Author Savvy: Dumb is Always Comes Before Smart

To Become a MASTER … Authors Begin the Journey as a DUMMY


Dummy Sheep TRN

 Throughout the year, my favorite Geek Girl, Kelly Johnson and I create a mini intensive on a specific topic … the goal is always to talk our small enclave of dummies to ace users over a three hour period of time. In the three years, we have delivered Tech Tool Boxes for the AuthorU community, the transition never fails.

Being DUMB and IGNORANT is the starting point to becoming highly proficient and SMART.

At each session, are timid, curious, frustrated and dumb participants display some level of resistance. They know there’s “something” in that pile that could just be the perfect gizmo or gadget to add to their Tech Tool Box … yet … the almost fearfulness of “brain damage/drain” or just more time sucking is in the eyes.

Kelly and my objective is to always reveal tricks and tips to the “tool” we are covering; reveal just why it could be the cat’s meow to support their authoring and publishing endeavors; and of course, have fun in the process.

But—the sometimes “OMG, what am I doing here” look in the eyes is revealed … sometimes, it is verbalized.

DUMB is always the Staring Point of Being SMART

I confess up front … do I routinely use every tool consistently that we focus on during the session? No … but the ones that I learn about from Kelly that I hadn’t already been familiar with (I too can be in the official dummy crowd) opens a new window of opportunity. I have become a MASTER is a variety of areas of publishing. Each journey began with ignorance—at times, I felt I was a dummy of all things.

My 30+ year journey through the publishing maze has delivered an array of experiences, ahas and yes, crashes. I now can quickly evaluate whether it makes sense to keep using and mastering … or to just put it in my “good to know” file the truckload of tools that I come across.

  • Is the opportunity right for me?
  • Does it fit and support the work that I do?
  • Does it add to my social media marketing?
  • Is it something that my full time VA can use to enhance my social media that she puts out daily?
  • Does it open up an avenue that I haven’t thought about?

Because I allowed myself to be DUMB, I enable myself to begin the journey to being a MASTER. How cool is that?

As an author, no matter where you are on the path: just starting—almost there to completion of your manuscript or with book in hand—frustration is most likely a familiar road sign you’ve encountered.

Drive through it. Those 15, 30, even 60 minutes of being overwhelmed, frustrated and let’s face it: feeling/saying, “Screw it,” and wanting to throw in the towel may be the seed to a giant WOOT! I’ve been there, done that.

Complacency will never move you to mastery in anything. Curiosity and Persistence will. Embrace your dumbness and celebrate the coming smartness. 

Ashography Event Photography

Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and signature - Judith PNGis the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at


header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.