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The Side of Success You’re Most Likely Ignoring

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

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

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

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

Are you in?

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

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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? 

If you’re done with excuses and ready to step up and claim the writing life you dream of having, be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, where we kick excuses to the curb and make big shit happen. Learn more here

Image courtesy of Lindsay Alachance

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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What are your success signs? How do they show up in your life?

Ready to take your writing life to a whole new level? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, kick-ass motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. Doors are opening to new members soon! 

 

6 Ways to Defy the “Societal Norms” for Being A Writer

When it comes to being a writer (and a creative person in general), there are societal “rules” that will automatically be placed on you. Rules like, it has to be hard work, if you’re not working hard you’re not really earning it, you have to pay your dues and work your way up from the bottom and you can’t make a full-time living as a writer.

These rules are generally considered to be true by most of society, including a whole lot of writers. But that doesn’t mean you have to play by them.

You create your own reality and you do it with your beliefs, your thoughts and your actions. So that means you can create whatever reality you want to live in, including one where all of these bullshit societal norms do not apply.

You can choose to create a reality where you get to make up the rules and you get to decide what it’s like for you as a writer.

Here are 6 ways to do that:

1. Decide What You Want Your Reality to Look Like

This is the super-fun part. You get to make up what you want your reality to be like, look like and feel like. Because you create your own reality with your thoughts.

But before you can create what you want, you have to first get really clear on what that is (otherwise you might doom yourself to having default success). The clearer you are, the better.

The easiest way to get clear is to grab your journal and write down what you want your life to look like in every area: your writing life, money, relationships, possessions, your body, your health, your hobbies, whatever areas are important to you. Write about your dream life as if it’s already happening right now.

(Here’s a video that talks more about how to do this.)

2. Choose the “New Normal” You Will Live By

Now that you’re clear on what you want your life to be like, it’s time to set the rules for your new normal. Right now you’re living life based on societal norms, telling you things that are unsupportive of the dreams and goals you have for your writing life.

It’s time to buck that by instead creating the rules that you will live by, regardless of what everyone around you is doing (and I’m not talking about breaking actual real laws, like the kind that will put you in jail).

Here’s what I mean by creating new rules: if everyone in the writing world beliefs that “it takes years of hard work to write a good book,” you can decide not to live by that “rule.” You can decide that you can write a good book in one year, with ease.

Crazy? Maybe. But doesn’t it feel so much more inspiring and motivating to live by that rule? Doesn’t that rule open up so much more possibility?

Now, of course, there are specific actions you’d need to take to make that rule actually work (like mastering craft, hiring a story development coach, writing the book, hiring an editor, finding some Beta Readers, doing the revision work, etc). But it’s absolutely possible for you to write a good book in a year.

And it doesn’t have to be hard, either. You can decide that it will be easy (that, again, comes with specific actions, like hiring help to make it easier for you).

The point being, whatever you want your new normal to be, it can be. But you have to choose it and then step into it. You can’t just choose it and then keep doing the stuff you were doing before, hoping it will work.

You have to choose it and step into it.

3. Commit to It and Be Consistent

The next thing you have to do after you step into it is commit to it. You must commit to having it exactly as you want it, no matter what it takes.

And committing also means being consistent with it. Because it’s not gonna happen overnight. It will take time for it to manifest in your physical world.

The commitment and the consistency are what help it show up faster.

4. Don’t Stop, Ever

This goes hand-in-hand with number three, because at first your new normal will only be in your mind and on paper, but it won’t have fully shown up in your physical world. For this reason, most people who start to defy societal norms and ways of thinking will turn back soon after they’ve left the shore.

Because “nothing is happening.”

The funny thing is, there is more happening in the “unseen” that you can ever even begin to imagine. But to bring it forward to your physical reality, you have to show up, do the work, be consistent and keep going until what you want to see actually manifests, physically.

Think of it like a seed. When you plant a seed it takes weeks, sometimes months, before you see signs of life. Every day you look at your little cup of dirt and see nothing. Nothing is sprouting. All the watering and sunlight is for nothing.

But what you don’t see are all the roots growing under the soil, grabbing on and taking hold so that when the plant does finally pop through, it will have a foundation in place to actually stick around.

Same with creating your new normal. It takes time. When you start doing the “write your reality” exercise, you’ll feel things starting to shift internally before you’ll see the results in your physical world.

Let the internal feelings and shifts be enough for right now. If you keep it up, the rest will follow. I promise you.

5. Ignore Everything Around You That Doesn’t Match This

Another tough one. Because when you’re not seeing stuff happening in your real life, you may start to worry that it’s “not working.” Or, some things you’d generally consider to be negative might start showing up, and then you’ll freak out and really think it’s not working.

Just know there is a “clearing out” period that comes with any big transition. Right now you’re up-leveling your new normal, and that will come with growing pains.

You have to stay focused on the big vision and know that it will show up, and right now everything in your life is just realigning itself with the new normal you’re asking for.

Back at the end of 2014, I made the decision to give up freelance writing in order to focus 100 percent on story development coaching. It was a very scary choice for me, because at the time freelance money made up the biggest percentage of my income.

But I hated freelance writing. I hated being told what to write about. I wanted to have full control of my time and my writing.

So I made the decision to let it go and to focus on story coaching. And not only did I make the decision, but then I declared it to the Universe (out loud, to my coach, and on paper).

Before I could even start taking action on it, something crazy happened.

I lost my high-paying freelance gig. The company decided they wanted to save money by bringing the position in-house and so they ended my contract. I had one payment left from them and then I was on my own (although I’ll add we’re never really “on our own”).

Fucking scary. Especially because that project was bringing in the money I needed to pay for my bills and living expenses for the month.

And then even scarier, a long-time client I’d be working on a nonfiction book project with decided he wanted to take his business in a new direction and he was going to shelve working on his book for a while.

It was like the rug got pulled out from under me, twice. All the consistent work I had was falling apart. I wanted to cry.

But I held tight. I reached out to my support system (my coach, my accountability partner) and they talked me off the ledge of panic.

I stuck with it. And literally the same night my client and I parted ways, I received an email from someone who wanted to sign up for my 90-day program and get help writing his first novel. This told me that my new normal was already in play, and all I had to do was keep going.

Without even taking much action apart from making the decision to give up freelance and focus on fiction coaching, and then declaring it to the Universe, my life started rearranging itself to match what I was asking for.

Growing pains. Time-gaps. It’s gonna happen. Hold tight to the big vision and trust that when you show up and do your part, the Universe will show up to support you in making it happen.

6. Expect It to Show Up

This might be the hardest one, especially for writers who a lot of times tend to be very skeptical and overanalyze everything. This step is really about having faith. Not religious faith (unless that appeals to you), but faith in the Universal law of “like attracts like.”

If you’re putting something positive out there, you will get something positive back. That’s what like attracts like means.

That’s why writers who bitch and complain about how hard it is and how many hours they’re putting in and seeing very little result from or whatever they’re bitching about, you can see what shows up for them. Writer’s Block. Excuses. Life-chaos that distracts them from doing the writing. Procrastination.

And with an attitude like that, it doesn’t matter if they put in 10 hours of work a day, it still won’t make a difference.

Because they’re not aligned with the success they want to have. They’re playing by societal norms and having those same results show up for them.

It doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to give up your whole life and just write. You don’t have to spend 5 hours a day writing.

I wrote my #1 bestselling Amazon book in 15-30 minute blocks of time over a 30-day period. I no longer buy into the belief that it has to be hard or take a ton of time. I live by a new normal and I’m flourishing.

You get to choose. You get to decide which societal norms you apply and which you defy. And it’s OK if the writers around you follow different “rules.”

You don’t have to live in their realities.

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Which of these steps are you going to act on right now?

Are you ready to defy societal norms and create the writing life you dream of having? Then be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, the high-level, kick-ass accountability and success mindset group for emerging authors who won’t settle for anything less than their dream writing lives. 

Here’s What You Have to Do to Get What You Really Want

Not everyone agrees with this statement, but I truly believe we can have anything that we want, no matter what it is.

Really.

But in order to get what you want, there’s something you have to do first. And it’s a biggie.

Without doing this one thing, you may not get exactly what you want. And yeah, sure, you can always accept a consolation prize. Something that’s close to what you want and makes you feel pretty good too.

Except it’s not what you really want, and you deserve to have everything that you want–especially in your writing life.

The problem most writers–and people in general–have is they’re willing to settle, to accept something mediocre in place of what they really want.

I used to be like that too.

How To Not Get What You Want

When I was in college I had a desktop computer that died after a year of buying it, and so I had to buy a new one. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a Sony Vaio laptop (those were really popular when I was in college).

I knew it was a top-of-the-line computer and that it would last a hell of a lot longer than the refurbished desktop I’d been using. Plus, I wanted a laptop so that I could do my school work and writing wherever I felt like (and not be chained to the desk in my dorm room).

Except when I got to Best Buy to purchase my new laptop… they were out of stock on the Sony Vaio laptops. They had none left in the store.

I was extremely disappointed. But then the sales guy told me that I could buy a Toshiba laptop instead which would be just as good and would cost about half the price of the Sony.

And because I wanted instant gratification–because I wanted to walk out of the store with a laptop that day–I settled. I let him talk me into buying the Toshiba.

Got back to my dorm room, loved the new laptop for a couple weeks… and then it started overheating and shutting down on me without warning, and I kept losing stuff. I spent 3 hours researching and writing an article for the school paper and right before I hit “save” the fucking laptop shut down on me and I lost the whole thing (the laptop didn’t have Word, only Microsoft Works, which didn’t have a “document recovery” option at the time).

I was devastated.

Not to mention I took the Toshiba in to the Best Buy Geek Squad at least 5 times and no one could ever fix what was wrong with it. And when I called Toshiba customer service directly, the guy I spoke with gave me bad instructions and I ended up losing my entire music library of 3,000+ songs. (I was even more devastated about that, because music is my air.)

I was really pissed off. Mostly at myself.

Because I settled. I went to the store knowing what I wanted, and I let someone talk me into getting something else because what I wanted wasn’t available. Because I would’ve had to wait a little bit longer to have it.

The funny thing is, people do this to themselves ALL the time. You wanted to buy the blue one, but they only had red so you got red. Rather than just waiting for blue to be available or going online and trying to find the blue one, you just settle and buy the red.

And the truth is, when you’re settling in one area of your life, you’re likely settling in several.

So, where are you settling when it comes to your writing dream? Where are you telling yourself that you can’t truly have what you want, and instead accepting a mediocre version of it? 

There’s only one way to get exactly what you want, every single time you want something. Whether that’s in your writing life, buying a computer or anything else you want: You have to close off all other options.

What does that mean?

It means acting like there is no other option available. You’ll get what you want or die trying.

Period.

If I went into Best Buy back in college and had closed off all other options beforehand, I would’ve walked out of the store without a laptop that day… but I’d have walked back in a few weeks later when they had more and then walked out with a Sony Vaio in my hands. No settling.

Another Example

Let’s say you want to be a bestselling author. It’s a dream you’ve had your whole life. You’ve imagined it more times than you can count.

But since you have no idea how to make it happen, you settle. You put your book out into the world and then you let it sit. You make a few sales, but the book doesn’t become a bestseller.

And you’re OK with that–because you’ve been told that you can’t always get what you want.

Except none of the BS is true.

You CAN have what you want. You can have it ALL.

But the only way is to close off all other options.

If being a bestselling author was your only option… you’d keep at it ’til it happened. You’d work your ass off bringing that dream to life. You’d accept nothing less than bestseller status. You’d market and sell your book 24/7 if that’s what it took.

Problem is, too often we want something, but we’re not fully committed to having it, and so when we’re offered a consolation-prize version of what we want, we settle. We call it good enough and move on.

And that’s why you don’t always get what you want.

Because getting what you want means NOT settling. It means holding off, waiting, being patient. It means knowing that it might take a year or a few years or a lifetime to make it happen, and being OK with that.

When you close off all other options, that means you’re not open to getting anything but what you want. And by being that committed to what you want AND doing the work to make it happen, there’s no way in hell you won’t get it at some point. It’s inevitable.

That’s what it really takes to get what you want. To get exactly what you want. Every single time. No exceptions.

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What do you want for your writing life? And how are you going to close off all other options so that getting what you want becomes inevitable?

Are you ready to get everything you want and unleash the writing life of your dreams? Check out my new eBook: Align Your Writing Habits to Success, available right now on Amazon.

Want A Writing Success Crystal Ball? Two Things to Look At

When it comes to getting what you want–in life and in your writing–it all really comes down to two things. Two little things that can make or break you. Two things that will determine exactly how successful you’re going to be.

Those two things are: your priorities and your habits.

Your priorities and habits are your keys to success. If your habits are supportive of your goals and your priorities are aligned with your writing dreams, there’s no stopping you. You are set up for inevitable success.

But if your habits are sabotaging your goals and your priorities are totally out of whack, guess what? You’ll never get where you want to go with your writing. Not ever.

Never. (And I never say never, but I’m saying it.)

It’s impossible to reach the level of success as a writer that you dream of if you don’t align your habits and priorities with your dreams. It can’t happen.

And the reason it can’t happen is because you won’t be taking the actions you need to take or making the choices you need to make to get to your dream writing life, because your habits and priorities are not working.

This was something I had to personally look at recently, as I take my writing career to the next level. I did a journal exercise the other day that was insanely eye-opening.

It can be scary to flesh it all out on paper and see it written down. Because then you can’t not look at it.

Sometimes it even seems easier not to look at it. To just live your life, never taking a minute to look at what you want and where you’re at, to see if it’s matching up (hint: if you don’t already have what you want, it’s not).

I avoided it for a long time… until I realized I had to look at it. I had to write down what I want, and then make a list of my current habits and priorities, to see if it was a match.

And, well, what I found did’t come as a huge shock: my priorities and habits don’t totally align with where I want to go with my life, my writing and my business.

For example, in my “what I want” list, I wrote down that I want “to be healthy and fit.” But when I look at my habits and priorities, they don’t align with that goal. Right now I don’t exercise regularly and I’ve fallen into a bad habit again of eating a lot of junk food.

If I say what I want is to be healthy and fit, you can clearly see that will never happen with the habits I have in place currently. Instead, I need to have habits that support the goal, such as doing 30 minutes of movement every day, no exception, and eating a 90/10 balance–90 percent healthy, 10 percent whatever I want.

Habits like that would support my goal of being healthy and fit.

So, now it’s time to turn the spotlight on your writing priorities and habits. The only way you can make a change is to see where you’re at and where you want to be, to determine the gap and what your next steps are.

An Exercise

Grab your journal or notebook. Set a timer for 10 minutes and go to town writing down exactly what you want for your writing life. What does your dream writing life look like?

For example, mine has me publishing a minimum of two books a year, having my books turned into movies, being a multi-bestselling author, and having millions of readers all over the world.

Once the timer goes off, flip to another page (or even at the bottom of the same page if there’s still space), and make two lists. List one is what your current priorities are. List two is what your current habits are related to your writing.

Be honest when making these lists. No one will see it except you, and by looking at exactly what is, you’ll know where to go from there. Just don’t kid yourself.

Now compare the two lists against the write up about your dream writing life. Do the habits and priorities you currently have align with getting you to that dream life?

If yes, congrats. You’re part of a very small percentage of writers who are showing up consistently and doing the work. Make any needed tweaks and keep on going.

If no, you have some work to do.

What To Do Next

I want you to make a list of what you think your habits and priorities would be if you did have your dream writing life. So if that life was already your current reality, what would you be doing on a daily basis?

Would you be skipping your writing sessions? Would you be putting other less important things before doing your writing?

Nope. If you had your dream writing life, you’d be writing every day. You’d be spending more time writing than watching TV or doing other meaningless things that won’t get you where you want to go.

Now it’s up to you. You can either keep doing what you’re doing (and not get where you want to go) or you can take a look at “what is” so you can realign and get on track to reaching your dreams.

A mentor of mine recently said, “success is a daily practice.” And it blew my mind when she said it because she’s so right. Success isn’t one of those things you get and then you just have it. It’s something you have to work at every single day.

And the foundation for success is your habits and priorities. Get those aligned to the writing life you dream of and watch magic happen.

Are you ready to align your priorities and habits with success? Grab my free training (short audio + worksheet) on Aligning Your Habits and Priorities to Success here.