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My Top 10 Ways to Overcome Procrastination RIGHT NOW

One of the biggest reasons writers don’t finish their books and accomplish their goals is a little something known as PROCRASTINATION.

Procrastination is rampant in the writing world, and it gets worse and worse the more you do nothing about it.

Just like anything else, what you focus on grows. That goes for focusing on good things AND focusing on things like procrastinating or being a procrastinator.

I KNOW how hard it can be. Believe me, I KNOW.

I was not only the Queen Procrastinating Writer 10 years ago, but I built an entire following and business around it (Originally Procrastinating Writers, which has now morphed into the business I have today). 

Over the years, I’ve had DOZENS of conversations with myself about what I need to be doing in my writing life, to feel happy, fulfilled, proud of myself, to get the results I want and to have the confidence to keep moving forward. And one thing I always knew for sure was my procrastination, my resistance, my fear, my doubt, my lack mindset, my feeling not good enough, wasn’t helping me at all.

I knew I had to overcome my procrastination and commit to continuously checking in with myself on whether or not I’m in alignment with the outcomes I desire and if I’m actually doing what I need to do every day. 

Over the years I’ve used every productivity method and strategy out there for busting through the fear, doubt, resistance and anything else that comes up or tries to get in the way. I’ve done the legwork to find what works for me.

Yesterday I created the final audio training for my DONE workshop, sharing 10 of the most powerful strategies I’ve ever used to kick procrastination’s ass. What ended up coming out was quite possibly one of the most powerful audios I’ve EVER created.

It was straight from my heart to yours on what has worked for me and made a difference in my writing life.

These are the strategies that I’ve narrowed it down to, from the hundreds of different ones that are out there. These are the ones I’ve used and still use to this day to keep myself in check, focused and moving forward every single day. No. Matter. What.

When I finished the audio, I knew I couldn’t keep it inside the DONE workshop group. I HAD to share this audio with you and with all the other writers in the world who are looking to cut through the bullshit and save themselves time and energy trying to figure out how to overcome their procrastination.

So here it is… my top 10 ways to overcome procrastination and get your writing DONE…

jenniferblanchard.net/procrastination

Once you listen to the audio, your Action Step is to choose (at least) ONE of the strategies to start implementing in your own writing life. And if you want to, hit “reply” to this email and tell me which strategy you’ll be implementing, for accountability 🙂 

Dream life or bust,

jen

Do You Have A Nonfiction Book In You? Here’s How To Tell

I believe that most writers have a nonfiction book in them–they’re just not always sure how to pull it out. In situations like this, I share two of my favorite exercises:

  1. Uncovering your book idea
  2. Finding your angle

If you’re not sure that you have a nonfiction book in you, here’s an exercise you can do to find a potential topic you could write about.

The “Uncovering your nonfiction book idea” exercise:

  • Grab your notebook or a piece of paper
  • Draw a line down the center of the page, dividing it into two parts
  • At the top of the left column, write “Skills I have/things I know how to do really well”
  • At the top of the right column, write “Transformations I’ve made/experiences I’ve had”
  • Make lists in each column based on the prompt at the top—now you’ll have two lists of potential topics you could write a nonfiction book about
  • Go through the lists and circle the topics or ideas that most interest you
  • Narrow down the topic/idea and choose one

Once you’ve done this exercise, then complete the exercise below.

The “Find your angle” exercise:

The following exercise will help you find a unique and/or interesting angle for your book topic:

  • Grab your notebook or a piece of paper
  • At the top of the page, write your book topic (or idea)
  • Brainstorm 30 (or more) different angles or approaches you can take on this specific topic
  • Go back through the list and circle anything that pops out as something worth writing
  • Narrow down your circled choices to one (or combine several if it works)

From doing both of these exercises, you should have a bunch of nonfiction book ideas. You don’t have to write all of them, of course. In fact, most you probably won’t write at all.

But you’ve got a whole bunch of ideas to choose from now. And maybe you’ve even proven to yourself that you do actually have a nonfiction book in you.

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What potential topic are you considering for a nonfiction book?

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. 

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? 

If you LOVE the concept of Manifestation Marketing and want to learn how to use it in your own writing life to EXPLODE your fanbase and SELL MORE books, be sure to check out my upcoming 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:

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.53.32 PM

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

This Is A Call to Arms for Writers Everywhere

Why do you write?”

Someone asked me that recently and there’s a variety of answers I could’ve used: because I love it; because it’s what I’m best at; because I’ve got shit tons of fictional stories inside me and creative ideas and life experiences I’ve been through–most of which needs to be written down.

But the only reason that really matters is this one: because I can’t not.

I can’t not write. It’s impossible. Because I was born this way.

I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. When I look back on my life so far, the only constant is me being a writer.

When I was very young I wrote poems and rhymey little songs. As I grew up I started writing short stories and then a novella. That novella solidified that I was going to make writing my career.

As I went through high school, I got interested in journalism–mostly because I was trying to figure out how to make writing my career, instead of just focusing on doing what I loved, which was fiction writing. Journalism led me to a four-year degree which then led me to my 7-year string of writing-related jobs in publishing (print and online), corporate online marketing and social media strategy. I’ve written 600+ blog posts, and written and published 7 books (and counting).

And along the way I realized I can’t not write.

Even when I had moments where I wasn’t doing a lot of writing-writing, I always kept a journal. I always had a place to write down my thoughts and ideas. I’ve always had several active idea notebooks at the same time (one for each project).

I couldn’t not do these things. Because I was born this way.

Writing isn’t something I do, it’s who I am. It’s who I was born to be. 

And you’re here right now, reading this, because you feel the same way. You were born to be a writer, to use your words to spread a message, to share stories, to change the world. 

The reason the pen is mightier than the sword is because words change things. Words can shift perspectives and cause a fire to be lit inside someone who was once dead inside.

Words are the most powerful force on the planet. Because words create things.

As writers, we are the creators of the world–our worlds and the fictional worlds that we dream up.

Our perspective matters. Our stories need to be told. Our truth needs to be spoken.

Because in us doing this, by stepping up and claiming our calling to be the writers and authors we dream of being, we activate a power within us so great it can move mountains, seemingly overnight.

In April 2016, I stepped up and claimed my calling. I had been on the path of it since birth and even before, but I never claimed it. I never decided that I was here to be an author and to change the world with my words.

Until that day in April, when I decided that enough was enough. It was time for me to drop the bullshit, stop making excuses, and rise to the occasion. The occasion being my writing life.

Up ’til that point I’d been dancing around my writing dream, writing blog posts each week and writing a new book every couple years. But it just wasn’t enough. Not for me.

So I decided that it was time. It was time to claim the writing life I was born to have and to create along my journey in life. It was time to step the fuck up and do the work to think like and act like the writer and author I dream of being.

And from this place of deciding, of knowing what I’m here for and by deciding to live into that purpose, every single day, from here on out, things shifted. My whole writing life changed… because I did.

If you were born to be a writer–and YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE–then it’s time for you to do the same. It’s time for you to accept that mission and decide to live into that purpose. Day in and day out. Every single day. For the rest of your life. 

From this moment on, that is who I am writing for. That is who I am creating for and that is who I am exclusively going to be working with. Writers and authors who know they were born for this. Born to change the world with their words, their stories. Born to live their dream writing lives, all on their terms.

If you know, deep down in your heart and soul, that you were born to be a writer, I’m talking to YOU.

It’s time for you to come out from hiding. Time to let go of the BS stuff you’re telling yourself right now about why you can’t step up or claim that you were born to write. Time to accept your mission to serve the world through your words and through sharing your ideas, your personal truth and your stories (fictional and nonfiction).

The world needs you. I believe that as writers who are born to write, all of the ideas and stories that come to us, come because we’re meant to write them. No one else could ever write that same thing in the same way you can. 

But you’ve gotta write it. You’ve gotta stop keeping it inside your head or in your computer and you need to put it out into the world.

When I accepted my mission to deliver life-changing ideas and stories to the world through my written words, that’s when things took off in my writing life. That’s when I started selling 1,000+ books in a 30-day period and hitting #1 in multiple categories on Amazon.

It’s when I decided to let my dreams be bigger than my bullshit that things totally changed. 

It comes down to one thing: alignment. Getting aligned with the dream I had and the desire I feel inside to shake the writing world with my words.

Alignment is everything. And if you were born to be a writer, but you’re not doing the work or you’re only sort of doing the work, then you’re out of alignment and that’s why things aren’t working the way you want them to. This can change almost immediately though.

Just as soon as you decide. Just as soon as you decide to let your writing dream and let being the writer and author you dream of being be bigger than the bullshit you tell yourself or that you let stop you.

Just as soon as you step up and accept your mission to truly–day in and day out–be the writer you were born to be.

So… do you accept? 

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Were you born to be a writer? Let’s hear it.

Are you ready to step up and accept your mission to be the writer and author you dream of being, and to live into that purpose? Then be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

Image courtesy of Seth Sawyers 

Want to See the Success You Dream Of? You Need To Build This Up

When you’re going along on your writing journey, you will inevitably come across other authors. A lot of them will be more successful than you are (right now).

You may see other authors selling thousands of books every month, while your book collects dust in the dark corners of Amazon. You may find authors who seem to have success fall into their laps.

And it can be disheartening. To see others growing in fame and success, and you’re just stagnant and feeling totally invisible.

But here’s the thing, you never know where someone started. Sure, you’re seeing the success they have now, but what about when they first began their writing journeys?

Everybody starts somewhere. 

And you have to remember that. You have to remind yourself of that. Because if you don’t, it will get to you. It will make you feel like you’re a total loser and like you might as well hang it up.

Everybody starts somewhere.

You’re starting somewhere, and so did all of the authors you’re watching have the level of success you dream of having. No one starts at the top.

Now, of course, there are things you can do to move from the bottom to the top pretty quickly. But you can’t start there. And really, why would you want to?

If you started at the top, you wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate it as much, because you didn’t have to do anything to get there. Starting from square one, being a beginner, failing and getting up and trying again. Those are the things that make getting to the top totally worth it.

But there’s no such thing as a true overnight success. The seemingly overnight success stories you see out there are either 1) total BS, 2) or the overnight results of someone who’s been at it for a while and has momentum built.

What You Need to Play in the Big Leagues

The biggest thing you need to be super successful in the writing world at a professional level is momentum. Momentum is really everything.

So when you publish book number one and only sell a few copies, do not, do not, do not let it get you down. Everybody starts somewhere.

The first year I put my eBooks on Amazon (in late 2012), I made like $150. It wasn’t until I published books 6 and 7 where I really started to see traction. Now I’m selling 1,000+ books and making around $500+ every month.

From the outside, it may look like my writing career just took off out of nowhere. But the truth is, I’ve been writing professionally since I was 18 years old. I’ve worked for a newspaper, several magazines and several online publications. I have a background in online marketing. I’ve got a journalism degree. And I’ve been blogging since 2008, and writing and publishing books since 2010.

I have momentum built.

So when I published my eBook, Align Your Writing Habits to Success–a book I wrote in 15-minute increments over a 30-day period–and it hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories on multiple days, things just took off from there.

But it had nothing to do with that specific book or me being better than anyone else. It’s just the momentum.

When you’ve got momentum built up, things eventually have to take off. That’s what momentum does. It builds up force so that when you get to a place where you’re fully aligned with the writing you’re doing, it’s like you’ve turned a corner on a rollercoaster. Suddenly everything is just flowing and building up speed–seemingly on its own.

I’m less than 50 sales away from having sold 1,000 books in the month of June. And I know I’ll make that many sales today, maybe even more. Because at this point, my books are selling themselves. Without doing any additional marketing, I’m selling an average of 30-40 books a day, every single day.

Momentum.

I know what I’m doing now. I’ve got enough failures under my belt to know what not to do, and to know how to pivot in another direction when something isn’t quite working how I want it to. But only experience and practice and time can teach you this.

So next time you see an author out there, having the success that you dream of having, don’t let it get you down. Use it as fuel to build yourself back up. Because you know that you have everything it takes to create the success you want.

You just have to take enough consistent action in the direction of your writing dream so you can build up the momentum.

But no matter what, do not let the success of others make you think you’re not good enough or that you can’t make your dream happen. You totally can. Everybody starts somewhere.

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2 Signs You’re Moving In the Right Direction (And Should Keep Going)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “success signs.” As in, the little signs that start to show up in your reality the more consistent you are and the more progress you make.

As I’ve really thought about my “success signs,” or patterns that tend to repeat themselves every time I have a success of some kind, I’ve noticed 2 main signposts. Most people would probably freak out when they see these signs showing up in their lives (I know I used to!).

But now that I’ve been doing this whole pro writing thing long enough, I’ve discovered that similar things happen to me over and over again, the more success I achieve.

Here are the 2 things that I find to be signposts for success, or at the very least, signposts for, “Yes, you ARE moving in the right direction. Keep going.” Those signs are:

1. Haters

Whenever I’ve reached a place in my writing business where I’m being bombarded by haters or by people who don’t like what I’m doing/who I am and want to give their two cents about it (which, to be honest, isn’t even worth 1 cent, but I digress…), I know I’m doing something right.

I used to take haters as a bad sign. I used to think if someone didn’t like what I was doing or how I was doing it, that I was in the wrong and should change in some way.

But after the last few years of working my ass off to up-level, I’ve realized that whenever haters show up in my world, it’s because I’m on the cusp on something awesome. For me, haters come out of the woodwork when I’m about to push through an old way of being/thinking and achieve a whole new level of success.

Now, rather than see haters as a bad thing or as a sign to retreat, I see it as a sign to PUSH HARDER. To KEEP GOING. To STICK WITH the path I’m on. 

So that’s what I do now. I push through. I keep doing what I’m doing. I commit, in that moment, to NOT letting it get to me, to NOT giving in and to NOT being deterred.

Because that’s what the haters want. They want to stop you, to drag you down with their bullshit. But the thing you need to always, always, always remember about haters is this: it’s NEVER about you. It’s ALWAYS about them.

Sure, maybe there’s something about you or something you’re saying or doing that’s pushing their buttons and causing them to feel reactive. But, again, that has nothing to do with you and everything do with them.

When I get haters (and I get them often these days), I do the following:

  • Avoid reacting to them, as much as possible–yes, sometimes it’s impossible and a hater has said something so ridiculous and unnecessary that you have to write back, reply and tear them a new one. BUT most of the time haters are just a test from the Universe to see if you’ve really got what it takes to do this writing thing for real. So by not reacting, you’re pissing the hater off more AND showing the Universe you’re ready to go pro.
  • Write my reality–even when I know the things a hater is saying are totally wrong and not at all valid, that shit still gets into your head. It still nags at you and irritates you and annoys you to no end. BUT most writers would let that spin into complaining and the total ruination of their day (it’s happened to me before). Talk about an energy drain. So what I do now, is take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, let it out slowly and then I grab my journal and write out the reality I want to create. I write out who I am, what I stand for and what I want to see happen. Mindset work–especially in the face of a hater–is the most powerful tool for overcoming whatever negativity is being spewed at you.
  • Dance–sometimes to “Shake It Off” and sometimes to whatever song feels right in the moment (this morning that song was “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow). Dancing always gets me out of my head and into a flow state.

Haters are gonna happen. How you deal with them is what really matters. 

2. Feeling Really, Really, Really Good

For me, feeling really good is now the norm. It’s how I choose to live my life. It’s the intention I set for my day, every day.

Problem is, as humans, we’re taught BS things like, “what goes up must come down” and “don’t be too happy or you’ll be crying later.” We “knock on wood” when something good happens because we’re afraid that if we don’t, something bad will follow.

We’re taught by the people we love most that feeling good and having good stuff happen is a fluke, but not the norm. And so we actually believe that shit. We actually take it in and believe it.

I can’t even count how many times in my life I’ve had good stuff happen and then immediately my thoughts went to, “Be careful, something bad is always on the tail of something good.” What???!!

Say it with me now… THAT IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!

You are allowed to feel good. All the time. Good things are supposed to happen to you. You were born into an abundant universe where anything is possible when you set your mind to it. 

So feeling good SHOULD BE the NORM. It should not be a fluke and you should not feel like you “got lucky.”

Happiness, joy, feeling fucking amazing is YOUR BIRTH RIGHT.

But it’s up to YOU to claim it. To decide that you’re going to feel good every single day, no matter what.

For me, when I’ve had too many days in a row where things are working out or I’m feeling really, really, good and really really happy and really, really loving my life, I usually sabotage it. Find a way to do something that will push me back down in the dumps or make me feel bad again.

That’s just how it is…right?

WRONG!

When I realized that wasn’t “just how it is” but instead was “just a choice I was making,” I decided to make the opposite choice. Now when I have days where I feel awesome and weeks where everything is flowing and success is literally just falling in my lap, I do the following:

  • Repeat life truths over and over to myself–“I am allowed to feel good. I am allowed to keep this good feeling going. Bad stuff cannot touch me when I am feeling this good. THIS is how it’s supposed to be. This is what I’m meant to feel. And, most importantly, it is OK for me to feel good and to be happy every day.” Doing this immediately changes my way of thinking and shifts me to a higher vibration where I am actually able to keep the good feeling flowing.
  • Focus, focus, focus on what’s going well–when things go well, a lot of times we sabotage it by turning to the negative and telling ourselves all the things that could go wrong or worrying about what might go wrong. This is when you must have an unbreakable mindset and force yourself to IGNORE all the bad stuff that could happen and all of the worry and just stay focused on the good stuff and on what you want to create and on what could go right. What you focus on expands.

When I’m feeling really good, I know it’s because I’m on the right path and that I have arrived at a new level. And I know the success I’m starting to see will keep going and will expand even further if I just stick with it and don’t get deterred by haters or by feeling good or anything else.

 

Now sometimes you may feel like you’re on the wrong path because “nothing is working out” or “it’s not working out fast enough.” And I get it, believe me. I am the Queen of Impatience. (I wanted to get to where I am right now like 5 years ago, so by this point I could be where I actually will be 5 years from now.)

But success requires patience. (As one of my favorite musicians, Tom Petty, says, “The waiting is the hardest part.“)

So even when things aren’t totally working out, if you’re seeing some signs of success, then you’re doing something right. Just keep going.

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You Can Have Any Writing Life You Dream Of, But…

Every writer I come across has big dreams. Not all of them will admit to it. Some will tell you they just want to write and publish a book for themselves, so they can say that they did it and if they never sell a single copy, that’s OK.

But you can see a fire behind their eyes when they talk about it. You can tell there’s a whole lot buried in there that wants to come out and see the light of day.

Except you’ll never see it, because some writers just aren’t willing to step up and claim what they want.

But you’re not one of those writers. I know this, because if you were, you wouldn’t be here right now reading this.

No, you’re a writer who has big dreams. Who wants to be a New York Times bestseller and see your novels turned into movies on the big-screen with big-time Hollywood actors playing your Protagonist, Antagonist and love interest. And you’ll get to help with the script and have a cameo in the movie, as well as walk the red carpet at all of the movie premieres all around the world.

Or maybe it’s just me?

Either way, here’s one thing I know: you can have ANY writing life you want. ANY.

If you want the kind of writing life where writing is a hobby and you keep your day job, you can have that. If you want to write full time, you can do that. If you want a writing life as massive as someone, like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you can have that too. (Yes, REALLY).

It just comes down to a few things:

  1. Are you willing to believe it? Belief is the number one thing needed to make a dream come true. If you don’t believe or can’t believe in the writing dream you want for yourself, it will never happen.
  2. Are you willing to show up every day and do the work? If you’re not, you’ll never have the writing life you dream of, and I can tell you that with one-hundred percent certainty. Dream all you want, but when it’s all said and done, the successful writers are putting in the work, day in and day out.
  3. Are you willing to write your own rules and create your own reality? An important question, because if you’re not (and that’s OK), it’s gonna be pretty tough to achieve the dream writing life. And the reason is you’ll get stopped by or stuck in the societal norms of being a writer that tell you things like, you can’t make money; being a writer is a hobby, not a real job; writing is hard and takes a long time to be successful at; you’ll never make it to #1…whatever limited things you believe right now. Those things will hold you back and keep you from the success you really dream of. So you have to be willing to step outside what other writers believe and create a new normal for yourself.

Hey, if it was easy to have the dream writing life, everyone would have it. It takes work–both internal and external–to make it happen.

But it CAN happen.

Literally anything is possible in today’s world, so long as you believe it is and then act like it every single day. 

And just ’cause I love examples, here’s one for ya: let’s say you want to sell 50 books a month. That means you need to find 50 people a month wiling to pay money in exchange for your book. As long as the book is available digitally and easy to access (like on Amazon or BN.com), it can totally happen. And pretty quickly, depending on the work you put in.

There are billions and billions of people in this world. A very large percentage of those people are online. And you only need to find 50 of them. Fifty out of billions and billions? Seems pretty doable, doesn’t it?

And that’s the thing I love the most about being an authorpreneur in the digital age. The internet has dropped all barriers between the creator and the consumer and you can connect with people from all over the world and sell your books, services, products, etc. to the people who want and need them most.

This puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you total control of your writing destiny–where you end up and what you create along the way. Empowering, isn’t it? Kinda makes you want to sit your ass in a chair and write something right-freaking-now.

So it’s true, you really can have whatever writing life you dream of. But you’ve gotta believe it and act on it every single day.

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Featured image courtesy of LassenNPS 

I’m Totally Selfish With My Time And Here’s Why You Should Be Too

Being a professional writer and authorpreneur is tough. For more reasons than one.

But one of the biggest reasons it’s tough is because in order to do it successfully, you have to be really freaking selfish with your time.

And most people won’t get this. Most people won’t understand and will think you’re a workaholic or that you only care about work.

Most people aren’t living life on purpose or with any kind of mission or intention. They’re just floating along letting stuff happen to them and then reacting to it, complaining mostly, and continuing to live in Mediocre-Life Land.

But I’m different.

I have a plan, a dream. I have goals for my writing life that are so big they scare the shit out of me 99 percent of the time.

And yet I press on.

I keep showing up and doing the work and playing the game. I live with intention, purpose. I am fueled by passion and my message. I’m insanely ambitious and unwilling to accept anything but my dream life.

And I’m really freaking selfish about my time. I spend most of my day in front of my Macbook. Pretty much every day. (Although I try to take Saturdays off and maybe even part of the day on Sunday).

jen_13Yeah, it’s because I’m a workaholic. But it’s also because it doesn’t feel like work to me. It feels like play. It feels like I get to have recess all day, every day.

What could be better than that?

And even on the toughest days I still walk away feeling fulfilled and like I made shit happen. When I go to bed I’m accomplished and super hungry for more.

How many people can really say that about their lives and mean it?

Living the writing life, the creative life, is not for everyone. I’m guessing since you’re here with me, you resonate with this. You want more for your writing life and you know that you can have it if you do the work and stay focused.

And that’s great. It’s awesome.

Now you’ve gotta prove it–to yourself more than anyone else (I don’t believe in proving things to other people). Now you’ve gotta step up and do the work.

And it starts with being selfish with your time.

That’s not to say you don’t have a family life or a social life, you can have all of those things and more. But the biggest focus needs to be on doing the work, on taking the action to make your dream happen.

When it’s not, you’ll find yourself getting cranky because there’s a desire burning inside you, but you’re not seeing results. That used to happen to me a lot, until I finally committed to being the writer and author I dream of being.

Now I show up and I do the work, every day. I lock myself in my writing room or I leave the apartment and go to Starbucks or to my husband’s band room where I have no internet access, and I get shit done.

When people call themselves writers but then tell me they’ve gone months without writing a single word it kinda blows my mind. That’d be like calling yourself a gym rat and yet you haven’t gone to the gym in years.

Not gonna cut it.

Professional writers and authorpreneurs don’t take months or years off. Hell, many don’t even take weeks or days off.

It’s not because they don’t need a break (everyone does from time-to-time), it’s because they’re so driven by the passion and the desire to put words on the page that they can’t not. Taking a day off is like torture to their souls.

The ideas start piling up and soon they feel like exploding.

Or maybe it’s just me?

I write every day, because I can’t not write. When I don’t write, when I don’t create, I feel dead, like I’m just occupying space.

So that’s why I’m selfish with my time. That’s why I go out of my way to avoid people and events as often as I can in favor of getting to spend time alone with my Macbook.

Deranged, I know.

Most people don’t get it and won’t ever get it, and I’m OK with that.

I chose the creative life, the writing life, and everything that comes with it.

And I choose it every day, over and over again. Because success is a daily practice.

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