Writer Spotlight on Barbara Snow: Reflections of a Prolific Series Author

Writer Spotlight on Barbara Snow: Reflections of a Prolific Series Author

I’m always fascinated to learn more about the lives and writings of women in our Facebook community.  Barbara Snow is a prolific author of supernatural mystery, who immigrated to Cuenca, Ecuador four years ago. She was telling me of the vibrant, international artist’s community there, which made me daydream about more writing retreats all over the continent.

However, Barbara’s first books weren’t in the genre at which she now excels. In the 1990s she used poetry and memoir to bring herself through a period of deep healing. In this blog she reflects on how poetry and memoir accompanied her on this journey toward a new life and livelihood.

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The Honest to God Truth about Leaving my Job

The Honest to God Truth about Leaving my Job

The first week out of work came as quite a surprise! I should have been thankful, but I WAS NOT THANKFUL. I was anxious, insecure and probably very annoying.

This is funny, because in my book The Meaning Method I wrote about this concept of radical gratitude. It means being grateful for the joy and pain in life. So, what I was experiencing must have been radical ingratitude. I had worked for years to be able to liberate myself from the 9-5, and then once I did it, I was baffled. Until I realized how hilarious it was.

Thus far, my life has given me more opportunities to experience radical gratitude, rather than radical ingratitude, so I just want to take this moment to reflect and laugh.

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How to Make the Most of Your Beta Readers

How to Make the Most of Your Beta Readers

Inside all meaningful work is the seed of something great. But not everybody can see it at first! That’s where beta readers come in handy.

However, not all critiques are created equal. Remember, your work is NOT a popularity contest. Let's face it, not everybody likes every fiction genre, and not everybody needs every personal development book. You simply want to make sure your work resonates with the audience that's right for you. When you first start float your manuscript, it's important to find readers you trust and understand their perspective.

It's important to distinguish comments that will make your work better, from comments that will weaken your unique voice.

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3 Steps to Clear the Fear of Showing Your Work to Other People

3 Steps to Clear the Fear of Showing Your Work to Other People

Are you excited to publish a book, but scared to show your work to anyone else? It's kind of a Catch 22. But a lot of people share this fear!

OK. Let’s talk about it . . .

Shoving a bunch of writers into a room is kind of like filling a bucket with shucked oysters. Everybody feels squishy and vulnerable, like they’re missing their protective shell. With good reason. Writing is passionate and great passion spurs great vulnerability. However, if one person can settle in and be authentic, the whole experience becomes better for everybody.

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5 Mindset Strategies to Double Your List (i.e. Readers!)

5 Mindset Strategies to Double Your List (i.e. Readers!)

We all start out with one subscriber: our mom. And then we go from there.

On Facebook, this has been really fun because over the past week we’ve formed a focus group of sixty-some people called List Growth T & T.  That means List Growth Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we’ve been brainstorming, partnering, and taking action to grow our lists.

Several people have launched blogs, and experienced bloggers are finding opportunities for guest posts. Especially the intuitives! Join us if you’re interested.

For all you authors out there, growing your list means growing your audience, which means growing your readers and clients. That’s right, even books need a subscriber list these days. (Find out more in strategy #5). The best part is that this can be very inspiring and lucrative for writers, because it involves a lot of WRITING.

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Should you swear in your book or blog? Or is it just... awkward.

Should you swear in your book or blog? Or is it just... awkward.

One of the most powerful ways to connect with your readers is to "speak their language." However a lot of us find it's hard to strike a balance when it comes to swearing. Sure, it makes sense over cocktails, but in a book? I love this question, and it comes up a lot. 

The short answer is, there is no short answer. Whatever you decide it needs to be a conscious choice. Here are some questions that will help you consider.

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The Most Important Thing To Help You Hit Publish

The Most Important Thing To Help You Hit Publish

Every once in a while I come across an article about how "too many" people are publishing these days, and there are "too many" books flooding the market, and not everybody should write a book etc. And it's funny to me because I wonder, what exactly is the problem here?

Is discouraging people from writing all that different from discouraging people reading? 

Is it safe to read, but it's not safe to write? (Actually I know a lot people who have that block.)

Exactly how many books are "too many"?

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How to Follow Through and Make Your Writing Dreams Reality

How to Follow Through and Make Your Writing Dreams Reality

One thing I´m good at is following through. This became especially apparent to me in that I´m finishing my last week of classes as a school teacher. And when I say this, I mean my last week of classes EVER! That´s right, my coaching business has liberated me from my day job. It´s robust enough to go full time!

Whether it’s your book, a day job, or anything you’re taking through the final steps, as you get around to finishing, you´re working through the hardest part. You’ve felt this. What began as an ecstatic and inspired idea, now moves more slowly as you get to the end.

However, when you're honest and admit that finishing is a different animal then starting, there are simple strategies that can carry you through. Here are three quick tips to make sure you don't fall off the wagon, before you cross the finish line.

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The 2 Step Formula for Inspired Writing

The 2 Step Formula for Inspired Writing

Your book could really make an impact and serve the world. Imagine that. Think about the readers you want to reach and the difference you want to make.

Now all you have to do is write it. That´s all.

Forgive the sarcasm, I only mean it playfully. Over and over, people come to me with a great deal of inspiration, but the plan, the structure, the execution… all of that gets a little blurry.

If you have an idea for a book that lights you up inside, trust me, you have everything you need to put it into the world. However, you need to convert it from a vague idea into a real vision with true clarity.

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Eat Creative Fear for Breakfast with this 5 Step Worksheet

Eat Creative Fear for Breakfast with this 5 Step Worksheet

No matter how experienced you are at writing and creating, this still comes up: FEAR. One moment you're excited and inspired, and the next moment you freeze. Your project seems impossible, impractical, or worse, embarrassing! Thus, you fold it up into a paper airplane and launch it for the trash.

As your writing coach, I want to tell you, “Stop right there!”

The stuff that brings up intense fear is usually your gutsiest most glorious material. You just have to work with it a little.

If you make working through fear a habit, the rewards are unbelievable. Your biggest professional and creative breakthroughs will come from working through fear. That’s why I’ve created this 5 step worksheet to help you out. Here we go!

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Why Every Writer Should Know About the Miracles of Energy Work

Why Every Writer Should Know About the Miracles of Energy Work

Have you ever been challenged by a glut of emotion that stopped you from writing your book? This could come in a variety of forms, anxiety, sadness, insecurity, or a bomb of self-criticism. And it seems that just on the other side of this emotional wall there is the dream of that book. You just have to get to the other side.

Here’s the thing that most people know intuitively, but not just anybody can explain: When you create something to be put out into the world, it heals you. As a writing coach, this is a pattern I see over and over again. People start to write the book they were meant to write, and then receive all these spiritual breakthroughs. That's where energy work makes all the difference!

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How to Find a Writing Group (Even if You´re Introverted!)

How to Find a Writing Group (Even if You´re Introverted!)

Many writers are introverts. We cherish our time alone with our notebooks pondering things: a table alone at a cozy café, solitary hours overlooking a placid lake, time to ourselves with a book. That’s our comfort zone.

As a result, the simple act of getting out of our easy chair, socializing and discovering a couple of running buddies can lead to revolutionary progress.

Personally, I almost hate to be reminded of that. Where do I even find these amazing people? Does this mean I have to walk into a party and introduce myself? Do I have to start asking people to mentor me? Gross.

The first thing you need to do is memorize this mantra: Wherever I am is exactly where I need to be.

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The Surprising History of Manifesting and How It’s Changing

The Surprising History of Manifesting and How It’s Changing

These days, a lot of people manifesting all over the place. The results are pretty amazing. Just last month I opened my mind, said a prayer, and wrote 8 things I was ready to receive. These were high hopes that I didn’t even consider probable (due to limiting beliefs) and within 24 hours, 5 of them were at my doorstep. In 2 weeks, all of them and more. Things like money, new relationships and recognition in my career.

Where the heck did that power come from? How did I not know my own talents in sorcery? Why have I wasted so much time underestimating myself?

These are questions we could all ask ourselves.

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4 Steps to "Wrinkle" Time in Your Favor

4 Steps to "Wrinkle" Time in Your Favor

When I was a 6th grade teacher we read A Wrinkle in Time as a class, and it was so much fun! I was elated to hear it was coming out as a movie, and was in line at the theater the night it came to Bogotá! Fabulous, by the way.

In my 6th grade class, I loved how we could get into these crazy imaginative conversations where everything we call “reality” became a little more flexible. Especially time and space. I would lead them to Cartagena in a guided meditation and call it "tessering."

Now I’m a writing coach and I perform the same bending and wrinkling of reality, especially with time. The number one excuse to procrastinate writing a book is a lack of time. It’s the predominate reason that we pile on top of all the other reasons that we couldn’t possibly become a published author.

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4 Strategies to Overcome Your Upper Limit Problem and Manifest Success

4 Strategies to Overcome Your Upper Limit Problem and Manifest Success

Success freaks me out. That's pretty much the definition of an Upper Limit Problem. I make some great progress, even hit a breakthrough, and then comes the whiplash. Oh God what have I done? This is not my comfort zone! Take it all back! The award, the money, the happiness! I'm not used to this!

It sounds funny, but I'm not the only one. Have you ever had a great writing day where you feel really inspired, and then 24 hours later you doubt everything? Is that an upper limit problem?

Yup. You got it.

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The Harmful Habit that Stops you from Developing your Intuition

The Harmful Habit that Stops you from Developing your Intuition

As a writer, are you developing your intuitive skills? I’m telling you, it’s the best way to increase your creative flow, not to mention it’s a blast.  The structure, aesthetic, not to mention the material itself, all comes from intuitive capacities. Whether you´re writing fiction or nonfiction, all of your creative ideas come through intuition.

When you block that flow it feels like you´re pen has dried up. 

Of course, I love talking about ways to develop your intuition by noticing synchronicity and coming out of the spiritual closet. But this week I want to talk about the biggest block. It’s a simple phrase: “It’s just my imagination.” If you have an idea that’s been nudging you and could quite possibly become a book, that single phrase will shut down your entire internal messaging system.

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Small Steps are Brave Acts

Small Steps are Brave Acts

I´ll never forget the weekend I received my first Julia Cameron book as a gift from my mother. It was the week the United States invaded Iraq, March 20th, 2003.

I remember it so vividly because we had been visiting my Aunt in Minneapolis. At the time she worked for these Irish nuns, The Sisters of St. Joseph, and that weekend they protested in the middle of the St. Patrick´s Day parade with cardboard posters that said, “Wars Stop Parades.”

They were so determined, so brave. The school bands, and giant balloons and candy throwers all had to walk around them. It was an uncomfortable moment. Although they were not arrested, they had to be escorted away by the police. I watched on the sidelines and wanted so badly to have that kind of courage.

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How to be Fearless in the Face of Rejection

How to be Fearless in the Face of Rejection

Congratulations! You’re reading a blog post on rejection! That must mean that you’re up to something, a launch, a risk, a goal, a contest or something new that could possibly fail.

Plenty of people spend their lives avoiding rejection and end up avoiding growth. That’s why I say, Congratulations! Let’s talk about rejection.

It’s been said a million times that successful people aren’t afraid of rejection, or at least they know how to deal with it. Does this mean they have a really high tolerance for pain? Not necessarily. They may just have a perspective on rejection that makes it a lot less painful.

I know that was my experience.

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The Secret Motivator Behind Every Word

The Secret Motivator Behind Every Word

In my experience as a writer there are certain touchstones that carry you from the first page of writing a book, to the last.  For me, one of these has always been exploring etymologies. When I begin to write a story, I pick a few important words that capture the essence of what I’m writing and then I look up the etymologies. I continually go back to them. They become my magic words, the abracadabra of the project

Actually, when I was leaving home to go to college one of my graduation presents was a beautiful red dictionary, and I remember sitting on my dorm room floor, and just getting lost in the labyrinth of the meaning behind the meaning behind the meaning of words as you go back through the centuries. It’s like discovering the secrets of things people say every day, but they don’t know what they really mean.

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