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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. 

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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

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. 

The Fear, The Doubt, the Uncertainty…It Never Goes Away

I’m about to hit “publish” on m 9th eBook (fourth for the year), and the more I think about it, the more freaked out I get.

I start to question everything–is the book too short? Is it valuable enough? Are people going to like it? Is it going to be useful for writers? Am I doing a good job?

Even though I’ve already done this 8 other times, it still doesn’t make it any easier. The same doubts are present, the same fears are still there.

The only difference now is that I always push through and keep going.

Before this year, I’d have let that shit stop me for days, weeks or maybe even months. I’d have sat on the eBook and not put it out there.

But I’ve done it enough now, where I know fear, doubt and Upper Limit Problems are all a part of the creative process. Now I feel the fear, the doubt…and I send the book to my editor anyhow. I feel the worry and the “not enough” and I hit publish anyhow.

Something you may not realize is that fear you feel, that uncertainty, that doubt you have inside… it will never go away.

It’s always gonna be there. Trying to knock you down, trying to sabotage you, trying to get in your way.

And rather than getting easier, it gets worse the most successful you become.

But the difference is in how you deal with it.

An amateur writer lets that stuff get in the way. An amateur writer gets stopped by that stuff. A pro writer knows different.

Because a pro writer has been writing and publishing and continuing on long enough to know that the icky stuff–the negative voices, the fear, the doubt–it’s always there. Sometimes it shows up in different forms, as life chaos, as inner noise, as haters on the outside.

But it’s all the same thing. And it never goes away.

What does happen, is the more you deal with it head-on and the more you push through anyhow and keep going, the easier it will get to keep doing that.

When you’ve written and published enough, you will start to recognize your self-sabotating patterns and what it looks like for you. For me, I know after I launch a book my Upper Limit Problems usually kick in and I start napping more, stuffing my face with junk food more and causing life chaos in my reality.

So now when I notice this stuff–and especially when I notice it right after a book launch–I can recognize it for what it is… Resistance, fear, ULPs… and just keep going.

How do you do this? Here’s how I do it:

> Daily Mindset Practice–this is a non-fucking-negotiatble for me. I do mindset work two-to-three times a day, minimum. Usually includes writing my reality (1-3 pages), visualizing and setting intentions.

> Hire a good editor–my editor knows me and my writing very well, so she’s great at pointing out changes or things that will make the book better.

> Build support and accountability into your life–I work with a private mentor and I have several accountability buddies that I check in with throughout the week, and I’m part of a writers mastermind group. All of which keeps me in check and moving forward.

> Set deadlines and announce them publicly–this is the best way for me to keep going even when I don’t feel like it or don’t want to. Because I’ve set a deadline and announced it publicly, I can’t not hit it. So I always do.

The fear, the Resistance, the “noise” in your head and in your outer world can only get to you and can only take you down if you let it.

And if you choose not to let it bother you and to keep going regardless of what comes up, you will win. Every single time.

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How do you push through and keep going when you don’t feel like it? Share in the comments.

Ready to push through the BS that holds you back and step up to a whole new level in your writing life? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy, motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

Have You Actually Decided This?

Sounds like a pretty obvious question–have you decided that you’re going to be a successful self-published author? But the problem is, most self-published authors or emerging self-published authors haven’t actually answered this question.

Because they never decided.

Sure, they decided to write a book and to self-publish it. But did they decide that they would be successful?

Nope.

Because that’s just not the way we’re programmed to think. And really, why would we need to decide something like that? Isn’t the act of doing the work and becoming a self-published author enough?

Nope.

It’s not enough, not nearly. Because without the decision that you, yes Y-O-U, are going to be a successful self-published author… you won’t be.

You’ll flail around, you’ll get discouraged and you’ll operate on default mode, reacting to things that happen, rather than creating what you want to see happen. Until you either quit or just sorta stop making an effort.

But when you set your mind to it, when you decide it, when you make it non-negotiable and when you’re UNWILLING to accept ANYTHING ELSE… that’s when you will create the success you dream of.

And not a minute before.

It all comes down to the decision. The decision is the thing that cements it in your mind, making it a must-happen.

Because whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve. That’s how it works.

Back in April, I DECIDED that it was time. I was DONE fucking around, I was DONE with my excuses and my bullshit reasons (even the valid ones) for why I didn’t have the writing career I dreamed of.

I DECIDED that I was going to be successful. I was gonna be a successful self-published author and prove wrong the stigma and all the other BS things people believe about self-publishing. I was gonna be a bestselling author, multiple times over. I’m gonna make millions and impact millions with my books.

Two weeks after I decided this… my new eBook hit #1 in multiple categories on multiple days on Amazon. I became a bestselling author. And it didn’t stop there.

The next month I sold 1,007 books in only 30 days. And the month after, I had a day where I sold 529 books, and finished that week with a total of 885 books sold.

Why? Because I decided it. And I refuse to accept anything else but the success I want to see.

DECIDE that you WILL BE a successful self-published author. Decide and it is a DONE DEAL.

First, decide in your mind, and then, second, take the actions to make it happen.

Just don’t take the actions before deciding, otherwise you’re wasting your time. Action is pointless if you’re not all-in. And if you’re not all-in, you may as well be all-out.

Because no matter what you do, if you’re not doing it 100 percent, all the way, you’re doing a half-assed job. And the world doesn’t need another self-published book (even a good one) by another self-published author who has no intention to support the book with the marketing it deserves.

If you want this, if you really, really want this…then you’ve gotta go all-in. That means setting your mind to it and doing the work to make it happen.

And it starts with deciding.

When you DECIDE to be a successful self-published author (and then take action from that place), THAT’S when you WILL BE. Period.

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Have you decided? Declare it in the comments. 

Now that you’ve decided, are you ready to step up and take your writing life to a whole new level? Then check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, motivation, marketing strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

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.

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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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6 Ways to Create Your Writing Life On Your Terms

Life by design? Or life by reaction? That was the choice sitting in front of me (in front of all of us, really) back in 2008 when I decided to start my blog and take control of my writing life once and for all.

It’s been a bumpy ride since then, with ups and downs and all arounds. But one thing has remained constant: I’m creating my writing life exactly as I want it, all on my own terms. 

That’s what I dreamed of. I saw writers out there struggling to find freelance work and getting rejected over and over again by publishers and agents who saw no potential in their books. And I didn’t want to be like them. I didn’t want to hand my writing career over to someone else. Didn’t want someone else’s opinions clouding that inner guidance telling me which direction to go in.

I wanted to take control, to make the decisions for myself, to be in charge of whether I succeed or fall short. It’s all on me.

If I had to pick a theme song to represent me, it would be the song, Make Yourself, by Incubus. That song is all about creating yourself and your life on your terms. With lyrics like, “if I hadn’t assembled myself, I’d have fallen apart by now,” and “if you let ’em make you, they’re make you paper maché, at a distance you’re strong until the wind comes, then you crumble and blow away,” and my favorite line: “but if you really want to live, why not try and make yourself?”

I believe so deeply that we’re meant to make ourselves, that we’re meant to decide who we want to be, and that we can absolutely choose and then step up and be that person.

This applies to everything–including your writing life.

You can totally create the writing life you’ve been dreaming of and you can do it all on your terms. Yes, you.

The only limitations that exist are the ones that you place on yourself, in your mind. Remove those limitations and you will soar to heights you can’t even imagine right now.

You can choose, right now, to start taking control of your writing destiny, by:

  • Working consistently on your mindset–mindset is everything. If you can create it and believe in in your mind, it has to show up in your reality.
  • Giving up the excuses–whatever excuses you make may totally be valid, but they’re still costing you the writing life you dream of having. So give them up and commit to dealing with whatever comes and doing your writing anyhow.
  • Showing up every day–in whatever way you need to show up. Sometimes it’s actually doing the writing, other times it’s just being visible in the online world and letting people know who you are and what you stand for.
  • Stepping up and claiming what you really want–the first step to getting what you want is being very clear on what it is that you actually want and then claiming it and saying out loud to yourself and to others that you are going to make it happen.
  • Not being so rigid about how things happen–if you’re not making a lot of progress it’s probably because you’re being way too rigid about how things are supposed to happen. Writing can happen no matter how much time you have available (15 minutes is enough!). Progress can be made daily when you drop trying to be perfect. Dreams can come true when you stop worrying about how it will come true and just take whatever actions you can think of.
  • Ignoring what everyone else is doing–a big part of creating success on your terms is not worrying about, thinking about or focusing on what anyone else is doing and just doing what feels right to you. Now that’s not to say you should operate in a vacuum (big mistake to do that!). But you need to connect to your intuition and follow the path that your heart desires. All of the most successful times in my life came from following my heart and ignoring everything else.

Your dream writing life exists. Someone out there is already living it. Which means it’s possible for you to have it too.

But you’ve gotta step up, your mindset and your action-taking.

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How will you step up your mindset and action-taking today? 

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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’t Let This Go To Your Head

My new eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset, debuted yesterday, and I’m super excited about it. It’s a book I’d been wanting to write for a long time and now it’s finally here.

Last month, the eBook I published, Align Your Writing Habits to Success, became a #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon and sold almost 600 copies during the month of May. I could have stopped there, rested on it and tried to coast. Or focused all of my time on marketing and promoting this book.

But instead I decided to keep going. Keep writing and keep putting books out there.

Because you can’t just rest on one success, even a big one.

You have to keep going and keep creating. That’s what it takes to be a pro writer who self-publishes.

So that’s what I’m doing.

And that’s what you need to do after you successfully get a book out there too.

There’s no point in waiting. Yes, you have to take some time to enjoy it and celebrate it. But then you’ve gotta get back to work on your next one.

I think this is where a lot of authors get stuck because they have a momentum built up, but instead of continuing to build that momentum by writing another book, they rest on the book they just wrote and spend the next year or two marketing and selling it. (Or not doing anything at all.)

And yes, you do have to do that–you do have to market and sell your books. But you know what really helps sell a book?

Another book.

At the end of each book, you add a teaser for another book that you’ve written. If the reader gets that far, there’s a very good chance they’ll buy and read another one that you wrote.

So rather than focusing and spending all your time marketing one book, instead market all of your books, in general, choosing one specific book to focus on each day or week.

Now this is just my opinion, but I feel like so many badass authors just don’t write and publish enough books. I want to see multiple books every year from my favorite authors.

Maybe I’m alone in that opinion.

But since that’s what I want to see from my favorite authors, that’s the kind of author I also want to be. Because it’s very likely that the readers who are attracted to my stuff are readers who, like me, prefer to see multiple books a year.

This is how you build a self-publishing career. And it’s important to note, because a self-publishing career is much different than a traditional publishing career. In a traditional career, you can get away with only writing and publishing one new book every few years.

But in self-publishing, you’ll stand out a lot more if you publish frequently and especially if you publish a lot of books all in the same category (this is known as “authority publishing”).

Having multiple books is also the best way to actually make money from your writing. Because one book will sell the other, and vice versa.

Which is why I say don’t let the success of publishing your book go to your head. Absolutely celebrate it and be proud of it, but do not stop.

Keep writing, keep publishing. Keep going.

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If you want to create an unbreakable mindset that will set you up for success in your writing life, check out my eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset: What It Really Takes to Be A Bestselling Author, available now on Amazon.

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