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The Pro Writer Mindset, ep. 9: An Interview with Gwenda and Christine from Your Hidden Mind

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Guest Bio

 

Gwenda Phillips and Christine Phillips, co-founders of Your Hidden Mind. Your Hidden Mind is a fun, daily online system that you can use for yourself to change your behaviors, create peace of mind and happiness.

The system was created by Christine and her husband, Brian Phillips, based on their wealth of life experiences and observation of human behavior from over 40 years in education, fitness, health, leadership and the military around the world, in helping people find what really drives them, and equally, their potential.

Gwenda is the researcher behind the system, she’s responsible for the comprehensive research into the neuroscience of memory reconsolidation, which supports the core reasoning behind the system, and working with psychologists to help people understand what’s happening in the brain when they are using the system to rewire historical thoughts.

It was these broad and varied life experiences across so many cultures that has enabled them to help so many people to learn to observe their own behavior and find out what really drives them. Most importantly, this is what has enabled them to develop this system of effortless self-insight and to write the massive amount of self-reflective articles to trigger unconscious drivers and in the process allow the mind to get closure.

Show Notes

I had the pleasure of meeting Gwenda Phillips last December when we both participated in a mastermind event in Aspen. That’s when I was first introduced to Your Hidden Mind. Gwenda raved so much about it that in January of 2017, I decided to take it on and give it a try.

I used the Your Hidden Mind system pretty much daily for six months+ and I found that my productivity has been on fire, I’ve gotten clearer and clearer on what I really want in my life and I’ve let go of a lot of baggage I used to carry around in my head and heart.

I’m super pumped for you to hear this interview! Not only did we talk about why it’s so important to work on your mindset, but Christine even gave us a sample of how to activate your hidden mind (aka: your subconscious mind) so you can rewire your brain to think differently (which, as you know, is right up my alley!!).

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • Our memories are what program our behaviors–this is a total reframe from how we typically think about our habits.
  • You can ‘listen’ your way to better productivity–overcoming procrastination is a big goal for a lot of us, so it was pretty cool to discover that you can actually “listen” your way to becoming motivated and productive.

Be sure to check out the Your Hidden Mind system at: YourHiddenMind.com

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.

The Pro Writer Mindset, ep. 8: An Interview with Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike.com

Listen on  iTunes or Stitcher

Guest Bio

Emilie Wapnick is a writer, career coach, blogger, and community leader. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University.

Emilie’s TED talk has been viewed over 3.7 million times, and has been translated into 36 languages. She’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Financial Times, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Lifehacker. Her book How to Be Everything: a Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up, comes out with HarperCollins in May 2017.

Show Notes

I was super excited to interview Emilie for this episode. We’ve known each other online for 6+ years now, and she’s the person I credit with my decision to embrace my multi-passionate nature and stop seeing it as a bad thing.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • Check out The Unconventional Guide to Publishing–Emilie highly recommended you check out author Chris Guillebeau’s guide, regardless of if you want to traditionally publish or self-publish
  • Write a strong book proposal–Emilie said a big part of how she got her agent and publisher was having a very strong book proposal that allowed her to really showcase the idea and why it deserved to be a book.
  • Build relationships–not unlike online marketing, building relationships is super helpful for when you’re trying to get an agent; Emilie found her agent via an author-friend with an agent.

Be sure to check out Emilie’s book, How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.

The Side of Success You’re Most Likely Ignoring

I spend a lot of time with creative people—both online and in person—and one of the commonalities I find is this: struggle.
 
Creative people, for the most part, have a belief that being successful as an artist and creator is a struggle. That it has to be hard.
 
And that’s why, for so many creatives, it is. It’s a struggle and it’s hard.
 
No one is paying attention. No one is interested. No one is buying.
 
Those are the complaints I hear creative people speaking on a regular basis. But here’s the problem… and it’s two-fold.
 
First, so what? You either want it or you don’t. You’re either in it for the long-haul or you’re not. If you’re not, or if you have a backup plan, you might as well call it quits now. And if you are, then shut up and do the work.
 
Being creative is awesome and it’s the thing that drives us, but it’s not enough. You can’t just be creative. You also have to learn the business side of being a creative.
 
At least if you intend on making a living out of it.
 
If you don’t want to make a living out of it, that’s fine too. No one says you have to be a professional creative. But you wouldn’t be reading this post right now if you just wanted a side project.
 
You’re reading it because you want to make a living from your creative gifts. Because you need to. There’s this nagging pull inside you that says this is the only thing you can ever really do with your life.
 
Sure, you may try to do other things to keep yourself a float, but you always come back to the creative stuff. That’s the stuff that drives you. It’s the stuff that makes you get out of bed in the morning.
 
And making it your full-time thing is a dream you’ve had, pretty much forever.
 
So you grind and you struggle and you do the work. Sometimes. Other times you get caught up in your current reality that says it’s not working. Nothing is happening. You just keep getting rejected or hitting dead-ends.
 
And so you don’t bother to do the work. You stop being consistent and you stop caring. No one else does, so why the hell should you?
 
But then you look around you and see all these other creative people making it happen. Many of them you’d consider to be a lot less talented than you are. And it drives you insane!! Because you just keep thinking… that should be me.
 
I should be the one with the deal. I’m the one who should be featured in front of the masses. I’m the one who should be quitting my job to go full-time with my creative life.
 
Yet it’s happening for others, but not for me.
 
Then you start to tell yourself the same ‘old stories… they must be lucky. They must have rich parents who paid their way. Life is working against me. Maybe I’m just kidding myself. I must be doing something wrong. I must not deserve it. I must not have worked hard enough yet or struggled for long enough yet.
 
And it goes on like this for years.
 
When you start to build up some consistency and are starting to see little hints of success, you suddenly sabotage it by continuing to look around and declare that it’s not working and then you stop being consistent and doing the work… because no one is paying attention, no one is buying anything, and it’s not working anyhow.
 
It’s tough, this being a creative, thing.
 
But what if there was a better way? What if there was a way to guarantee your success?
 
This brings me to the second part of the two-fold problem with creatives: there’s a side of creating success that you don’t know about (or maybe you do know about it, but you’re not paying it any attention).
 
The metaphysical side.
 
And not knowing about—or paying attention to—this side of creating success is the reason why you’re not seeing the results you want yet or why things feel like such a fucking struggle.

The metaphysical side is the stuff you can’t always see, but that are in play 24/7/365: your mindset. Your beliefs. Your habits. Your consistency. Your commitment to doing the things that matter, every single day, no excuses (even when you don’t feel like it and even when you think it’s not working). Your willingness to do battle with creative Resistance and doubt and fear and self-sabotage, and finding a way to push through and keep going anyhow.

The truth is, THIS is the stuff that matters the MOST when it comes to creating success. Yes, you have to do the physical actions part. Without that nothing works.
 
And yeah, you could choose to do the creative thing only paying attention to the physical reality that you see around you to give you direction and tell you what to do next.
 
But you’d be choosing struggle. You’d be choosing difficulty. You’d be choosing lack and limitation.
 
And there will always be a better way. A better way that is totally in your control and that you can design and create EXACTLY how you want it to be.
 
You’ll still work your ass off. There’s no way around that.
 
But it won’t feel hard. And it won’t be a struggle. Everything will just happen with ease and flow, like it’s naturally supposed to.
 
The truth is creative humans fuck it up for themselves, because we get in our own way so damn much. And then we’re too damn stubborn to throw in the towel on struggle and choose the easier path, because we’ve been programmed to believe that the creative path is struggle.
 
So even though the easy path looks so good and sounds so good, we can’t bring ourselves to choose it, because we’ve convinced ourselves doing that would mean we didn’t really earn it.
 
Creatives are a stubborn bunch.
 
I used to think and feel the exact same way. Used to procrastinate and tell myself that’s just how it is. Used to be inconsistent with my writing and my marketing and I’d just blame it on my job at the time or make excuses about life getting in the way.
 
And I even accepted all of the bullshit stories and told myself that it was OK.
 
Until I finally woke up one day and decided, you know what, I don’t want to struggle anymore. I don’t want to hold myself back anymore. I don’t want to have the same shitty, mediocre existence that so many other creatives have because they’re continuing to tell themselves bullshit stories about “what’s true for them” and refusing to choose the easy path.
 
I committed myself to the easy path. To a life where I get to be me and write and create what i want to, all day, every day, AND get paid for it.
 
Committing to the easy path and choosing to give up struggle didn’t come with a silver platter. It came with a massive responsibility.
 
To show up every day. Even when I don’t feel like it. To work on my mindset. DAILY. To create daily habits that support my success. To be consistent. To put first things first. To be disciplined enough to do what matters, every single day, even if that means sacrificing other things. And to no longer accept excuses from myself.
 
It’s a lot of work to be successful. But it doesn’t have to be hard.
 
So you can continue to tell yourself that it’s a struggle and that you just have to keep on manipulating things in your physical reality to try and make something work (UGH!! It’s SO HARD!!!)
 
Or you can choose to tend to the metaphysical side of creating success, and deal with your inner bullshit—the patterns and the BS stories you’re still telling yourself about who you are or how the world works—and figure out what actually matters and actually moves the needle in your creative work and commit to doing that stuff first things first, every single day, before you do anything else.

Commitment, consistency, doing what matters, putting first things first, creating habits around the most important stuff, and daily mindset work… that’s what it takes to be a successful creative on the easy path.

Are you in?

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What do you need to be putting first things first every day? Share in the comments. 
 
———–

Want to start tending to your metaphysical side of success? Grab a copy of my FREE eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 and start moving in the direction you really want to be going.

What Would You Need To Believe To See The Reality You Want To See?

That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?

Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality. 

So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.

You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.

The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up. 

This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.

But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.

Or it might scare the fuck out of you.

Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

You have to actually take control of yourself and your life. 

The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.

And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.

Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂

Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck. 

HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!

OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.

But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence. 

It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.

So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.

When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:

  • No one I know has ever done this
  • What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
  • Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
  • There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
  • Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?

YUCK!

Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies. 

That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.

When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:

  • Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
  • I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
  • You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
  • There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
  • Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires  them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another

BOOM!

Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies. 

And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.

I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.

And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.

Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.

But what YOU want to think and believe.

That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.

But you knew that already.

What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.

Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it. 

But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.

Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results. 

Want to hear the best part?

You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.

I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)

Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.

Expect miracles. 

 

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What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments. 

———–

Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here

The Responsibility to Write

I woke up this morning, took the dog out, did my journaling and mindset practice… but I didn’t want to write. Right after I finish my journaling is when I usually sit down and write my blog post for the day and then work on some fiction (or whatever book project I have going on).

But today, I didn’t feel like it.

I had nothing to say. I couldn’t think of any ideas. And it’s GORGEOUS out today. It’s a beautiful spring day in Western NY and the temperature is 63. In March!! SO not the usual for us this early in the year. Usually we’re buried in snow for another two months.

But today, it’s beautiful.

Surely this kind of weather in the beginning of March can be an excuse for not doing my writing for the day. I did my writing for the last two days, so I don’t need to do it today.

And besides, I don’t feel like it.

But, wait.

What’s that?

This nagging voice inside… telling me that I need to. That even though I don’t feel like it, it’s my responsibility to sit down to the page and show up. 

Even if I don’t feel like it.

But, UGH!!! I have nothing to say! I’m out of ideas. I’ve written enough this week!

And yet, the voice nags on…

You’re a writer. You were BORN to write. So you have a RESPONSIBILITY to SHOW UP every day and do the writing. 

Writers who are born to write are messengers for the world. They have ideas and stories and stuff inside that needs to be unleashed—that people NEED to hear. And it’s IRRESPONSIBLE and WRONG to keep that stuff to yourself. To hoard it and not bring it out into the world where it rightly belongs. 

Your community, your readers, your people need to hear those stories, those ideas, those messages. They’re waiting to hear them. Waiting for the moment when you come along and write something that changes their lives. That makes them think. That entertains them. That causes them to wake up and take action in their own lives because they’re so inspired, motivated and blown away by that little piece of writing you put out into the world. 

These stories and ideas came to you for a reason. They CHOSE you. 

Because you’re the one who’s meant to channel them from stories and ideas and messages in your head, to words on the page. 

And by NOT writing, you’re doing a disservice to all of the people who need to hear from you. Who wake up and the first thing they do is wonder what you have to say today. Who check their emails every morning, looking for a blog post from you.

Who are DISAPPOINTED when they don’t find one. 

Because your community, your readers, your fans WANT to hear from you. They want to hear what you have to say. They need to hear it. So they can keep going. So they can put one foot in front of the other today. So they can stay focused on their dream life and creating it for themselves.

Are you really going to DENY them of what they need by not writing today?

OK—I get it! Loud and clear.

I must write. I must write every day. I must write and create and unleash what’s inside me. The stories, the ideas, the messages. 

Even when I don’t feel like it.

Even when I don’t have the time.

Even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

I must write. I must write for those who need to hear from me. For those who are motivated, inspired and empowered in their own lives by reading my words.

So I take the dog for a walk and I ask a question, out loud, to the Universe: what does my community need to hear from me today? 

And then we walk. Soon after, a phrase comes to me… the responsibility to write. 

Now I’m getting impatient. Dog—stop smelling everything in sight! We need to get back home so I can write. The words are piling up in my head with every step we take.

Responsibility to write… You must… It’s a non-negotiable when you’re born to write…

Back in the apartment, I sit at my computer, open my doc and let the words flow.

What comes out is this post. This post that I didn’t want to write. That I didn’t even feel like writing.

But I wrote it anyhow. Because that’s what a pro writer does.

And you’re a pro writer, aren’t you?

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How do you get inspired to write when you don’t feel like it?

 

What Stories Are You Telling Yourself?

As writers and storytellers, we’re often thinking about the fictional stories we want to tell and the fictional reality we want to create for our characters. 

But we don’t often think about the fictional stories that we’re telling ourselves. The fictional programming we’ve had since childhood that’s creating our lives and our realities right at this very moment.

While the fictional stories we want to tell are important, what’s more important is the fictional stories we’re telling ourselves.

Because it’s THOSE stories that are causing us to either have it all or have nothing. To love ourselves and our lives or to dislike all of the above.

You may not realize it because it’s a mostly subconscious thing, but there are stories you’ve been telling yourself your entire life—or that you’ve been told your entire life—about the so-called reality of the world and of life and of you.

But here’s the thing… just because you’ve had those stories and told those stories for so long, doesn’t mean you have to keep telling them. Because you don’t.

You can create ANYTHING you set your mind to, and ANYTHING is possible and achievable when your mind believes it is.

ANYTHING!!!

So with that kind of knowledge and that kind of power… what would ever make you think that you have to continue living those old stories that you’re telling yourself? And you know the stories I’m talking about…

  • I’m broke
  • I can’t do this
  • It’s too hard
  • Money is so hard
  • Life is a struggle
  • Writing is a struggle
  • Writers are broke
  • Writers don’t make money
  • Writing isn’t a real career
  • I can’t get paid to do what I love
  • Doing what you love is for retirement
  • I’m fat
  • I’m ugly
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too young
  • I’m not good enough
  • [insert your own BS stories and excuses here]

All of these (and more) are just FICTIONAL STORIES!! They’re made up, bullshit things that you’ve been telling yourself your whole life—or have been told your whole life. BUT—you don’t have to keep CHOOSING to tell this story or to let this programming run in the background of your mind.

You can consciously CHOOSE every single day, to write a new story. To wake the fuck up and realize that you are the only one who creates your reality. YOU. No one else. And no one else has ANY control over you or your life—unless you CHOOSE to give your power and your control over to them.

Life doesn’t happen to you. You DON’T have to live your life just reacting to what’s happening around you.

You can CHOOSE to create the day, week, life, MOMENT that you want to have, right fucking now. You can choose it and you can create it. All you have to do is set your mind to it and not deviate from that thought.

And you do not, do not, DO NOT have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, you shouldn’t. Even if your best friend is doing it. Even if your siblings are doing it. Even if your parents are doing it. Even if every damn person around you is doing it.

That is their choice—and yes, they are making a choice, even subconsciously—to buy into the bullshit. To believe that reality is what’s true and imagination is what’s fictional.

When the TRUTH IS, it’s the OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!

Your thoughts and beliefs are CAUSE, the current reality you see around you is EFFECT. Which means your imagination and thoughts are what’s actually REAL and your reality is FICTION.

Because you can change and shift your reality anytime you CHOOSE to. You can wake up today and think a new thought and create a new, empowering belief, and act in a different way.

Normal people who know me think I’m out of my damn mind. People tell me on a regular basis that I live in La-La Land. And you know what?

I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!!

Because I KNOW what’s true about the Universe that we live in and I KNOW that living in La-La Land is the ONLY WAY to make your dreams a reality.

Yes, you have to take real, practical and consistent action in your actual physical reality, every single day. BUT—if you can get your mind to your destination first (via your imagination), you WILL see the results you want to see.

It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE for you not to. Because THAT’S HOW IT WORKS!!

If you keep showing up, keep directing your mind to where you want it to go, and stay entirely focused on your dreams and on the goals you have for yourself and your life, you will get there. It’s inevitable.

You just have to find a way to IGNORE everything in your current reality that you don’t like, don’t approve of or don’t want to live as a story anymore.

I get up every single morning and spend 30-60 minutes journaling and creating the reality I want to see in my real life. Over and over and over again programming into my mind and into my beliefs what I know and want to be true for me and my life.

Some might call that insanity. I call it using your power to intentionally create the life you want.

I no longer let life’s little BS get to me. Because I know that will always happen, and it’s my perspective, attitude and choice how I respond to it that really matters.

It’s time to release the old stories. Time to figure out what you actually WANT to see and have happen in your life, and then reprogram any thoughts and beliefs that oppose it.

Because it’s totally up to you. And a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Which means you can CHANGE IT anytime you CHOOSE TO.

No, it won’t be easy. But it WILL BE easier than continuing to live a life that makes you miserable, depressed and causes you to wonder if this really is all there is.

I’m here to tell you it’s not. Not even close. Because the reality you currently see around you is just a product of—the EFFECT OF—your previous ways of thinking, believing and acting. And your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ALWAYS in your control.

Really, they’re the only things you need to be in control of. Because once you’re in control of your thoughts, beliefs and actions, you can and you will be able to create absolutely ANYTHING you want for yourself and your life.

Even if what you see in your current reality is a million miles away from where you want to be.

That gap can be filled QUICK when you tune into your inner world and connect with the power of your mind. A current reality that looks dire right now can totally transform in a matter of days—even minutes—when you get your mind in the right place.

Transformation does not have to take years and years of your life. Transformation can happen in an instant—if you’re open to it and believe that it’s possible.

Because that’s what it all comes down to. What do you believe is possible? And not just what do you believe is possible, but what, specifically, do you believe is possible for YOU?

Most people won’t take on the responsibility of caring about how they think, what they believe, how they act and how they feel. They won’t because it’s easier to just keep focusing on the negative stuff and to keep telling yourself the same old BULLSHIT stories that you have up to this point.

It’s EASIER.

But really… is it?

Because living a life of struggle, of lack, of limitation, of NOT ENOUGH is one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever lived through. And it made life SUCK.

What I do now is so much easier. I get up every single day and I journal and I set intentions for my day and my life and for who I am and want to be. And then I do the work, I take action and I show up for my dreams. All the while trusting that it will all work out, because it always does.

Do I have days where I get caught up in my current reality and worrying that I’ve lost my mind thinking that things will ever change for me? You bet. We all do. It’s part of being human.

But I REFUSE to stay stuck in that. I REFUSE to let that take over my mind and all the work I do to keep my focus on my dreams and where I want to go.

I REFUSE to live my old stories of struggle, lack, limitation and not enough anymore. I just flat out fucking refuse.

Why?

Because I’m better than that (and so are you). And I know what’s possible when you believe it is. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it and I’ve lived it.

And that is what I will continue living. A life of ease. Of flow. Of abundance. Of unlimited possibility and potential. A life where dreams come true, success is inevitable, and I can HAVE IT ALL and ON MY TERMS.

That is the life I CHOOSE to create. And so it is.

#DreamLifeOrBust

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What life are YOU choosing to create? What old stories are you telling yourself? What can you let go of right fucking now? I wanna know! Share in the comments.

Pro Writer Mindset Podcast, Ep. 7: An Interview with Author and Story Coach, Devlin Blake

Listen on  iTunes or Stitcher

Guest Bio:

Devlin Blake believes that craft matters and that great stories need structure and rhythm. Learning structure early in her publishing career changed everything for her. And now she coaches emerging horror and suspense writers on everything from craft to pacing to doing away with writers guilt. Devlin is able to write four books a year thanks to the systems she’s created in her writing life. Get free access to her best systems for writing your novel in between work, life and family here.

Show Notes:

I randomly met Devlin Blake one day while I was hanging out in a Facebook group. We bonded over the fact that we’re both story coaches who had our lives and writing careers changed by finding story structure, and now we help other emerging authors with the same thing.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • You can “write” your books faster if you speak them–until I interviewed Devlin I never even considered dictation software, but her success with it has inspired me to give it a try.
  • Your first draft should tell, not show–I loved this advice, because when I write a first draft, it’s often the bare-bones story and not much else. She says that’s a good thing and she believes your first draft should be just the bones of the story, and then when you revise you find places to turn telling into showing.
  • Finding balance with writing, working full-time and having a life–even though I no longer work a traditional day job, this was advice I’d wish I had back when I was still working a job and trying to figure out how to write books and not become a social hermit.

Devlin also runs a free Facebook group for emerging horror and suspense authors. You can join her group here.

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.

The Pro Writer Mindset Podcast, Ep. 6: An Interview with Memoirist Marion Roach Smith

Listen on  iTunes or Stitcher

Guest Bio:

Marion Roach Smith believes that everyone has a story to tell. The author of four books, all of which contain a large degree of memoir, her most recent book is The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing—and Life, an irreverent, quirky, provocative product of the countless memoir classes she has taught for more than a decade.

Under the name Marion Roach, she is the author of The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair; the co-author with famed forensic pathologist Michael Baden, M.D., of Dead Reckoning; and of Another Name for Madness. A former staff member of The New York Times, she has written for The New York Times Magazine, Prevention, The Daily News, Vogue, Newsday, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, Discover, and The Los Angeles Times. Since 1998, she has taught classes in writing memoir and now does so both in person and online. She can be found at MarionRoach.com.

Show Notes:

I had the pleasure of not only hearing Marion speak on memoir writing at the 2016 TRIBE Writers Conference, but I also was lucky enough to sit at a table with her for three days. She is FANTASTIC and has so many incredible insights about writing memoir.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • Memoir is about moments of transition and transcendence–this is one of my favorite pieces of memoir-writing advice Marion shared. I’ve always thought memoir was a genre I’d never touch, and now she has me thinking about writing a memoir (listen to the episode to hear the topic I’m considering!)
  • Write from a place of phobia–I loved hearing her say this, because I’m someone who overcomes fears by facing them head-on.
  • Read above you–rather than reading at the level you’re used to, if you want to learn how to write better, you must read above you, by finding authors who are better writers and studying what they do.

Be sure to check out Marion’s book–The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing and Life, available now! 

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.

Are You Choosing “Thriving Author” Or “Starving Artist?”

So many writers and creative people hold the belief that, “it has to take a long time” and “you’ve gotta pay your dues.” And yeah, it’s also true that A LOT of people hold this belief.

But you know what isn’t true?

That belief. It’s not true. Not even remotely true.

Unless YOU decide that it is.

I’ve decided that 2017 is the year I break six-figures from my book sales. I’ve decided it’s the year I’m going to thrive in my writing career like never before.

Sure, this year has been amazing and I’ve built up some killer momentum. But it’s not enough.

Because I want to blow the ‘starving artist’ mentality OUT OF THE WATER. And, yes, it IS a mentality. One that’s keeping most authors insanely broke and unfulfilled.

But here’s the great part–you can change a mentality. 

You can actively choose the thoughts you think and the beliefs you hold. You can choose to create exactly the writing life you’ve always dreamed of having.

But you have to CHOOSE. Consciously. Actively. Every single day.

You have to decide that you’re not going to accept the ‘starving artist’ mentality as truth for you. You have to decide that you’re going to be an author who THRIVES. 

Yes, it will take time to create this in your physical reality. But it will happen a whole lot faster if you get your mind there first.

And yes, there are people in the world who refuse to see past the limitation that is the ‘starving artist’ mentality. These are the creative people who say things like, “I can’t quit my job and become a full-time writer or I’ll end up living in a cardboard box” or “writing is a hobby” or “one day I’ll make it happen” or “writers are broke” or “it’s just a pipe-dream” or [insert whatever lame excuse you give or have been given for why you can’t thrive as a writer].

Those are the creative people who will never see their full dreams come to fruition. Because it’s impossible to create a big, successful, thriving creative career with a belief like that.

And what’s sad is, just by changing that mindset and by seeing themselves as thriving artists, those same creative people could have a totally different experience.

Because you create your own reality. And you do it with your thoughts, your beliefs and your actions (or inactions). 

So if you’re looking around and you don’t like what you see; if you’re dreaming of being a thriving author, meanwhile you’re still holding a day job and barely making book sales, it’s time for a mindset intervention.

It’s time to go within, dig around, pull out those limiting beliefs–the ones that are stopping you and holding you back–and GET RID OF THEM!!!

And you really don’t even have to dig around. If you want to know what limiting beliefs you currently have, you can find out by doing 2 things:

  1. Looking around you–your reality is a reflection of all that you’ve thought, believed and acted on up to this point.
  2. Start telling yourself new, empowering beliefs–just by doing this, you’ll start to catch all the limiting beliefs because they’ll show up as that negative voice inside that tells you you’re wrong or that you can’t do it, etc., whenever you say the new beliefs.

You really can change your life by changing your thoughts. 

So your choice is to either continue buying into the ‘starving artist’ mentality, and believing that it has to be a struggle, that you have to work insanely hard and pay your dues, and that even if you do eventually make it, you’ll be lucky to earn low five-figures a year from your creative work.

OR, you can tell yourself something different.

You can tell yourself that you make millions from your books. And that you quit your job and become a full-time writer who thrives and has more than enough, always. And that your books hit the NY Times Best Seller list and get turned into Hollywood movies. (‘Cause that’s what you’re really dreaming of, right?)

Which one inspires you? Which ones makes you feel better? Which one motivates you to take action?

Exactly. The thriving artist version.

And when it all comes down to it, it’s just a perspective. If you choose to believe in ‘starving artists,’ then that’s what you’re going to find in your experience. And if you choose to believe in ‘thriving artists,’ then that’s what you’re going to find in your experience.

The reality you choose to experience is totally up to you. 

For example, a few months ago I decided that I’m well-known in the writing industry and that big-name people contact me and want to partner with me and work with me. I decided that my podcast is a must-listen for writers everywhere and that big-name people want to be interviewed by me.

This past weekend, I booked a big-name guest for my podcast AND I got contacted by a big-name author who wanted to talk to me about how we can help each other out.

Your reality is what you decide it’s gonna be. So decide you’re going to be a thriving author and you will be.

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Do you choose “starving artist” or “thriving author?” Declare it in the comments! 

———–
Are you ready to drop the ‘starving artist’ mentality and learn how to sell more books? Check out the masterclass I’m hosting: www.jenniferblanchard.net/sellmorebooks

The Pro Writer Mindset Podcast, Episode 4: An Interview with Kindlepreneur Founder, Dave Chesson

You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

Guest Bio:

Dave Chesson is an 11-year veteran of the Navy and the founder of Kindlepreneur.com, a site that provides Kindle authors with the tools they need to help more readers find their books.

Show Notes:

I met Dave at Jeff Goins’ TRIBE Writers Conference, and right away knew he was someone I needed to talk to for this podcast. He not only runs a popular website that helps Kindle authors find more readers, but he’s also a best selling author himself, and has created a successful business where he now gets to work at home and hang with his kids.

In other words, he’s freaking awesome.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • Amazon keywords don’t just work for nonfiction books–fiction authors can also take advantage of keywords to help more readers find their books
  • When you search for keywords on Amazon, you should use “incognito mode” on the Chrome browser, so Amazon doesn’t know it’s you searching (apparently if Amazon knows it’s you, it skews the search results and shows you different stuff than if it’s someone else searching)
  • You can use the same keywords from Amazon to create your Facebook ad copy, which can help you convert readers into book buyers

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.