Posted by: nancyisanders | April 5, 2013

The Triple Crown of Success

I’ve developed a strategy that helps me accumulate publishing credits and helps me grow as a writer even during winter seasons when all I get is rejections for the book manuscripts I submit. I call it the Triple Crown of Success.

I explain how this works in detail in my book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.

(Just a note on my book…if you don’t have it yet, please be patient. It’s pulled off the shelf right now as I’m working to give it a new cover and update it with current info such as the Common Core State Standards. The updated version will be available to purchase again hopefully by this summer. But if you just can’t wait, the book is still available at online used bookstores.)

I’ll give a quick overview of how the Triple Crown of Success works:

Basically, each week I try to work on 3 different manuscripts to meet 3 different goals.

Project #1:
For the goal of writing for personal fulfillment, I work on whichever manuscript I’m passionate about. I devote a certain amount of time each week working on this to keep my writer’s passion alive.

Project #2:
For the goal of writing to get published, I write for the no-pay/low-pay market. I still do this today! For example, right now I’m writing a how-to article once a month that gets published in an online column at Working Writer’s Club. (Check out the club…it’s free to join and you’ll find sooooo many resources for writers there!) Plus, I’ve had several deadlines these past few months for other periodicals and online venues. Do I get paid for these? No. But I build up my publishing credits. And I work with editors. And I keep honing my writing skills. And I build my author’s platform by getting my website and blog and name out there. These benefits are my “paycheck.”

Project #3:
For the goal of writing to earn income, I send out queries and proposals and try to land book contracts or high-paying magazine contracts so I get paid to write something. To do this I study different publishers product lines and the books or magazine articles they’re putting out right now. I look for holes in their market. Then I submit queries and proposals for potential books to write that would fit into their product line. This is how I earn most of my income each year.

So what can you do if you feel like you’re in the middle of winter as a writer? Don’t lose all your leaves like a deciduous tree or shut down and give up on writing.

Be like an evergreen. Start working on three different strategies and manuscript projects to meet the three basic goals most writers have. Take control of your writing by using the Triple Crown of Success and shine like an evergreen all year long.


  1. I have a similar strategy, though I make mine monthly rather than weekly, given I still have many mommy duties so my writing hours are limited to a couple hours per morning – five days a week. I love the image of the triple crown!

  2. Such sound advice, Nancy. Thank you. : ) I’m trying to create a schedule for this summer for writing and art, since for the first time in years I will have free time. I don’t want those months to slip through my fingers as they so easily can!

    • Hurrah, Beth! And good for you that you’re setting up a schedule. I’d rather schedule my writing hours and show up at the computer for these than schedule in a part-time job cleaning toilets (I used to do that)

      Have you checked out my schedule that I call “The Writer’s Pyramid”? It might help you make a huge leap in your career this summer.

  3. Hi Nancy,
    I loved the cover on your book. Quilts are comforting and when I purchased your book I assumed I’d receive comforting and encouraging words. And I was correct. 🙂
    I would love to follow this sound advice, so I hope you’ll post about how much time per day and/or week one should spend on the three triple crowns.
    Thanks, Nancy. 🙂

    • Hi Tracy! Do you have my first book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career? In it I go into detail about how to spend time on the triple crowns. If you don’t want to buy it right now, perhaps your local library has it and you can read it there. That’s probably the best place to start. And then if you have questions after you read it, you can let me know!

      • Hi Nancy,
        Oops, I thought you were referring to your other book.
        I don’t have “Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Chlldren’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career?” So it looks like I’ll have to get my hands on a copy. 🙂

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