I Think I Learned As Much From This As The Students Did

I presented a 4-day novel development intensive alongside my mentor and story coach, Larry Brooks on April 3-7. This epic event was known as Your Story On Steroids. Twenty-six students showed up to the event, ready to learn, improve and grow.

But I think it was me who transformed the most. (Although we did end up changing a lot of writer’s lives too.)

Because as the days rolled on, I realized something: there are writers out there who are willing to bet on themselves and willing to step up and invest in the education and support they need to be successful. There are writers out there willing to be totally unstoppable and do whatever it takes. 

There are writers out there who are open to learning and getting feedback and actually using that feedback to improve their stories.

From the interactions with participants and having the incredible opportunity to work with and learn from Larry Brooks, I grew as a student of story and as a story coach. 

Your Story On Steroids Retreat April 2016

[on left] Evening 1: Getting everything all set up and ready for the 26 emerging novelists who were joining us for the event. [top right] Yep–Weiland (and my hubs) traveled with me across the country to hang out at the Benson Hotel while I presented YSOS with Larry. [bottom right] Larry and me!! It was so friggin’ exciting to finally meet him in person after working together virtually since 2009.

Being part of this event made me realize that I want this level of educating writers on story craft. I want to be known in the industry as a kick-ass story coach and bestselling author, just like Larry is. 
And that’s going to take a whole new level of commitment and taking action on my part. (Just a little something I’m working on right now.) 
Here are the ways I’ve stepped up my game since the event ended:
  • Created a new Instagram-only video series called “15 Seconds of Story.” I’ll be sharing quick, bite-sized tips about writing better novels. (I just posted the first one yesterday!) You can follow me on Instagram here.
  • Committed to taking action daily (I’m following a list known as the “Daily Fucking Actions Checklist”–because it’s so intense)
  • Started connecting with podcasters (I’m going to be on two podcasts this month! Can’t wait to share them with ya)
  • Started blogging again (I’ve been writing emails to you, but not posting the content on my blog, oy!)
And there’s a whole lot more to come. Because I’ve been on a mission for a long time now… but thanks to Your Story On Steroids, that mission has gotten a crazy-huge fire lit under it. 
Watch out world.


  • Stop the procrastinating and self-sabotage and finally write your novel?
  • Feel confident in yourself as a writer, storyteller and pro novelist?
  • Be a more efficient storyteller, so you can write a kick-ass book faster and more effectively?

Then check out the Students of Story membership site and community where you’ll master the craft of writing novels while making progress on your own writing, connecting with a community of likeminded writers, and getting support from a pro story coach (me). 

Story Coaching Case Study: Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer came to me at the end of 2014 with a story idea he’d been working on for a few years. But no matter what he tried, he couldn’t move past the plot problems that were holding the story back.

In his own words, he shares how my 90-day Author Intensive program helped him go from story idea to completed novel draft.


Glenn Dyer

Name: Glenn Dyer

Location: Park City, Utah

Occupation: Retired

How long were you thinking about/working on your story before you hired me?

Started working on the project back in 2000. Would pick it up for a while then drop it.

Where were you at with your story prior to working with me?

Back in 2004, I got about 190 pages into a draft but plot problems became a big issue and I dropped the project. I picked it back up around September 2014.

What fears did you have before you signed up to work with me?

That the plot problems were not solvable.

What finally caused you to say, “I’m ready to get support with writing my novel?”

I turned 61 in October of last year. No time to waste.

What did you like best about this program?

The specific feedback about plot, characters and other things that didn’t make sense to me [before doing this program]. The written feedback, which could be revisited as many times as needed. Also, that Jennifer were available via FB at anytime during the term.

How did you feel about the feedback you received from me each week?

I found it most valuable. In particular, the feedback received during the first six weeks was critical to being able to finish the draft.

How does it feel to have a finished draft of your story?

Tough to describe. I was so fearful that I would never get it done after wanting to do it for so many years.

I never mentioned this before, but back in 2003 I promised my son, Mike, that if he would go out for cross-country in his sophomore year, that I would finish my novel. He ran cross-country for three years. I just finished the novel.

It was important to finish it for many reasons, but that reason was the most important. When I told him that I was “slow” in meeting my end of the deal, he responded by saying that my end was harder. He’s a good kid.

How long did it take you to write your draft (in days/weeks)?

Sixty-two days.

What made the biggest difference working with me versus trying to do it yourself? 

Having someone to bounce ideas off during the first 6 weeks was critical.

Was your experience and results in this program worth the money you invested?

In my case, yes. Definitely.


Are you ready to discover what coaching can do for your story? Join me for a free Clarity Call and find out if The Author Intensive is right for you.