The Difference Between Can and Cannot

Written by Mary Buckham

The Difference Between Can and Can’t

Here are a few hard truths I’ve discovered over the years after working with thousands of writers.

As an instructor I can’t motivate you. I can’t make you sit down and write. I can’t guarantee you success. 

Before you throw up your hands and shout FOUL! here’s one solid truth I’ve also learned.

If you show up to the page, or a class, or a webinar, and do the work, you CAN absolutely make a difference in your writing.

I can’t guarantee you immediate success, but I CAN show you how to take the next step.
Here’s even better news. There are a number of instructors who can help you reach YOUR next step—Bryan Cohen, Cathy Yardley, Michael Hyatt, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, Margie Lawson, Jeff Goins. Each and every one of these instructors has something to offer that can help you, right now.

One of the keys is zeroing in on Specific elements of writing, and then investing your time in those first. Unfortunately, a lot of writers get sidetracked working on aspects of story that do not give a solid foundation to build on. In the Break Into Fiction™ Power Plotting six-week webinar series I’ve created a system that can give you mastery of plotting, the foundation of every great story, in 150 minutes of lectures and Q&A a week! The current price is only open for a few more days, until April 25th… so check out the Break Into Fiction™ Power Plotting webinar before the discount is gone!

There are a few things you need to get clear about before anyone can show you the way. Here’s how:​​​

  • Figure out YOUR learning style. Don’t worry, all you need is to review how, in the past, you’ve learned best. In a live workshop? By reading a book? When you can ask questions? Or been able to listen to what was taught more than once? Any and all insights can help you hone in on the instruction process that works best for you.
  • Determine what it is you WANT to learn next. Focus on one skill—whether it’s marketing, writing blurbs, staying motivated, plotting—whatever, and zero in on who teaches what you need and how do they teach it? Hint: return to point one to make sure their teaching approach meets your learning style.
  • Ask around. Reach out to other writers, keep an ear open at conferences or events, don’t be afraid to ask folks via social media—who do they recommend and why? You can even ask instructors whom they might recommend to teach what you want to learn [see step 2]. Then take your question one step further and ask them why they’d recommend that instructor, or book, or process.
  • Take the next step. Buy the book. Attend the event. Take the webinar. Commit to the process of learning. Expect to be challenged.
The Break Into Fiction® workshop helped me firm up a plot and the book, CHOKE, eventually was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. I’m now working on the fourth one in that series. ~Kaye George
  • Give yourself permission to try more than one class, one book, one webinar on the topic. This too is part of the process of learning. Embrace it until you feel you really understand and can act on the concepts.

In other words, the learning process works if you do.

You have all the power to motivate yourself, to find the ways to write consistently, to guarantee your own success.

This is the difference between Can and Can’t.

This is why I created the Break Into Fiction™ Power Plotting six-week webinar. It’s designed to help you focus on your story in a way that can bring tangible, and immediate results to your understanding and implementation of a strong story structure.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here and make a difference in your writing!​

So what’s your next step to improve your writing? What would it mean to you if you did it? Share in the comments below.​​​