Why I Decided Not to Publish My New Book

This week was supposed to be the week I published my new eBook. I set a publish date for Tuesday (that was yesterday) and then I re-set a date for Thursday (that’s tomorrow).

But something was up. Something wasn’t feeling quite right.

At first I thought maybe it was just Resistance. That happens sometimes, even to an author who has hit publish 8 times.

Except it wasn’t that.

Yes, I was Resisting finishing the book… but not for my usual reasons. Usually if I Resist it’s because I know I need to put the book out there.

But this time felt different.

Something was going on deep inside me. I had that feeling I often get when I’m on the verge of a revelation or a major shift of some kind.

I felt annoyed and pissed off. I couldn’t sit still. I felt like there was something bubbling inside me that needed to come out.

So I sat down and I did some journaling. And then I finally discovered what was going on.

I was Resisting because… THIS ISN’T THE BOOK I’M SUPPOSED TO PUBLISH.

I knew it was true the minute it came up, because it felt right. I felt like I immediately got back into alignment with my writing dream.

For 17 days now, I’ve been writing an eBook about how to write a really good eBook. And yeah, it was a decent start. But it just wasn’t feeling right to me.

And that’s because the topic is not in alignment with who I am and what I’m meant to be writing books about.

I’m meant to be writing books for writers about alignment, motivation, inspiration, mindset and getting shit done. All of the books I’ve written so far–and all of the ones I’ve had become best sellers–are aligned with those topics.

All of them.

And that’s not to say I shouldn’t step out of my comfort zone. I should.

But there’s a difference between stepping out of your comfort zone on something you know you’re meant to be doing… and forcing yourself to do something that’s not really in alignment with who you are.

This book made me feel stuck and not in flow, which is the complete opposite of how my books make me feel.

And yes, I can absolutely teach someone how to write an eBook. I’ve done it 8 times now. But my journaling last night led me to one very simple conclusion: I DO NOT want to write books about how to write books.

So I decided to let it go. To go with my gut and listen to myself.

Yes, I did mention the book to quite a few people and I will have to explain to them my decision. But regardless of what they think or the reasons they think I’m doing it… I know the truth.

I choose to create my dream writing life all on my terms. And that sometimes means trusting your gut and knowing what you’re meant to be doing. (Or not doing.)

The outside world will tell you that this is wrong. That you should never “listen to your gut” or “trust your intuition” when making business decisions.

But that’s how I roll. It’s the only way I can roll.

Because here’s one thing I do know… You can’t be a successful author writing and publishing books that aren’t aligned with who you are.

Do You Agree With This?

I saw something in a Facebook group for writers the other day that kinda got me fired up. And it’s not the first time.

To be honest, it’s something that gets me fired up every time I see it.

Someone posted a meme in the group that showed a writer being stressed out and having a hard time. And then the comment from the poster was: who else agrees it’s hard to be a writer? 

I cringed when I saw this while scrolling through my feed the other day. Talking about writing and being a writer in that way always makes me cringe. Because it’s so totally unnecessary.

If you think being a writer is “hard,” then it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually hard to be a writer. That’s just how you’re choosing to see it. 

Now, of course, this Facebook thread about it being hard to be a writer was super popular in the group. People kept commenting on it, adding their two-cents about how hard writing is and how much they struggle with it. The “likes” kept coming.

And I just kept shaking my head.

Because these writers are dooming themselves to writing being a struggle for them. They’ve just decided and declared to the Universe–in a public forum–that being a writer is hard. 

And so IT IS.

That’s what you have to remember about this whole writing thing. It will be as hard–or, as easy–as you decide it’s going to be.

There are writers out there who don’t struggle. Authors who write multiple books a year because it’s easy for them. Writers who sit down at their computers and the words just flow like water. 

That doesn’t mean these writers aren’t working hard. You can bet your ass they’re working extremely hard.

Writing is HARD WORK. Maybe the hardest creative work in existence (especially for fiction writers).

But that doesn’t mean being a writer has to be HARD. Hard and hard work are NOT the same thing. 

And that’s a distinction I want you to really take in, because it will change your writing life.

For writers who achieve flow and who never have to worry about getting inspired or not knowing what to write about, they have created intentional ways of BEING. 

They don’t sit around in Facebook groups complaining that being a writer is hard. They sit their asses in their chairs every single day and they put words on the page.

When they’re not inspired, they find ways to become inspired and they get their writing done.

When they’re tired, they find ways to pep themselves back up and they put in their writing session.

When they’re super insanely busy, they still find ways to sneak writing in and they put words on the page.

There are no excuses. No focusing on the fact that being a writer is hard. They just do the work.

Writing is only hard if you decide that it is.

I used to tell myself writing was hard… and so it was for me. Sure, I could crank out a blog post without a problem, but writing a book was always a struggle for me. Until I realized it was only a struggle because I was letting it be.

So this year, I took charge. I decided that I was gonna make my writing life easy, breezy and FUN. I was gonna go big, aim higher and write more books. I was gonna finally have my dream writing life, exactly as I’ve always imagined it, all on my terms.

And so IT IS.

I never have to get inspired anymore or worry about not knowing what to say. I just sit down and something always comes to me. And if it doesn’t come right away, I just close my eyes and ask myself, “what do people need to hear from me today?” and soon after the answer always comes.

I keep lists of ideas, on Post-its, in my various journals and notebooks. So I can always reach for the lists and choose something off one of them.

But the funny thing is, I rarely ever do. Because I’ve created intentional ways of being around my writing where the inspiration just COMES TO ME. I get badass high-concept story ideas on the regular. I have a huge list of eBooks I could write.

There is no stopping this well of creativity. It will never run dry. I will always have something to say. I will always have something I can create.

And it all goes back to making the DECISION to let my writing life be easy, breezy and fun.

Your words have power. They create things. And intention makes it so.

The last thing you want to do is say out loud–or even type in the comments of a public forum–and agree with writers who say that being a writer is hard.

Being a writer is whatever you decide that it’s gonna be. Period.

Here are some of the intentional ways of being I’ve created around my writing life:

  • Writing my realitythis is a journaling exercise I do several times a day, every day. I write out what I want my life to be like, feel like and look like. This includes details about my writing life, my current writing projects, and even intentions around how I want my day to go. This is the most powerful practice I have in my life.
  • Setting intentions before I start–rather than just jumping into my writing session or working on whatever project or task is in front of me, I take a second to just set a few intentions for how I want it to go. I’ll say things like, “the words flow with ease. I get this written in record speed and it totally kicks ass.” Simple. And then I get into my session (or whatever task I’m working on). This practice works for anything, even cleaning your house and doing dishes (I will say, “the dishes get done in lightning speed and I enjoy myself the whole time;” corny, but it works!).
  • Regular idea generation–I am constantly brainstorming and writing down ideas. I don’t use 90 percent of what I write down, but I write it down to get it out of my head and to clear a pathway for the really great ideas to come through. A big problem a lot of writers have is they don’t generate enough ideas, so when they finally get an idea for something to write, they don’t even consider whether or not it’s worth writing. They just write it. And that’s how a lot of novelists end up with mediocre stories about everyday people and everyday places. A snooze-fest as far as a reader (and agent and publisher) is concerned. But by generating loads of ideas, you’ll ensure the really great ones actually come through clearly.
  • Daily writing tasks–writing is one of my top 5 priorities every single day. Which means I always get my writing done in some way, shape or form. I may not always work on my books every day, but I’m always writing blog posts or creating new content for my community. I write something every day, even if it’s just a mini-blog post on my Facebook page.
  • Create something new daily–creating is a top priority for me. As a creative, multi-passionate being, I can’t not create. Whether I’m writing, making art, recording a video or just cooking in my kitchen, I create something new (usually multiple things) daily.
  • Act as if–this one is a biggie. Making the decision to show up every day and act AS IF I am already the writer and author I dream of being has made a huge difference in my success. When you act as if, you send a powerful message to the Universe that you believe what you’ve asked for–your dream writing life–is yours. But in order to receive it, you need to take consistent action on that dream. Receiving what you want is not a passive thing. You can’t ask for the dream writing life and then sit on your couch and watch Netflix. You’ve gotta ask for the dream writing life and then GO OUT THERE AND GET IT.
  • Creative wellness–I believe in the connection between what you eat and how you feel. And I also believe in the connection between lifestyle and your creativity. So I make it a priority to eat right and get movement in (even if it’s just walking my dog and doing some stretches) every day. Food is fuel and movement is energy. You need both. And as a writer, you’ll benefit so much more from treating your body like the creative temple it is. Junky food and lifestyle habits equal junky creative juices.

These intentional ways of being have helped me to become the writer and author that I am today. And now that I’ve been at this for so long–and especially as I’ve cleaned my act up this year–these ways of being have become a habit. I no longer have to really think about them, it just happens naturally as an extension of showing up every day as the writer and author I want to be.

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What intentional ways of being have you created around your writing life? 

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Best of all, this eCourse is a repeatable process you can use over and over again to develop, write and self-publish all of your nonfiction eBooks (I don’t recommend using this process with a novel). 

The eCourse comes with:

Daily checklists so you know exactly what to do every single day

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Are You Addicted to This?

Here’s something you may not know about me… I used to be addicted to feeling not good enough and constantly telling myself that I didn’t measure up. That I didn’t quite have what other people had.

I was plain. Unoriginal. BORING.

Brown hair and brown eyes. Five-foot-five-inches tall. Size 9 shoe.

Fucking average.

I had a middle-class lifestyle. Nothing was picture-perfect, but everything was status quo.

And there was nothing special about me. Nothing that made me stand out. Nothing that made me feel like I mattered.

Yes, I was always surrounded by love and support, but I still felt alone. Because deep-down inside, I knew something.

I knew that I was born for more. I looked around me and at what I saw in the mirror, and while it all felt average to me, I didn’t feel average on the inside.

As a young child, I saw myself as a star. I saw my name in lights. I imagined myself hanging out with all the celebrities, just like I was one of them.

And when I was young, that’s always what I was: a star. I would find ways to get myself on a stage whenever I could.

I took dance classes and performed on stage with the older girls. I was chosen to speak on the microphone and introduce my first-grade chorus during our school event. I went to an art camp where the final project was to create a piece of art (a mask) and then stand on the stage and show it to everyone.

I used to find a million different reasons why my summer camp leader should let me go up on the stage in the gymnasium and perform for the group (one time she actually let me when I’d been reading a book on magic tricks from the library and wanted to show everyone what I learned).

I was always in the school musicals and plays. I was always performing and showing off and putting myself out there.

Because that’s how I felt inside. I felt like this amazing super-star performer who people needed to pay attention to.

I WAS BORN THIS WAY.

I didn’t know any different. It’s just who I was.

And then somewhere around middle school things started to change. Suddenly I found myself being made to feel not good enough… by the girls who bullied me, by the guys who called me ugly, by the people who treated me like I didn’t matter.

I didn’t know how to deal with any of this. It was like a barrage of feelings and thoughts I had never, ever had about myself before, coming at me at a speed I couldn’t stop. It overwhelmed me and freaked me out and made me retreat.

And that’s when I turned to writing.

From a young age I was fascinated with words and most especially with reading. I couldn’t get enough of it. I carried books around with me everywhere.

I had always been a writer, but it wasn’t until middle school that the writing came pouring out of me like a spout that couldn’t be turned off.

Suddenly I had poems, I had short stories, I had ideas, coming out of my freaking ears.

I couldn’t write them down fast enough to capture them all.

All of my life up to that point I felt so average. Like there was nothing special or important about me. Sure, I was creative and had some talent. But I just never felt good enough.

When I was at art camp making my mask for the final presentation, all I could think about was how weird and crazy mine looked compared to everyone else’s. I just wanted my mask to look as good as the girl sitting at the table with me.

When I was in dance class we painted t-shirts to wear for our final recital and everyone else’s shirts had their names in the center with perfect little dots and squiggles surrounding them. I drew a big-ass hot-pink flower with a giant green stem and a bunch of other random things. And then I squeezed my name in at the bottom.

When we looked at all the shirts, everyone’s looked pretty similar and mine looked like a crazy person painted it. All I could think was–why can’t I do it like they do? What’s wrong with me?

I felt this way about pretty much everything. Except for writing.

Writing was always that thing that made me feel good enough. That made me feel special and talented and worthy. That made me feel like I was more than enough. That I was so much, I actually had something leftover to share with others.

My words. My writing. My stories.

And looking back now, it all makes sense. I wasn’t average. I wasn’t unoriginal. I wasn’t not good enough.

It’s that I was always hanging out with people who were further along than I was. Older, more experienced, not beginners. (I was always very mature for my age and I had a passion for learning new things, so I participated in stuff kids my age weren’t interested in ’til they were older.)

Connecting the dots now I can see it so clearly.

I am good enough. I always was good enough. I just always liked to push myself more than most people and try things I wasn’t very good at and fail and fail and fail and keep going.

And now I’m choosing to SEE MYSELF this way.

I’m choosing to feel like that little super-star girl who just wanted to perform and be on stage and have all eyes on her.

These days I’m choosing to “perform” through my writing (though you never know when you might see me singing, dancing or doing some acting some day!) To take center-stage with my words.

To share what I believe to be true about me AND about YOU.

And that is this: you have what it takes. I have what it takes.

You knew from a very young age that you have what it takes. You’ve always felt different inside. You’ve always felt like you have star-quality inside.

You just didn’t always see that inner feeling reflected in your outer reality. And because you were so young, you didn’t know yet that reality is relative.

It’s relative to the thoughts you think and the things you believe.

So you chose to believe the reality that you saw around you. Just like I chose to believe it.

And then we internalized what we saw and made it mean something about ourselves. That we’re average. Not special. Not good enough.

Yet deep-down we still felt it. We may have pushed that feeling away, squashed it with negativity or just flat-out ignored it.

But it was still there.

And it’s still there right now.

Because here’s the thing–what you feel inside is real.

Your dreams, your desires, the things you want to achieve and create for your life. It’s all real. And it’s all possible for you to have all of it (if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t feel pulled to it).

You just stopped believing that it was real. You were too busy shoulding yourself about nonsense and telling yourself you’re not good enough, not special enough, not talented enough… not enough.

So here you sit now. Still with that deep-down feeling that you were born for more.

Born to write. Born to create. Born to put words on the page.

Well, let me tell you something right now…

If you feel this way…

If deep-down inside you KNOW…

If every part of you rings true with the things I’ve said here…

Then it’s time.

It’s time for you to drop the mask and drop the false-front. Time to stop pretending that you’re something other than what you really are.

Time to come out to the world and BE the author you are meant to be. That you’ve always known you were born to be.

It’s time to come to terms with the fact that this feeling you have inside–this feeling that you were born for more, born to shine, born to share your words with the world–it’s never gonna go away.

Never.

Not ever.

NEVER.

Are you hearing me?

You will wake up with this feeling every single day for the rest of your life. You will go to sleep with it, nagging you, begging you to let it out.

It will taunt you, it will haunt you. It will follow you EVERYWHERE.

You cannot escape it. It will be there until you are no longer here.

So the choice is yours… do you take this feeling to your grave and bury it with the shell of who you lived this life as?

Or do you let it out RIGHT NOW? Unleash it to the world and finally realize that if you are born to write, if you are called to put words on the page, if you feel deep-down inside that you were BORN FOR THIS…

Then it is your RESPONSIBILITY to STEP THE FUCK UP. It is your PURPOSE to serve the world with your gift of the written word.

You are doing the entire world a disservice by not showing up every single day and doing your writing, by not pushing through the BS and the excuses and finally finishing and hitting publish.

That not good enough feeling? It’s always gonna be there too. And right now, if you’re MIA in your writing life, then most of the time, you’re letting that feeling win. You’re letting it win over the feeling you have deep inside that you were born for more.

It’s time to CHOOSE to let that other feeling become the priority. To stop listening to the BS and realize once and for all that feeling not good enough DOES NOT COME FROM YOU.

You are NOT born feeling not good enough. You are born feeling that feeling inside that says YOU ARE A STAR, BORN FOR MORE, HERE TO DO BIG THINGS, HERE TO SHAKE THE WORLD.

THAT feeling is real. THAT feeling you were born with.

Feeling not good enough came as a byproduct of your environment, programmed into you without much you could do about it.

But just remember that feeling not good enough does NOT BELONG TO YOU. You may have claimed it all these years, but it’s not yours.

Once you realize this–once you really, really take it to heart–you can finally choose to let it go and to focus on the feeling you were born with… that feeling that says, I AM BORN TO WRITE.

You’re here for a reason. If writing is it, then it’s time to put on your big-girl pants, step up and do your part.

The world is waiting for you.

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Are you BORN to write? Are you ready to claim it? Claim it in the comments!

Are you ready to step up to the next level in your writing life? Be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, motivation, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

The Fear, The Doubt, the Uncertainty…It Never Goes Away

I’m about to hit “publish” on m 9th eBook (fourth for the year), and the more I think about it, the more freaked out I get.

I start to question everything–is the book too short? Is it valuable enough? Are people going to like it? Is it going to be useful for writers? Am I doing a good job?

Even though I’ve already done this 8 other times, it still doesn’t make it any easier. The same doubts are present, the same fears are still there.

The only difference now is that I always push through and keep going.

Before this year, I’d have let that shit stop me for days, weeks or maybe even months. I’d have sat on the eBook and not put it out there.

But I’ve done it enough now, where I know fear, doubt and Upper Limit Problems are all a part of the creative process. Now I feel the fear, the doubt…and I send the book to my editor anyhow. I feel the worry and the “not enough” and I hit publish anyhow.

Something you may not realize is that fear you feel, that uncertainty, that doubt you have inside… it will never go away.

It’s always gonna be there. Trying to knock you down, trying to sabotage you, trying to get in your way.

And rather than getting easier, it gets worse the most successful you become.

But the difference is in how you deal with it.

An amateur writer lets that stuff get in the way. An amateur writer gets stopped by that stuff. A pro writer knows different.

Because a pro writer has been writing and publishing and continuing on long enough to know that the icky stuff–the negative voices, the fear, the doubt–it’s always there. Sometimes it shows up in different forms, as life chaos, as inner noise, as haters on the outside.

But it’s all the same thing. And it never goes away.

What does happen, is the more you deal with it head-on and the more you push through anyhow and keep going, the easier it will get to keep doing that.

When you’ve written and published enough, you will start to recognize your self-sabotating patterns and what it looks like for you. For me, I know after I launch a book my Upper Limit Problems usually kick in and I start napping more, stuffing my face with junk food more and causing life chaos in my reality.

So now when I notice this stuff–and especially when I notice it right after a book launch–I can recognize it for what it is… Resistance, fear, ULPs… and just keep going.

How do you do this? Here’s how I do it:

> Daily Mindset Practice–this is a non-fucking-negotiatble for me. I do mindset work two-to-three times a day, minimum. Usually includes writing my reality (1-3 pages), visualizing and setting intentions.

> Hire a good editor–my editor knows me and my writing very well, so she’s great at pointing out changes or things that will make the book better.

> Build support and accountability into your life–I work with a private mentor and I have several accountability buddies that I check in with throughout the week, and I’m part of a writers mastermind group. All of which keeps me in check and moving forward.

> Set deadlines and announce them publicly–this is the best way for me to keep going even when I don’t feel like it or don’t want to. Because I’ve set a deadline and announced it publicly, I can’t not hit it. So I always do.

The fear, the Resistance, the “noise” in your head and in your outer world can only get to you and can only take you down if you let it.

And if you choose not to let it bother you and to keep going regardless of what comes up, you will win. Every single time.

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How do you push through and keep going when you don’t feel like it? Share in the comments.

Ready to push through the BS that holds you back and step up to a whole new level in your writing life? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy, motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

If You’re Saying “Try” You’ve Already Missed the Point

A few minutes ago I was thinking about my August goal to sell 10,000 books. And something I kept hearing was the word “try.”

In my head I was hearing myself say, I’m trying to sell 10,000 books this month. I even said that to a few people the other day, that I’m trying to sell 10,000 books this month.

And tonight as I heard the word “try” bouncing around in my head, I realized something: by saying “try” I’ve already failed.

Because there is no try. There’s either make it happen or make it happen. That is the only option.

There’s ZERO point in trying to do anything.

Sure, try something new now and then, but don’t ever try when it comes to your dreams and your purpose as a writer.

If you’re trying to make your writing dreams happen, you’ve already failed. You’ve already doomed yourself to staying stuck, continuing to buy into the BS and giving yourself a Plan B just in case.

If you have a Plan B for your writing life you may as well just go after Plan B right now, because you’ll never have Plan A. Not with that kind of thinking.

You can’t have a backup plan for your dreams.

You either want something and are willing to do what it takes, for as long as it takes, until it takes and then keep going. Or you’re not.

Having a backup plan shows a lack of belief. It says to the Universe that you don’t believe you can have Plan A or you don’t believe that you’ll get Plan A, so you need a fall-back plan.

And when you send that kind of message out to the Universe, what do you think you’ll get back?

Definitely not Plan A. Maybe not even Plan B.

The Universe will send back to you what you’re putting out there. So you can’t try to make something happen. You have to just decide you’re making it happen and that you’re unwilling to accept anything else.

This all begins in your mind.

When you do enough mindset work, you will very easily be able to give yourself new beliefs and accept things as true that you wouldn’t have been able to before.

For years I dreamed of being a best seller on Amazon, but I never allowed myself to really want it or to even say it out loud, because I had no idea how I’d make it happen. So I didn’t even bother to try.

Until this year when I decided that it was finally time. I was finally sick of my bullshit being bigger than my dreams. I set my mind to it: I would be an Amazon best selling author in 2016.

And amazingly, after doing this, it happened only a few short weeks later.

I literally called my best seller status into my reality by finally allowing myself to not only want it, but to actually go after it. Not by “trying” but by believing that it was already a done deal…because I decided that it was.

If you’re reading this right now and you’re resonating with it and realizing that you’ve been “trying” all these years to make your writing dreams happen, now is the time for you to STOP TRYING.

Now is the time for you to DECIDE.

Do you want what you say you want? Do you really, really want it? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, until it takes and then keep going?

Then decide. Decide right now that you WILL have it. There’s no Plan B, no just in case, no more trying.

Decide right now that your dream writing life is yours. And then burn all of your bridges.

It’s ALL IN or get the fuck out.

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Are you DONE trying? Share your decision statement in the comments. 

If you’re ready to go ALL IN on your writing life, send me an email and let’s chat about my new 1-1 coaching program: Build Your Writing Empire. I’ll help you map out the plan for your dream writing business all on your terms and the exact steps you’ll need to make it happen. And then you’ll immediately start taking action on it with me guiding and supporting you along the way. 

What’s A Writing Empire and Why Do You Need One?

I love that phrase: writing empire. It sounds so awesome, doesn’t it?

Having an empire that you created with your writing at the center of everything.

Usually when you think of an “empire,” you imagine someone like Martha Stewart or Kim Kardashian or some other celebrity brand. But writers can have empires too.

Remember the other day when I talked about diversifying? That’s what building an empire is. It’s finding ways to diversify in your writing life so that you’ve got streams of income coming in from different things.

Freelance. Copywriting. Nonfiction books. Novels. Workshops. Virtual events. Live events. Digital products. Writing services. Coaching services. Editing.

There are tons of ways for you to diversify and build your writing empire. And here’s the best part: you get to create it however you want it.

If you hate doing live stuff, you can be 100% virtual. If you love live events, you can build those into your brand. Whatever you love to do, that’s what you should focus on and build your writing empire around.

I love teaching, I love writing, I love speaking, so that’s what I’m building my writing empire around. I have books, digital products, live virtual workshops, live events (more live events coming in 2017!), coaching, writing and self-publishing services.

The other thing about an empire is that it’s also a legacy. It’s the legacy of the person who it’s built around.

An empire will live on long after you do.

So really think about that for a second. What do you want your legacy to be?

I want to be known for changing the way writers think. For showing writers what’s possible when you set your mind to it. For being a living example of the power of combining practical physical actions with energetic mindset actions.

That is my legacy–the one I’m creating.

These are all things you’ve gotta think about if you want to be an authorpreneur. Not just a writer who publishes a couple books, but someone who builds a business around being who you are and doing what you love.

That is the true power of taking control of your writing destiny.

And you can absolutely do it. It’s yours to create, exactly as you want it.

For some examples of legacy and what a writing empire looks like, check out:

Robert McKee
Larry Brooks
Joanna Penn

These are writers who have diversified. They’ve found what they’re awesome at and they’ve built a business around those things.

If you want to make a living as a writer, this is the best way to do it. Yes, you could just write books, but you’re limiting so many things when you do that, including growth, reaching additional audiences and, of course, the money you can make.

Diversifying is where it’s at. And while you’re at it, you may as well build an empire and create a legacy that lives on.

And speaking of empire… I wanted to introduce you to my new 1-1 coaching program:

Build Your Writing Empire

This program is your springboard to making a living as a writer.

For 6 weeks we will work together to:

Map out your writing empire, including all the things you love to do
Start setting up and implementing the systems and structures you need to support your empire (including an author website, if you don’t already have one)
Overhaul your writing life so you’re aligned with and set up for the success you want to create
Get your nonfiction eBook written and published (at least one, but possibly more than one, if you’re up for it)
Grow your following
Sell more books

You will walk away with a published nonfiction eBook, a blueprint for your writing empire–including what to focus on and in what order–and feeling confident and ready to continue growing your audience and your author brand.

With this program you get:

> Six 1-1 calls with me via phone or Skype (up to 60 mins each)
> Unlimited email support between calls
> Feedback, edits, guidance on everything you create while in the program, including your eBook

And as a BONUS, you get a FREE 1-YEAR MEMBERSHIP in the Bestselling Author Mastermind group (a $348+ value). [This is extra-awesome because I’m going to soon be announcing some major changes to BAM that include giving the group access to pretty much everything I’ve created (and the price is going up).]

This program is PERFECT for you if you:

> Have lots of ideas for books you want to write and just need help getting started/organized/productive/etc
> Want to build a writing empire and legacy with your author brand
> Are someone who takes action and follows through
> Are ready to get your damn writing career off the ground
> Want to finally get your first (or next) nonfiction eBook written and published

This program is for writers who are action takers and willing to put in the work.

Program investment: $997 (payment plans available)

Interested? Email me or send me a PM on Facebook.

5 Ways to Make Money From Your Writing

Last week in my Facebook group, The 1% Writers Club (you can join the group here—it’s free), I asked: who wants to be a full-time writer? 
 
Out of the 65 people who responded, 60 said HELL YES, that’s me! 
 
And it makes sense. Most writers who were born to write want to do it full-time. That’s kind of a no-duh, I think.
 
Problem is, most writers don’t know what it really takes to be a full-time writer (and most aren’t willing to do the work—but that’s a whole other thing). They just imagine Stephen King or J.K. Rowling and see themselves sitting around all day drinking coffee and writing fiction. 
 
And that’s totally fine. We’ve all imagined that scenario before.
 
But a lot of times it doesn’t quite happen that way. And when you look at most writers who are making a full-time living from their writing, you’ll find that, nine times out of ten, they’ve diversified. 
 
They’re not just writing novels. They’re also writing nonfiction eBooks, freelance articles, doing some editing and creating digital products and services, for example. 
 
A writer who makes a full-time living from their writing knows you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. At least not at first. 
 
Unless you really do want to stay in your day job until you can write fiction full time. (That could take a while.) If you do, then go ahead and wait. 
 
But if you’re totally impatient like I am, I want you to know that can actually make a living from your writing in 8 to 12 months (maybe even sooner) if you diversify and don’t just try to do one thing. 
 
And really, why would you want to do just one thing? Owning a writing business and being a full-time writer is so much more fun when you’re doing lots of different things.
 
When I first quit my job in 2012 to take my writing business full-time, 90% of my money came from freelance writing projects, including writing copy, blog posts, emails copy, and social media content for companies. The other 10% came from my eBooks and coaching writers.
 
After a couple years, those percentages shifted, and most of my money was coming from coaching, writing services (like editing) and selling digital products. 
 
And now, after years of dreaming about it, a decent chunk of my income each month comes directly from my books (like this month, for example, I’ve made $1,190 so far… and the month isn’t even over yet).
 
Did this happen overnight? No.
 
Did it happen from one book? No.
 
Did it happen from doing only one thing? No. 
 
It came from diversifying. From writing fiction and nonfiction. From creating digital products and doing virtual workshops. From offering writing services and private coaching. 
 
I no longer do freelance writing. I no longer take on writing projects where I’m required to write for someone else.
 
All of the writing I do is stuff I actually want to be writing. It’s writing I want to be doing. 
 
The point of all this is to show you what it really takes to make a living as a writer. And also to inspire you to see that you don’t have to wait until you’ve made enough money from your books to become a full-time writer.
 
You can start right now. Here’s how:
 
Act As If—whoever that writer is you dream of being, be that person RIGHT NOW. Pretend you’re already a writer who makes a full-time living from your writing and then ask yourself every single day, what would I do if I was already that writer? When you absolutely believe at your core that you ARE that writer—even if your reality says otherwise—you WILL become that writer.
 
Start Doing Some Freelance Writing—there are tons of websites out there that list paid freelance writing gigs. Some pay more than others, but even the lower paying ones can be great experience for a writer who wants to get a foot in the door. One of my favorite freelance gig sites is: jobs.problogger.net.
 
Get On A Freelance Site—sites like fiverr.com and upwork.com are great places to offer writing services, depending on the kind of writing you enjoy. You can set up a profile and then offer yourself up as a writer-for-hire. 
 
Ask Around—let people know that you’re looking for paid writing gigs. You never know who has a connection or contact. When I first left my job I reached out to all the people I used to work with and asked them if they knew of anyone looking for content marketing and social media services (which is how I was using my writing back then) and I ended up with several new projects only a couple weeks later. 
 
Write A Self-Help Book—now you should only do this if you’ve accomplished something worthwhile or if you’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience in a certain topic. But in 2014 (the most recent stats I could find), self-help was a $10 billion dollar industry, a big chunk of which included books. Just imagine where it is now! And the reason?

People, more than ever, want to learn, grow and achieve things in their lives. They want to save money and learn how to do stuff themselves. They want to self-heal by using advice and experiences from people who’ve gone through what they’re going through and came out the other side. 

 
So writing a book about something you’ve been through or know a lot about is a great way to jump-start your pro-writing life and, if you do a good job, make some money. 
 
There are so many ways for you to start your pro writing career RIGHT NOW TODAY. You just have to be flexible and open to the idea of diversifying. 
 
Yes, we’d all love to do nothing more than write and publish our novels (or nonfiction books). And, yes, this can absolutely happen. 
 
But it’s not gonna to happen fast (in fact, it could take years and years and years). Whereas you can literally start freelance writing tomorrow. Money in hand, writing out in the world.
 
Pro writer, baby.
 
A lot of writers who see themselves as making a full-time living from writing only see themselves writing books. And while you can do that, you’re much better off diversifying. 
 
There are a lot of different ways to get in the pro-writer game, so don’t limit yourself. Explore all of your options and push yourself to try new things. 
 
Your full-time writer self will thank you for it.

Share With Us

Which of the 5 options will try to start getting your writing out there and making some money.

Ready to write and publish your nonfiction eBook? I have a self-paced eCourse coming out in mid-August that will help you do just that. Stay tuned! 

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?

Are you ready to massively step up and claim the writing life you’ve been dreaming of? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs.

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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What’s one thing you can do today to stop playing small in your writing life? 

Want to align your writing habits to success? Check out multi-category, multi-day best selling Amazon book, Align Your Writing Habits to Success.

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.

Share With Us

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

Are you ready to UNLEASH the power of Manifestation Marketing so you can EXPLODE your fanbase and SELL MORE books? I’ve got something super awesome coming… get on the interest list so you’re the first to know when I announce it.