The US election is over. Donald Trump is the president-elect of the USA. Whatever your thoughts on this and however you voted, I’m a firm believer in learnings. And here’s what I’ve learnt from watching and following Trump’s presidential campaign, and why I believe writers can learn from him too.
Don’t follow the crowd
As in, lose the rule book.
Donald Trump wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions. His Twitter feed is a treasure trove of ‘Trumpisms’; misquotes and hearsay, liberally laced with hyperbole, in line with his bombastic character. Or, to put it another way; he stuck up his middle finger to political correctness and the media lapped it up. Look back on the last 18 months. From the minute he announced his intention to run for president in June 2015, when has he NOT been in the news?
Trump’s presidential campaign did not follow the ‘rules’; he tore them up. His campaign reminded me of this year’s Booker Prize winner, the Sellout, written by Paul Beatty. The book is about a black man who reinstates slavery and segregates the local high school. An act which lands him in the Supreme Court. Beatty’s Sellout had such an audacious, preposterous (insert adjectives here) premise, that it struggled to find a publisher. And no wonder; the story didn’t follow the rules. Eventually, it was snapped up by an adventurous publisher (Oneworld), one who did not believe in playing it safe when it came to storytelling. And thank God for that publisher, because Sellout went on to win one of the most prestigious prizes in literature.
Writing and publishing trends come and go. Ignore them all. Do a Trump; don’t follow the crowd. Tear up the rule book. Write the book or article (or whatever your writing thing is), that you’ve always wanted to write and let the world deal with it.
Be fearless. Go for it. And I mean, really go for it
Donald Trump will be the first American president to make it to the presidency without any political or military experience. Just let that sink in. And when it’s sunk in, let it inspire you. Trump did not allow his inexperience to prevent him from running for the most powerful office in the world. So on a much smaller scale, you shouldn’t let your inexperience/fear of failure (insert your particular fear) prevent you from achieving your writing dream.
What if no one subscribes to the YouTube channel or podcast?
What if it all goes wrong?
What if the sky comes down?
My answer to all the above is simple: what if it doesn’t?
I choose to be fearless. I choose to do all those things that I’ve said that I will do.
I will go for it, really go for it, by doing everything within my power to ensure that I succeed. Make the same commitment to yourself. Be determined and follow through. After all, if Trump can do it, anyone can (including you).
Trump never lost sight of what he wanted: the White House. My goal is a little more modest: to make abidemi.tv the place for writers to learn how to write better, make more and grow their brand. It’s also a profitable enterprise – I’m developing new services and products all the time to make it sustainable.
Trump announced his intention to run for presidency in June 2015, and since then, everything he’s done has been to achieve this goal. You can do the same; keep your end goal – whatever it is – in sight, and work towards it, steadily and consistently.
If your dream is to write a book, write it. Writing is hard work. Actually, it’s a slog. But if this is your dream, then start writing. Persevere and you will eventually finish.
If your dream is to run your writing business, then start taking steps to do that (you can find out how to do that, here). Of course, you’ll have setbacks (so did Trump. Remember those comments about mauling women?). But that’s what they are: setbacks. Persevere and those setbacks will turn into springboards for growth.
This was probably the most vicious and bitterly contested presidential campaign in US history. I’m sure that there were many a time that Team Trump felt it was over. But they just battened down and pressed on. You should do the same with your writing; adopt a fighter’s approach and persevere.
Ask for help
Trump’s electoral success has been credited to Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager. His team recognised that they needed help, so she was brought in to turn his campaign around. The rest, as they say, is history.
The take away: if you need help, ask for it. If you would like to write, but don’t know how, enrol on a writing course (try this free one). If you’ve started writing a book, and you’re stuck, reach out to experienced authors on social media and ask them how they became unstuck. I’ll be surprised if you don’t get a response.
So ask for help. Remember; no person is an island.
This is by far the best analysis of Trump’s presidential bid: “…his supporters took him seriously but not literally and people like us, mainstream media, lefties, hipsters, beardies, comedians, we made the mistake of taking him literally but not seriously” – Rachel Johnson, journalist.
Let that be said about you. Focus on what you want to achieve with your writing dream. Go for it. Really, really go for it. Surprise your detractors and do your supporters (the ones who took you seriously), proud.
Now, go smash some ceilings.
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Also published on Medium.