Let's talk about a form of commitment called "Massive Action." This concept was created by one of my teachers, Brooke Castillio, and it can be a game-changer for writers who struggle with commitment, or self-doubt, or the frustration that comes with trying to achieve a goal and not having it go as planned.
If you’re trying to get a publisher, finish a novel, or get a movie deal, you can apply massive action to get it. You can apply massive action to any area of your life to get the results you want.
Massive action means taking action consistently until you get what you want.
With massive action, you keep taking action until you have what you want. No matter what happens, you keep taking action.
It sounds so simple, but it is incredibly rare for people to do.
Most people are willing to try a few actions. We set a goal, we try one thing, maybe three, and then give up if it doesn’t work.
This is common for writers who want to get their book published. They send 5 to 10 queries, get no response and give up. Or writers who want to write a novel, they write one chapter, maybe even ten, and then see a flaw in their story and give up on trying to fix it.
Massive action does not allow for giving up. It doesn’t allow for failure. But it’s completely different from thinking that you can never fail. Because if you have a goal, of course, you are goal to fail on the way to it. If you have a goal to get a publisher you are going to get rejections.
A lot of you perfectionist writers think that you can’t fail because you make it mean something awful about yourself if you do.
You make rejection letters mean that your story isn’t good enough, that your writing isn’t good enough, and that you aren't good enough.
Thinking you "can’t fail" puts way too much pressure on yourself and instead of focusing on trying things, all you can focus on is how you can succeed.
All you can focus on is, "How can I make sure that I don’t get another rejection letter?". And the only way you can make sure you don’t get another rejection letter is to not send one.
When you are trying to figure out how you can succeed, you try and figure out what is the "right" action to take. Who are the right people I should query? Should I get a publisher or an agent? Is self-publishing the answer or a regular publisher? What is the right way to get my book published?
Trying to figure out how you can succeed is what paralyzes so many of you.
When we think there is a right thing to do to succeed, and a wrong thing to do that makes us fail, we worry about choosing the right one.
Massive action eliminates this pressure of doing the right or wrong thing because it doesn’t matter what you choose. You just keep taking action until you get the result you want.
If something doesn’t work, you try something else. Maybe that’s after 5 actions, maybe that’s after 500. It doesn’t matter. If you don’t have the result, it’s because you’re not done taking action.
You don’t have to start out knowing every single step you should take. You just have to know the one next action you can take. If that doesn’t work, you come up with another one.
If you want to get a book published, your next action might be sending a query letter, or attending a networking event, making a phone call to a contact, entering a contest–it doesn’t matter which one you pick.
You will know when you hit the right thing when you get the result you want.
A lot of you just had a mini heart attack when you read, "maybe it takes 500 actions." I know that it can be frustrating or even scary, or sad, to keep taking action and not getting the result you want. Quitting is a lot easier. But the only reason why it’s frustrating or scary or sad is because of what you make each failure mean.
Those 500 fails are a lot easier to take when you don’t make it mean you’re are personally a failure, or that it’s taking too long, that you're a bad writer, that the market is oversaturated, or that you can never get what you want. Those thoughts are the source of the pain, not the action you took.
Massive action eliminates all that internal pain because it assumes failure is part of the process. There is no need for mental drama because you know that there will be obstacles and you just have to take the next action. You don’t use failure as a reason to stop taking action.
A good example of this is going to Starbucks. You can use massive action to get your vanilla latte.
You want a vanilla latte, your driving to Starbucks, and you hit a red light. You don’t make this red light mean that your dream is a latte is impossible. You drive a bit again, and then you hit another red light. Again, you don’t turn around, you don’t give up.
You wait at the light, it’s a little frustrating, but you keep going. You make it to the drive-through and there is a lineup of ten cars. But you don’t throw up your hands in the air and give up. You decide to park your car and walk inside the store instead. Where you hit another line. But you get in the line and you keep taking one step forward until you have that vanilla latte in your hand.
We are all willing to do this for Starbucks. Honestly. Even times when giving up would be way easier, but we want that latte. We will do whatever it takes to get that latte.
We use massive action for a cup of coffee, but we do not use it for our dreams, our goals, and the very things that we want most in the world.
When it comes to our goals, most people turn around when they hit that first red light.
The difference is that when it comes to Starbucks, we have experience knowing we can do it. We can drive there, we can wait in the line and we can come away with the latte, But if we’re trying something new, like getting a novel published, we aren’t anticipating the red lights. So when they come, we make it mean something about us, or about our writing and it makes us quit.
With massive action, the only failure is quitting, so failure is not an option in the sense of it’s not even on the table. Because you’re just going to keep taking action until you have the thing, whether it’s the book, the publisher, the movie, a relationship, a degree, whatever it is.
If you commit to massive action, it can change your whole life.
Tiana is a great example of this for writers. She wanted a book deal from a traditional publisher. She wrote one book, it didn’t get picked up. She wrote another, sent a hundred queries and it didn’t get picked up. She decided to self-publish it. She wrote two other books in the series and self-published them. She wrote a new book, that again, did not get picked up by a publisher, so she self-published that one as well. She queried agents and got an agent. Wrote another book, and this one got picked in a three-book deal from a publisher.
But most people, when they hear she got a book deal, do not see the massive amount of action behind it. It’s easy to think she got lucky until you see everything that led up to it. And I didn’t even include all the things.
That is massive action. It’s taking the next step forward, even when you don’t know exactly how to achieve the thing.
If you want a published novel, don’t write thirty pages and then give up when you don’t know how to write the next chapter.
If you want to make a living as an author, don’t write one book and then give up when it doesn’t give you the income you want.
If you want an agent, don’t give up when your hundredth query letter is ignored.
Massive action can be like blinkers on a racehorse. The only thing that matters as they run to the finish line is what’s in front of them. They’re not distracted by the other horses running the race and what’s going on beside them. They just keep moving forward towards the finish.
You can apply massive action to anything in your life for anything that you want.
Anything you have ever achieved, you’ve gotten it through massive action, even if you didn’t know it.
You know how to use massive action already, you just haven’t been consciously applying it. Imagine how your life would change if you embraced massive action.
If you need help applying massive action, sign up for a free coaching call.