Writing Books that Make Readers Laugh, Cry but most of all Think

Writing Books that Make Readers Laugh, Cry but most of all Think

The fact is, you have a story inside you, and that story has a message. You don’t just want people to read it, you want them to feel it. It’s a seed to be planted in the soil of readers’ emotions where it can grow and flourish.

Metaphors make us laugh, they make us cry, but most of all they make us think. I’ve got plenty of examples in the blog, but first and foremost I want to explain why they’re so important. It’s going to challenge you to bring your content creation to a new level.

And it’s fun.

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The Real Reason You Can't Put Your Book on the Back Burner

The Real Reason You Can't Put Your Book on the Back Burner

When writing a book you need to be unstoppable or you will become extremely stoppable. Time will stop you, money will stop you, cleaning will stop you, other people’s priorities will stop you.

I speak from experience. This is why people hire me.

These are the manifestations of a belief system that says your book, your words, your unique contribution to this world is not a priority.

This is a habit you can cultivate. The muscle of believing in yourself gets stronger with practice. It’s not one triumphant moment of fireworks. It’s the simple act of jumping out of the shower and writing down an idea while dripping wet and naked. It means keeping a pen and paper on the nightstand so you can sketch out the thoughts that wake you up from dreams. It means reserving an hour or two a week in a cafe to scribble down your progress, just as you would to take your kids to a birthday, or if your boss asked you to stay late. You deserve your own time as much as anybody else.

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How India Taught Me to Overcome Creative Resistance

How India Taught Me to Overcome Creative Resistance

Finding your voice as a writer is the adventure of a lifetime, because your true voice exists on the other side of your ego.

Your true voice has the ability to look past everything you resist and see the most meaning in whatever’s in front of you. That’s how a great novel that can express the beauty of both life and death, pleasure and pain, equally. And it brings up the same experience in the reader through catharsis.

The ego can’t see that, because frankly, it doesn’t seem to make sense. The ego is always scared. It judges everything, sees it as right or wrong, good or bad, good enough and not good enough. Plus, it has no patience for the organic process through which anything meaningful and creative comes into begin.

If your ego was watching a flower, it would probably just keep yelling “Hurry up!” until it drove itself completely mad. Sometimes the creative writing process is like that too. That’s when you know the ego is arising.

That’s where surrender comes in...

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Two Life-Changing Time Tricks that will Align Your Life with Creativity

Two Life-Changing Time Tricks that will Align Your Life with Creativity

The time to write your book will never yank you by the collar, spring to the top of your inbox, or nag you. You have to seek it out for yourself. And when you invest time in your book (and the whispers of your soul) you become the author of your life.

Competing priorities and an over-stuffed calendar are some of the biggest blocks to writing. It’s not that we don’t have a voice, or an essential story to tell, we’ve got the most important elements buried inside, we just don’t have time to express them.

It’s always something. But if we’re honest it’s usually the same thing, or at least there’s a pattern when we can recognize it. When we find the flaws in how we think about time, the whole game changes. Suddenly we can use that precious resource to hurtle us forward into becoming the author we’re meant to be.

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My Personal Experience with Creative Fatigue and How to Overcome it.

My Personal Experience with Creative Fatigue and How to Overcome it.

The end of 2018 taught me a lot about fatigue. So much so, that I haven’t even written about it until now. I’m finally ready to look at my lessons and really learn from them.

One thing I want to say to begin with is, fatigue is real. It has to be appreciated, understood and cared for, much like an infant. If you think your creative well has run dry, and you’re frightened that you may never feel that spark again, please (with all my heart) don’t be scared. What’s happening is natural. It’s happened to millions of other artists before, and there is a clear path out.

However, that path does not include beating yourself up, pushing through, or getting impatient. Let go of those habits because they make it worse.

As many may know, 2018 was a big year for me. I left my full time job of seven years to take my author coaching full time and launched my first course, The Writer’s Lab. At the end of the year, I had reached a place of exciting success and fulfillment as found myself checking off the final items of my To Do List.

My first thought was, wonderful! Clean slate! Now I can start planning my next big creative project! But I also felt I deserved a nap. I remember laying down for that nap on December 4, 2018, and didn’t fully snap out of it for about eight weeks.

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Looking for Guidance? Inner Guidance?

Looking for Guidance? Inner Guidance?

Always remember you're not alone. 

No matter what kind of creative journey you're embarking on, you always have access to both interior and exterior guidance.  I'm here for exterior guidance, obviously, but you can also develop your own intuition to increase creativity and productivity. 

In her book “Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert talked about her own experiences being visited by “ideas” and bringing the to life. Those stories caught like wildfire and there was quite a buzz about it in creative circles.

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “develop your intuition,” my own heart caught fire. For the first time I thought, “You mean intuition isn’t something that just hits you out of nowhere? It’s actually a skill that can be learned and developed?”

And so it is. Just like writing.

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This Way of Writing Requires No Time

This Way of Writing Requires No Time

What I really want to share is the writing process I used when I was transitioning out of my job into writing full time and running my passion business. It didn’t actually take time because, like many of us, I didn’t have a moment to spare.

It was more a series of internal shifts that then lead to a profound transformation in the way I organized my life and time in general.

When we really take on a manuscript, it’s not just the writing time we set to write that gets it done. We enter a path of discovery, and life gives us clues wherever we go. We start to live the book.

Therefore, it’s not about jailing yourself in a chair, where anxiety rises, and then you procrastinate, or give yourself a hard time for not getting enough done. Instead we’re going to use a process where the writing becomes timeless. You ponder your characters, ideas or concepts effortlessly and that fuels your progress.

We all know that feeling when we’re sitting in a taxi, and characters, ideas or even entire chapters download themselves quickly.

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Write Your Book Easily Using Your Existing Social Media Content

Write Your Book Easily Using Your Existing Social Media Content

It seems that we’re all always stretched for time, trying to grasp just a little of it to accomplish the things that will be genuinely meaningful and fulfilling.

That’s why I’m so excited about the new course I’ve released this week: Turn Your Social Media Content into Your Book. I know I usually write about spiritual topics. Honestly, social media is spiritual to me. As spiritual beings, we have an infinite capacity for creativity and connection. Never in history has technology mirrored that capacity within us.

So it’s ironic, that we have this global stage to express ourselves and meet others, and yet we get lost in insecurity counting likes, or comparing ourselves. People say they lose hours on their phone and they don’t know where it went. Entrepreneurs say that it’s one of the most time consuming and confusing aspects of their business which often prohibits them from moving ahead. This is where I see a grand opportunity.

Seen in a different light, platforms like Instagram and Facebook have made writers of us all. We spend more time reflecting on quotes, coming up with new ideas, and solving creative problems.

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How Viktor Frankl's Book Changed the Way I Write Forever.

How Viktor Frankl's Book Changed the Way I Write Forever.

We love it when the inspiration strikes and we’re in the flow. The thing is we hate all the crap that gets in the way. The work, the stuckness, the setbacks, the pain, and even trauma. Why can’t writing be easy all the time?

The thing is (and I’m sure you’ve heard this before) the ugly stuff is the grain of sand in the center of a pearl. The real insight and depth of your writing comes by taking the tough stuff ugly and giving it space, time, learning to become beautiful. While we’re in it, it’s painful, but when we witness it we see the significance. Without the grain of sand to irritate the nacre of the oyster, the pearl has nothing to cling to.

That’s why, Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning absolutely changed my life and became the center of my philosophy about writing. If Frankl can find meaning in the Holocaust, than obviously, I can do it with my own struggles. I can turn it into art.

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Overcome Fear and Self-Doubt in Your Writing

Overcome Fear and Self-Doubt in Your Writing

Here’s the bad news. When you're on a path of growth, of creative expression, and going ever deeper into your message, the fears and doubts don't go away. They meet you at your edge.

But here’s the good news. There’s a time tested strategy to overcome fear and doubt, and it doesn’t have to be painful. You don’t have to try to think your way out of it. Go deeper.

Back when I used to think that “mindset” was only about the mind, I would get so frustrated. When I try to put myself out there, write something new, or express myself in a way that feels risky, it´s impossible to mentally force myself to that next level. When it comes to confidence, I can’t believe things I don’t believe.

That’s when I had my major breakthrough. Mindset isn’t just about your mind. Fear and doubt come up whenever you’re trying to change your belief system, and evolve as a human being. It’s the natural process of letting go of a belief system that may have served you in the past, and replacing it with a belief system that will support you at your next level, i.e. the belief system of a successful author.

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The Myth of Writing Your Book by Yourself

The Myth of Writing Your Book by Yourself

Do you ever look at other authors get major FOMO? How did they get that incredible publishing deal? How did they amass that gigantic following? How did they becoming a staggering genius all on their own?

The irony is, that everybody thinks that. Everybody looks at at somebody else and thinks they have all the luck. Even the people we think have all the luck.

Once I a client sent me an an e-mail (one of my all-time favorites) that said, “Why can’t I do this by myself? Did Hemingway get help? Did the Bronte Sisters get help?“

To be frank, the answer as yes and yes.

Hemingway was part of one of the most famous writing groups in Paris,mentored by Gertrude Stein, and the Bronte sisters, well, they were sisters. They didn’t have to do it alone.

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Why Risking Rejection is the Fast Track to Your Author Dream

Why Risking Rejection is the Fast Track to Your Author Dream

Heartbreak. We fear it in our writing, not to mention our relationships, health, bank account, and spiritual faith/beliefs. That monster comes up everywhere!

One thing is for certain, whatever kind of rejection or heartbreak you’re feeling now is the fastest catalyst to where you want to be. The fact is heartbreak is uncomfortable and it won’t allow you to stay where you are. Even if you don’t make all the right moves immediately, you’re more likely to stay in motion, learn and grow until you cure that discomfort. That’s the advantage of heartbreak.

And believe me, I practically have a PhD in heartbreak at this point because I’m always purposely or accidentally putting myself in that uncomfortable situations that force me to grow.

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Want to Use More Humor in Your Writing?

Want to Use More Humor in Your Writing?

One of my favorite artist stories is when Matisse began Drawing with Scissors. At the beginning of World War II he was on the cusp of his seventies, and his body was deteriorating in such a way that he could no longer paint as he painted before. Matisse was known throughout his career for his bold paintings, with masterful confident lines that could express a woman in one swift stroke.

But in 1941, Europe was falling apart around him, his marriage of four decades had ended, and he was bedridden because of his illness. What was his reaction? He sat up in a wheelchair and started to cut up colored paper. In the darkest period of his life, he made his brightest, liveliest work.

Drawing with Scissors is such a potent metaphor for creating in life. When we dream up ideas, any possible reality can flit across our mental theater without much effort at all. Thoughts are beautiful, ethereal and comparatively painless. But in order to give it life and make it real on earth, you have to cut, you have to decide, and affirm life, even if it hurts.

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The Key to Social Media for all Story Writers (especially fiction)

The Key to Social Media for all Story Writers (especially fiction)

There are so many opportunities for writers in social media. These platforms are created for word play. And yet, so many of us writers are baffled as to how to incorporate our craft into this medium that now has more users and views than TV.

And it’s interactive!

And it’s free for everybody!

I’ll never forget the day I had the opportunity to meet one of the most influential writers in my life, Nicole Krauss. I had the opportunity to tell her how much her book affected me. She responded that she rarely got to see the impact her work has on readers.

Well, all that is changing, and social media is the perfect place to develop those relationships.

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4 Steps to Make Your Book a Content Plan for Social

4 Steps to Make Your Book a Content Plan for Social

Writing a book and growing your audience are not separate jobs anymore. Your book is your social media content plan! Isn’t that great?

Rather than pumping out 30 random ideas a month, you’re engaging people in a journey that culminates in a fully functioning book launch.

The shifting terrain of publishing has created fabulous bubbles of opportunity as unknown authors become Instagram famous when an Influencer features them, or a publishing start-up signs your book offering to cover your publishing and marketing costs while giving you awesome royalties.

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, I’m going to show you how you can use social media to grow your audience while you’re still working on the book.

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They Lied About Hemmingway

They Lied About Hemmingway

You know that phrase, “Write drunk, edit sober.”

Hemingway never said that.

And a good thing too, because seriously that doesn’t make good art. There’s a destructive stereotype about writers being, shall we say, a little off balance..

This year, both in our community, The Writer’s Block and in our Meaning Method programs, we’ll be doing a lot more to balance mind, body and spirit, in order to become more creative.

If there’s something we want in life and it’s not happening, usually we create some habit that numbs us both to the desire of accomplishing it, and the pain of not accomplishing it. Cutting that habit out of our life can be a simple way to bring about change.

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How the Chakras Take You To Creative Heights You've Never Known

How the Chakras Take You To Creative Heights You've Never Known

After spending years in classes and workshops, I’ve got to admit, nothing has been so transformative to my own creative process as learning about the chakras. Learning about writing on the outside is wonderful. You can improve a lot and achieve great things.

However it won’t change your life in the in the same way that it does when you work on your writing from the level of the soul.

Maybe that sounds corny, but it’s honest, and sometimes honest is corny.

Let me to explain. Chakras are energetic organs, kind of like the anatomy of your soul. They first appeared in writing in the earliest Vedic writings, so before that, who knows how old the teachings are. I say they’re like organs because they actually map directly onto the endocrine glands. But that was just discovered in the early twentieth century.

But I digress.

They provide an incredible map for your creative energy and spiritual growth.

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The 4 Deadly Sins of Not Deciding (w/Free New Years Writing Workbook!)

The 4 Deadly Sins of Not Deciding (w/Free New Years Writing Workbook!)

One of the disadvantages to being abundantly creative is that you have so many ideas and you can’t let any of them go. In the past year, plenty of people have come to me overflowing with projects, and I love helping them get started with the single step that has the highest emotional charge.

For some people, letting go of all the possibilities to focus on just one can feel like a small death.

I get it. I’ve been there.

I often start out writing two books, before one really starts to take momentum and then I go full speed.

The fact is, nobody ever decides NOT to write their book. They simply don’t make a clear decision to go through with it and make it a priority. They miss out on becoming an author by default. That’s why the most powerful gift I could offer this season is a tool I use every time I achieve a goal to help me decide what to do next. Check out the blog to get the free guide inside!

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