Category Archives for Inspiration

How to Stay Focused on Your Writing Goals

When you’re busy, it can be difficult to stay focused on your personal writing projects. Here are a couple of incentives that can help you reach your writing goals.

Life rushes by at an incredible pace.

Do you feel it?

You have great intentions for big accomplishments. But every time you blink, another month has passed, and it feels like you’ve barely made a dent in your writing goals.

(I’m speaking from personal experience here, but I’m betting you might be able to relate.)

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What does it take to succeed as an author?

Andrea Waltz, coauthor of the sales book Go for No, posted a video this week that offers some great perspective on what it takes to be an overnight success as an author.

I encourage you to watch it—especially if you are feeling discouraged about your book’s progress or success.

She and her coauthor, Richard Fenton, worked for four years to sell the 5,000 copies of their book that they had ordered. They believed in their book’s message—plus they were financially invested and probably wanted to recoup their money. So they kept at it. They kept reaching out. They kept speaking to audiences and sharing their sales training, knowing that it could impact people’s lives.

But as Andrea notes in the video, book sales were an ongoing struggle. As good as its message was, the book just didn’t sell.

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(In-Person) Writer’s Conferences for Professional Learning

Conferences can be a great place to learn, connect, and get inspired!

Writer’s conferences pull together experienced professionals and newbies alike for a time of learning and networking. Online conferences abound, but I much prefer learning in person and getting to meet other industry professionals face-to-face. I am involved in some online groups, but for me, nothing can beat the connection of chatting with someone in real life.

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Do You Have to Be an Expert to Write Your Book?

Not long ago, I was coaching an entrepreneur who wanted to write a book. Every time I inquired about her progress, there was very little to show. She kept procrastinating and simply couldn’t follow through with the writing activities and prompts. She was perfectly clear about the topic she wanted to write about and knew the audience for her book. Her lack of enthusiasm for getting the book done and in print puzzled me.

“What’s really holding you back?” I asked.

“There’s so many books out there by experts. I don’t feel like I’m an expert enough on that topic. Who am I to write this kind of book?”  Continue reading

Want to publish a book? Do this first.

When most people think about publishing a book, they think about getting an agent, or submitting a proposal, or figuring out self-publishing (or what’s also known as indie-publishing). But before you get there, in fact to HELP you get there, you have to get great at sharing your message.

It may sound silly, or too simple, but to succeed with publishing you have to actually share your message. And that can be scary!

I remember the first paying article I ever turned in to an editor. It was actually on paper, and as I handed it over to the editor, my hands were shaking so badly that the paper rattled. The article wasn’t personal; it was an assigned piece. I don’t remember the topic, but I do remember the feeling of being vulnerable and putting my words and myself out there for someone else to edit, critique and comment on. Continue reading

Finding Your Blogging Voice

Aaron Hogan holding his first copy of Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth. An awesome moment for any author!

Blogging is one of those things that most authors, coaches and speakers know we “should” be doing. It helps us test our ideas. It allows us to gauge audience interest. It provides an opportunity to reflect on our experiences and explore new concepts. And it’s a practice that I have yet to master. That’s why I love to hear from people who are doing it well. Aaron Hogan included some great insights on the why and how of blogging in his new book, Shattering the Perfect Teacher Mythand he graciously offered to share some of his thoughts on blogging here. He speaks from an educator’s viewpoint, but I believe his message is applicable to any field. If you’ve been thinking about blogging or about blogging more consistently, Aaron’s advice will help you find your voice, figure out what to write about, and fit it into your busy schedule.

Finding Your Blogging Voice

Everyone has experiences that are worth sharing. That includes you. (Yes, even with the excuses that just ran through your head.)

But it’s not enough to simply have some experiences that are worth sharing. Thomas Paine said, “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” Make no mistake–blogging, or any other form of sharing your learning, is an act of bravery. I love that Paine isn’t saying that it’s brave because there’s a big audience waiting or because of what others might think. I think his claim recognizes how hard it is to thoughtfully reflect on our own experiences. What he’s talking about is disruptive. 

Make no mistake--blogging, or any other form of sharing your learning, is an act of bravery. ~ @Aaron_Hogan Click To Tweet

It’s courageous. It’s risky, yet rewarding. Yet it’s surprisingly simple for you to pull off as a blogger.

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Two Secrets to Successfully Marketing Your Book

Recently, I attended a workshop on LinkedIn about how to use the network effectively. Prior to starting the training the presenter mentioned that in addition to helping clients with marketing, he had also written a children’s book. As someone who has written six (soon to be seven) children’s picture books, I was interested. After thumbing through his book, I asked if he knew about a trendy bookstore down the street that had a children’s section and often had events for emerging authors. He answered that he knew it but that when he approached the owners they weren’t interested in his book because it was self-published. I didn’t tell him that the same bookstore carries my books. They are self-published as well. Want to know my secret? Continue reading

Author Q&A with Jen Forsthoff

I love all my authors. Truly.  I love that they are brave and generous enough to share their wisdom, experience, passion, knowledge, hopes, and imagination with the world. And each time a client becomes a brand-new author, I feel a little like a proud momma at graduation.

Jen Forsthoff makes me especially proud. Aside from being a joy to work with, Jen’s desire to help others is evident in every chapter of her new book, Chosen for Charlie. So imagine my delight when I received a text with a picture of her and sweet little Charlie holding the first copy of their book. Continue reading

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