Category Archives for Inspiration

What I Learned From Writing My Newest Book

sunriseI have been a book author, speaker and a trainer for twenty-seven years. I have written sixteen books—most of them on motivation and leadership. On May 4, almost three years ago, something happened that changed my life. My wife of thirty-two years died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. On Friday night I was married and on Saturday morning I was a widower. Needless to say it was the most tragic and shocking moment of my life. Continue reading

Tea and Takeaways from Bestselling Author Nora Roberts

Prolific. What else would you call an author who publishes four to six novels annually?

I suppose you could also call Nora Roberts wealthy since her books consistently and almost instantly hit the New York Times bestsellers lists.


Tea at Ashford Castle in Cong is as beautiful as it is tasty.

I got to meet Nora (she called me Erin, so I guess we’re on a first-name basis) at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland, and was oddly star-struck. Odd because, although I’ve met quite a few celebrity-status authors, I felt absolutely giddy to have the opportunity to have afternoon tea with Nora…and a couple hundred other people. I was so excited, in fact, that my friend and I arrived early and snagged a seat at the front table. (Early is a big deal for me; just ask my husband.)

Afterwards, when her UK editor at Little Brown told me that Nora (aka J.D. Robb) publishes at least four books a year (she’s releasing a total of five in 2014), I almost choked. That’s a LOT of writing and a massive amount of discipline. There’s another descriptor to attribute to this impressive and totally approachable author. Continue reading

What Writing a Book Taught Me About Myself

Sometimes you write because you’ve been changed, and sometimes you’re changed in the process of writing. In this guest post, Jenny Hester shares how crafting a book opened her life in unexpected ways.


I never thought I would write a book. I’m still having trouble saying, “I am an author.” I started blogging more than a year ago as a way to share my new found love of discovering what it takes to be one’s best self. Not long after that, I decided to write my book… what a journey of self-discovery!

I used to have walls built up and you only got to see what I wanted you to see. You only saw what was on the outside, as I typically shared no emotional depth. I look back over this time in my life and I relate it to a tightly wound rose bud. My friend, I was very tightly wound. Continue reading

Writing from the Road

Thanks to Tim Bishop, for sharing his thoughts on writing from the road in this guest post. Tim and his wife, Debbie, will be touring through mid-September, writing as they go. Read on to learn about how and why they write.

When writing creeps into your bloodstream, it becomes an innate expression of your life experiences, whether or not it covers your bills. You write because you love it…and because you must. When those inflicted with this “bug” embark on one of life’s adventures, they have no choice but to write about it. Continue reading

A Journey to Publication

Plumb-Crazy-800x1200Thanks to Molly Blaisdell for this guest post and candid story about writing, rejection and publication. After a many queries, reviews, revisions and a persistent belief in a good idea, her new YA book, Plumb Crazy, released June 4.

It’s not belief in an idea that leads to publication. A solid idea is necessary first step, but you will need to take many more steps to see a book published. It took me years to see my book Plumb Crazy come to publication. I hope that my journey will help you on yours.

I absolutely love reading, and I know that readers want heartfelt books. I’m always haunting bookstores, blogs and websites in search of my next great read. I wanted to write a book that would be picked up again and again. I hoped to create an old friend to journey with readers through their lives. I know that a good book has an irresistible core idea. I put much effort into this core idea. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Why I Write

Do you remember chain letters? A letter arrived in the mail promising fortune, recipes or good luck. (I even received a few that promised free undies. Really!) The catch: You had to copy the letter (by hand because computers weren’t personal yet) and send it to seven friends (in the mail). If you failed to do so within 48 hours, the letter predicted loss, heartbreak… even death.

This writer’s blog tour reminds me a bit of a chain letter—without the dire warnings. And the tour doesn’t promise fame, fortune or underwear, but the chance to be encouraged and inspired to write, as well as the opportunity to meet a few new writers. That’s even better. Continue reading

6 Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

Thanks to Joanne Miller, co-author of Be Your Finest Art: Awaken Your Creative Selffor this guest post. 

Be Your Finest Art by Joanne Miller and Dorsey McHughEver sit down in front of your computer, place your fingers on the keyboard and wait for the right words to drop from brain to fingertips, but you can’t get the juices flowing? Any writer, if truly honest, will admit to having moments—sometimes days (or more)—of blocked creativity. It happens to the best of us. This happens for a number of reasons, but there are ways to push through to renewed creativity that really aren’t that complicated or illusive. Perhaps these six tips will help you the next time you are staring at a blank screen and your fingers refuse to move. Continue reading

Author Q&A with Andrew Gilmore

Andrew-GilmoreI recently read Do No Work by Andrew Gilmore and loved it. Well-written and professionally presented, this self-published ebook provides an excellent example of sharing one’s message in a thoughtful, credible way. (I’m already looking forward to his next book.) Andrew says he wrote the book to “help Christians beat down stress and draw nearer to God through the study and proper application of the Sabbath commandment.” And it’s clear  through the book that he learned a great deal about the subject in the research and writing process.

Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your insights and experiences as a writer.

Q. What events, places or other writers have influenced your work?

A. Too many to list! But without Ernest Hemingway, I’m not sure if I’d be answering these questions today. After reading The Sun Also Rises for the first time, I knew I had to be a writer.

Other writers who have impacted me are Ravi Zacharias and Jon Acuff.

Q.  What books are you currently reading?

Continue reading

Are You an Impostor?

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” ~Maya Angelou

Can you relate to Angelou’s quote above? Maybe you haven’t written 11 books… maybe you’re still slogging through the first draft of your first manuscript and are already thinking, “Why would anybody want to read this? Everyone knows this already!” If so, welcome to the club.

amIaWriterImpostor Syndrome is defined as the inability to internalize accomplishments. “Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.” Wikipedia

Instead of acknowledging their part in their own achievements, high achievers and celebrities who feel like fakes (and there are lots of them) credit their success to luck, good timing, or deception.

Can you relate? Do those doubts keep you from enjoying your successes or striving for new goals?

Here’s how you can get rid (or at least reduce) those self-defeating doubts:  Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

The DHL delivery guy just rang the bell and handed me my new book.

I wanted to hug him. (I didn’t because such a display of affection would brand me as “that weird American.” Truth is, I probably already have that reputation, and in retrospect, I should have hugged him.)

It’s like when the nurse hands you your baby for the first time. Emotions flood you and questions swirl: Will I be a good parent? Do I deserve this bundle of love? What do I do now?

That’s how I felt ripping into the package. Brian tried to help, and I fended him off. I had to hold it, touch the soft matte cover, and flip through the crisp pages. Emotions flooded me: excitement, joy, pride. Questions swirled in my brain: What will I do with this? How far can I take this ride? What can I do so that my book has the impact I believe it’s capable of making? What if I drop the ball? Continue reading