Magic Happens When You Do This

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what, specifically, has made my mission of writing and publishing 9 books in 2016 actually happen. And what I mean by that is, what has caused me to actually be able to keep up with it? To have already written and published three books and to be working on books four and five right now?

And when I really think about it, there’s one thing that stands out: shortening the timeline.

Usually when you’re writing and publishing a book, you give yourself six months to a year to get it done (sometimes more!). But when you only give yourself 30 days (sometimes 31), it changes everything.

Because now you don’t have time to mess around. You don’t have time to procrastinate or doubt yourself or not do the work. If you want to get the book written and published in 30 days, you’ve gotta get to work immediately. 

There’s no time to waste. No time to slack off. No time to avoid doing the work.

At least, not if you actually plan on getting the book done in that timeframe.

There’s something kind of magical about shortening the timeframe that much. Because it really forces you to focus, to stick with it and to make consistent progress.

Of course, this all depends on how committed you are. But the truth is, when you’re totally 150 percent committed, you’ll make it happen. And the amount of time will never be an issue again.

This month, I wrote and published my new eBook in 5 days. I have a good friend who wrote and published her Amazon best selling novel in only 3 days. One of my other good friends just wrote and published her debut eBook in 10 days.

The amount of time you commit isn’t what matters. It’s the commitment to doing the work and making it happen that matters.

And when you’ve got that commitment in place, you can make pretty much anything happen in any amount of time.

That’s the main reason why I’m loving this 9-book challenge I’ve given myself this year. It has gotten me out of my head and into action. And there’s no other option, because if you get stuck in your head–which is what happens to most writers–you’ll never make it happen. 

At least not in 30 days.

So what does it really take to get a book written and published that quickly? Here’s what it takes for me:

  • A good book idea–you need something that’s worth writing and that you’re passionate about, otherwise it will be easy to quit.
  •  Having a fast-turnaround editor on board–I believe in professional self-publishing, so even with this short timeframe I still wouldn’t publish without someone editing the book for me first. So I have an editor who is totally on board with my crazy mission this year, and she’s willing to do a fast-turnaround for me on the edits so I can get the books out in 30 days.
  • The willingness to let everything else go–I’ve had to give up social time, spend a lot of Friday and Saturday nights home with my MacBook, get up really early and stay up really late, in order to get these books done in the short timeframe. That’s just part of it. If you want to accomplish anything, you’re gonna have to be so committed to the outcome you desire that everything else can fall by the wayside if need be.
  • Being good at designing covers–I’ve been designing all of my own book covers this year, because I’ve taken design classes and have always been interested in cover design. But this isn’t gonna be the case for most writers. And you don’t want to end up with a shitty cover. So if you can’t design it yourself and make it look pro, you’ve gotta have a cover designer on board, ready to help, or be willing to buy a pre-designed cover that’s ready to go.
  • Kick negative voices and self-doubt to the curb–this is a must. If you don’t do this, you will get stopped at every turn. And with a 30-day turnaround, you don’t have time for that. You must get rid of the “noise.” I like to do this by writing my reality, setting intentions and visualizing the end result.

This whole write-and-publish-a-book-in-30-days thing is not for the faint-hearted. It takes major guts.

But it’s totally possible, when you get out of your own way.

It’s even possible for you to write and publish it faster than that, if you wanted to. Like I said, I wrote and published my most recent book in 5 days (and it became a #1 best seller on Amazon, and is currently at #1 right now in 3 categories!). 

It’s not about the timeframe. You can write and publish a book in pretty much any timeframe if you set your mind to it.

And that’s really what it comes down to: setting your mind to it. Making the decision that you’re gonna make it happen, no matter what.

Now before I continue on, I just want to add: I don’t recommend that short of a timeframe for a novel. Most writers cannot successfully write and publish a novel in that short amount of time and actually do a good job (and please don’t even get me started on the writers who write 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo and then publish it without even thinking twice about it, UGH!).

BUT–if you’re writing nonfiction–30 days, 10 days, 5 days, 3 days, whatever–is enough time to write and publish your book. So long as you can get an editor on board to make sure there aren’t any massive errors before you hit “publish” (there’s no excuse for not professionally self-publishing your books).

I’m living proof of what’s possible when you shut up, drop the excuses, get out of your own way, set your mind to something and commit to doing the work.

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How long did it take you to get your nonfiction eBook written and published?

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The C-Word That Makes Your Writing Goal A Done-Deal

The power of the mind is something I’ve been into since I was a kid. Back then I remember my mom saying that, “you can do anything you set your mind to.” And I really took that on and made it a core belief.

I can do anything I set my mind to.

It’s the core belief I’ve created my life from. It’s how I continue to create it.

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal to change your life. And when you create something in your mind, it has to show up in your physical reality.

You just have to feel like it’s already true. And you can feel that way by doing things like visualizing and writing your reality.

When you go there in your mind, you will go there in your reality.

Tony Robbins talked about this in his interview with online marketing powerhouses, Frank Kern, and John Reese. And the story he shared was of runner, Roger Bannister, the first man to run a 4-minute mile.

The story goes like this: Roger practiced running a 4-minute mile over and over again in his mind and then he finally achieved it in his physical reality. He was the first person to ever do this. Until he did this, it was believed to be impossible.

The funny thing is, after Bannister hit this seemingly impossible goal, within the next two years 37 other people also ran 4-minute miles.

Amazing, right? One person running a 4-minute mile was enough to inspire 37 other people to think they could do it too.

[Watch the video below…or if you’re in a hurry, watch from minute 15 on–that’s where the best stuff is.]

And what it all came down to, Robbins says in the video, is this: Certainty.

When you know the outcome or result you want is absolutely certain, you’ll take action. You’ll do the work. You’ll show up every day and grind.

But when you feel uncertain–aka: lacking faith in yourself–that’s when you’ll self-sabotage, make excuses and find reasons to avoid going all in or doing the work.

The way to fix uncertainty, is to go there in your mind. To make what you want to create for your writing life a done-deal by visualizing it and writing it into reality.

By not getting your mind in the game, one of two things will happen:

  1. You’ll never achieve the success you dream of having
  2. You’ll achieve (some of) the success you want, but you’ll be burnt out from how hard-won it was

Your mindset, writing habits (or lack of), fears, doubts, distractions, they will all get in the way. Your mind and habits can either work for you or work against you.

Wouldn’t you rather they work for you?

Because that’s the thing about success, it comes from the little things. It’s built from the things you do on a daily basis, not on the things you do once in a while.

So really think about that. And then ask yourself some questions:

  • What are my day-to-day habits like, both in my writing life and life, in general?
  • How productive am I with my writing on a daily/weekly basis?
  • Do I honestly feel like I’m making progress on my writing goals?
  • What areas of my writing life (and life in general) could stand to be improved?
  • Is my mind in the game?

If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to do things that most people aren’t willing to do. For example, I’ve been having crazy-amazing success with my books lately, BUT it’s because I’ve made a huge leap out of my comfort zone and am pushing myself to a level most people wouldn’t even consider (writing and publishing 9 books in one year).

I’m producing more writing than I ever have before. I’m making more progress and faster, than ever before. I’m seeing the results of all my hard work show up every day. But it’s because I’m doing things that other people aren’t willing to.

I’m writing my reality in my journal 2-3 times a day. I’m doing 4-minute visualization sessions 1-2 times a day. I’m being consistent. I’m writing my ass off. I’m putting a lot of books and writing out into the world.

When you’re willing to do the things others aren’t, when you’re willing to push yourself to the edge of where you’d normally push yourself, that’s when you’ll be successful. Because that’s what it takes. (And come to find out, the edge only has about 1% of writers hanging out at it.)

So I want you to really consider where you’re at right now in your writing life. Is it, truly where you want to be?

Or are you playing small? Hiding out? Acting and thinking totally out of alignment with the writer and author you dream of being?

It’s time to change that. To get yourself into alignment with the success you dream of. Because it’s out there and it’s yours for the taking.

It’s just like the 4-minute mile, if what you dream of doing has already been done by someone else, that means it’s totally possible for you to do it too (and it’s also possible for you to be the first one to do it).

You’ve got what it takes. Now own it.

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How To Create Your Visual Author Brand

I’m in the process of reworking my author brand right now, and so I had a photoshoot yesterday with my good friend who is an amazing photographer. And as I’ve been thinking about how to communicate my message through visuals, I decided to break down the process for you.

Because when it comes to creating an author brand, you have to represent it in both words and pictures.

So here’s a breakdown of what I do to create my author brand through visuals:

1. Choose Your Words

You’ll want to choose 3-5 words that represent who you are and what you stand for.

Here are the words I chose for my brand:

  • Badass
  • Magical
  • Free

Those words absolutely represent me, what I believe in and what I stand for.

What words represent you? 

2. Think About Your Author Message

Your author message is the core thread that ties everything together–yourself, your books, your products/services, your content. Your author message is essentially what you believe the world most needs to know/hear.

All authors need a message, fiction and nonfiction included.

An example: my author message is “you can create anything you set your mind to.” This is a deeper-layer message from the one I had prior, which is “take control of your writing destiny.” Both represent me, my brand and what I stand for.

What do you stand for? What do you believe? What message do you feel the world most needs to hear? 

3. Brainstorm Visuals

Now that you know the words and your message, you’re going to use to represent your author brand, you can brainstorm ideas for how to show them visually.

So when I think about how to show my words visually, here are some examples of what I come up with:

  • Outfits that make me feel and look like a badass, such as ripped jeans and a shirt with studs (badass)
  • Sparkles, on my shoes and shirt (’cause sparkles look like “magic” to me)
  • Writing on my laptop in the middle of nature (freedom)

And then, of course, the location where you shoot your photos also plays into creating the visual brand.

How can you visually represent your brand? Brainstorm some ideas in your journal. 

4. Choose Your Props

Props are a big part of communicating through visuals. If you see a picture of a guy holding a guitar, there’s a pretty good chance he’s a musician, right? The guitar communicates the message of “musician.”

Here are the props I’ve picked out for my photoshoot:

  • My dog, Weiland (’cause he’s my brand mascot)
  • MacBook
  • Moleskine
  • Kindle
  • Stack of my books

Those props will easily communicate “writer” and “author.”

What props can you use to communicate who you are? 

5. Hire A Good Photographer

Be sure to hire a good photographer who actually knows what they’re doing. A good photographer will be able to come up with a whole bunch of ideas for how to communicate your words through the pictures.

You can find a good photographer by:

  • Asking around
  • Asking someone you know whose work is awesome
  • Checking out portfolios
  • Looking for photographer-for-hire ads on Craig’s List or other service-based websites
  • Googling “photographer” plus “your city”

A good photographer will be the icing on the cake.

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What words represent your author brand? Share in the comments. 

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Have You Actually Decided This?

Sounds like a pretty obvious question–have you decided that you’re going to be a successful self-published author? But the problem is, most self-published authors or emerging self-published authors haven’t actually answered this question.

Because they never decided.

Sure, they decided to write a book and to self-publish it. But did they decide that they would be successful?

Nope.

Because that’s just not the way we’re programmed to think. And really, why would we need to decide something like that? Isn’t the act of doing the work and becoming a self-published author enough?

Nope.

It’s not enough, not nearly. Because without the decision that you, yes Y-O-U, are going to be a successful self-published author… you won’t be.

You’ll flail around, you’ll get discouraged and you’ll operate on default mode, reacting to things that happen, rather than creating what you want to see happen. Until you either quit or just sorta stop making an effort.

But when you set your mind to it, when you decide it, when you make it non-negotiable and when you’re UNWILLING to accept ANYTHING ELSE… that’s when you will create the success you dream of.

And not a minute before.

It all comes down to the decision. The decision is the thing that cements it in your mind, making it a must-happen.

Because whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve. That’s how it works.

Back in April, I DECIDED that it was time. I was DONE fucking around, I was DONE with my excuses and my bullshit reasons (even the valid ones) for why I didn’t have the writing career I dreamed of.

I DECIDED that I was going to be successful. I was gonna be a successful self-published author and prove wrong the stigma and all the other BS things people believe about self-publishing. I was gonna be a bestselling author, multiple times over. I’m gonna make millions and impact millions with my books.

Two weeks after I decided this… my new eBook hit #1 in multiple categories on multiple days on Amazon. I became a bestselling author. And it didn’t stop there.

The next month I sold 1,007 books in only 30 days. And the month after, I had a day where I sold 529 books, and finished that week with a total of 885 books sold.

Why? Because I decided it. And I refuse to accept anything else but the success I want to see.

DECIDE that you WILL BE a successful self-published author. Decide and it is a DONE DEAL.

First, decide in your mind, and then, second, take the actions to make it happen.

Just don’t take the actions before deciding, otherwise you’re wasting your time. Action is pointless if you’re not all-in. And if you’re not all-in, you may as well be all-out.

Because no matter what you do, if you’re not doing it 100 percent, all the way, you’re doing a half-assed job. And the world doesn’t need another self-published book (even a good one) by another self-published author who has no intention to support the book with the marketing it deserves.

If you want this, if you really, really want this…then you’ve gotta go all-in. That means setting your mind to it and doing the work to make it happen.

And it starts with deciding.

When you DECIDE to be a successful self-published author (and then take action from that place), THAT’S when you WILL BE. Period.

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Have you decided? Declare it in the comments. 

Now that you’ve decided, are you ready to step up and take your writing life to a whole new level? Then check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, motivation, marketing strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

Manifestation Marketing: What It Is, How To Use It

Something that has become so powerful for me in my writing life is combining practical, physical actions, with energetic, spiritual-type actions. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the thing that has changed the game for me.

It’s the thing that’s helped me to become a multi-book, multi-category best selling author on Amazon and sell more than a thousand books in a month and more than 500 books in one day. It’s the thing that’s made my writing career TAKE OFF.

But I didn’t have a name for it. I didn’t know what to call it, the combination of practical and energetic.

Until today. Today, I have a name for it.

It came to me this morning, like a bolt of lightning, when I was chatting with a member of my Bestselling Author Mastermind. He was asking about getting support on writing and selling more books. And I was thinking about how best I could help him with this.

And then it hit me… the name for what I do: Manifestation Marketing. The combination of taking practical actions along with energetic actions is how you use the power of manifestation to make your marketing efforts a success.

Of course, this also comes down to mindset. Mindset is everything. And mindset is a huge part of manifestation.

So mindset + manifestation marketing = insanely awesome blow-your-mind totally amazing results.

BOOM!

And just like that, a whole new shift in perspective and focus in my writing business.

How To Do Manifestation Marketing

If you’re still reading this, that means you’re someone who believes in the law of attraction (though I’d argue not believing in it doesn’t change the fact that it exists. But I digress…). And the law of attraction is an extremely powerful universal law. Like gravity and momentum.

With your belief in this law, you can use energetic actions to make your practical physical actions–things like writing your book, revising your book, marketing your book–work even better and feel a whole lot easier.

Something I’ve realized as I’ve gone through my journey this year so far is that everything has felt so fucking easy. I mean, yes, I’ve been working my ass off.

But it hasn’t felt like I’ve been. I’ve felt in flow and like things are just happening with ease.

This, of course, is all because of my mindset and what I’m actively choosing to focus on. But the point is, I always thought that achieving the things I’ve achieved this year would be so hard. Yet when I started combining the practical and energetic actions, it’s made everything a breeze.

Again, let me point out, that I am doing a lot of work. I’m taking massive action, on the daily, writing my ass off, creating my ass off, doing more mindset work than ever before… and it’s all paying off. I’ve truly taken control of my reality and began creating exactly what I want for my writing life.

And you can too.

Here’s an example of how you combine practical and energetic actions. In June, when I found out I was less than 50 books away from having sold 1,000 books for the month, I sprung into action and I:

  • Sent an email to my community, letting them know what was going on and asking them to buy one of my books
  • Got on social media and spread the word about my mission to hit 1,000 book sales by 11:59 p.m. that day
  • Made social media posts throughout the night, updating people on my numbers and asking them to buy one of my books
  • Told everyone I knew (or everyone I’m friends with on Facebook anyhow) to check out my books and buy one if they were interested
  • Shot quick videos for Instagram and Facebook, telling people what was going on and asking them to help me out by checking out my books and buying one if something looked good to them

BUT, I didn’t just do the practical actions. I also:

  • Decided it was a done deal
  • Set my mind to it
  • Visualized it happening
  • Wrote my reality–in my journal I wrote out, specifically, what I wanted to see happen
  • Committed to keep going no matter what my current reality looked like
  • Trusted that by doing whatever practical and energetic actions I could think of, the Universe would show up and deliver the result I was asking for

Those are the energetic actions that, when combined with the practical ones, make magic happen. 

Manifestation Marketing, in a nutshell. The art of combining practical physical actions with energetic actions to create book marketing magic.

BOOM.

And the best part is, this works with anything: marketing, writing your book, doing the edits, revising, the professional self-publishing process and more. Take action on this, and your writing life will never be the same again.

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How do you combine practical and energetic actions in your writing life? 

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How To Become An Amazon Best Selling Author, Write 9 Books In One Year and Take Control of Your Writing Destiny

Today, my new eBook, The 15-Minute Writer: How To Write Your Book In Only 15 Minutes A Day, became a multi-category best seller on Amazon.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 9.20.49 PM

And not only that.

Today, three of my books were in the top 6 best sellers in the Authorship category.

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This is a BIG deal. Not only because I’m a self-published author, but also because authorship is what I’ve spent the last 8+ years of my life writing about. Since the first day I started my blog back in 2008, I’ve been writing about how to be a productive writer.

To have it pay off like this is just so awesome. And the thing is, NONE of this would’ve happen if I hadn’t done two really important things.

But before I tell you what those things are…

Two years ago I stopped trusting myself. I don’t know what happened. My entire life I’ve always followed my heart and trusted my inner guidance.

But for some reason, two years ago, I stopped trusting it. I started thinking that the answers were all outside me, so I spent months investing in workshops, courses, programs and coaches. All trying to figure out what it was that I was missing. What I hadn’t figured out yet.

That magic bullet that would finally make everything work.

Except I never found it. I found some really great workshops, courses, programs and coaches. But I never found what was missing.

Until a few months ago when I heard a voice that whispered to me, “it’s time.”

It’s time to step up. Time to stop looking outside yourself for the answers. Time to turn fully inward and find the answers there.

That voice was strong and persistent. And for the first time in two years, I decided I was going to listen to it. I wasn’t going to question it, I was just going to listen and act on what it was telling me to do.

It said that I needed to step up and GO BIG. So I decided I’m going to write and publish 9 books in 2016

And I was going to keep listening to that inner guidance. No matter what.

It’s my inner guidance that has led me to every book I’ve written so far this year. It was my inner guidance that told me to keep going, to trust that it would all work as long as I continued taking massive action.

And things have just been fucking magic ever since.

So far I’ve written and published three books. Two have become multi-category best sellers on Amazon. I’ve sold more than 1,000 books in a 30-day period. Today, I sold more than 500 books (512 as of this writing!).

Magic.

Which brings me back to my original point… the two things that changed everything for me:

  1. Trusting myself and my intuition
  2. Getting my mind in the game

It all really comes down to those two things. Because I’m honestly not doing anything different, other than writing more books. Why did the 5 books I’d published before the ones this year not make this big of a splash?

Because I wasn’t ready for it. My mind wasn’t there yet. I didn’t believe it was possible.

When I made the decision to write and publish 9 books this year, it was on the tail end of finally overhauling my writing habits, my beliefs and my mindset. And it was that decision–and then stepping up to take massive action on the daily–that caused the rest of what’s unfolded. 

The truth is, you’ll never get anywhere in your writing career–other than spinning your wheels and feeling constantly disappointed–if you don’t get your mind in the game. If you don’t figure out what you want and then set your mind to making it happen.

The truth is, you can have anything you set your mind to. ANYTHING.

But you’ve gotta decide it and you’ve gotta follow those intuitive nudges when you get them.

We’re at a disadvantage, because we aren’t taught to follow our intuition. We’re taught to be realistic and solve problems by looking to the outside.

But none of that will help you create the writing life you’ve been dreaming of. The only thing that will is trusting your gut, taking massive action and up-leveling your mindset. 

Another example, I got an intuitive nudge to write a guest post for Huffington Post, talking about Why I’m Writing and Publishing 9 Books This Year. And I got a commenter who had this to say:

FBComment

Now there are two ways I could’ve taken this comment. The first is to freak out and get defensive. To worry that he might be right and second-guess myself and the actions I’m taking.

The second is to realize that this person’s fears and limitations belong to him, and not to me. And rather than engage with it, I needed to see it as a sign to keep going. 

I chose option two.

But being able to make that choice stems from the decision I made a few months ago, to step up and be the writer and author I dream of being. And getting my mindset in the right place.

Without those two things, I’d have wasted time arguing with this commenter, trying to prove the point that if I was someone well-known, like Steven Pressfield or J.K. Rowling, he wouldn’t even be questioning me. But I didn’t. I just wished him good luck too and moved on with my day (and, of course, I wrote about it and made a video about it, because that’s what I do).

With those two things, I’m empowered. Empowered to choose. To keep going. To believe that what I’m doing is exactly right for me.

And to know that I’ve fully taken control of my writing destiny.

You want to be a bestselling author, write 9 books in a year and take control of YOUR writing destiny? Start taking massive action every day, follow your gut and get your mind where it needs to be.

And if you do that, your writing career will be, as my Fame and Manifestation buddy, Megan Kopp, always says: Boom. Done. Handled. 

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How do you get your mind in the game? Share in the comments. 

Are you ready to EXPLODE your following, create raving fans and sell more books? Are you willing to step up and do the work that it takes to make it happen? Then let’s work together and DO THIS! Check out my upcoming 4-week virtual workshop: Grow Your Following. Full details here

The 5-Part Authorpreneur Action Plan

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the specifics of what I’ve done to get where I am today, not just with my writing career, but with the following I’ve built and continue to build. And when I looked at it, there were five things that stood out to me:

  1. Mindset
  2. Connecting (aka: building relationships)
  3. Creating Content
  4. Consistency 
  5. Visibility 

Those five things, when done simultaneously, will help you to create the success that you dream of having in your writing life.

To go a step further, I even made a little diagram to show you how these things are interlinked:

 

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Mindset is at the very top as the umbrella over everything else, because mindset is the thing that makes everything else work 10 times better.

Under that we have the three Cs of being successful online: Connecting, Creating Content and Being Consistent. 

And all of this creates Visibility–which is when you’re out there, being seen and people know who you are.

Pretty simple, right?

It really is. The difficult part is doing the work and keeping it up. That’s the part where most writers totally fall off (or don’t even start).

Because it takes effort to live this action plan. Not to just do it here and there when you have the time, but to actually build your writing life (and writing business) around doing all five of these things every single day. 

That’s what I do.

I built my writing life around these five things–I do mindset work 2-3 times a day, minimum. I connect on a regular basis with my community and with people in my industry. I blog five days a week, I write emails to my community, I create Facebook posts, I run a free Facebook group where I create videos five days a week and post valuable content, I post inspirational quotes and fun pics on my Instagram, I create and upload my videos to YouTube. I show up in some form online every single day, period. And from all of this, I’ve created visibility, where people are starting to know who I am and opportunities are starting to come to me because of it.

This action plan will help you create the writing life you dream of, where you’ve got raving fans ready to buy your books and whatever else you create. 

But while understanding this action plan seems easy, it’s in the implementation where you really see the results (or not) based on what you choose to do and how you choose to do it.

You have to commit to showing up, every day, in some form, and putting something out there. You have to commit to doing the work, to not giving up when it looks like it’s not working, even if it looks like it’s not working for a while. You have to commit to thinking and acting like the writer and author you dream of being.

That’s what it takes to build a following.

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What’s one thing you can do today to start building your following? Share in the comments. 

If you’re ready to show up online, build your following, create raving fans and sell more books (now or when you’re ready to), be sure to check out my upcoming GROW YOUR FOLLOWING workshop. Full details here

An Open Letter to the 1% Of Writers–The Ones Who Actually Write and Publish Their Books

Where did the 1% come from? It came from the statistic that 81% of the population wants to write a book… BUT only 1% of those people who want to ACTUALLY DO.

Are you the 1%? Then I’m talking to YOU.

And LISTEN UP, because you NEED TO hear this.

You have what it takes. You’re the exception. The writer who doesn’t just talk about it, but acts on it.

You’re a rarity in this world of writers where 80% talk about writing a book, but don’t actually do it. You’ve got the goods. The stuff that success is made of.

But you’ve gotta go all the way. And you’ve gotta do it right.

If you’ve written the book, but not published it, you’ve gotta go all the way. That means investing in revising, polishing and readying it for publication. Professional self-publishing, so you put the best possible book out there.

If you’ve already professionally self-published, you’ve gotta go all the way. That means investing in learning how to do the marketing required to sell your book and grow your audience. Become an author who’s an online marketing pro, so you give the Universe more opportunities to reach you with its magic.

Pretty obvious stuff, right? But so many of the 1% writers still get it wrong.

They’ll write their books, but never publish them. They’ll spend the money and time professionally self-publishing their books, but then they don’t do any marketing or they refuse to move outside their comfort zones and learn how to do marketing, and so the books sit and collect dust.

And investing doesn’t always mean financial. You can also invest your time, energy, effort, focus, attention, belief.

Your writing deserves that. Your book deserves that.

You deserve that.

That’s how you build a writing career. That’s how you start to make money from your writing. That’s how you take control of your writing destiny.

Investing in yourself. In whatever ways make sense for you.

So far I’ve invested more than six-figures in my writing career. Everything from a 4-year journalism degree to hundreds of books, workshops, courses, programs, and private coaching and mentorship. Plus, thousands of hours of my time, energy, effort, focus, attention and belief in myself.

What are you currently investing in your writing career? And is it enough to get you where you want to go?

My guess is, no, because if it was, you’d be there already.

So stop second-guessing yourself. Stop trying to act like being a writer doesn’t matter to you and you’d be OK never making it happen.

You know you’d be miserable without writing. You know writing is one of the only things that makes you feel alive and like life is worth living. You know you’d feel like you failed in life if you never got a book out there or made your writing dreams happen.

Own that shit.

Own it like you’ve never owned anything before and use it to create the writing life you dream of having. One where you’ve got a catalog of professionally self-published books, a raving fanbase and Hollywood is knocking on your door for the movie rights.

It can happen. And it will. So long as you step up to the plate.

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Are you the 1% of writers? If you’re not now, how can you step up to be? 

P.S. Ready to GROW YOUR FOLLOWING? Check out my upcoming workshop where I’m showing you how to build a readership, create a raving fanbase and sell more books (now or when you’re ready to). Check out the details here

I’m Finally Taking A Stand and Saying What No One Else Will…

I do that a lot, don’t I? Take a stand, share what I believe. But I’m working with a new mentor now who is pushing me to greater levels of service and success than I ever imagined before.

And one of those things she talks about all the time is how you have to take a stand for your community. You have to take a stand for the people who follow you and for yourself.

You have to stand for what you believe and you have to share it—even if there are people out there who won’t like it. 

This is something I’ve always done anyhow. But there is one topic that I’ve avoided taking a stand on. It’s a topic that’s super close to my heart and something I always dreamed I’d do.

But, to be honest, I’ve been afraid to take a stand on it. To come out and say what I really, truly think and believe about it.

Because there’s a really big chance that you don’t or won’t agree with me… and that’s a scary thing to face. Disagreement. Conflict. People who discover they don’t fit in with my community anymore.

I’ve spoken about this topic before, danced around it for years, but I haven’t really shared my full all-out opinion on it.

But the time has come for me to rise up and take a stand. I deserve it and so do the people who are my ideal tribe members. After you read what I’m about to say, you’ll know once and for all whether or not you are…

I think traditionally publishing in the Digital Age is fucking stupid.

UNLESS you’ve got enough of a following (think Amanda Hocking and Andy Weir) where a traditional publisher comes knocking on YOUR door (when that happens, by all means, hop to it!) OR if you’ve always dreamed of being traditionally published and you’d truly feel like you failed in life if you didn’t make that happen.

But otherwise, I think it’s a bad decision for your writing life. Not because it won’t get you where you want to go, but because it takes away so much of your control and yet throws most of the work on your back. And it takes way too long.

They make the money, you do all the marketing. They give their opinions—and that’s all they are, opinions—and you spend another six months revising a story that’s already fine the way it is.

And did I mention that it takes SOOOO long and it’s built so much on the differing opinions of others—what someone else thinks will sell, what someone else sees as valuable.

I mean, let’s just look at this from a logical stand point. And I will say that I don’t care for logic. I do things how I want to do them, and the world will just have to bend.

But looking at this from a logical stand point… you spend a year writing a book. You’ve cleaned it up, revised it, it’s been to an editor and now it’s ready to go.

And then you’ve gotta look for an agent, because these days, unless you’re going small press, the only way into a big publishing house is through an agent. Could take six months, could take nine. Could even take a year.

When you finally land your agent—which is an awesome accomplishment, by the way, I’m not at all denying that—you now have to wait, again, while your agent tries to sell the book. Another six months goes by. Maybe more.

Or, maybe the agent comes back and says, “so-and-so at this publishing house suggests you make these edits, and so-and-so at that publishing house suggests you make those edits…” So you go back to the story and revise it, yet again. Another six months piled on.

Now let’s say your book actually gets sold to a publisher—and so many don’t—now you’ve got another 12-to-18 months before you’ll ever see that book in print.

Adding that up, it can take you an average of 2-3 years—or even longer, which is the case for most writers. Two to three YEARS! Before you’ll ever see your book in print.

Will it be worth it? Yeah, I’m sure it will be.

But it will be hard-won and you will be burned out… and then once the book finally comes out, you’ll still be responsible for doing all of the marketing. And at that point you won’t want to do it, because you’re so exhausted from how long it took just to get the damn book published in the first place.

Why fucking torture yourself? Why spend years writing pitches and tweaking pitches and making more and more revisions and edits based on so many other peoples’ opinions (ever heard the phrase, too many hands in the pot?)? Why focus so much time and energy on finding an agent and then waiting to find a publisher and then waiting for the publisher to decide it’s time to publish your book?

You could just professionally self-publish your book and get on to writing and self-publishing the next one. (I believe the best way to sell a book is to write and publish another one.)

That is the power of the Digital Age. And yes, you’ll still be doing the marketing for the books you self-publish, but since you won’t be wasting any time or energy on pitching agents and publishers, you’ll have plenty of time and energy to do the marketing.

And then you’ll be the one making the money when your books start to sell. (I mean, you’ll share a little with Amazon, but it’s totally worth it to have this kind of publishing power.)

The gatekeepers are totally gone now. The doors for you to step in and claim the writing success you dream of having are wide open. 

But you’ve gotta step up. You’ve gotta commit to it and you’ve gotta do what it takes.

And, most importantly, you need to professionally self-publish.

What that means is, you treat self-publishing your books like a traditional publisher would: you hire out help for whatever you need to produce a professional book. That can mean hiring an editor, or a story coach, or a cover designer, or a marketing expert. 

Whatever you need to do this self-publishing thing the right way.

I do not support self-publishing in a vacuum or self-publishing when the only person who’s read your book is your spouse or a close friend. That is the biggest mistake self-published authors make and one that causes them to fail and feel totally hopeless because they can’t sell any books.

Books need a vetting process. They need an outside perspective. You cannot publish in a vacuum. You have to get outside feedback.

Now don’t confuse getting outside feedback with listening to the opinions of too many people in the publishing industry. You always need an outside opinion from a professional who knows what they’re talking about, but you don’t have to be inundated by it.

I speak from absolute and total experience on this one. I wrote and published my first eBook—Butt-In-Chair—in 2010. And I didn’t even put that eBook—or the one I wrote next—on Amazon until the end of 2012. Before then I was selling my eBooks exclusively through my website.

And I still made upwards of $4,000 in sales.

Since I’ve been on Amazon, I’ve published five more books—one of which was a multi-category best seller and still resides in the top 5 of its category. And as I’ve done this, I’ve grown my following and am now selling more than 1,000+ books a month.

Six years. It took me six years to get to this point…and I wasn’t even trying that hard until the last few months!!

In the traditional publishing world, it could take you six years just to find an agent or a publisher.

I have a good friend who was committed to traditionally publishing. It took her 11 years to see her book in print. And after all that time and energy and waiting… the book just sits there, collecting dust, because she’s not actively marketing it and neither is her publisher.

Is that REALLY the writing dream you want for yourself? 

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are always exceptions. An author who finds an agent and a publisher quickly and when her book debuts it hits #1 on the NY Times Bestseller List and then gets turned into a movie and she becomes an overnight success story.

But that is an exception—and a rare one. That is NOT THE NORM.

When you professionally self-publish and build a following, you can get an agent and publisher to come to you. Seriously. Just look at Amanda Hocking.

Amanda Hocking spent 9 years writing books and getting rejected by publishers. Until one day in 2010 when all that changed. She needed the money to pay for a personal expense, so she put one of her books up on Amazon.

It started selling. Upwards of 9 copies a day. So she put another one up. And it started selling too. And then another and another.

She created millions of dollars from her self-published books AND THEN a traditional publisher came to her with a 2+ million dollar deal.

THAT is the true power of self-publishing and building a following. ‘Cause, remember, you’re gonna be doing all the marketing and work to build a following anyhow, so you may as well be the one to benefit from it.

Traditional publishing just can’t keep up with the power professional self-publishing holds. It’s a whole new ball game and it’s rigged in your favor.

But you’ve gotta do the work. You’ve gotta keep doing the work. You can’t write and self-publish and then sit on your ass. You’ve gotta step up.

Self-publishing is the ultimate way to take control of your writing destiny. But you’ve gotta take it seriously and treat it like a traditional publisher would. That’s the thing that makes the difference between a book that sells and a book that sits.

I’m insanely proud to be a successful self-published author and I will continue to stand and speak for the power of professionally self-publishing and for creating the writing life you dream of having.

I’ve taken my stand… how about you?

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How do you feel about self-publishing? Would you ever give it a try? 

NEW WORKSHOP: On July 18, I’m running a 4-week virtual workshop to help you GROW YOUR FOLLOWING so you can gain a readership, jump-start your traffic and sell more books (now or when you’re ready to). Learn more here

The Decision At Every Turn

There I was, sitting on my couch on July 1, staring down at a blank Moleskine. It was that time of the month–the time when I come up with my 30-day goals.

Usually I’ve got a ton of stuff going on and I can just barely keep up with myself. But for the month of July, I was stuck. Other than publishing my new eBook, I didn’t really have any other plans in mind.

Problem is, not having anything going on for the month–or not having enough going on–is not an option for me. I need to make and see progress, in myself, in my writing life and in my business, every single month. So I’ve gotta have specific 30-day goals to focus on every day.

Now this is one of those moments that happen often to writers. You’re sitting there and you don’t know what to write or you have no idea what project to work on next or you’re not really that excited about anything you’re working on at the moment.

And in these moments you have two choices: buy into the BS that you don’t know what to do or write or whatever OR create another reality.

Thats’s a choice you have in every single moment of every single day. You get to choose the reality that you live in.

So you can either buy into a reality where you’re stuck, don’t know what to write, have no ideas and don’t know what to do. OR you can create a new reality where you know exactly what to write, and everything you write flows with ease, and you always have brilliant ideas.

Which reality is more inspiring to you?

So that’s where I was at. Blank Moleskine, no ideas for what I wanted to accomplish this month.

But instead of doing the thing I usually do, which is sit around for two weeks, buying into my BS and not taking action, I decided, in that moment, not to. Not to buy into the BS. Not to let the “I don’t know what to do” excuse be a part of my reality. Not anymore.

Because we always know what to do. The answers are always inside us. But we have to be open to receiving them.

And, sadly, a lot of times, we’re not. We’re not open and we’re not willing. In fact, sometimes we’re perfectly happy wallowing in our misery and in what’s not working.

But that’s the shit that keeps you stuck and not making consistent progress.

Which is why there’s a decision at every turn–every moment–in life. And that decision is: am I gonna buy into this current reality? OR am I going to create something different? 

Over and over again, you’re presented with this decision. Problem is, a lot of times you don’t notice or even realize it. So you just buy into the current reality.

But now that you’re aware and you know that this happens, you can actively make the choice to not go down that road. To not buy into the BS of your current reality or any of the negative, limiting thoughts in your head.

To, instead, create the reality you want to see. That’s what I did.

I made a list of 31 things I could create this month. And then I took a nap. (Naps can be a very effective manifestation tool if you use them right.)

BUT–and here’s where the using it right part comes in–before I went to sleep, I set an intention for when I woke up, and that intention was: I will know what to create and focus the month of July on.

When I first woke up from my nap…nothing. I still wasn’t totally sure what to create, but then my husband said to me, “did you see that question someone posted on your Facebook wall the other day?” I hadn’t, so I went on Facebook to check the question out and it went something like this: how do I grow my following as an emerging author? 

BOOM! A sign from the Universe… which aligned with one of the 31 ideas I had brainstormed earlier in the day. I will do a workshop in the month of July teaching emerging authors how to grow their following online. (And I have another workshop that I’m brainstorming on right now.)

The point of all this, is to show you how powerful it can be to combine practical actions with energetic ones. It’s really the intersecting of these two types of actions where the most powerful manifestation takes place.

You can use these energetic and practical actions in your life, moment to moment, as you go through your day. Over and over again, to create your life exactly as you want it to be.

BUT–you have to make that choice. You have to actively, intentionally, on purpose choose not to stay stuck, not to buy into the BS, not to get caught up in the madness that goes on in your head at times.

And if you can do that, you can have any life you dream of.

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What’s one way you can combine practical and energetic actions in your life? 

Image courtesy of JonoTakesPhotos