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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Story On Steroids Retreat April 2016
[on left] Evening 1: Getting everything all set up and ready for the 26 emerging novelists who were joining us for the event. [top right] Yep–Weiland (and my hubs) traveled with me across the country to hang out at the Benson Hotel while I presented YSOS with Larry. [bottom right] Larry and me!! It was so friggin’ exciting to finally meet him in person after working together virtually since 2009.
Being part of this event made me realize that I want this level of educating writers on story craft. I want to be known in the industry as a kick-ass story coach and bestselling author, just like Larry is. 
And that’s going to take a whole new level of commitment and taking action on my part. (Just a little something I’m working on right now.) 
Here are the ways I’ve stepped up my game since the event ended:
  • Created a new Instagram-only video series called “15 Seconds of Story.” I’ll be sharing quick, bite-sized tips about writing better novels. (I just posted the first one yesterday!) You can follow me on Instagram here.
  • Committed to taking action daily (I’m following a list known as the “Daily Fucking Actions Checklist”–because it’s so intense)
  • Started connecting with podcasters (I’m going to be on two podcasts this month! Can’t wait to share them with ya)
  • Started blogging again (I’ve been writing emails to you, but not posting the content on my blog, oy!)
And there’s a whole lot more to come. Because I’ve been on a mission for a long time now… but thanks to Your Story On Steroids, that mission has gotten a crazy-huge fire lit under it. 
Watch out world.


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

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

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