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...
Three times in my life, I’ve hung clothes on a line to dry under the Texas sun.
First, standing next to my grandmother, my small hands turned backward on my hips in a mirror of her own.
Next, in a little house I rented where the dryer put rust stains on anything it heated.
And finally, in a small duplex where I lived so poor and distraught and sick that I nearly died.
We’re supposed to look back at our lives and see how far we’ve come and feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. That’s what our ancestors would want for us, right? That’s the expectation we all have.
There was a time in my life when I looked back and wished above all else that I could just rewind.
Because what I saw wasn’t a triumphant climb or even a steady progression, but a steep, heart-breaking decline.
It was winter of 2000, and I lived in a place with no phone, no heat, and no running water. If I hung clothes out to dry in the winter chill it was because I’d...
How many promotions have you seen from publishing industry folks lately?
If you’re interested in writing and publishing a book, Facebook and Google are probably following you around the Internet showing you all sorts of ads about publishing options.
Thanks to a flood of conflicting ideas, most experts end up being about as clear as mud on where to start when it comes to choosing a publishing option.
I agree: The publishing industry these days is daunting.
Before self-publishing came along in such a big, digital way, the world was simpler. Either you wrote a book the publishing pros thought was good enough and bankable enough, or you didn’t. End of options.
Today, we are inundated with various publishing nuances, processes, and companies. You’d be nuts not to be at least a little confused and conflicted. It doesn’t help that everyone and their book-loving dog has an opinion about what you HAVE TO do with your book.
But I have an answer you might not have...
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...
Let’s say you want to write a book to help people avoid the same crap, the same heartbreak, and the same massive losses you’ve suffered as you live your life and pursue your dreams.
And let’s say that to fulfill this magical mission to share your wisdom, you’ve got to share the crap, the heartbreak, and the massive losses you’ve suffered…with the world.
That’s scary stuff. And it stops a lot of us from being our best and giving our most. But it doesn’t have to stop you.
Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes, all you need to see clearly is the obstacle in your way to realize that you can step right over it. So today, let’s take a look at what’s holding you back from serving at your highest.
1. Fear of facing trauma or past pain. This is a doozy because the emotions we have tied up in past suffering aren’t just in our heads. Neurobiologists now say that trauma is actually stored in the body. So...
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...
Has anyone ever told you that you should write a book? That you should write down the story of your life or the story of that one experience you had nobody can believe?
And you said, “Yeah, I should. But I just can’t.”
People started telling me that I should write down my story years ago. The first few times it was suggested, I dismissed it right away. It sounded ridiculous. How could I share all that information about myself—and everyone else in my life—with perfect strangers? Not only would I expose myself to all sorts of judgement, I’d be setting off an emotional bomb in my family.
Since then, I've shared a great deal about my life and story on an international level. Not only do I feel liberated by this process, but I’m hearing over and over again from people how my sharing is helping them to reframe their own lives, find healing, and share their stories of healing with a hurting world.
So if you’re considering...
My uncle died. Sorry to kick this off on a depressing note, but there it is. I’m going to come around to something encouraging shortly, but sometimes, we have to go through the hard stuff to get there, you know?
Like getting through the thick layer of dislikable stuff to find the lovable part of that one family member.
I’ve lost a lot of family members and friends over the years—to cancer, lung disease, addiction, alcoholism, suicide, you name it.
Grief and I are old bedfellows.
But this one is unique. And I’m going to be frank about why, so hold onto your hat.
My uncle was wicked smart, well-traveled at a young age, a real animal lover, a multi-lingual and highly educated man of letters, an eagle scout, and a barbeque connoisseur.
He was also a hoarder and a sociopath.
And he looked at me like I was sex on a stick from the time I can remember.
Here’s the thing about people who harm us: Sometimes we love them anyway.
My uncle was like...
I woke up this morning about 6 am and did my best with the regular morning stuff.
By 8 am, I felt like I was an utter failure at all the things. All of them. Motherhood, entrepreneurship, online marketing, delegating, deadlines, friendship, you name it.
Do you ever wake up and feel defeated almost before you start?
As I walked around my house turning off lights and adjusting the thermostat, I sent out an “I hate you” to people I can blame for my current obstacles, thought patterns, and core beliefs.
Not surprisingly, this anger at others and the damage they’ve done to me in the past gives me a momentary feeling of righteousness, a stomp-my-foot kind of justification, and a nearly physical rush of power.
But it doesn’t actually make me feel like less of a failure.
It’s at this point in my morning when I realize my thinking is irrational.
People who are failures don’t have thermostats. They can’t pay their light bills so...
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