The Only Reason You’re “Time Poor” Is Because You’re NOT Doing What Matters

There was a point in my writing life where I made way more excuses than I did put words on the page. Back then, I used to say, “I don’t have time” on a regular basis. I was working a full-time day job and trying to run a blog and write books and maintain a personal life. 

It was a lot to fit in.

So I’d constantly find myself saying, “I don’t have time” or “there’s not enough time in the day” or [insert whatever other time excuse you can make]. But then one day a thought hit me…

What if “I don’t have time” and “there’s not enough time in the day” are just limiting beliefs that have been programmed into me… and I can choose to create new beliefs around time?

So I started writing in my journal every day: I am productive as fuck today. I bend the fuck out of time today. 

I’ve now instilled beliefs in myself that there’s always plenty of time for everything I need to do, and I can bend time at will. And funnily enough this has become true for me.

My productivity is at an all-time high right now, and it gets better and better every day.

I can now intend that I will bend the fuck out of time for the next 30 minutes or whatever, and somehow I always manage to get everything I need to done in that time. 

Why? 

Because time is an illusion. Einstein proved it. So that means you get to decide how time feels for you. 

You know when you go to work on a slow day and time seems to drag on? Eight hours feels like 20 and when you finally get to leave at the end of the day you’re spent. But then when you go on vacation to your favorite beach resort, the week flies by faster than you can blink.

That’s a perfect example of time feeling different based on the situation. But you can change the way time feels at any point during that work day or that vacation. 

You can choose to live in the moment on your vacation and savor every little second of the day and fit in as much living as possible. Suddenly it feels like enough. You can choose to take advantage of your work time and work on something you’ve been wanting to work on, but didn’t have time for, and suddenly your day flies by. 

You can make it feel like you have time abundance. 

And here’s the other thing about time abundance: it will always feel like you don’t have enough when you’re not doing what matters every day.

When I look back at the years of my life where I felt like I didn’t have enough time in my day, it was the years when I wasn’t doing what actually mattered each day. I was putting the things that mattered off to do all these other things—a lot of which I didn’t really want to do. 

But as soon as I started doing what matters every single day and doing it first, before I do anything else, suddenly I had all the time in the world. Suddenly by dedicating 1-2 hours of my morning to what matters, my entire day opened up. 

And because what I really wanted to be doing—journaling, writing, creating—was finished early in my day, my mind was free for the rest of the day.

When I wasn’t doing what matters, I’d find myself thinking about my writing or my stories all day long. But when I sit down and do my writing and work on my fiction first thing in the morning and get it done, then I’m not thinking about it all day long, which gives me free mental space for other things that need to get done.

Sure, my story may stay on my mind as I go through my day, but I’m not feeling resentful that I’m having to be doing other things, because I’ve already done what matters.

Time abundance comes from doing what matters, doing it daily, and doing it first things first. 

Action Steps

Here’s what to do next…

1. Figure out what old, limiting beliefs you have about time (there’s not enough, etc), and then flip them into new beliefs that will allow you to feel differently about time (There’s plenty of time for everything that matters” etc).

2. Start doing what matters, every day, first things first. It will change your life, I promise you. 

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. I get it now. I saw this light around doing what matters a year ago around this same time, but somehow managed to forget and get lost again. But thankfully it came back to me, and this time around I’m holding on to it and creating the discipline and habits that I need to have to turn it into a daily thing. 

I’m now fully, 150% committed to doing what matters, every day, before I do anything else. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be a year from now!! 

Want to join me in doing what matters, every day and doing it first? Stay tuned! Doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are opening soon!! And since it’s the one-year anniversary of the group, I’m doing some MAJOR celebration bonuses, including a workshop that will kick your ass into finally making your writing a priority. 

BAM is a high-level community and mentorship for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author. You get insanely awesome tools and resources every month to help with whatever stage you’re at in your writing journey, plus we do 3x weekly work sessions where we meet up virtually and work on our writing projects together. 

There will be a bonus for anyone who signs up that was on the waitlist, so get on the waitlist here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/mastermind 

Embrace The Chaos And Carry On

As I sit here writing this, there are dishes in the sink and on the counter; there’s a pile of towels and pajamas on the big-red chair in my living room, which my dog, Weiland, has now made his little nest for the day; while we’re at it, my living room could definitely use a vacuuming; and don’t even get me started about the laundry baskets and clothes rack in my bedroom with last week’s laundry still hanging-dry on it. 

But this blog post is getting written.

And when I’m done writing this blog post, I’ll work on my novel revisions. Then I’ll work on my sections in the eBook I’m coauthoring with a friend. 

The dishes and laundry and vacuuming will still be there. But my writing will be done. And I will have made progress on my goals and my writing dreams.

This is the way of the writing warrior—the writer and author who refuses to let anything get in the way or stop them from getting their words and stories out into the world. 

There will always be life chaos. Wait, let me repeat that one… on stereo… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LIFE CHAOS!! 

It never goes away. If you do the dishes, there will be more soon after. If you put the laundry away, more will take its place on the drying rack. 

You can always find something that needs cleaning or organizing or repairing or whatever. It’s a never-ending cycle. 

But if your writing—your soul work—isn’t getting done at the expense of the cleaning, organizing, repairing, etc., it’s time to make some changes. 

You’ve been waiting your whole life to be the writer and author you dream of being. How much longer are you willing to wait for? How much longer are you going to put your dream on hold for bullshit excuses and housework (or whatever you’re doing that stops you from writing)? 

I used to think all that stuff mattered. That I had to have a perfectly clean house and everything had to be put away and neat and organized before I could spend time doing what I really wanted to do. 

And some days I’d procrastinate and resist my writing so much that I actually made the housework more important, even though deep down I knew it really wasn’t. 

Do you know what happened? 

I had a neat, clean, organized space to live in, but was dying on the inside from not letting the writing out. 

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I finally allowed myself to do the writing—the stuff that really mattered—before I did the housework. It was magical, because after I finished writing and finished doing what really mattered to me, not only did the other stuff get done, but I didn’t resent it anymore. 

The laundry, the dishes, it all gets done eventually. (You can even hire someone to do it for you, amazing, right?) And now so does my writing. 

I’ve learned to embrace the chaos. I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never get it all done and I’ll never really keep on top of everything in my life. But so long as I’m keeping on top of and doing the things that really matter to me—my writing, creating and teaching—then everything else will work itself out.

How can you embrace the chaos in your life and get your writing done anyhow? 

Write with a purpose, live with intention!

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. Could your writing life use a pick-me-up? Then stay tuned… more details about the Bestselling Author Mastermind, my high-level community and mentorship group for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author, are coming soon. Get on the waitlist here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (and you’ll get access to a waitlist-only bonus!): www.jenniferblanchard.net/mastermind 

Know What Matters. Do It Daily. Repeat.

Do you know what really matters in your writing life? What those key activities are that will actually move the needle in the direction of your dreams?

Or are you just doing random stuff here and there, hoping you’ll eventually get where you want to go?

I totally feel you if you’re still not sure what actually matters. For a long time, I didn’t know either. So I spent my day focused on stuff like interacting with people on Facebook and writing blog posts without a call to action and working on client stories, but rarely my own.

And I’d make excuses, like, client stuff is what really matters, my stuff will have to wait, or I’d avoid doing the writing by getting buried in Facebook posts.

Operating from that place every day—that place of being busy but not actually getting anything that matters done—is a recipe for staying stuck and stagnant.

Someone once said that some people live 90 years, and other people live one year 90 times. Think about that one.

That quote really woke me up and made me see that I’d been living the same year over and over again where my writing was concerned. Yes, I was working on stuff and even making some progress, but for years I was in pretty much the same place every December that I’d been in January.

I felt stuck and stagnant. I couldn’t understand how I’d been at this for so long and yet had made so little progress (or so it seemed to me, others would likely disagree). But then I finally figured it out.

I hadn’t been doing what really mattered. 

Now what really matters is subjective and based on the person in question. So what matters for you may not matter for me, and vice versa.

When you’re figuring out what matters, don’t base it on what you think should matter or what others tell you matters, base it on what actually does matter, to you.

Example, if you’re fine with your body and exercise doesn’t matter to you, then don’t do it. Just because others say exercise matters or you think it should matter to you (even though it doesn’t), doesn’t meant it actually matters. It’s about what matters to you.

If writing matters to you, then that’s (one of) the things you should be focusing on daily. Anything worth doing—anything that matters—is worth doing daily. 

Once I actually figured out what mattered to me and what moves the needle in my writing life and business, that’s the stuff I committed to doing daily, first things first. That includes things like, mindset work and journaling, writing a blog post, working on my fiction (and other writing projects), tracking my book sales numbers and income, and doing visibility and promotional activities.

That is the stuff that moves the needle for me. When I’m not doing that stuff every day—and especially when I’m not doing my fiction and writing projects daily—everything else falls apart in my life. Nothing goes right. I’m resentful of everything.

But when I do what matters and do it daily, that’s when everything in my life flows and happens with ease. I feel great and I’m happy. Best of all, I’m making consistent progress and actually finishing what I start.

And that’s why you have to do what matters and do it daily.

How do you know what matters? Journal on it. Ask yourself, “what activities, if I did them daily, would totally transform my life a year from now?” Commit to doing those activities every day. Report back. 

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. The Bestselling Author Mastermind is opening its doors to new members soon. BAM is a high-level community and mentorship for writers who want to develop the habits, consistency, follow-through and mindset of a bestselling author. Get on the waitlist here to be the first to know when the doors are open AND to get access to a waitlist-only bonus. 

How To Be A Bestselling Author

While so often writers want to believe otherwise, most of what makes someone a bestseller is marketing. But while marketing is a hugely important part of the bestseller process, it’s not the whole thing.

Because you have to also consider what got the writer to the point where they were able to do the marketing to become a bestseller—the mindset, the habits, the consistency, the visibility, the follow through. 

You may not be able to replicate the exact results of a bestselling author’s marketing campaign, but you can replicate the thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and actions that made the result possible.

Here’s how:

1. Develop A Pro Writer Mindset

Bestselling authors are pros. They think like pros and that’s what allows them to have pro results in their writing careers.

And they also believe in themselves.

That combination of pro-thinking and confidence is a key in becoming a bestselling author. You have to not only believe it’s possible, but you have to believe it’s possible for you.

Action Step: start a daily mindset practice that gets your thinking aligned with the bestselling author you dream of being

2. Create Aligned Habits

If you want something, like to be a bestselling author, you have to take a look at your habits and daily activities to see whether or not they’re aligned with the goal that you have. This is huge, because you can’t get where you want to go without being in alignment with it.

Alignment simply means, is what you’re currently doing on a daily basis gonna get you the results you want? If you walked on a straight line, would you eventually end up at your goal? Or you on a totally different path?

For example, if you want to be a bestselling author, but you’ve never finished or published anything, that’s not in alignment. You need to finish and publish something before being a bestselling author is even a possibility for you. If you haven’t finished or published yet, you’re not even in the game.

Action Step: take a look at what you currently do every day (your habits) and determine if they’re in alignment with your writing goals or not. If they are, great! And if they’re not, time to make some changes so they are.

3. Be Consistent (No Matter What!)

This is probably one of the hardest parts of being a bestselling author. Consistency is tough. There’s so much going on in life, and chaos happens at seemingly random times. It’s hard to know what things will look like day-to-day, so committing to doing something daily is scary.

You know what I call that? Excuses.

Because consistency is only tough when you’re allowing yourself to make excuses. (I do it at times too.)

But when you’re focused on the results and outcomes that you’re after, and you’re all in and unwilling to let anything stop you or get in your way, consistency is easy. You just show up every day and do the work, and then repeat it the next day and the next day and the next day…

You either have excuses or you have results. Which do you have? 

Action Step: pick one thing that if you did it every day for a whole year would totally change your life. Commit to doing that one thing consistently every single day from here on out.

4. Get Visible 

This is another very tough one for writers. Because writers are mostly introverts who like hiding out behind the scenes.

But in the digital age, hiding out spells death to your success as an author. Visibility—especially online—is a must. It’s a nonnegotiable. 

Bestselling authors become so because they’re visible. People know who they are, they like them and they trust them.

With a big enough following that spells instant bestseller status.

Action Step: how can you start to be more visible as an author? Again think of one thing you could do daily to be more visible online and then commit to doing it every day from here on out.

5. Finish What You Start. Repeat.

Ah, follow through. Probably the toughest out of all the things I’ve listed here.

Starting a writing project is easy. You’ve likely done that dozens of times. Maybe more.

But finishing? Finishing is a whole other thing.

Finishing means following through with the project until it’s done. 

And done doesn’t just mean completed first draft or even revision. It means published. It means the book is out in the world, ready to be read.

You have to train yourself to become a finisher. It’s a skill that takes practice. 

I’ve trained myself over the last decade+ of my life to be a finisher. It’s not always the easiest thing, but I always find a way to just do it anyhow. That’s how I became a finisher.

Action Step: don’t give yourself a hard time if you’ve not finished up ’till now. Just choose a writing project right now, commit to finishing it and then do the work to actually follow through on that commitment.

When you get your mindset and habits aligned, and then create consistency, visibility and follow through in your writing life, you’ll be on track to eventually hit bestseller status. You just have to commit to it, keep going and never look back.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. Do you want to create the mindset, habits, consistency and follow through of a bestselling author? Then stay tuned… doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are reopening to new members soon. 

Not Every Day Will Be Epic, But Show Up and Write Anyhow

As writers we tend to be perfectionists who often see things as all-or-nothing, instead of noticing the shades of grey in-between. Or maybe it’s just me?

But here’s the thing—when you’re doing a lot of writing, you’re bound to have a shitty day at some point. A day when you’re not loving the words that are coming out. A day when you want to delete every single thing you’ve just written and go lay in bed for the rest of your life.

It’s just a part of the creative process.

Creativity is messy and contradictory and unpredictable. But it somehow always works itself out if you show up to the page and do the work. 

The pro writer creates success by showing up to the page every day.

Even when they don’t feel like it. Even when it’s inconvenient. Even when they don’t have time. Even when there are a million other things they could or should be doing.

And it’s the showing up every day that makes the inspiration and creative flow, that makes the words pour out of your head faster than you can type. 

Yesterday was an off writing day for me. I usually sit down to write my blog post and the words just flow without having to think much about it.

But yesterday that didn’t happen. I had to really force myself to get the words out yesterday. And I didn’t love what I wrote at all. (But I put it out there anyhow.)

And today started off the same way.

I didn’t know what to write during my freestyle journaling time. I didn’t know what to write this blog post about. I started two other posts and then stopped those and came back to this one.

Years ago if I had a shitty writing day, I’d just stop writing and blame it on the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t good enough, and then I’d procrastinate for awhile until I finally stepped up again to answer the call of my soul to put words on the page.

Doing my soul’s work, my writing, has always been an area of Resistance for me in my life. Because I’ve known from a very young age that I was born to write. There are lots of other things I love to do and am passionate about and good at, but writing is the thing I was put on this planet for.

I was born to tell stories, and channel messages and ideas and creations that transform writers’ lives.  

And by fully stepping into that purpose, there’s no longer space to stop writing or procrastinate. Showing up and doing the writing is a non-negotiable.

So even on an off writing day, even on a day when I don’t feel like it or I don’t love what I wrote, I still write it and I still hit ’publish’ and put it out there. Because it’s not my job to judge the words. It’s my job to write them down and put them out there for the writers of the world who need to read them. 

It would be selfish and wrong of me to not show up and write because I didn’t feel like it, or because I thought what came out wasn’t very good.

If you’re born to write, you have a responsibility to your audience to show up, put words on the page and get those words out into the world. The form you do this in is totally up to you—blog post, novel, short story, flash fiction, stand-up comedy routine, memoir, essay, poem, song, whatever you feel called to write.

But showing up and doing the writing is a non-negotiable. 

Not every day will be epic. Some days will totally suck and you’ll hate every word you write. Doesn’t matter.

You still have to show up and do the writing.

Because it’s in showing up every day and putting words on the page that you’ll find the creative flow and the connection and the purpose that you’ve desired all along.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. If writing and publishing novels is the form you choose to put words out in, I’d love for you to join us for my upcoming workshop, FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30 days of motivation, inspiration, accountability and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel (draft or revision) and want to FINISH.

Becoming a finisher is the biggest challenge most writers have, and it’s also the most important challenge to overcome, because without finishing, you’re just an amateur with a bunch of unfinished drafts. 

Pro writers finish and take the next step. 

Are you ready to step into the identity of the pro writer you dream of being by finally learning how to become a finisher? 

>> Details and sign up here  

P.S.S. Doors close TOMORROW Friday March 31 at 11:59 p.m. EST!!! We kick things off on April 1. 

Just Feel Good and the Rest Will Take Care of Itself

A life coach that I follow online once posted something on Facebook where she talked about the kinds of music people listen to. She said if your life is awesome and you’re happy, you most likely listen to upbeat, festival-type music that’s peppy and has positive lyrics. But if you’re listening to country music, for example, or music with not so happy lyrics, that could actually be why your life isn’t working as well as it could.

And I get what she was saying with this—that you attract things to your life based on how you think and speak. I agree with that and whole-heartedly believe it and live it.

What I disagreed with is the idea that just because a song has negative lyrics that means listening to it or singing along with it would cause your life to be negative too.

I listen to rock music (mostly from the grunge era), and if you know anything about rock music, the lyrics aren’t exactly peppy. Usually the lyrics are angry or expressing a negative emotion or experience.

But that doesn’t mean my life is negative. The exact opposite, in fact. My life is always better when I’m listening to the music that makes my soul happy.

Grunge rock does that for me. It brings me back to a simpler time in life when I was growing up and falling in love with music for the first time (as I’ve fallen in love with music many times over the years).

That always evokes a happy feeling in me. And singing the words out loud—even negative words—helps me amp that happy feeling up even more.

It has often been said that words have power. And they absolutely do. But where the power really comes from isn’t just from the words being used.

It’s the feeling behind the words. The feeling is what makes the words powerful.

When you say, “I hate you” there’s a feeling behind those words. When you say, “I’m not good enough,” there’s a feeling behind those words. And the feeling that’s behind the words is what really matters.

Because you can say the words, “I’m happy,” but if you’re not actually feeling happy inside, the words don’t have the same power as when you say, “I’m happy,” and actually are. 

The whole thing with law of attraction and manifesting the things you want in your life, is that words matter. But they don’t matter as much as feelings.

Feelings are actually the biggest deciding factor in what manifests. Because feelings create energy—either positive or negative. And energy is what attracts things.

Which means the lyrics of the music you listen to—or the words you speak—only matter if they’re creating a bad feeling in you.

Example… when you’re young and you get your heart broken for the first time, you listen to all those sappy love songs that make you think about the one who got away. That is when music and lyrics are causing negative energy and negative things to manifest. Because your focus is on lack and being not enough and feeling bad.

But if you have a playlist that you love to sing to and that brings a feeling of joy to you, for example, then no matter what the lyrics say, you will feel good. And the feeling good creates good energy that attracts positive things.

This distinction is MASSIVELY important. It could just change your whole life. 

For a long time I worried about the words I was singing out loud as I sang along to my favorite songs. Or the words I’d say by default because of my subconscious programming. But now I know better.

It’s the feelings that matter, not the words. 

And yeah, it’s true that some words just come with certain feelings. So if you’re saying “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do that,” it’s very likely that’s what you’ll experience in your reality and attract to your life (more situations where you feel that way).

But when you’re feeling amazing inside, you can say the words, “I’m not good enough” and they won’t even penetrate you, because you’ll feel so deeply in the moment that they’re not true. 

This same thing applies to thoughts.

Law of attraction says that whatever you think about you will attract to your life. And again, I don’t disagree with this. But there’s a distinction to be made, because it’s not about the specific thoughts.

It’s about the feelings that the thoughts create.

And yes, certain thoughts will come with certain feelings, good and bad. But you have the power. Power that extends far past the words you’re hearing in your head.

You have the power to create whatever feelings you want to feel. All day every day.

Now that’s not to say you won’t have life chaos happen that tries to change how you’re feeling, you will. But if you don’t let it get to you, and you keep that happy, positive feeling inside, then no matter what happens it won’t penetrate you.

I create the happy, positive, empowering feelings that I want to feel every single day by doing my daily mindset practice, which includes freestyle journaling to get the crap out of my head, then writing affirmations declaring who I am and that my dream life is already real, and then I finish up with 5-7 minutes of visualization where I walk myself through my ideal day, weaving in as much of my dream stuff as I can (like the car I want to drive, where I want to live, the kind of activities I do, etc).

Those feelings then carry themselves into my day. And so long as I don’t allow anything else to change those feelings (yes, it IS a choice to allow something to affect you), they stay with me all day long.

This took some time to build up to. In the beginning I’d feel the good feelings for a little while and then life chaos or worry would take over and I’d be back to feeling bad. But I just kept working on it.

At one point, I was doing 2+ hours of mindset work a day. Sometimes I still do. And every minute has been worth it.

My daily mindset practice has helped me to focus my mind and get my emotions in check, so I can go through my day feeling great and manifesting great things as a result of feeling that way. 

And when I’m feeling like that, no negative lyric (or thought) in the world can change it 🙂

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. It’s the FINAL DAYS to join my upcoming workshop—FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30-days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration, accountability and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel (draft or revision) and want to FINISH. We start April 1 (that’s Saturday!!).

And… I’ve added a new EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN! Because I want to make it super easy for you to say HELL YES and join us! 

This workshop is perfect for you if you’re sick of never finishing or sick of taking so long to finish and you just want to get your damn novel (draft or revision) FINISHED so you can finally move on to the next step in the process.

I’ll be revising my novel along with you over the 30 days, as well as sending you daily motivational emails, doing livestreams throughout each week in the private workshop Facebook group to keep you moving along and overcoming all the stuff that tries to get in the way of you finishing (stuff like, life chaos, doubt, procrastination, Resistance, and more).

>> Details and sign up here 

Habits Are Just the Things You Do On A Daily Basis

Words like structure and discipline and habits tend to scare writers. As creative people, we think that having habits or structure in our lives (or stories) will ruin the creativity and freedom that we love.

We’re afraid we’ll be stifled or that we’ll lose that creative spark we’re used to having.

I know because I used to feel the exact same way. I avoided being disciplined or creating habits for most of my life.

And so my habits and discipline was created by default. Because your habits are just the things you do on a daily basis.

For many years, without meaning to, I’d created habits like watching TV for hours at night, and ignoring my writing, and making everything else more important than creating. The funny thing is, I had discipline. It was just around stuff like watching TV at the same time every night.

And yet when I’d hear the words discipline or habits, I’d immediately feel like my creativity would be zapped. How ridiculous is that?!

Because when you use your creativity and do your writing on a consistent basis, you actually become MORE creative and you become a BETTER writer. Crazy, right?

The truth is habits and discipline actually create the freedom that us writers and creators so deeply desire to have in our lives. And they make you better at whatever it is you’re doing.

My writing has improved significantly over the past decade as I’ve been freelance writing and blogging and writing fiction and nonfiction books. But it wasn’t until the last couple years when I’ve realized how much easier and more in flow things can be in my creative life when I’m consistent and when I commit to creating discipline and habits that support me.

‘Cause here’s the thing—your habits can either support your success or they can be your demise.

For years my habits were actually causing me to be stuck in doubt, fear, procrastination, Resistance and excuses. I never really felt clear on anything and I constantly felt like I didn’t know enough (even though I knew plenty).

Not exactly the best motivation for my writing and creating.

But over the last couple years, I’ve discovered that clarity comes from taking action. It comes from doing the work and trying things out. (When you’re unclear, the worst thing you can do is sit there wallowing in it.)

If I’m feeling unclear on something, I know that if I just take some action, in a few days or a few weeks, I’ll start to see clarity.

So a really important question that I ask myself on a monthly basis now is: what habits do I need to install that will support my goals for 2017? 

A lot of times I’m coming back to the same things: food, fitness, doing the writing first things first, etc. And since I come back to the same things, I find myself slowly but surely making progress on building the habits that I want to have.

The problem is that we’ve been programmed for so long with such bad habits and beliefs and thoughts that actually go against the things we want for ourselves, that it’s hard to make changes.

I tried to make a major diet change last month. It was pretty disastrous and after 17 days I totally fell off track.

But I had the opportunity to see and feel what my life and energy and body would be like if I did live that lifestyle on a consistent basis. And that changed everything for me.

Because now I know what I want and I’m very clear on what it’s gonna take to get there. 

I’m still not back where I was last month food-wise and fitness-wise, but I’m slowly moving in that direction again, building up new habits and uninstalling the old ones. It’s a process, but it’s totally worth it.

And the thing that really helped me to make these changes and start creating these new habits is recognizing that habits are just the things you do every day. 

If you do something every single day, that means you have consistency, and consistency is what creates a habit. Doesn’t matter what the thing is, if you do it every day, it’s a habit.

When I started to look at things from that angle, it gave me a whole new perspective on creating the habits that I wanted to have. I just needed to start doing those things I wanted to be doing—working on my fiction, blogging, eating healthy and moving my body—every single day. And if I did that consistently, eventually I’d have a habit around all of it. 

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few months, creating new habits that support my goals and my dream life. It’s been an interesting experiment so far, but I’m enjoying it, even the hard parts. Because I know what’s on the other side if I just keep going.

Share With Us

Now I turn that question to you: what habits do you need to install that will support your goals for 2017 (and beyond)? 

Building a habit just means doing something every single day (or on most day). If you want to build a habit of writing, you just have to write every day.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. If you want a really easy way to build—or continue building—that habit in your writing life, I’d love for you to join me for FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel and want to finish. 

I’ll be motivating, inspiring and empowering you to work on your novel draft (or revision) every single day for 30 days. Not only will I be working on and finishing my novel revisions along with you, but I’ll be sending you daily emails and doing livestreams throughout the week in the private workshop Facebook group that will help you stay motivated, create consistency and build a habit of getting words on the page.

Your creativity will soar. You’ll finally have ideas and inspiration flowing every day. And you’ll have finished your novel draft or revision. 

How kick-ass would it be to have your novel draft or revision finished by May 1?!

That gives you plenty of time to hire an editor and Beta Readers, do a final polish and then get that sucker out into the world THIS YEAR so you can start on your next one.

We hit the ground running on April 1!!

>> Details and sign up here

 

From Procrastinating Writer to Author of 10+ Books (and Counting)

Most people don’t believe this about me, but I used to be the biggest procrastinating writer in the world. In fact, I was Queen Procrastinating Writer. If I could find something to put ahead of my writing, I would. I once got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed my bathroom floor with a sponge to avoid doing my writing.

Yes. Really.

I used to have long stretches of time where I wouldn’t do any writing. My longest stretch was two years.

But in 2008, I had enough. I didn’t know what the hell my problem was, but it was time for me to get serious about creating the writing career I wanted for myself. And also writing that novel I’d been talking about writing since I was 13.

Because it was torturous to go to bed every night feeling like I let myself down and didn’t do the writing that was burning inside me. I couldn’t take it anymore. 

So I decided I was going to write my first novel that year, by my birthday in September. And to help me stay accountable and get some consistency in my writing life, I’d also start a blog so I could write about my journey to writing my first novel, and motivate, inspire, educate and empower other procrastinating writers who struggled like I did.

My commitment was to write and publish one blog post a week for a year. It was the first time I’d ever been consistent with my writing. I missed a few weeks here and there, but by the end of the year, I’d written around 30-40 blog posts. Not too shabby for a writer who couldn’t stop procrastinating.

But I still wasn’t making a ton of progress on my creative writing goals. I wrote a novel, but I still hadn’t published a novel.

It wasn’t until several years later (in 2015) when I finally had enough of my BS excuses around why I couldn’t finish my novel and put it out there. I set a publication date and that was that. I got it out into the world. 

I rode that high for a few months, but I’d fallen right back into my usual patterns of procrastinating and not doing my writing. I justified it by saying that I’d published a novel already that year.

But so fucking what? If I want to be an author of hundreds of books, both fiction and nonfiction, I don’t have time to sit around twiddling my thumbs and not doing my writing. I had to do something major.

Then in 2016, everything shifted. I met a mentor who has written and published 47+ books (46 of which have been bestsellers). She inspired me to step it up BIG TIME in my writing life. That year, I wrote 9 new books and published 7 of them in different capacities (5 on Amazon, 2 as freebies on my blog).

And in 2017, I’m even more driven and focused and getting even more writing done than I ever have before. I’m currently writing anywhere from 3,000-5,000 words a day, and sometimes upwards of 7,000. All on my various writing projects (as a multi-passionate author I could never just work on one thing). 

So, how did I get here? How did I go from avoiding my writing by doing ridiculous household chores to writing thousands of words a day, unleashing new books on the regular and publishing blog posts almost daily?

Here’s how…

1. Have A Bigger Vision

When I first started my blog in 2008, I didn’t have a vision that went past that first year. I was just going to write and publish one post a week and blog about my journey to writing my first novel. But once I accomplished that, I needed to create a bigger vision for what I was doing. Otherwise I’d never stick with it.

That vision has shifted A LOT over the years and will continue to, as I learn and grow and change. But it started with one thing… teaching writers craft.

In 2009, I discovered Larry Brooks and his teachings on story structure. It changed everything for me. It upended my entire writing life and what I knew and had done up to that point. No one was teaching structure the way he was and I knew I needed to help spread this message and change writers lives the way it changed mine.

My novel, SoundCheck, and the one I’m working on right now (and all the ones that come after) wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for what I learned from Larry about craft. So sharing the message of craft was major for me. It kept me going, especially when things got tough and when I wanted to give up and quit.

And then that vision shifted again when I finally embraced the fact that I’m multi-passionate.

Instead of trying to run from it or trying to keep everything I was doing and wanted to do totally separate, I decided to create a personal brand and put everything under it. Because at the end of the day, I’m my brand, just like you are yours.

And now the vision for my company is bigger than it’s ever been. I’m no longer just on a mission to teach writers craft. I’m now on a mission to shake up the writing industry by changing the way writers think and challenging what they believe is possible.

That is the vision I’m living for right now.

But I never could’ve seen that in the beginning of my journey. I only came to this bigger vision by starting with a smaller vision and growing from there.

Journal Prompt: what’s the bigger vision for your writing life? What’s a smaller vision you can achieve right now that would be a stepping stone to that bigger vision?

2. A Why

Having a “why” is kindling that fuels the motivational fire. My why is freedom. It’s my core value in life and the biggest reason why I’m an entrepreneur.

Maintaining that freedom is a great motivator for me to show up every day and do the work. Especially considering the stakes of not showing up are so much higher now. 

You can’t really procrastinate when your living depends on you showing up.

Journal Prompt: what fuels your motivation? What’s your why?

3. A Purpose

The purpose of what I do as an author is to inspire, motivate, educate and empower multi-passionate authors to go all in on their dreams, and create a life and writing business where they never have to choose just one thing. That is the purpose that drives everything I do now in my own writing business. Every book I write, every blog post I publish, every workshop I teach. Everything.

By having a purpose for what I’m doing, it makes it all the more critical that I show up and do the work. I have people counting on me to do my writing and get it out there, so they can get what they need from it to heal, transform and create. 

Procrastination is no longer an option for me.

Journal Prompt: what’s the purpose behind your work as a writer?

4. Consistency

Creating consistency in my writing life is the only way I’ve been able to overcome my procrastination. Because the things you do consistently become a habit. And habits make it almost impossible not to do the work.

I have a habit of getting up in the morning and taking my dog for a walk. We may miss a few days a year due to weather or things like that, but overall, we walk every single morning. This is a habit that I created for us because I wanted to make sure he was getting enough exercise. We only started this habit a few years ago, but now I wouldn’t even think about not walking him because it’s just a natural part of my morning to do so.

Well, same goes with my writing. I just created a daily habit of doing my writing, first things first, before I do anything else or let the world in. And that daily consistency is what helped me to overcome the procrastination that used to run rampant in my life.

Journal Prompt: where are you not being consistent in your writing life? How can you step it up to start to create habits around doing the things that matter?

5. Master Craft

Whether you’re blogging, writing novels, self-help books, poetry or memoir, you have to master the craft of the writing you’re doing. There are principles and guidelines for each type of writing, and it’s your job as a writer and author to figure out the craft you need to master.

There’s no excuse for not knowing your craft. 

And when you know craft and you thoroughly inside and out understand the nuances of the type of writing you’re doing, procrastination becomes a thing of the past. Because when you know what you’re doing, it lessens your desire to procrastinate.

Journal Prompt: what pieces of craft do you still need clarity on? What do you need to practice more?

6. Planning and Development

Back when I used to be a major procrastinator, I not only didn’t know craft, but I didn’t know how to plan and develop my ideas into actual words on the page. So it was easier to avoid the page completely than it was to face a blinking cursor on a blank screen.

But once I started to learn craft and then created processes for planning and developing my ideas into stories and self-help books, I felt less need to procrastinate. I was actually excited to sit down and get to work on writing the draft of the story or nonfiction book.

Planning and development ahead of time gives you a roadmap for doing the writing. And that makes everything easier.

Journal Prompt: how can you incorporate planning and developing your ideas into your current writing life, in a way that feels good to you, but still allows for ease and productivity?

7. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

One of the biggest reasons most writers procrastinate is fear. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of the unknown… insert whatever fear you have going on. And many writers allow this fear to stop them from doing the writing or from going all the way and finishing.

But the thing about success and about becoming a successful writer is you have to be able to feel the fear and then do the writing anyhow. 

If you allow the fear to overcome you, you’ll continue procrastinating forever and never accomplish what you want. So you have to find ways to push past the fear. To allow it to be there and still do your writing anyhow.

I’m scared all the time with regard to the writing I’m doing and putting out there. But I don’t let it stop me. I just put it out there and move on to the next thing.

Journal Prompt: where do you need to be ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyways’ in your writing life?

8. Make Health A Priority

For a long time I didn’t think about or take care of my health. Back when I was procrastinating the worst I ever had, I was also feeling the worst I ever had.

I was suffering with back, neck and shoulder pain from an accident I had as a teenager, which made sitting for long periods of time painful. And I had all kinds of stomach pain and other issues from undetected food sensitivities.

So of course I procrastinated. It’s very hard to push through the “I don’t feel like it” excuse when you actually feel like shit all the time.

When I started taking control of my health, changing my food habits, eating differently, moving my body more often and getting under the care of an upper cervical chiropractor is when things shifted for me health-wise. Which, in turn, shifted my procrastination habits.

Journal Prompt: how can you make taking care of your health a nonnegotiable? What do you need to be doing that you’re not right now?

9. Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind

I’ve been reprogramming my old thoughts, beliefs and ways of being for years now. And it’s paying off big time.

By reprogramming my old thoughts and beliefs, I’ve been able to install new beliefs and thoughts that support my goals, rather than continuing to live by the thoughts and beliefs that are blocking me from achieving them.

Your subconscious mind is a powerful creative force, and it’s always running in the background, creating by default. And it will continue to give you more of the same until you finally take charge and change it. 

Journal Prompt: how can you create a daily mindset practice that will support you in creating new beliefs and thoughts that are aligned with your goals? What can you include in your practice that would feel great for you?

And that is how I’ve been able to overcome procrastination to write and publish 10+ books and more than a thousand blog posts (and counting).

I believe that writers are messengers for the world. If you identify as a writer and you know with every ounce of your being that writing is in your blood, then you’re meant to be sharing your writing with the world. It’s a huge honor to be someone who writes words that transforms others.

But it’s also a huge responsibility to get over whatever excuses and bullshit I have going on, so that I can do the writing that I need to be doing day in and day out. Because it matters whether or not I show up every day.

And I get that now. Fully getting that and taking it to heart is the thing that has truly allowed me to step into the identity of the writer and author I dream of being. And procrastination isn’t a part of that identity.

You can do the same thing. It’s a choice, and the choice is yours.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. If you’re ready to kick procrastination to the curb and finally finish what you started, the doors to my upcoming workshop, FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who have started a first draft or the revision of a novel and want to FINISH, are opening tomorrow. Get on my email list here so you’re the first to get in.

Don’t Compromise Your Dreams Just Because You Don’t Know the “How”

If someone asked you, “what’s your BIG writing dream?” what would you say to them?

Would you tell them about your actual BIG writing dream? Or would you dim it down with some compromised version, because you have no idea how you’d ever make that happen and you don’t want the person who asked you to think you’re out of your mind or just really delusional for thinking you’d ever have a shot at a dream like that?

I used to answer that question by saying I want to make a living off my fiction. But that wasn’t quite it.

Yes, that’s a part of it. But that’s a compromised version of what I actually want. I never wanted to share my BIG dreams with anyone, out of fear that if I didn’t make it happen, I’d be judged or would have to hear “I told you so.”

So I kept the BIG dreams a secret and didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t talk about it, not even with the people closest to me. I just thought about it over and over again in my head.

And when I’d see other people achieving my BIG dream, I’d get triggered by their success and feel resentful and like it should be me. Instead of seeing it for what it really was: evidence that my BIG dreams are possible. 

Because if it can happen for one person, it can happen for more than one (remember the story about the 4-minute mile?).

I didn’t used to have a lot of faith in my BIG dreams actually coming true. I used to think they were pipe dreams or things that other people can achieve, but not me.

So I only allowed myself to go after dreams I knew I could achieve or didn’t have resistance to achieving. Mediocre dreams that were a small fraction of the bigger dreams I had living inside me.

Writing and publishing a novel. That was always a dream I had from when I was 13 years old. And while that was a pretty significant dream and achievement, I never had resistance to it. I always knew at some point it would come true and I would have a novel out in the world. 

I believed it, from day one.

I may have had a lot of struggle and resistance to doing the work required to achieve the dream, sure. But I never doubted that I’d make it happen. I always knew one day there would be a novel in the world that was written by me.

But my BIG dreams… the ones I only thought about in my head or whispered out loud to myself when no one was around…those I didn’t even allow myself to want or spend too much time fantasizing about.

Because I not only had a ton of resistance to believing those dreams were possible for me, but I also had no clue how I’d make it happen. And so by not allowing myself to want what I really wanted, I could play it safe. 

If no one knows about your BIG dreams, then there’s no pressure to actually make it happen. You’re let of the hook. You no longer have to worry about whether you’ll achieve your BIG dream… because even if you don’t, no one will know.

The problem with that way of thinking is that it caused me to play small, for such a long time. I’d sit on the sidelines, watching all these other writers achieving my BIG dreams and wishing it was me.

But I wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t even allowing myself to fully want the BIG dream, even though deep down they were always there.

The BIG dreams have been there since I first started writing stories at age 11. My stories and story ideas have always come to me like little scenes in my mind; like bits and pieces of a movie playing in my head.

And that’s what solidified my BIG dreams.

But I never admitted it to anyone. I never said it out loud other than to myself. Because I didn’t believe it was possible for me. And I didn’t want to be seen as a failure in other peoples’ eyes in case I didn’t actually achieve it.

So I played small. Doing the bare minimum. Giving myself permission to procrastinate and make excuses and not write consistently.

Until a year ago when I realized something major… the only competition in life is with YOURSELF… and FUCK what anyone else thinks. 

Most people are sitting on the sidelines in life, afraid to get on the field and play the game, because of the reasons I just mentioned (and a whole lot of other ones). And do you know who those people are who say things like, “I told you so” and “see, I knew you couldn’t do it” or who would judge you or make fun of you for not achieving something?

They’re people who never allowed themselves to want their BIG dreams. They’re people who have shoved their BIG dreams so far down they’re buried for all of time. 

And they’re dead inside.

They just go through the motions, trying to make peace with the mediocre existence they’ve settled for. But they’re miserable.

Because they have these BIG dreams inside that they’re not allowing themselves to want, to go after and especially achieve. And they hate themselves for it.

They hate themselves for caring what other people think, for feeling trapped in a life that doesn’t fulfill them, for not taking action on what they want the most.

And yet they still don’t do anything about it.

Yes, thankfully some of these people wake the fuck up at some point in their lives and finally decide to go for it. That’s when you see people like Susan Boyle or the 90-year-old first-time novelist bursting onto the scene later in life.

They finally made their dreams bigger than their bullshit, as my mentor would say.

A year ago, I gave up my bullshit. I decided that I was no longer going to sit on the sidelines, watching other authors achieving my BIG dreams. I was going to get in the game and achieve with them too. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

So, what are my BIG dreams?

> To be a New York Times Bestselling Author of both fiction and nonfiction.

> To have my novels and screenplays turned into big-screen Hollywood movies, with famous actors and actresses playing my characters, and I get to make cameos.

> To write and publish hundreds of books—both fiction and nonfiction—everything from novels to memoir to self-help. 

I’m no longer hiding from these dreams. I’m actively pursuing them. I’m writing about them every single day in my journal like they’ve already come true. I’m visualizing what my life would be like if these dreams were already true. I’m taking aligned act-as-if actions.

And I’m finally allowing myself to believe that’s possible for me. 

Now, I’m creating this belief. It’s not something that was already there. I’m intentionally putting it there by reprogramming my mindset and removing any negative thoughts, beliefs or barriers that could get in the way.

But as I’ve seen happen with so many other beliefs I wanted to have that I programmed into myself… once you do enough mindset work and take enough aligned act-as-if actions, the belief will be there.

And once the belief is there, the dream showing up in your physical reality is not far behind. 

So, what are your BIG writing dreams? Share in the comments if you dare…

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust 

P.S. Doors to my upcoming workshop: FINISH Your Damn Novel—30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who have started a first draft or the revision of a novel and want to FINISH, open on Friday March 24!! If you want IN on this workshop, get on my email list here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (you’ll also receive a free copy of my eBook, The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula). 

To Celebrate My 9-Year Blogiversary: My First Blog Post Ever

Today is my 9-year blogiversary–I started my blog on March 22, 2008. And as a way of celebrating this important day, I thought it would be fun to look back at my very first blog post, to see how much I’ve grown since them (and to be honest, have some laughs, ha!).

So here it is, in black-and-white… my very first blog post ever:

March 22, 2008

You’re Invited

I am a lover of words, a creator of pasttimes, a designer of personalities… In short? I’m a writer. I write it all–from marketing pieces to freelance articles to blog posts. And my true love? Fiction. Short stories, novels, screenplays… But like many other creative writers, I’m a procrastinator. I have big dreams of publishing my first novel and writing fiction for a living, but I never force myself to sit down and write. I have so many story ideas in my head and written down in my idea notebook that I could spend the rest of my life writing novels. For some reason, thou, as a creative person, I have a difficult time focusing and sitting down and just putting the words on paper. I have every excuse in the world for why I don’t want to write or why I don’t have time to write—Sex and the City is on right now, I don’t have any good ideas, I’d rather go out with my friends, I just have to clean my house first, it’s late and I’m tired—the list goes on.

But I’m turning 25 this year (in September), and so I’ve decided that it’s time for me to sit down and get to work. If I want to be writing for a living by the time I’m 30, I’ve only got 5 years to go.

It’s time for me to challenge myself. It’s time for me to start getting serious about writing.

And I invite you to join me. Challenge yourself to take on whatever writing project you’ve been putting off; dust off that computer and start writing!

Lets help motivate each other to get working on our novel or screenplay or poem or short story or stage play.

What I have to offer you is inspiration, advice I’ve been given and things I’ve learned thru conducting research, attending workshops, from reading books, taking creative writing classes, and a few other things I’ve taught myself along the way.

I’ll also give a lot of thought to writing and why talented writers with great ideas still can’t just sit down and write.

So what motivates you to sit down and write? Or if you find yourself avoiding sitting down and writing, why do you think you do it?

And there you have it. (You can see the original post here.)

Seeing that post was really eye-opening for me, and showed me just how far I’ve come as a writer. It’s cool to see that my voice was already coming out in the post (ever so slightly).

I wanted to share this flashback not only to celebrate my blogiversary, but also to show you what’s possible when you start something and then stay consistent over the long-haul. I’ve now written and published more than 1,000 blog posts and I’m still at it.

I started off as the biggest procrastinating writer in the world and now I’m one of the most productive writers I know. 

If I can make a transformation like that, ANYONE can. And tomorrow I’m going to tell you more about the transformation I made and how I made it. Stay tuned…

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust 

P.S. Are you ready to Finish Your Damn Novel? Join me and a motivated group of writers for 30 days of motivation, accountability, productivity, support and community to help you finally FINISH your damn novel. We start April 1. More details coming soon… get on my email list here to be the first to know when the doors to this workshop open. (You’ll also get my free workbook + training on how to turn your story idea from ‘eh’ to ‘awesome!’)