If someone asked you, “what’s your BIG writing dream?” what would you say to them?
Would you tell them about your actual BIG writing dream? Or would you dim it down with some compromised version, because you have no idea how you’d ever make that happen and you don’t want the person who asked you to think you’re out of your mind or just really delusional for thinking you’d ever have a shot at a dream like that?
I used to answer that question by saying I want to make a living off my fiction. But that wasn’t quite it.
Yes, that’s a part of it. But that’s a compromised version of what I actually want. I never wanted to share my BIG dreams with anyone, out of fear that if I didn’t make it happen, I’d be judged or would have to hear “I told you so.”
So I kept the BIG dreams a secret and didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t talk about it, not even with the people closest to me. I just thought about it over and over again in my head.
And when I’d see other people achieving my BIG dream, I’d get triggered by their success and feel resentful and like it should be me. Instead of seeing it for what it really was: evidence that my BIG dreams are possible.
Because if it can happen for one person, it can happen for more than one (remember the story about the 4-minute mile?).
I didn’t used to have a lot of faith in my BIG dreams actually coming true. I used to think they were pipe dreams or things that other people can achieve, but not me.
So I only allowed myself to go after dreams I knew I could achieve or didn’t have resistance to achieving. Mediocre dreams that were a small fraction of the bigger dreams I had living inside me.
Writing and publishing a novel. That was always a dream I had from when I was 13 years old. And while that was a pretty significant dream and achievement, I never had resistance to it. I always knew at some point it would come true and I would have a novel out in the world.
I believed it, from day one.
I may have had a lot of struggle and resistance to doing the work required to achieve the dream, sure. But I never doubted that I’d make it happen. I always knew one day there would be a novel in the world that was written by me.
But my BIG dreams… the ones I only thought about in my head or whispered out loud to myself when no one was around…those I didn’t even allow myself to want or spend too much time fantasizing about.
Because I not only had a ton of resistance to believing those dreams were possible for me, but I also had no clue how I’d make it happen. And so by not allowing myself to want what I really wanted, I could play it safe.
If no one knows about your BIG dreams, then there’s no pressure to actually make it happen. You’re let of the hook. You no longer have to worry about whether you’ll achieve your BIG dream… because even if you don’t, no one will know.
The problem with that way of thinking is that it caused me to play small, for such a long time. I’d sit on the sidelines, watching all these other writers achieving my BIG dreams and wishing it was me.
But I wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t even allowing myself to fully want the BIG dream, even though deep down they were always there.
The BIG dreams have been there since I first started writing stories at age 11. My stories and story ideas have always come to me like little scenes in my mind; like bits and pieces of a movie playing in my head.
And that’s what solidified my BIG dreams.
But I never admitted it to anyone. I never said it out loud other than to myself. Because I didn’t believe it was possible for me. And I didn’t want to be seen as a failure in other peoples’ eyes in case I didn’t actually achieve it.
So I played small. Doing the bare minimum. Giving myself permission to procrastinate and make excuses and not write consistently.
Until a year ago when I realized something major… the only competition in life is with YOURSELF… and FUCK what anyone else thinks.
Most people are sitting on the sidelines in life, afraid to get on the field and play the game, because of the reasons I just mentioned (and a whole lot of other ones). And do you know who those people are who say things like, “I told you so” and “see, I knew you couldn’t do it” or who would judge you or make fun of you for not achieving something?
They’re people who never allowed themselves to want their BIG dreams. They’re people who have shoved their BIG dreams so far down they’re buried for all of time.
And they’re dead inside.
They just go through the motions, trying to make peace with the mediocre existence they’ve settled for. But they’re miserable.
Because they have these BIG dreams inside that they’re not allowing themselves to want, to go after and especially achieve. And they hate themselves for it.
They hate themselves for caring what other people think, for feeling trapped in a life that doesn’t fulfill them, for not taking action on what they want the most.
And yet they still don’t do anything about it.
Yes, thankfully some of these people wake the fuck up at some point in their lives and finally decide to go for it. That’s when you see people like Susan Boyle or the 90-year-old first-time novelist bursting onto the scene later in life.
They finally made their dreams bigger than their bullshit, as my mentor would say.
A year ago, I gave up my bullshit. I decided that I was no longer going to sit on the sidelines, watching other authors achieving my BIG dreams. I was going to get in the game and achieve with them too. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
So, what are my BIG dreams?
> To be a New York Times Bestselling Author of both fiction and nonfiction.
> To have my novels and screenplays turned into big-screen Hollywood movies, with famous actors and actresses playing my characters, and I get to make cameos.
> To write and publish hundreds of books—both fiction and nonfiction—everything from novels to memoir to self-help.
I’m no longer hiding from these dreams. I’m actively pursuing them. I’m writing about them every single day in my journal like they’ve already come true. I’m visualizing what my life would be like if these dreams were already true. I’m taking aligned act-as-if actions.
And I’m finally allowing myself to believe that’s possible for me.
Now, I’m creating this belief. It’s not something that was already there. I’m intentionally putting it there by reprogramming my mindset and removing any negative thoughts, beliefs or barriers that could get in the way.
But as I’ve seen happen with so many other beliefs I wanted to have that I programmed into myself… once you do enough mindset work and take enough aligned act-as-if actions, the belief will be there.
And once the belief is there, the dream showing up in your physical reality is not far behind.
So, what are your BIG writing dreams? Share in the comments if you dare…
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. Doors to my upcoming workshop: FINISH Your Damn Novel—30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who have started a first draft or the revision of a novel and want to FINISH, open on Friday March 24!! If you want IN on this workshop, get on my email list here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (you’ll also receive a free copy of my eBook, The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula).
I say all of the time that you can’t have a backup plan for your dreams. If you do, you’re automatically dooming yourself to whatever backup plan you’ve come up with, because by having a backup plan, you won’t push yourself to do what it takes to achieve Plan A.
Sure, you might tell yourself that you’re giving it a go… for a few years or a few months or whatever. And if it doesn’t work out, you’ll just fall back on your backup plan and then spend the rest of your life talking about and thinking about what might have been.
If only you hadn’t given up.
If only you had fully gone all in on your dream life.
If only you didn’t have a backup plan.
But here’s the thing when it comes to having your dream life… your dream life showing up (or not) is a byproduct of who you are as a person. It’s who you’re being in any moment that will determine what the future holds for you.
So how can you have a backup plan on being who you are?
That’s like saying there’s a replacement for you, in case you don’t fully show up in the world and do the work you’re being called to do.
Except there isn’t. There’s no backup version of you. Because there can never be another you.
You came to this world with unique skills, talents and gifts that need to be shared.
Which is why you must fully show up, every single day, as the person you want to be. Not as the person you’ve been up to this point or the person you think you should be, but the person you want to be RIGHT NOW.
The truth is, you can act your way into anything you desire. You can choose in any moment to BE the person who has the dream life you want for yourself. You can decide that you will be that person inside and out and then shift your beliefs, thoughts and physical reality to reflect that decision.
Want to know how I started selling more books and making more money in my writing business than ever before? You may want to grab a seat for this one, because what I’m about to reveal may just throw you for a loop.
Here are the main things I did that helped me start selling more books and making more money…
1. I allowed myself to want what I really want
For a long time I’d dream of making $50,000 a month in my business, a big chunk of which would come from my book sales. But because I had no clue how this could happen, I never allowed myself to want it. Until a year ago, when I met a mentor who pushed me to finally allow myself to want what I really want, even if I have no clue how I’ll get it.
So I started saying I wanted to make $50,000 a month in my business.
Allowing myself to want and to ask the Universe for what I really wanted got the ball rolling in that direction, and more money started coming in.
2. I started tracking my income and my book sales daily
Yes, daily. Even when at first I was only writing down 3-4 book sales a day. But I kept at it. I kept checking the numbers and tracking them every day. And the numbers have grown and keep on growing. Why?
Because what you focus on expands.
So if you want to grow your income and/or your book sales, you have to PAY ATTENTION to them!! You’ll never make the book sales you want to make by sticking your head in the sand because you don’t want to see that you’ve sold 0 books or only 2 books or whatever.
Every author has a 0 book sales day (usually many). Every author starts out with low sales and grows from there.
But the authors who keep track of their book sales with intention will see that number grow.
3. I got rid of all the clothes in my closet that the $50,000 a month version of me would never wear
When I looked at my closet, there was so much junk in there—stuff with holes, clothes I’d had since college that didn’t quite fit me anymore, etc., and so I went through my entire closet and asked myself, if I was already making $50,000 a month, would I wear this?
For anything where the answer was “no,” I put the item into a bag for donation. At the end of the clean out, I had 5 huge trash bags of clothes I was donating, and a closet that didn’t have a whole lot of stuff left in it.
But the stuff that was left made me feel like who I imagined I’d be if I was already making $50,000 a month. And stepping into being that person now, rather than waiting ’till I was already making $50,000 a month to be that person, allowed the money and book sales to flow.
4. I subscribed to StitchFix and got a delivery monthly
StitchFix is a clothing delivery site where you choose the styles you like and then a personal stylist picks 5 items a month for you to try at home. You try it on, keep what you like and send the rest back.
I signed up for this because the $50K a month version of me would wear higher quality name brand clothes.
At the time when I signed up for this I had no idea if I’d actually be able to afford it each month. But I just trusted that this was a major act as if moment for me to show the Universe who I wanted to be.
Not only did the money show up to pay for my Fix every month, but I also now have 12 new high-quality items in my closet that the $50,000 a month version of me would definitely wear.
5. I started writing and publishing more books
The ‘dream life’ version of me is an author who has hundreds of books out in the world. So if I was going to be that author now, I had to start writing and publishing more books.
Which is exactly what I did in 2016. I wrote 9 books and published 7 of them, and my book sales numbers and the money I’m making from my books has grown every month.
I haven’t yet made $50,000 a month, but ever since doing these 5 things, I’ve consistently made $5,000-7,000 a month (give or take a random month). Before that I was all over the map, money-wise.
Now I will add that doing the stuff that I did definitely requires a level of trust in the Universe and in yourself. But for me, I’ve found acting as if to be the most powerful way to manifest anything that you want or need.
If you can just figure out who you want to be—or who you would be if your dream life was already your real life—you can start acting your way into living that life right now, today.
That’s what I do. Every single day. I ask myself CONSTANTLY what the ‘dream life’ version of me would look like, act like and be like on a daily basis. I have lists of the actions I’d be taking daily and I’m constantly comparing my current life and my current ways to being to the actions that are on that list.
When things aren’t aligned, meaning when I’m not acting the way the ‘dream life’ version of me would act, I adjust course where necessary until I am.
Sometimes that means creating new habits, sometimes it means sustaining old ones, sometimes it means changing the way I’m doing something (like eating or exercising), sometimes it means getting rid of or letting go of stuff that no longer aligns with the ‘dream life’ version of me.
It’s a constant process. Alignment is something you have to be mindful of every day. It’s something you need to be asking yourself about on a regular basis: Am I doing things that will get me where I want to go? Or am I sabotaging myself and getting in my way?
By committing to alignment and to being the ‘dream life’ version of you right now, you can act your way into any life and any success that you desire. You can become the smarter, richer, hotter, better version of yourself—the person you see yourself as (or want to see yourself as) in your head—right now.
But you have to decide, once and for all, that you will go all in on being that person. That you will keep yourself aimed at the ‘dream life’ version of you and that you won’t stop ’till you get there.
Because there’s no backup plan for being you.
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. While there may not be a backup plan for being you, there is a backup plan for the first draft of your story. It’s called the Story Revision Kit: Process + Strategy for Revising Your Novel, and it will help you turn the first draft you’ve got into the first draft that you want.
It’s coming later this week!!
Want to be the first to know when it’s available? Be sure to get on my email list here (you’ll also get a free copy of my training + workbook: From ‘Eh’ to ‘Awesome’: 9 Questions to Turn Your Idea Into An Actual Story).
When I was a kid, I had a dress up box. It was made from cardboard and was filled with things that transported me to fictional realities, where I got to be anything I wanted: a singer, a dancer, an actor, a teacher, an artist.
I loved playing pretend. The thing I played most often was school. I had a chalk board and I used to make my brother, sister, cousins and friends sit and listen to me teach them stuff. (It’s no wonder I do the work I do today.)
I believed in Santa until I was 11. I remember being quite shocked when I found out he wasn’t real. Maybe I was a little naive, but I liked believing in magic and in magical beings.
I still believe in magic, even today. Just a different kind.
Because I’ve seen the power of the human mind and what it can create with enough belief. That’s magic of the greatest kind.
And the power to create whatever you want is available to you right now, in this very moment. You just have to get fictional with it.
You have to pretend whatever you want is already yours and then you have to act from that place, pretending your way into seeing it show up in your real life.
As a writer and creator, you’re good at making up stories and creating fictional worlds. So why not use that same creative power to CREATE YOUR LIFE?
There’s a journaling exercise I do every couple weeks where I ask myself: If I already had the success, the money, the body, the [insert whatever you want], I would…
And then from there I complete the sentence over and over again, with the areas of my life that I’m currently focusing on (or you could do every area—up to you), until I have a whole list.
For example… if I already had the success I want, I would:
- Be making a minimum of six figures a year from my books
- Drive a blue Jeep Wrangler
- Be disciplined around doing what matters every day
- Be disciplined around food and fitness
- Be a Hollywood screenwriter turning my novels into movies with big-name actors and actresses playing my characters and I get to make a cameo
So now that I have that list of what my life would look like and be like if I already had the success I want, I know exactly what I need to focus on and pretend about.
Because when you act as if something is already true—even if it’s not true at first—it will eventually become true. (This works for both things you want and things you don’t want.)
Here are the actions—both practical, physical actions and acting “as if” actions—that I’d focus on:
- Check my book sales numbers and income every single day (what you focus on expands)
- Write and publish more books—nonfiction and fiction
- Begin referring to my car as my Jeep (even though it’s not right now)
- Go Jeep shopping 1-2 times a month and get into the feeling of already having it
- Add all this stuff into my daily visualization
- Create habits and discipline around the 7 activities (4 bare minimum) I’ve identified as daily must-dos
- Create habits and discipline around making better food and fitness choices, and keeping the outcome/end results in mind when tempted to do otherwise
- Write a screenplay from one of my novels
If I began doing all of those things, I would start seeing more of the success I want showing up.
Why? Because I’ve identified who I’d be and what I’d be doing if I already had the success, so if I step into doing those things and being that person NOW, then what I’m asking for has to show up.
So while it may feel like fiction at first and while you may have to do some pretending, you can get yourself where you want to go a lot faster if you step into that identity of the already-successful version of yourself NOW.
That’s how I use fiction every single day to create the real life that I want to have. And that’s how you can too.
Share With Us
What’s one thing you’d be doing today if you already had the success you desire?
If the successful version of yourself includes being the author of nonfiction books, be sure to check out my upcoming workshop: Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days. This workshop will challenge you to get out of your head and get into action. There’s no time to doubt yourself, there’s only time to take action and keep moving forward.
And if you do that every day for 10 full days, you will walk way with a published eBook on Amazon.
“Act from, not towards”–Kat Loterzo
When you think about what it is you really want for your writing life (and your life, in general), you probably think about what you want to move towards. You want to be a bestselling novelist. You want to finish writing and publish your book. You dream of seeing your novel turned into a movie.
But where you’re making a huge mistake is in what you’re focusing on. You don’t want to focus toward, you want to focus from. Let me explain.
When you have a goal you’re trying to reach, you’re often thinking about what you need to do to move closer to it. What steps or actions you need to take.
But doing that will keep you on the chase, constantly striving but never actually arriving.
And the reason is because you’re taking action TOWARD the goal, rather than FROM the goal.
When you take action from a place of already having what you want (even if you don’t yet have it), you send a powerful message to the Universe: I believe that what I want is mine. From this place, it’s impossible for what you want to not come to life.
Yes, impossible. And I never say things like that because nothing is impossible.
But this is.
Because acting as if is the key to bringing your dreams to life.
When you act from a place of already having what you want, you will start to see it manifest in your reality, and faster than you can imagine at this point.
I’m all about examples to illustrate a point, so here’s an example of the difference between acting from having already achieved a goal versus acting toward a goal. The goal? Being a bestselling novelist.
When you’re acting toward that goal, here are some of the actions you’d likely take:
- Write a novel
- Publish the novel
- Figure out how to market the novel
- Try to sell as many copies as possible
But when you’re acting from already having achieved that goal, here are some of the actions you’d likely take:
- Write and publish a novel you’re so proud of you can’t wait to shout from the rooftops to everyone about it
- Get started on your next book because you’re too excited to wait
- Send emails to your email list several times a week, sharing information about your novel, your process, where you get your ideas from, what you’re working on now, etc., and getting people as excited as you are
- Show up every single day and take actions to spread the word and sell more books
- Give up all excuses
See the difference?
One version is taking actions that feel generic and uninspired. The other is coming from a place of knowing that you’ve already achieved your goal, so every action you do take feels inspiring and intuitive.
Alright, so maybe you’re not seeing much of a difference. Maybe we need another example that’s more specific.
Let’s say your goal is to get 5,000 people on your email list.
When you’re acting toward that goal, you might:
- Send an email out once a week (you’ll wait to send emails more often when you actually have 5,000 people reading them, right?)
- Mention to your friends and family that you have an email list
- Find ways to grow your email list
When you’re acting from already having 5,000 people on your list, you would:
- Send several emails out every single week, no exceptions
- Pretend that every email you write is being read by 5,000 people (even if right now it’s not)
- Never, ever miss an email because you know people are waiting to hear from you
- Write every single email like it’s being sent out to 5,000 people
- Create tons of freebies for your website that get people subscribed to your email list
- Write several guest posts for blogs with more traffic than you have, so you can get their readers on your list
See the difference?
The first version is taking action toward the goal, and the second is acting as if the goal is already done and you already have 5,000 people on your list.
The whole point here is energy. When you show up with the energy of “I have to work hard to reach my goal,” you’ll feel uninspired and make excuses for why you’re not consistently taking action. But when you show up with the energy of “I have already achieved this goal,” it feels totally different. It feels inspiring and motivating and you’ll be more consistent with your actions.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about the energy you put into what you do. So stop taking actions toward your writing goal, and instead take actions from already having reached it. See what happens.
Share With Us
How can you start acting FROM already having your writing goal?