them? Common sense tells us that we’ll take them as they come, and let go of the worry. There is truly no sense in worry seeing as though most of, if not all, the things we tend to worry about technically don’t even happen. So approaching the new year with a fresh, clean slate is always exciting. Keeping that slate clean and fresh is usually the primary challenge, however. Some challenges will be bigger and more troublesome than others, while some will be small and relatively inconsequential. The hope, of course, is to keep the bigger challenges at bay and to find the strength to overcome them with ease.

How do we prepare ourselves for the coming challenges? How do we approach the new year with optimism, hope, and excitement? Over the past 15 years, I have faced challenges that seemed monumental at the time and still tend to resonate in both positive and negative ways. What I’ve learned, however, is that most of the challenges that came and went were created due to a lack of dedication and discipline. Granted, life throws us curve balls and the inevitable swings and misses cannot be avoided. But I’m writing to you all, for the first time in 2018, to remind you that you do have control over the challenges that have yet to come. And realizing that you have such control is an incredibly empowering thought. So how do we do find such control?

By focusing on the importance of dedication, discipline, and sticking to deadlines, we naturally create a sense of self-worth, and self-worth creates confidence, and through confidence stems belief. While it sounds simple enough, every year I talk to and work with writers who battle with all three of what I just mentioned.

We all know, on a theoretical level, that we're supposed to be dedicated, have discipline, and stick to deadlines. We could add another "D" in there by saying, "duh". But even though we are reminded of these three intentions on a daily basis, do we take them as seriously as we could? And by 'serious', I don't mean that they have to be handled with care as if they’re Mom's precious antique silver that's been passed down over multiple generations. Instead, I ask that you all take a much softer, less pressurized approach to those three words and just accept that they are a part of your daily routine.

Self-worth, confidence, and belief should be considered personal elements that you already have, as opposed to things you must attain. They are not outside of you as material goods you have to somehow find or discover. You are already worthwhile. What we tend to forget to do is consistently practice ways in which we are reminded of our worth.

If you are struggling with your writing, or having doubt about your ability, or maybe questioning whether or not this writing thing is for you, my question to you is, “how often are you writing and are you asking for help?” If you’re writing for maybe a couple hours a week (or less) and accepting your first draft as the final product without requesting notes or feedback, then of course you will doubt your process, ability, and worth. But if you dedicate yourself to constantly finding ways to be just a little better than you used to be, one day at a time, with a focus on improvement, you’ll find reasons why you and your writing are worthwhile.
The Story Farm tells each of its writers that if you can write for at least 10 hours per week, you will be able to fully develop a project in six months or less, this is of course if you are receiving feedback and applying notes and changes as you develop. 10 hours per week is only about an hour and a half per day. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing. How quickly does an hour and a half pass by, and how often do we let that time pass without being productive? I would argue that we do such a thing far more often than we should.

Do you need a coach to keep you dedicated, disciplined, and sticking to deadlines? No! You really don't. This is the irony of what I do for a living. Technically speaking, you don't need me or The Story Farm.

So while I could preach to you about the importance and benefits of hiring a coach to work with on a weekly basis, who in turn will help you stick to your deadlines and stay disciplined, you already know the benefits. I would be preaching to the choir, really. The better question is, how quickly do you intend to improve and create success in your life and writing career? This helps you create that self-worth, confidence and a positive personal belief system that reinforces your writing, drive, and yes, dedication and discipline.

Another question to consider: are you willing to slave away for 10 years before ever getting your work noticed? This takes extreme dedication and devotion (another D word), but what if you could cut that time in half, or more? Would you be willing to invest in yourself in order to bring that length of time to a much more condensed level? If there is anything in your life that is worth investing in, it’s you. Your belief system will evolve and improve the more you invest in yourself, so my wish to you in 2018 is to do just that. Whether you hire a coach or join a writers group or take a class, or simply read more books, I implore you to do more for yourself and your writing career than you did in 2018. You’re worth it.

In the coming year (and beyond), I expect you to dedicate yourself to your writing whether you work with The Story Farm or not. I really hope you make a commitment to yourself and your writing, and if you are willing and able to receive help, feel free to email me and we can talk about your goals, how to achieve them, and if The Story Farm is an option for you. If it isn’t, I completely understand, but I promise that there are other options that can and will improve your writing and your chances at finding real success in this industry. Find them. Utilize them. Apply them to your life and writing. Real success and prosperity is possible, and it’s time you believe it.

I wish you all the very best in this bright new year, and don't hesitate to email me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Very sincerely,
--Max Timm and The Story Farm

This is part of a weekly email series delivered to The Story Farm email list by the ISA's Max Timm. If you would like to join the email list and receive inspiring messages and upcoming offers from Max and The Story Farm, CLICK HERE

Story Farm Writers Succeed
A weekly coaching, development, and mentoring service for writers

  • Three Story Farm writers were listed in the ISA’s Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2018
  • In December alone, four writers have signed shopping agreements or options with major producers on material developed with The Story Farm
  • Nine 2017 Story Farm writers have signed up with Max and his coaches for another 12 months of service

Of the writers currently enrolled in The Story Farm, over half of them have received options, representation, and/or won major contests in less than a year.

Contact Max Timm at to review the best option for you.

Invest in yourself in 2018. You're worth it.

More than just a general consultancy, The Story Farm works much like a development executive or manager would with a writer as the writer is developing multiple projects.  The Story Farm Goal: To get your material to a place that is ready for industry submission, and launch your career (regardless of your experience)!With weekly, one-on-one phone calls that deliver specific notes on the ongoing development of multiple projects, The Story Farm is the most hands-on, comprehensive development service you will find in the industry. Approved by and in association with the International...
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