Why Every Writer Has a Nonfiction Book in Them

I work with a lot of fiction writers. In fact, fiction writers make up the majority of my community at this point. And a common complaint I hear from them is this: I can’t write nonfiction.

While it’s true that writing nonfiction isn’t for everyone, it’s untrue that fiction writers can’t write nonfiction.

Nonfiction just means what you’re writing about isn’t made up, it’s something that comes from your own knowledge, skills and experiences. And every writer–including fiction writers–has knowledge, skills and experience in something.

The thing is, we tend to discredit this knowledge, these skills and those experiences, because they feel so normal to us.

For example, maybe you’ve been playing softball since you were 11. First you started off on a little league team, then you played for your high school’s team, which got you a scholarship to play in college. You played for a couple years in college and then go sick of the competitiveness of it, and so you stopped playing at the college-level, and instead took up a summer league that’s more about having fun than it is winning.

You’ve got a long-standing background in playing softball and being a softball player. So why not use your softball knowledge, skills and experiences to write a nonfiction book for people who want the knowledge, skills and experience that you have?

And not a boring textbook-style book on “how to play softball” (unless that feels good to you). But something that will allow you to stand out and reach a readership of people who need what you have to offer.

You could write a nonfiction book about how to prepare yourself to play college ball. Or you could write a book about navigating the politics of playing softball in high school. Or you could write a combo memoir-nonfiction book that tells some of your stories from playing softball, while sharing the life-lessons you learned and how to apply them.

It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You don’t have to write 300 pages or even cover ever little thing there is to know. Especially if you plan on publishing it on Amazon, which now has entire categories dedicated to books that are short, fast reads.

The thing I want you to see in all of this, is how ripe for nonfiction most people’s lives are. At any given time there are thousands of potential things you could write a nonfiction book about.

I’ve written nonfiction books about writing habits (several of them), becoming creative on demand, having a pro writer mindset, journaling. All of these are writing-related topics, but I’m now branching out and writing nonfiction eBooks about life-related topics, on things like productivity (in general, not just writing), being multi-passionate, challenging yourself and more.

I basically just use the knowledge, skills and experiences I’ve acquired over my life so far and turn that stuff into written content that can help someone else do the same.

Not to mention, if you’re an entrepreneur, writing a nonfiction eBook is a great way to shine a light on your business, your processes and how you get results for your clients. I wrote a book called, Find Your Story, that walks you through my 6-part story planning and development process. Then I put a call-to-action at the end, letting people know I offer a coaching program that will allow them to go deeper on this process.

That 99 cent eBook has made me thousands of dollars through clients coming to me for coaching services, wanting to have me walk them through my process in a more official capacity. And it all started by deciding to write down my process and share it in eBook form.

The other awesome thing about nonfiction eBooks is that they’re actually much easier to sell than fiction, and you can make more money overall, which can then allow you to fund your fiction writing efforts.

How cool would it be to make a full-time income writing nonfiction eBooks, and be able to free up more time for writing fiction? How cool would it be to get your processes and ideas out into the world so other people can benefit from them? How cool would it be to have consistent money rolling in every month from eBook sales?

Pretty damn cool.

Now maybe you’re a fiction writer who only wants to write fiction. Fine if you are.

For most of my life I only saw myself as a fiction writer. I thought I would only ever write novels.
But toward the end of 2009, I realized I had built up quite a bit of knowledge and skills on being productive, so I decided to write my very first nonfiction eBook (Butt-In-Chair, published in early 2010). And then I fell in love with writing nonfiction and I’ve been doing it ever since.

If you’re open-minded and willing to use your writing talents for other types of writing, nonfiction eBooks can be a great way to leverage your knowledge, skills and experiences to not only help other people, but to make some money in the process (which can then fund other things you dream of doing, being and having).

Dream life or bust,



P.S. The doors to my badass workshop, Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days, are now OPEN to new students!!! I’ve run this workshop 3 times before, and every time more than half the students who sign up go all the way and hit “publish.” I created this workshop around my own personal nonfiction eBook development, outlining, writing and publishing process. The one that I use over and over again for all of the nonfiction eBooks that I write.

> Get full details, check out testimonials and sign up here:

Figure Out Where You Are Disciplined And Use That In Your Writing Life

When it comes to being successful as a writer and author, it all really comes down to three things:

1. Habits
2. Discipline
3. Consistency

That’s the secret. That’s what every successful writer and author out there has mastered. They’ve made writing a daily habit, they’ve become disciplined about it and they’ve done it consistently enough to have made major progress.

Success is really simple when you break it all down. And while each author’s success will have been achieved through different actions and activities, the core of their success always comes down to habits, discipline and consistency.

The problem is most writers aren’t very habitual or consistent and they often lack discpline for doing what really matters and what will really move them forward on their projects. Maybe you can relate?

I used to relate to that. Back years ago, I had zero discpline or habit when it came to my writing. And don’t even get me started on being consistent. Back then, the only consistency I had was my inconsistency.

But then I started to think about the things that I do have habit, discpline and consistency around. ‘Cause the truth is, we all have habits, discpline and consistency with some stuff.

Just not always the thing we want to have it around.

For example, when I was younger, I used to get tons and tons of cavities. I’m talking 5-7 every time I went to the dentist. And what came with those cavities were painful trips to get them filled. (So NOT fun!!)

I brushed my teeth every day, twice a day. It was a habit my mom instilled in me from a young age. But I still got cavities.

When I asked my dentist why, he said I needed to start flossing every night before bed, and if I did, that would reduce the number of cavities I was getting.

I didn’t listen. I had already built a habit around brushing my teeth twice a day, every day, and I thought that should be enough. But it wasn’t.

When I was 22 years old, I went to a dentist appointment and was told I had 8 cavities–all in teeth that I’d already had filled before. The dentist was adament that I get them taken care of right away, before they became root canals or worse.

So I went and saw a specialized dentist who was recommended to me. When I saw that dentist, her recommendation was two-fold: she said I needed to have inlays done, where they basically hollow out the inside of your tooth and then create a custom-made filling to replace what they removed; and I had to start flossing every night.

The process cost around $7,000 and it took three visits to the dentist–two to drill and hollow out the teeth and then take the impressions to send to the lab that would create the fillings, and then one to actually put the inlays in when they were ready.

I probably don’t even have to tell you how painful the hollowing out process was. Let’s just say I needed to have 7 shots of novicaine on one side of my mouth and I still felt everything, because some of the cavities were so deep they touched the nerve of my tooth. And on top of that, I had the worst headache of my life the next day after the novicaine wore off. At one point, I actually thought my head was going to explode.

It was by far one of the most torturous things I’ve ever been through. After it was all over, I made a decision: from that day forward, I would brush and floss my teeth every single night, no matter what. Even if I was tired. Even if I didn’t feel like it.

And I did.

There hasn’t been a single day since then that I haven’t brushed and flossed my teeth before going to bed. Even on the nights when I’ve fallen asleep on the couch, slept there for half the night and then woke up at 4 a.m. and wanted to go sleep in my bed. I still forced myself to brush and floss my teeth before I was allowed to go to bed.

I created this habit almost immediately and became super disciplined about it, so I’d never have to go through anything like that or get another cavity filled ever again. (And I haven’t since!!)

But you don’t have to wait until the thing you’ve avoiding gets so painful that you’re basically forced into changing.

What I discovered is the discipline I now had with flossing my teeth could be used for anything you want to turn into a habit. Including your writing.

All I had to do was figure out what I’d done to make it happen. And here’s what I came to:

1. Decide

After that painful (and expensive) inlay experience, I made the decision that never again would I let a day go by without flossing my teeth. If flossing my teeth was the one thing that would stop me from getting cavities, I was going to do it and do it daily.

2. Commit

Once the decision was made, I committed to it. Fully. I was all-in on it.

3. Trigger

I created a trigger to help me make it easier. I went out and bought floss and I put it with my toothpaste so I would see it every time I brushed my teeth. This made it much easier for me to actually follow through because I had a reminder every time.

4. Why

In the beginning, when it wasn’t a habit to floss my teeth every night yet, I had to remind myself of why I was doing this and why I wanted to create this habit. The why of what you’re doing is so important because it will keep you motivated and will help you push through when things get tough or when you “don’t feel like it.”

5. Keep On Going

When I first started flossing every night, it was definitely a challenge because I wasn’t used to it and I hadn’t been doing it long enough to see the full benefits from it yet. When you’re not seeing the results or benefits right away, it’s often hard to keep going. But that’s what you have to do.

If you fall off track for a day or two, don’t make a big deal about it, just get back to it as soon as you can. The biggest problem with creating habits and being disciplined is that often when you fall off track you make it mean something it doesn’t mean. You’ll say it’s because you can’t do it or you’re not good enough or whatever.

But it has nothing to do with that. It’s just not a habit yet. And once it is, you’ll do it so automatically you won’t have to even think about it. So get back to it as soon as you can and then keep going.

Follow these five steps and you can make a habit and create discipline around pretty much anything, whether that’s flossing your teeth or doing your writing.

So often we’re afraid to make something a habit or to be disciplined because we think that it will take away our freedom. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Discipline creates freedom, because once something is automatic, your mind is freed up from having to think about it or worry about it getting done. And since you’ve made it a habit, it always gets done, even in the midst of life chaos or being busy.

Want to totally change your life and step into the identity of the writer and author you’ve always dreamed of being? It starts with creating habits, discipline and consistency around doing what matters and doing it daily.

Dream life or bust,



#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Is it time for you to create habits and discipline in your writing life? Then be sure to join us for the Writing Habit Revamp workshop: 21-days of discipline, habit-building, support and accountability to get your butt in a chair and words on the page.

>> Details and sign up here:

Embrace The Chaos And Carry On

As I sit here writing this, there are dishes in the sink and on the counter; there’s a pile of towels and pajamas on the big-red chair in my living room, which my dog, Weiland, has now made his little nest for the day; while we’re at it, my living room could definitely use a vacuuming; and don’t even get me started about the laundry baskets and clothes rack in my bedroom with last week’s laundry still hanging-dry on it. 

But this blog post is getting written.

And when I’m done writing this blog post, I’ll work on my novel revisions. Then I’ll work on my sections in the eBook I’m coauthoring with a friend. 

The dishes and laundry and vacuuming will still be there. But my writing will be done. And I will have made progress on my goals and my writing dreams.

This is the way of the writing warrior—the writer and author who refuses to let anything get in the way or stop them from getting their words and stories out into the world. 

There will always be life chaos. Wait, let me repeat that one… on stereo… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LIFE CHAOS!! 

It never goes away. If you do the dishes, there will be more soon after. If you put the laundry away, more will take its place on the drying rack. 

You can always find something that needs cleaning or organizing or repairing or whatever. It’s a never-ending cycle. 

But if your writing—your soul work—isn’t getting done at the expense of the cleaning, organizing, repairing, etc., it’s time to make some changes. 

You’ve been waiting your whole life to be the writer and author you dream of being. How much longer are you willing to wait for? How much longer are you going to put your dream on hold for bullshit excuses and housework (or whatever you’re doing that stops you from writing)? 

I used to think all that stuff mattered. That I had to have a perfectly clean house and everything had to be put away and neat and organized before I could spend time doing what I really wanted to do. 

And some days I’d procrastinate and resist my writing so much that I actually made the housework more important, even though deep down I knew it really wasn’t. 

Do you know what happened? 

I had a neat, clean, organized space to live in, but was dying on the inside from not letting the writing out. 

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I finally allowed myself to do the writing—the stuff that really mattered—before I did the housework. It was magical, because after I finished writing and finished doing what really mattered to me, not only did the other stuff get done, but I didn’t resent it anymore. 

The laundry, the dishes, it all gets done eventually. (You can even hire someone to do it for you, amazing, right?) And now so does my writing. 

I’ve learned to embrace the chaos. I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never get it all done and I’ll never really keep on top of everything in my life. But so long as I’m keeping on top of and doing the things that really matter to me—my writing, creating and teaching—then everything else will work itself out.

How can you embrace the chaos in your life and get your writing done anyhow? 

Write with a purpose, live with intention!

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. Could your writing life use a pick-me-up? Then stay tuned… more details about the Bestselling Author Mastermind, my high-level community and mentorship group for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author, are coming soon. Get on the waitlist here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (and you’ll get access to a waitlist-only bonus!): 

Just Feel Good and the Rest Will Take Care of Itself

A life coach that I follow online once posted something on Facebook where she talked about the kinds of music people listen to. She said if your life is awesome and you’re happy, you most likely listen to upbeat, festival-type music that’s peppy and has positive lyrics. But if you’re listening to country music, for example, or music with not so happy lyrics, that could actually be why your life isn’t working as well as it could.

And I get what she was saying with this—that you attract things to your life based on how you think and speak. I agree with that and whole-heartedly believe it and live it.

What I disagreed with is the idea that just because a song has negative lyrics that means listening to it or singing along with it would cause your life to be negative too.

I listen to rock music (mostly from the grunge era), and if you know anything about rock music, the lyrics aren’t exactly peppy. Usually the lyrics are angry or expressing a negative emotion or experience.

But that doesn’t mean my life is negative. The exact opposite, in fact. My life is always better when I’m listening to the music that makes my soul happy.

Grunge rock does that for me. It brings me back to a simpler time in life when I was growing up and falling in love with music for the first time (as I’ve fallen in love with music many times over the years).

That always evokes a happy feeling in me. And singing the words out loud—even negative words—helps me amp that happy feeling up even more.

It has often been said that words have power. And they absolutely do. But where the power really comes from isn’t just from the words being used.

It’s the feeling behind the words. The feeling is what makes the words powerful.

When you say, “I hate you” there’s a feeling behind those words. When you say, “I’m not good enough,” there’s a feeling behind those words. And the feeling that’s behind the words is what really matters.

Because you can say the words, “I’m happy,” but if you’re not actually feeling happy inside, the words don’t have the same power as when you say, “I’m happy,” and actually are. 

The whole thing with law of attraction and manifesting the things you want in your life, is that words matter. But they don’t matter as much as feelings.

Feelings are actually the biggest deciding factor in what manifests. Because feelings create energy—either positive or negative. And energy is what attracts things.

Which means the lyrics of the music you listen to—or the words you speak—only matter if they’re creating a bad feeling in you.

Example… when you’re young and you get your heart broken for the first time, you listen to all those sappy love songs that make you think about the one who got away. That is when music and lyrics are causing negative energy and negative things to manifest. Because your focus is on lack and being not enough and feeling bad.

But if you have a playlist that you love to sing to and that brings a feeling of joy to you, for example, then no matter what the lyrics say, you will feel good. And the feeling good creates good energy that attracts positive things.

This distinction is MASSIVELY important. It could just change your whole life. 

For a long time I worried about the words I was singing out loud as I sang along to my favorite songs. Or the words I’d say by default because of my subconscious programming. But now I know better.

It’s the feelings that matter, not the words. 

And yeah, it’s true that some words just come with certain feelings. So if you’re saying “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do that,” it’s very likely that’s what you’ll experience in your reality and attract to your life (more situations where you feel that way).

But when you’re feeling amazing inside, you can say the words, “I’m not good enough” and they won’t even penetrate you, because you’ll feel so deeply in the moment that they’re not true. 

This same thing applies to thoughts.

Law of attraction says that whatever you think about you will attract to your life. And again, I don’t disagree with this. But there’s a distinction to be made, because it’s not about the specific thoughts.

It’s about the feelings that the thoughts create.

And yes, certain thoughts will come with certain feelings, good and bad. But you have the power. Power that extends far past the words you’re hearing in your head.

You have the power to create whatever feelings you want to feel. All day every day.

Now that’s not to say you won’t have life chaos happen that tries to change how you’re feeling, you will. But if you don’t let it get to you, and you keep that happy, positive feeling inside, then no matter what happens it won’t penetrate you.

I create the happy, positive, empowering feelings that I want to feel every single day by doing my daily mindset practice, which includes freestyle journaling to get the crap out of my head, then writing affirmations declaring who I am and that my dream life is already real, and then I finish up with 5-7 minutes of visualization where I walk myself through my ideal day, weaving in as much of my dream stuff as I can (like the car I want to drive, where I want to live, the kind of activities I do, etc).

Those feelings then carry themselves into my day. And so long as I don’t allow anything else to change those feelings (yes, it IS a choice to allow something to affect you), they stay with me all day long.

This took some time to build up to. In the beginning I’d feel the good feelings for a little while and then life chaos or worry would take over and I’d be back to feeling bad. But I just kept working on it.

At one point, I was doing 2+ hours of mindset work a day. Sometimes I still do. And every minute has been worth it.

My daily mindset practice has helped me to focus my mind and get my emotions in check, so I can go through my day feeling great and manifesting great things as a result of feeling that way. 

And when I’m feeling like that, no negative lyric (or thought) in the world can change it 🙂

Write with a purpose, live with intention,



#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. It’s the FINAL DAYS to join my upcoming workshop—FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30-days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration, accountability and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel (draft or revision) and want to FINISH. We start April 1 (that’s Saturday!!).

And… I’ve added a new EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN! Because I want to make it super easy for you to say HELL YES and join us! 

This workshop is perfect for you if you’re sick of never finishing or sick of taking so long to finish and you just want to get your damn novel (draft or revision) FINISHED so you can finally move on to the next step in the process.

I’ll be revising my novel along with you over the 30 days, as well as sending you daily motivational emails, doing livestreams throughout each week in the private workshop Facebook group to keep you moving along and overcoming all the stuff that tries to get in the way of you finishing (stuff like, life chaos, doubt, procrastination, Resistance, and more).

>> Details and sign up here 

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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Share With Us

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.

The Decision At Every Turn

There I was, sitting on my couch on July 1, staring down at a blank Moleskine. It was that time of the month–the time when I come up with my 30-day goals.

Usually I’ve got a ton of stuff going on and I can just barely keep up with myself. But for the month of July, I was stuck. Other than publishing my new eBook, I didn’t really have any other plans in mind.

Problem is, not having anything going on for the month–or not having enough going on–is not an option for me. I need to make and see progress, in myself, in my writing life and in my business, every single month. So I’ve gotta have specific 30-day goals to focus on every day.

Now this is one of those moments that happen often to writers. You’re sitting there and you don’t know what to write or you have no idea what project to work on next or you’re not really that excited about anything you’re working on at the moment.

And in these moments you have two choices: buy into the BS that you don’t know what to do or write or whatever OR create another reality.

Thats’s a choice you have in every single moment of every single day. You get to choose the reality that you live in.

So you can either buy into a reality where you’re stuck, don’t know what to write, have no ideas and don’t know what to do. OR you can create a new reality where you know exactly what to write, and everything you write flows with ease, and you always have brilliant ideas.

Which reality is more inspiring to you?

So that’s where I was at. Blank Moleskine, no ideas for what I wanted to accomplish this month.

But instead of doing the thing I usually do, which is sit around for two weeks, buying into my BS and not taking action, I decided, in that moment, not to. Not to buy into the BS. Not to let the “I don’t know what to do” excuse be a part of my reality. Not anymore.

Because we always know what to do. The answers are always inside us. But we have to be open to receiving them.

And, sadly, a lot of times, we’re not. We’re not open and we’re not willing. In fact, sometimes we’re perfectly happy wallowing in our misery and in what’s not working.

But that’s the shit that keeps you stuck and not making consistent progress.

Which is why there’s a decision at every turn–every moment–in life. And that decision is: am I gonna buy into this current reality? OR am I going to create something different? 

Over and over again, you’re presented with this decision. Problem is, a lot of times you don’t notice or even realize it. So you just buy into the current reality.

But now that you’re aware and you know that this happens, you can actively make the choice to not go down that road. To not buy into the BS of your current reality or any of the negative, limiting thoughts in your head.

To, instead, create the reality you want to see. That’s what I did.

I made a list of 31 things I could create this month. And then I took a nap. (Naps can be a very effective manifestation tool if you use them right.)

BUT–and here’s where the using it right part comes in–before I went to sleep, I set an intention for when I woke up, and that intention was: I will know what to create and focus the month of July on.

When I first woke up from my nap…nothing. I still wasn’t totally sure what to create, but then my husband said to me, “did you see that question someone posted on your Facebook wall the other day?” I hadn’t, so I went on Facebook to check the question out and it went something like this: how do I grow my following as an emerging author? 

BOOM! A sign from the Universe… which aligned with one of the 31 ideas I had brainstormed earlier in the day. I will do a workshop in the month of July teaching emerging authors how to grow their following online. (And I have another workshop that I’m brainstorming on right now.)

The point of all this, is to show you how powerful it can be to combine practical actions with energetic ones. It’s really the intersecting of these two types of actions where the most powerful manifestation takes place.

You can use these energetic and practical actions in your life, moment to moment, as you go through your day. Over and over again, to create your life exactly as you want it to be.

BUT–you have to make that choice. You have to actively, intentionally, on purpose choose not to stay stuck, not to buy into the BS, not to get caught up in the madness that goes on in your head at times.

And if you can do that, you can have any life you dream of.

Share With Us

What’s one way you can combine practical and energetic actions in your life? 

Image courtesy of JonoTakesPhotos 

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.


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.

Share With Us

What can you do today to start building momentum on your writing dream? 

Are you ready to build momentum in your writing life? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a kick-ass accountability, motivation, content strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. 

Image courtesy of Sheila Sund

The #1 Mistake Emerging Authors Make

Let’s be honest, emerging authors make A LOT of mistakes. Especially the first time around (and especially when they go at it alone). But out of all the mistakes I see them make, there’s one that stands out as being the most deadly.

And that’s thinking writing and life are two separate things.

Writing and life can’t be treated as two separate things, not if you plan on making a career of being an author. Because they aren’t two separate things.

That’s like trying to separate yourself from being a writer. Can you do that? Of course not! Because being a writer is who you are, at your core.

But I still see so many emerging authors trying to fit writing into their lives or trying to find time for their writing, when what they really need to be doing is creating a lifestyle around being a writer. 

It’s BS to think you can keep your writing separate from your life and be successful with it. You don’t FIND time for your writing, you MAKE time for it.

BIG difference.

And you make that time by setting up your lifestyle, thoughts, beliefs and habits so that they support you doing your writing and support you being the writer and author you want to be. That’s what it really takes.

So it’s a mistake to separate the two or to treat writing like it’s just something you do. If writing if just something you do, if it’s just another hobby, that’s fine. But you’ll never be a successful pro writer.

For a pro writer, writing is a lifestyle. It’s not just something they do, it’s who they are. They can’t separate it because to do so would mean to lose a part of themselves, like losing an arm or leg.

When I think back to the very few times in my life where I set writing on a shelf and didn’t touch it, those were some of the darkest and most painful times I’ve ever had. Because I was blatantly suppressing an innate part of myself. Like if you purposely covered one of your eyes all day every day, even though there’s nothing wrong with the eye and it’s perfectly functioning.

That’s the reason I’ve always, at the very least, kept a journal of some kind. Because if I couldn’t write something, I’d die.

Being a writer is who I am.

And it’s who you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. So it’s time to stop treating it like it’s a hobby or an interest or just something that you do. 

It’s time to start treating your writing like it’s your life, like it’s a priority, like it’s that thing you were born for. (Unless you don’t feel that way. But if you don’t, this probably isn’t the community for you.)

I know I was born to be a writer and to transform people’s lives with my words. Out of all the things that ring true for me, this is the truest. 

If this also rings true for you, then I urge you to step up your game and start thinking and acting like the author you dream of being. It’s the only way.

Because writing isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.

Share With Us

How are you stepping up your game right now to be more like the writer and author you want to be? 

Ready to take your writing life to the next level? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a kick-ass motivation, high-level accountability and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. 

Image courtesy of Nick Webb

What’s Your Author Message?

Last night I watched a stand-up comedy special on Netflix from comedian Mo’Nique. She’s hilarious, no doubt about that, and I loved her in the movie Beerfest (which I’ve watched 15 times in the last two weeks because I was deconstructing it for my story community, Students of Story).

But what stood out most to me wasn’t her rolling-on-the-floor, tears-in-your-eyes jokes (although those were awesome too). It was her message.

This particular comedy special was called, I Coulda Been Your Cellmate, and was filmed at a women’s correctional facility in Ohio. Mo’Nique took the stage to make those women laugh and laugh and forget their problems, even if just for an hour.

And throughout the program she shared a core message: love and acceptance—of yourself and each other.

I talk a lot about being who you are and being unapologetic about it. Mo’Nique is a woman who is unapologetic about who she is—and not everyone likes it—yet her message shines through.

And that’s because the most effective and powerful way for her to deliver that message—to spread the message of love to the women of the correctional facility and all the people who watch her comedy special—is to be one-hundred percent herself.

If she got up on stage in a dress suit and started preaching a PC-version of loving each other and accepting who you are, everyone watching would’ve tuned her out. Her message, while extremely valid and valuable, would have been totally ignored.

But going out there as herself—proud-to-be-loud, dressed in a custom-made orange prison uniform with her own prisoner number, and then preaching the message of love and acceptance while telling jokes laced with f-bombs and sexual innuendos—that’s why her message shined through. That’s why she got claps and cheers and standing ovations from the crowd.

Because her message was so much more powerful delivered by Mo’Nique being exactly who she is. Her message resonated so much more because it came draped in laughter.

Creating Your Author Message

I’ve been thinking a lot about messaging as I’ve begun my transition from being a “story development coach” to doing alignment, kick-ass motivation and success mindset for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. And the funny thing is, even though I’m changing what I’m doing, my core message is still the same: take control of your writing destiny.

I’m all about freedom and taking control (of the things you can control, of course). I’m about knowing where you want to go with your writing life and then stepping up to do the work to get there.

That’s what it means to take control of your writing destiny. It means knowing what you want, writing it into reality, taking the physical actions to move in the direction of it, and then acting as-if it’s already a done deal.

That’s my message. A powerful one that needs to be shouted from the rooftops of the writing world. And that’s what I intend to do.

It’s what I’ve been doing. Only the previous version was not nearly as powerful as the version I’m shifting into. Because the previous version—while just as important and necessary—had me teaching craft to writers. And while writers totally need that—there are other people out there doing it. Lots of other people out there who teach the craft of writing novels.

So my message was getting muddied in all of that. Bogged down in trying to teach people craft while simultaneously helping them take control of their writing destinies (craft is a big part of taking control of your writing destiny).

Except I’m not really a teacher. I’m a leader. And there’s a big difference.

A teacher teaches you how to do something. But a leader shows you by example.

My message of freedom and taking control of your writing destiny is SO MUCH MORE powerful coming from me as the authorpreneur who walks my talk and lives the writing life on a daily basis than it is coming from a story development coach who helps people plan their stories.

And while I was still doing the authorpreneur thing while I’ve been doing the story coaching thing, I wasn’t really sharing it with anyone. I wasn’t talking about it very much—the details of what it’s really like to own a writing business and be an authorpreneur in the digital age.

So my message got watered-down.

But now my message is shining through from me showing up in the world, acting like the writer and author I want to be, and being one-hundred percent, unapologetically myself.

If you want to stand out and make an impact as an author—regardless of what kind of author you are; blogger, nonfiction, fiction—you need to have a core message. And then you need to let that core message shine through by showing up in the world as who you are (and who you want to be).

So, what’s your message?

What’s that thing you want to share with your readers, followers and fans? What do you want to be remembered for? What does the world need to hear?

You need an author message, no matter what kind of writing you do. People who follow you and read your stuff will resonate so much more with you if you do.

Because you’ll be resonating with them at a core level, not just a story level. They won’t just be connected to the stories you write, they’ll be connected to you as an author.

And that’s what you need if you want to make a career of this.

Any yahoo can sell a bunch of books one time, but it takes a true authorpreneur to stay in it for the long-haul.

To help you get started, I created a worksheet where you can brainstorm and create your author message. This message will then inform all of the choices you make for your author platform and all of the content you put out there.

>> Download the author message worksheet

Share with us

What’s your author message? What do you stand for?

If you want to craft your message and create your author platform, be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a kick-ass motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. We do monthly group workshops that include building your author platform, crafting your message, growing your readership and more.


Image courtesy of Unsplash

What You Have to Do If You Want to Make An Impact

Something very few pro authors in the online world talk about is all the “icky” stuff that goes on behind the scenes: the haters, the unsubscribes, the fear, the doubt, the self-sabotage. But I always make it a point to talk about that stuff.


Because if you want to do this pro author thing, like, for real, you’ve gotta know what you’re up against. Being an author in the digital space isn’t the same thing as being an author in the offline world.

In the offline world, the only way to get hate-mail is to have someone say it to your face or to send you a letter via your P.O. Box. But in the online world, hate-mail, complaints, people who want to criticize and point fingers and tell you that you’re wrong…that can show up in your email inbox on a daily basis (and believe me, as you grow into the author you dream of being and find more and more success, that’s exactly what’s going to happen).

If you want to be a pro author, you have to be OK with this. You have to be OK with the haters, the criticism, seeing unsubscribes from your email list.

If you can’t be OK with this, you may want to quit while you’re ahead (or, rather, quit before you’ve actually built up enough success for this stuff to start happening to you).

The truth is, you can’t stop it. It’s going to happen. The online world is full of creepy, annoying, mean, stupid people who have nothing better to do with their time than criticize others, hate on how hard you’re working and try to bring you down to their level.

But you don’t have to fall for it. You can hold a space in your heart for all the people who just don’t get it and never will. For the people who are going to die with their dreams inside them, because they just don’t have what it takes to make it happen.

And you’ve gotta have some compassion for that.

I used to get really upset by this kind of stuff—hate-mail, unsubscribes from my email list. It used to hurt me a lot, because I used to believe that I had to please everyone. That I had to appeal to everyone and everyone had to like me.

Now I know better.

Now I know that trying to appeal to and please everyone is a recipe for pleasing no one. It’s a recipe for keeping people on the fence about you.

And in the online world, that’s the worst thing you can do.

Sounds scary, right? Because we’ve been told that we have to be nice and sugar-coat things so that we don’t make people feel bad or so we don’t “outshine” them with our gifts.

If you’ve been around me long enough, you’ll know that I have only one thing to say to all of that nonsense: I don’t fucking think so.

The real truth is, if you want to be successful online, if you want to be a successful, thriving pro author in the digital age, you have to be OK with not pleasing everyone, not sugar-coating things, not caring if people get offended or if they don’t like you.

Success is built on being who you are, showing up as you fully, 100 percent of the time and being real with your audience/readers.

That was something that took me awhile to really get, because I grew up getting bullied for being different and for not conforming to what everyone else was doing. So when I started my blog back in 2008, I wanted to appeal to everyone. I wanted to help every writer in the world.

And I made zero impact. For an entire year.

Of course, I wasn’t really out there trying to make a big impact, but I was out there trying to get people to read my blog. And while I did get some readers (I think I had 25 by the end of the year), it wasn’t until I opened up to the idea that not only could I not please everyone, but I shouldn’t try, that things started to take off.

It was hard at first. When I first started blogging, I just wanted to be PC. I wanted to help everyone and I wanted to be liked by everyone.

Never going to happen.

And if you try, you’re totally wasting your time and you’re gonna end up not helping anyone and not making any kind of impact.

It wasn’t ’til I started being myself, writing in my voice, using my words (including the swear words that some people just don’t like) and writing about what I wanted to write about, when things got really good for me.

Yes, to this day (in fact, just yesterday morning) I still get haters and people who want to tell me I’m wrong and that they don’t like what I’m doing. I now choose to see that kind of stuff as a good thing.

If I was being plain-vanilla-boring, no one would care.

And as the great Jon Morrow says, if you’re not getting hate-mail on a regular basis, you’re doing something wrong.

If you want people to care about what you’re doing, to resonate with you and to stick around and eventually buy stuff from you (aka: your books!), you can’t worry about that stuff. You have to just go out there every day and be you to the fullest degree that you can.

Yes, some people will hate it. Some people will not want to follow you or will unsubscribe from your email list. And, yes, some people will make it a point to first tell you that they don’t like you or that they’re unsubscribing, because they can’t just go quietly. They have to make sure you know why they’re leaving.

And the reason is because when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

But by being you, unapologetically, you will call in your real tribe. The people who are meant to follow your stuff and meant to be on your email list. The ones who resonate so deeply with your words and what you’re creating in the world.

The ones who want to be a part of what you’re doing.

I like to write things that push buttons and piss people off. Because this helps me tighten my tribe. It helps me get rid of the people who don’t resonate with my message and who never will.

And it helps me get closer to the people who actually care, who actually want to hear from me, who actually see the value in what I do.

If you’re still here, you’re a part of my tribe. You’re an emerging novelist with big dreams who refuses to settle and who wants to make all your writing dreams come true.

Awesome. You’re meant to be here and I’m grateful that you are.

Big things are coming. For all of us.

Share With Us

How do you deal with criticism that’s not constructive?

Featured image courtesy of julochka