Think about what you’d like to include in your book. Right now, call to mind, let’s say, three concrete ideas you’d want to share with people in your book.
Now, does that feel like enough content? Too much? Too little?
You will probably have a hard time accepting what I’m about to tell you (almost every client I’ve ever worked with struggles with this). But here goes:
You are already trying to include WAY too much in your book.
Many of the most successful books out there are so basic that if you were the author, you’d be riddled with self-doubt before publishing. Let me show you a couple of examples.
The Four Agreementsby Miguel Ruiz is only 138 small pages. The author created a chapter for each agreement, plus an introduction. The agreements are:
Many moons ago, I worked as a pay phone operator. And I learned a valuable lesson about exaggeration.
(What’s a pay phone operator? Let’s just say that real live humans were your Siri.)
Every day, I sat in a cubicle sea and wore a headset to answer calls that came through a desktop computer.
I was not allowed to talk to anyone but the people who called my pay phones, and I was only allowed a pencil and a few sheets of scrap paper.
The computer did nothing but answer calls. No email, no internet, not even a pleasant beach-scene screensaver.
So…yeah, it was super boring.
One day, my manager asked if anyone spoke French. They occasionally got calls from French speaking customers and needed someone who could direct them to a French language help line.
I lifted my hand. I had taken French for several years in school, but I had zero occasion to speak it. Rusty would have been a nice way of describing my fluency at that point.
But no one else was available, so I...
Do you feel the call to write your book but can’t seem to get any writing done?
Do you know it’s the right thing to do for your business, but you haven’t made much progress?
As a book coach, I see two big reasons people struggle with doing the writing they KNOW will make a difference, not to mention alleviate all the guilt they feel at not getting it done.
Here are the top two reasons people say they’re struggling with writing:
Today, I want to share with you what I do to get past the first of these struggles.
How in the world do you get yourself to just sit down and write?
(And why the heck is this even an issue in the first place?)
If you know that a book will…
…then why isn’t that knowledge enough to...
You’re a business owner, right? I am too. I know what it’s like to funnel most of your time, recourses, and energy toward earning an income. When you think about creating that thing that will take you to the next level, you feel overwhelmed.
As a wife and a mother, I also know what it’s like to live day-to-day, juggling responsibilities and family obligations.
You've got a LOT going on.
But I also know the high price we pay as human beings when we deny that sacred part of ourselves – our creative selves, our calling, our purpose in this world. It can make us feel like our lives have less meaning.
At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, ALL the accomplishments of your day still don’t seem like enough compared to all that you’re NOT doing.
Have you ever felt that way?
But what if you...
When I write magazine feature articles, I always—ALWAYS—write too much. During that first draft, I can’t help but write as much as I want. So, my articles start out too long, sometimes by up to 50% (yikes!).
On the opposite end, another writer I know ALWAYS writes way too little when she writes features. She ends up with an article that’s only 50% of what the word count SHOULD be. She has to go back and add more to what she wrote to meet the requirements.
We each have a style – mine is more detailed and maybe poetic, and hers is more factual and direct. Neither is wrong or right, but our styles do impact how hard we have to work (or not work) at being concise.
What’s your writing style? If you’re struggling to be concise, you might be more like me—there’s so MUCH you want to say!
I have a hack for you.
If you commonly read what you’ve written and have no idea what to cut because it all seems...
What happens when you interview online marketing and high performance expert Brendon Burchard?
Ping-pong, white board jokes, snack breaks, and loads of hugs.
If you're not familiar with Brendon, let me give you a few stats that might give you an idea of his impact in the world: Over 5 million people follow him on Facebook. He's a NYT Bestselling author and a trainer for over 2 million students. And his YouTube videos have over 100 million views. He's the creator of High Performance Academy and author of the new book High Performance Habits.
I had the lovely privilege of meeting Brendon in his new office in Portland this summer. Our interview for his cover story in the October issue of SUCCESS magazine lasted an hour and a half.
It was his first-ever magazine interview, if you can believe that! He's built this huge biz without a PR campaign. The guy knows his stuff.
In person, Brendon is easy-going and quick to smile. When the photographer wanted some...
One of my recent ghostwriting clients didn’t actually become a ghostwriting client. Let me explain.
He wanted to write a book about his incredible invention—something that revolutionized his industry. He was passionate about his field, had firsthand experience with the transformation possible, and was well-connected to others who could add stories and expertise to his book.
But he wasn’t a writer. He was an expert in his own work but not in the work of writing.
He reached out to me on a referral from another client, for whom I’d ghostwritten blogs and articles and white papers. He hoped I’d be willing and available to ghostwrite his entire book.
We talked. I listened to his findings, his personal transformation, and his description of the life he was now leading thanks to this work. He told me he had already been writing down ideas and pages of content.
And it got me thinking: When should someone who’s not a writer hire a pro and when should they...
Do your personal relationships affect your potential for professional success? Does your home life impact your ability to be a good leader?
“Let’s say this. I’m not sure that a good home is an asset, but I’m sure that a bad home is a liability,” Bishop T.D. Jakes says with a chuckle.
Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House Church in Dallas and founder of TDJ Enterprises, says a stable personal and home life become more and more important as you grow professionally.
“Lambs give birth in calm places,” he says. “And if you’re going to birth great ideas, you need calmness, the serenity of having something stable to balance having everything not stable.”
“At the end of the day, I’m not necessarily smarter at work because things are going good at home, but when things are going bad at home, I’m a lot more distracted. I’m a lot more disheveled. I’m not present in the...
The preacher, entrepreneur and author found his blessings in brokenness, and success amid failure.
“I can still see his cracked, parched lips, fever blisters and all that.”
Bishop T.D. Jakes is silent for a moment, struck by the memory. “It hurt me a lot. I even got to a point of wanting-to-die painful.
“But if you took that away from me, I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
When Thomas Dexter Jakes was 10 years old, his father got sick with kidney disease. He was the youngest of three kids, living in South Charleston, West Virginia. Until this point, Jakes’ life had looked much like the lives of other kids in the neighborhood. His mother was a home economics teacher, and his father owned a janitorial business. He went to school. He sold vegetables from his mother’s garden to earn extra money.
But when Jakes’ father got sick, the world tilted on its axis, and childhood all but disappeared. The family traveled back and forth to...
Have you been writing but keep getting a weird twinge in your gut that something is “off?” Or a deflated feeling that what you wrote doesn’t communicate the image in your head and heart? Or maybe you like what you write but you’re not getting the kind of response that you expected?
Turns out, there might be one big reason for all these writing hurdles. Let me tell you a quick story about how I discovered this massive obstacle in my own writing.
In 2004, I had graduated college with a degree in English and applied to eight writing programs, including two “safety” schools that I thought were no-brainer admissions. During my wait for responses, I got a job at the ABC-TV station in Dallas. I produced my first TV spot. I learned to write copy for station promos and news teases.
And the school rejections started rolling in.
One after another, thin, sad envelopes appeared in my mailbox. My hope became thinner and more desperate with each one. Finally,...
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