Are you one of the six per cent?

Last week I attended a two day seminar on leadership. It was the Global Leadership Summit – rather grand name that – sponsored by the Willow Creek church. I attended in order to enhance and develop my leadership skills within my local church. It was a truly inspiring series of presentations. Key speakers included screen writer and director Richard Curtis, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President Jimmy Carter.

One of the facilitators challenged the 700 people present to apply what they had learned at this summit. He stated simply that the information gained over the course of the two day event was enough to significantly change one’s life. And if everyone made one significant change as a result of the summit, whole communities could see enormous change.

Sad fact

The speaker then went on to state the sad statistic that, at best, only six per cent of attendees will do any follow up or make any significant changes. Once the enthusiasm of the event is over, once the musicians stop playing and the dust settles, people drift back into their old ways of operating. Very few make any effort to apply what they have learned. Only six per cent have any impact for change. I think that the percentage is a little generous. I suspect the true figure is much less.

Writers and the six per cent

Many people dream of being writers. Some people actually do something about it and write something. Even less send manuscripts to publishers and very few are actually published. As far as books are concerned, the figure in Australia is less than one per cent. Most larger publishers receive more than a thousand manuscripts annually from would-be authors. Of those, perhaps five to ten will ever be published. Daunting odds. That equates to less than one per cent. This figure is probably very much the same in other countries. Are you determined to be in that six per cent – or that one per cent?

Bloggers and the six per cent

The situation is frighteningly similar for bloggers. Of the 75 million or so blogs out there, perhaps only ten per cent are actively maintained on a regular basis. I’m guessing that figure – I have no hard evidence to back up my claims. Furthermore, less than one per cent, make any money from their blogging. Granted, there are people who choose to blog for the joy of writing with no intention of making money from their writing. That’s fine. But for those who intend to make a living from their writing, the message is clear. You have to be in the top one per cent in order to make even a modest income.

What now?

As in so many fields of endeavour, the learning should never end. Be constantly learning about writing or blogging so that in a year’s time you can look back and see the progress you have made in your chosen pursuit. Don’t be content to be in the 94% who hear or read about what to do – but never apply it to their writing.

Good writing.


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