P.S. If you’re ready to do what you love and create a daily habit around it, be sure to check out the recording of my Writing Life Rehab workshop. It’s available until 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight for the same price as the live workshop (price doubles at midnight!!).
1. Decide What You Want
2. Tell Yourself How You Want It to Be
3. Bring On the Gratitude
4. See It As Normal
5. Keep Going
A life coach that I follow online once posted something on Facebook where she talked about the kinds of music people listen to. She said if your life is awesome and you’re happy, you most likely listen to upbeat, festival-type music that’s peppy and has positive lyrics. But if you’re listening to country music, for example, or music with not so happy lyrics, that could actually be why your life isn’t working as well as it could.
And I get what she was saying with this—that you attract things to your life based on how you think and speak. I agree with that and whole-heartedly believe it and live it.
What I disagreed with is the idea that just because a song has negative lyrics that means listening to it or singing along with it would cause your life to be negative too.
I listen to rock music (mostly from the grunge era), and if you know anything about rock music, the lyrics aren’t exactly peppy. Usually the lyrics are angry or expressing a negative emotion or experience.
But that doesn’t mean my life is negative. The exact opposite, in fact. My life is always better when I’m listening to the music that makes my soul happy.
Grunge rock does that for me. It brings me back to a simpler time in life when I was growing up and falling in love with music for the first time (as I’ve fallen in love with music many times over the years).
That always evokes a happy feeling in me. And singing the words out loud—even negative words—helps me amp that happy feeling up even more.
It has often been said that words have power. And they absolutely do. But where the power really comes from isn’t just from the words being used.
It’s the feeling behind the words. The feeling is what makes the words powerful.
When you say, “I hate you” there’s a feeling behind those words. When you say, “I’m not good enough,” there’s a feeling behind those words. And the feeling that’s behind the words is what really matters.
Because you can say the words, “I’m happy,” but if you’re not actually feeling happy inside, the words don’t have the same power as when you say, “I’m happy,” and actually are.
The whole thing with law of attraction and manifesting the things you want in your life, is that words matter. But they don’t matter as much as feelings.
Feelings are actually the biggest deciding factor in what manifests. Because feelings create energy—either positive or negative. And energy is what attracts things.
Which means the lyrics of the music you listen to—or the words you speak—only matter if they’re creating a bad feeling in you.
Example… when you’re young and you get your heart broken for the first time, you listen to all those sappy love songs that make you think about the one who got away. That is when music and lyrics are causing negative energy and negative things to manifest. Because your focus is on lack and being not enough and feeling bad.
But if you have a playlist that you love to sing to and that brings a feeling of joy to you, for example, then no matter what the lyrics say, you will feel good. And the feeling good creates good energy that attracts positive things.
This distinction is MASSIVELY important. It could just change your whole life.
For a long time I worried about the words I was singing out loud as I sang along to my favorite songs. Or the words I’d say by default because of my subconscious programming. But now I know better.
It’s the feelings that matter, not the words.
And yeah, it’s true that some words just come with certain feelings. So if you’re saying “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do that,” it’s very likely that’s what you’ll experience in your reality and attract to your life (more situations where you feel that way).
But when you’re feeling amazing inside, you can say the words, “I’m not good enough” and they won’t even penetrate you, because you’ll feel so deeply in the moment that they’re not true.
This same thing applies to thoughts.
Law of attraction says that whatever you think about you will attract to your life. And again, I don’t disagree with this. But there’s a distinction to be made, because it’s not about the specific thoughts.
It’s about the feelings that the thoughts create.
And yes, certain thoughts will come with certain feelings, good and bad. But you have the power. Power that extends far past the words you’re hearing in your head.
You have the power to create whatever feelings you want to feel. All day every day.
Now that’s not to say you won’t have life chaos happen that tries to change how you’re feeling, you will. But if you don’t let it get to you, and you keep that happy, positive feeling inside, then no matter what happens it won’t penetrate you.
I create the happy, positive, empowering feelings that I want to feel every single day by doing my daily mindset practice, which includes freestyle journaling to get the crap out of my head, then writing affirmations declaring who I am and that my dream life is already real, and then I finish up with 5-7 minutes of visualization where I walk myself through my ideal day, weaving in as much of my dream stuff as I can (like the car I want to drive, where I want to live, the kind of activities I do, etc).
Those feelings then carry themselves into my day. And so long as I don’t allow anything else to change those feelings (yes, it IS a choice to allow something to affect you), they stay with me all day long.
This took some time to build up to. In the beginning I’d feel the good feelings for a little while and then life chaos or worry would take over and I’d be back to feeling bad. But I just kept working on it.
At one point, I was doing 2+ hours of mindset work a day. Sometimes I still do. And every minute has been worth it.
My daily mindset practice has helped me to focus my mind and get my emotions in check, so I can go through my day feeling great and manifesting great things as a result of feeling that way.
And when I’m feeling like that, no negative lyric (or thought) in the world can change it 🙂
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. It’s the FINAL DAYS to join my upcoming workshop—FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30-days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration, accountability and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel (draft or revision) and want to FINISH. We start April 1 (that’s Saturday!!).
And… I’ve added a new EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN! Because I want to make it super easy for you to say HELL YES and join us!
This workshop is perfect for you if you’re sick of never finishing or sick of taking so long to finish and you just want to get your damn novel (draft or revision) FINISHED so you can finally move on to the next step in the process.
I’ll be revising my novel along with you over the 30 days, as well as sending you daily motivational emails, doing livestreams throughout each week in the private workshop Facebook group to keep you moving along and overcoming all the stuff that tries to get in the way of you finishing (stuff like, life chaos, doubt, procrastination, Resistance, and more).
When it comes to being a writer (and a creative person in general), there are societal “rules” that will automatically be placed on you. Rules like, it has to be hard work, if you’re not working hard you’re not really earning it, you have to pay your dues and work your way up from the bottom and you can’t make a full-time living as a writer.
These rules are generally considered to be true by most of society, including a whole lot of writers. But that doesn’t mean you have to play by them.
You create your own reality and you do it with your beliefs, your thoughts and your actions. So that means you can create whatever reality you want to live in, including one where all of these bullshit societal norms do not apply.
You can choose to create a reality where you get to make up the rules and you get to decide what it’s like for you as a writer.
Here are 6 ways to do that:
1. Decide What You Want Your Reality to Look Like
This is the super-fun part. You get to make up what you want your reality to be like, look like and feel like. Because you create your own reality with your thoughts.
But before you can create what you want, you have to first get really clear on what that is (otherwise you might doom yourself to having default success). The clearer you are, the better.
The easiest way to get clear is to grab your journal and write down what you want your life to look like in every area: your writing life, money, relationships, possessions, your body, your health, your hobbies, whatever areas are important to you. Write about your dream life as if it’s already happening right now.
2. Choose the “New Normal” You Will Live By
Now that you’re clear on what you want your life to be like, it’s time to set the rules for your new normal. Right now you’re living life based on societal norms, telling you things that are unsupportive of the dreams and goals you have for your writing life.
It’s time to buck that by instead creating the rules that you will live by, regardless of what everyone around you is doing (and I’m not talking about breaking actual real laws, like the kind that will put you in jail).
Here’s what I mean by creating new rules: if everyone in the writing world beliefs that “it takes years of hard work to write a good book,” you can decide not to live by that “rule.” You can decide that you can write a good book in one year, with ease.
Crazy? Maybe. But doesn’t it feel so much more inspiring and motivating to live by that rule? Doesn’t that rule open up so much more possibility?
Now, of course, there are specific actions you’d need to take to make that rule actually work (like mastering craft, hiring a story development coach, writing the book, hiring an editor, finding some Beta Readers, doing the revision work, etc). But it’s absolutely possible for you to write a good book in a year.
And it doesn’t have to be hard, either. You can decide that it will be easy (that, again, comes with specific actions, like hiring help to make it easier for you).
The point being, whatever you want your new normal to be, it can be. But you have to choose it and then step into it. You can’t just choose it and then keep doing the stuff you were doing before, hoping it will work.
You have to choose it and step into it.
3. Commit to It and Be Consistent
The next thing you have to do after you step into it is commit to it. You must commit to having it exactly as you want it, no matter what it takes.
And committing also means being consistent with it. Because it’s not gonna happen overnight. It will take time for it to manifest in your physical world.
The commitment and the consistency are what help it show up faster.
4. Don’t Stop, Ever
This goes hand-in-hand with number three, because at first your new normal will only be in your mind and on paper, but it won’t have fully shown up in your physical world. For this reason, most people who start to defy societal norms and ways of thinking will turn back soon after they’ve left the shore.
Because “nothing is happening.”
The funny thing is, there is more happening in the “unseen” that you can ever even begin to imagine. But to bring it forward to your physical reality, you have to show up, do the work, be consistent and keep going until what you want to see actually manifests, physically.
Think of it like a seed. When you plant a seed it takes weeks, sometimes months, before you see signs of life. Every day you look at your little cup of dirt and see nothing. Nothing is sprouting. All the watering and sunlight is for nothing.
But what you don’t see are all the roots growing under the soil, grabbing on and taking hold so that when the plant does finally pop through, it will have a foundation in place to actually stick around.
Same with creating your new normal. It takes time. When you start doing the “write your reality” exercise, you’ll feel things starting to shift internally before you’ll see the results in your physical world.
Let the internal feelings and shifts be enough for right now. If you keep it up, the rest will follow. I promise you.
5. Ignore Everything Around You That Doesn’t Match This
Another tough one. Because when you’re not seeing stuff happening in your real life, you may start to worry that it’s “not working.” Or, some things you’d generally consider to be negative might start showing up, and then you’ll freak out and really think it’s not working.
Just know there is a “clearing out” period that comes with any big transition. Right now you’re up-leveling your new normal, and that will come with growing pains.
You have to stay focused on the big vision and know that it will show up, and right now everything in your life is just realigning itself with the new normal you’re asking for.
Back at the end of 2014, I made the decision to give up freelance writing in order to focus 100 percent on story development coaching. It was a very scary choice for me, because at the time freelance money made up the biggest percentage of my income.
But I hated freelance writing. I hated being told what to write about. I wanted to have full control of my time and my writing.
So I made the decision to let it go and to focus on story coaching. And not only did I make the decision, but then I declared it to the Universe (out loud, to my coach, and on paper).
Before I could even start taking action on it, something crazy happened.
I lost my high-paying freelance gig. The company decided they wanted to save money by bringing the position in-house and so they ended my contract. I had one payment left from them and then I was on my own (although I’ll add we’re never really “on our own”).
Fucking scary. Especially because that project was bringing in the money I needed to pay for my bills and living expenses for the month.
And then even scarier, a long-time client I’d be working on a nonfiction book project with decided he wanted to take his business in a new direction and he was going to shelve working on his book for a while.
It was like the rug got pulled out from under me, twice. All the consistent work I had was falling apart. I wanted to cry.
But I held tight. I reached out to my support system (my coach, my accountability partner) and they talked me off the ledge of panic.
I stuck with it. And literally the same night my client and I parted ways, I received an email from someone who wanted to sign up for my 90-day program and get help writing his first novel. This told me that my new normal was already in play, and all I had to do was keep going.
Without even taking much action apart from making the decision to give up freelance and focus on fiction coaching, and then declaring it to the Universe, my life started rearranging itself to match what I was asking for.
Growing pains. Time-gaps. It’s gonna happen. Hold tight to the big vision and trust that when you show up and do your part, the Universe will show up to support you in making it happen.
6. Expect It to Show Up
This might be the hardest one, especially for writers who a lot of times tend to be very skeptical and overanalyze everything. This step is really about having faith. Not religious faith (unless that appeals to you), but faith in the Universal law of “like attracts like.”
If you’re putting something positive out there, you will get something positive back. That’s what like attracts like means.
That’s why writers who bitch and complain about how hard it is and how many hours they’re putting in and seeing very little result from or whatever they’re bitching about, you can see what shows up for them. Writer’s Block. Excuses. Life-chaos that distracts them from doing the writing. Procrastination.
And with an attitude like that, it doesn’t matter if they put in 10 hours of work a day, it still won’t make a difference.
Because they’re not aligned with the success they want to have. They’re playing by societal norms and having those same results show up for them.
It doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to give up your whole life and just write. You don’t have to spend 5 hours a day writing.
I wrote my #1 bestselling Amazon book in 15-30 minute blocks of time over a 30-day period. I no longer buy into the belief that it has to be hard or take a ton of time. I live by a new normal and I’m flourishing.
You get to choose. You get to decide which societal norms you apply and which you defy. And it’s OK if the writers around you follow different “rules.”
You don’t have to live in their realities.
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Which of these steps are you going to act on right now?