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I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ten Things I Believe

I listened to an inspirational TED talk by Simon Sinek (via Robin Sullivan) and it's changed the way I think (seriously, it's that good).

Simon endorses a Why-How-What perspective of explaining who you are (as an author, company, movement). Most organizations (and people) start with What they do, then explain How they do it, and (maybe) get around to explaining Why. Simon gives compelling reasons (and examples!) of how leading with Why allows you to connect with people in a profound way.

At the same time, I've been the happy recipient of several blog awards (thank you Cherie, Gail, and Elizabeth) as well as being tagged a couple times (thank you Scott and Crystal), all of which require me to divulge some number of random facts about myself.

I could talk about the NASA work I've done, or how I ran for public office and served for four years, but that feels more like a resume and not what drives me today. Instead, I'm taking Simon's advice, which he boiled down to this: What you do proves what you believe.

So here are Ten Things I Believe.

10) I believe that authors should take risks in their craft and their careers.
9) I believe in making your own luck.
8) I believe failure is what happens when you're trying and success is what happens when you try again.
7) I believe every child has the ability to learn and is a special gift in the world.
6) I believe adults are responsible for guiding children into meaningful lives.
5) I believe the human mind is the most important resource on earth and the human spirit is the most precious treasure we have to protect.
4) I believe technology is as good or evil as the hands that hold it.
3) I believe the forces of good are more powerful than the forces of evil.
2) I believe one passionate person can make difference in the world.
1) I believe writing is an act of courage that shows the world who you are.
I strive to make everything I do prove these things that I believe.

Consider yourselves awarded with banners of awesome and tagged with magic tagger sticks. Please tell me in the comments what you believe. Because that's what I want to know most about you!

The lovely Cherie Colyer is spotlighting my novel, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit on her blog today (thank you, Cherie!), as well as interviewing me with a few (much less serious) questions. And today is Omnific's Author Hop (thus the linky at the bottom).

p.s. no Friday post this week, as I've already reached my posting quota. :)


  1. I love those TED videos. Always so fascinating!

    I believe you're awesome.

    If I wasn't in such a hurry I'd tell you more things I believe.

  2. I've never watched a TED video... what is this??? But I love your believe statements. Me, too! :D <3 ((hugs))

    (what's the blog hop about?)

  3. TED videos are often life-changing. I love this post, Susan, and I especially love you list.

    I believe something as simple as kindness can completely change a life.

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  5. @Matthew *blushes* Thank you. And someday I want to hear those "more things." :)

    @LTM TED is awesome - it's great idea and great speakers rolled up into one. Thinking Nerd Heaven. :)

    And the Blog Hop is sponsored by my publisher (Omnific) and is a way for Omni (and other authors - it's open to anyone with a published novel) to link up. Also a way for readers to hop around and find us! :)

    @Shannon Kindness is like a superpower, isn't it? A small thing, but able to move mountains. :)

  6. Awesome list. #4 & 3 are my favorites. And 5. And...all the rest of them. ;) I believe I'll be trying to define what I believe for the rest of the day.

  7. Those are all awesome. Just proves what I already suspected about you. ;D I especially like #10 on a personal level. I believe a little bit of kindness goes a long way, and unfortunately the opposite is true too.

  8. thanks for sharing these, I enjoyed reading them and found myself nodding in agreement.

  9. A few things I believe:

    1) Kids make us remember how to laugh and NOT take ourselves so seriously.

    2) Tolerance shows a higher level of understanding.

    3) Science will be even more important in our future. We will reach the stars. (When is the question, and what will we look like then?)

    4) Self-education is valuable in the realm of life. It's an accessory to formal education.

    5) Nice people are good to know, and hang around with, like the ones on this blog, and Nathan B.'s, and INK's. (esp. including you, Susan, the owner of this blog)

    6) Taking time out from what 'has to be done' to do what you want to do (must not be harmful to others), will reward you with contentment.

    7) Being nice to others will usually reward you in kind. (no guarantees on this one)

    That's enough for now, Susan, but you get the idea. A thought provoking post - thanks.

  10. I like this way of thinking! I guess my author bio is right on then because it begins with "I love to read and believe in the power of books to change lives"

  11. Wonderful post, Susan, with so many truths. I do believe we each have a special talent and something that only we can do, which is why we occupy a space in the world. This post is a keeper.

    Running out to do some stuff. Will hop over to the interview later.

  12. I love your 'beliefs'. :) You've inspired me! I signed up for the Author Blog Bounce (love it!). I'm the technologically challenged person with the title Author Blog Bounce. *smacks forehead*.

  13. @Prerna Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad we share some beliefs! :)

    @DG I love your list! Especially #1 and #2. :) (I think our book themes would resonate and have a party. :))

  14. Susan, I love this list! I want to copy/paste them and post them on my wall!

    I believe having faith in the Universe and being optimistic about my life will bring me happiness.

    Maybe not love, money, publishing contracts, or anything else I think of as making me "happy," but I believe in faith nonetheless...

  15. I loved all ten of your I Believe's! Thanks for sharing. :o) I'm going to have to go and watch that video. Me? I believe that the relationships we work at in this life are where we can find true happiness.

    Have a lovely day, Sue!

  16. So many TED talks are inspiring. I'll add this one to my list. Great post. Made me smile and think. Perfect.

  17. What a powerful post, Susan! I believe in supporting my lovely fellow authors as they pursue their dreams.

  18. This is a great post. And I loved your interview with Cherie.

    Here is one thing I believe: I believe in the power of words. They can shame, cut to the core, break down walls and build them up. They can make and break deals. They can turn someone from darkness and into the light.

  19. I agree wholeheartedly with the "why" approach. It helps us to clarify our goals and actions to ourselves as well as others. It's too bad we introduce ourselves with "what" we are, rather than who we are and how we got here...

  20. @TL I believe faith will take you where you need to go, too! It makes me warm inside that you want to put the list on your wall! :)

  21. @Tricia So glad I could make you smile! The TED talks take some time, but they can be quite a boost in so many ways. :)

  22. @Khadijah I think we have the WHY within us, but simply don't stop to think that way. It's amazing what a simple change in perspective can do. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  23. my beliefs are sort of cliche, but I think they're true:
    Everything happens for a reason.
    You get back what you put out into the world.
    Whatever you believe will happen, will. So don't think negative thoughts!

  24. Going to watch that TED video.

    You're ten are amazing!! Beautifully written.

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  26. Oh I LOVE THIS! I am so going to listen to that talk!

    I believe that love conquers all.

    I believe in loving your enemies.

    I believe in treating others as you would want them to treat you.

    I believe everyone has a form of creative expression to bring beauty and understanding to the world.

    I believe our spouse and children are our greatest treasures (not material aquisitions or notable achievements) and our most important investment.

    I believe every soul on earth is precious and redeemable no matter what's happened to them/what they've done.

    I believe God is a writer and He LOVES words and wrote the best book ever! :)

  27. I really like your #1 belief and share it. I believe that my core intuition leads me to the right place and right activity.

  28. I think that forgiving others is the best thing you can do for yourself.

    I believe that compassion is its own reward.

    And a bunch of other things that I don't have time to post, unfortunately.

  29. Susan, I could honestly copy your list. We must be very much alike because all yours hit home with me. (Especially 7 & 8)

  30. TED rules.

    And ditto on your beliefs.

  31. Okay I am hopping on your 10 ideas.

  32. I love your "I believes"--especially that writing is "an act of courage." True for so many reasons! I'm now following your blog and looking forward to your posts.
    Fellow MG-YA Campaigner

  33. The TED videos are fabulous. And your 'I believe' list should make believers of everyone.

  34. @Catherine I love the idea of believing in your intuition! Sometimes I forget to do that, and it doesn't turn out well. :)

  35. @Kelly I love that the list resonates with you, and even more when you point out the ones you like best! It gives me a peek into who you are. Thank you for sharing!

  36. @Sandra Thanks for the follow and the sweet words!

  37. Very very well said - I love your 10 things! I agree!

  38. I love it when someone opens a door to a different way of thinking about something. Gets me out of ruts. Of course, why is so much more important than what and what should follow why if you you want to really enjoy life.


  39. thanks for sharing these, I enjoyed reading them and found myself nodding in agreement.

  40. Beautiful post, Sue! I agree with all of your beliefs. :D

  41. Fantastic list of things you believe. They do say a lot and they are so encouraging too.

  42. Beautiful post. I love those TED videos.

  43. Love #10. Without taking risks we miss out on the buried treasure lurking in our creative souls.

  44. @Leslie Yes, exactly! And thanks for all the comments! :)


Erudite comments from thoughtful readers