Academy of Wayward Authors: A Year of Transformation and a Final Assignment

You are not the person you were a year ago.

Nor will you be the same in a year.

For that change to be significant and positive, you must deliberate in the moment. Every scroll on TikTok is a word lost in your quota for the day. Whether positive or negative, large or small, what you do now compounds.

We focus too much on the extraordinary—the big moments, not the common moments. But we get more of them, and they compound faster. It’s not who you marry that makes for a happy marriage; it’s how you treat them daily.

If you read this season’s bridge posts, the sequence was from your future self contacting you and thanking you for signing up for this season. Your future self was reflecting on the work you had done to get yourself to a new place.

Now, we close the circle and communicate with our future selves.

Looking ahead to next year

One final assignment.

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Go to your calendar and mark one year from now with the following task: Make a note to email Joe.

Next, write a letter from your future self about all the changes that will have taken place in you and your business. I know this is a bit woo-woo, but trust me.

Imagine what you and your business will look like a year from now.

Define the outcome and the action you took to make it a reality.

If this is a repetitive action, then define the time interval. Here is an example.

“I’m grateful for the weekly work you did to write bonus material to offer between each book so I could build a read-through sequence for our top series. That has resulted in a 10% increase in read-through and three to five email replies from fans who thank me for the bonus content.”

Go back over this season and review some of the work we discussed on calming your mind to be a better practitioner of your craft and ways to have a deeper devotion to treating your writing like a business.

Make sure at least one of the items is about improving your craft. Your first book someone reads sells them on all your future work. Don’t think ads or marketing will ever be as powerful as a reader’s connection to your story experience.

Now, you could just blow this off. Some will, and they will get the corresponding results because how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Those who embrace this final assignment and think deeply will get the best results. Don’t overachieve, but do push yourself into the uncomfortable zone. Nothing happens when you’re complacent.

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Email me the email you write to your future self. I promise I will read it and won’t share what you write.

When that calendar alert pops up a year from now, open the email you sent and review it. Write only the things that you did well and the results. Don’t write excuses or tell stories. If you chose to change priorities, review why and what important information came to light that helped you decide to change your plans. Did it come together better than you planned?

If you want a reply to this future email, ask for it in the subject line. I will read it and give you my thoughts.

When you reflect on your journey a year from now, you will be pleasantly surprised by the incredible progress you have made. While it’s unrealistic to expect that you will have accomplished everything you set out to do, you will undoubtedly be amazed by the vast array of achievements you have attained.

And with this work, you’ve graduated, and we have scheduled your one-year class reunion.

We will reconvene in January with Season Four: A Browse Through My Bookshelf.

Class dismissed.