The Compound Effect in Your Writing Career

the compound effect

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I hope you are NOT reflecting too much on how difficult it is to be a self-published author.

I know how you work extremely hard writing a book, then edit it, format it, design an eye-catching cover and publish it on Amazon. Or on whichever other favourite eBook publishing platform you prefer.

Then you wait. And as weeks go by, no one seems to notice. Meanwhile the perceived sniggers from friends, relatives, and your spouse become too much to bear.

So you give up, and join the list of so many authors who give up within a year of the start of their writing careers.


Recently, I read a very inspiring book that gave me an immense sense of self-confidence and belief in myself. The name of the book is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.

Darren asks you to think of the compound effect in the following way:

Smart, small choices + consistency + time= Massive Results

As per this book, one year might be a very small amount of time to look at results. The minimum time the compound effect takes to set in is anywhere between 2 and a half years to 3 years.

There is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme or an overnight success. Just keep taking simple, small steps every day and with time you will achieve the intended results.

According to Darren Hardy, the Compound Effect is always at work.

You can either make it work for you or it will work against you.

He gives the example of three friends. One friend tries to improve himself every day. He spends some time with his wife, walks for half an hour, cuts 125 calories less in his diet and reads motivational books, every day.

The second friend does nothing and is a little bitter about life. He whines and complaints all the while.

The third friend rarely exercises, spends enormous amount of hours watching TV, takes his wife for granted and has a cookie and beer to enjoy life, every day.

The result after 2 and a half years: The third friend is now obese, has terrible health problems and loses his job and wife. The second friend remains the same and is now bitterer than before. The first friend remains trim, has a happy relationship with his wife and gets a job promotion.

You can see the compound effect in action.

It is the small things we do in life that makes the biggest of differences. You don’t become obese overnight nor do you lose your wealth instantly. It is all a compound effect of bad decisions taken almost every day over a considerable period of time.

On the converse, you don’t become rich or healthy overnight. That is also a result of smart, small choices made almost every day over a considerable period of time. So your biggest challenge is to remain consistent. It is also very important to implement good habits and to get rid of bad ones.

So how does this impact your self-publishing career?

In a year’s time, I have written 8 books. All my books are of the length of 20,000 to 40,000 words. I have made a habit of writing at least 1000 words in a day. On some days, my time is spent exclusively on book marketing.

Still 1,000 words x 30 days= 30,000 words (one book)

In this way you can write one book in just one month. The other month is spent on editing, formatting and of course, marketing.

In my self-publishing report, I have already talked about overcoming the writer’s block.

Many authors try to do too many things. They try to write a book, then blog, do podcast shows, shoot for YouTube videos, try to be active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and when nothing works they throw up the towel, burn out and crash.

Yes, being a self-published author can be quite overwhelming and to be frank, sometimes I also despair.

However, a better idea is to concentrate on one thing at a time. Decide what you want to do TODAY.

If I am writing a book, I sometimes decide that I am only going to write my book today and do nothing else.

 On certain days, I only write more blog posts and messages for my e-mail subscribers.

On some days when I don’t feel like writing, I will read a new book on self-publishing and try to implement some new idea.

Focussing on one thing is always easier than juggling so many.

Hopefully, in a few years’ time, the Compound Effect will give me too enough momentum to keep me propelled for life.

Have you experienced the compound effect in any part of your life? I would love to hear your views on this. 





  • Chelsea says:

    Well said Prasenjeet Kumar. We are drowning in the sea of information overload, distraction and endless work. We don’t know where to start. The choice is to do less. Do the One thing for the day and get it complete. Right now, I am writing a book and it is taking me 2 months full time. I have to press on until it is complete otherwise if I put it aside, it will be buried in the stack of papers, forgotten and out of side.

    Recently I just dig out some manuscript from 10 years ago and managed to get it published. I wonder how many more are buried in my drawers.

    • Prasenjeet says:

      Great response, Chelsea. Keep up the good work! It is always easier to do one thing at a time. And very important to finish your book! Have a nice day!

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