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...
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...
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...
You have a boat load of experiences that you can share with others to help them live a better life and build a better career. Do you know how to pull the best lessons from those experiences and lay them out for others to learn?
If you’re anything like me, the lessons—along with the gratitude I feel for all that freshly earned wisdom—doesn’t come until I’ve gotten some distance from the actual experience. Often we have to process our feelings to get useful perspective on our choices.
After a little time, lessons usually begin to naturally show themselves. We think to ourselves, “You know, I believe all of that happened so that I could…” or “I couldn’t see it at the time, but looking back, that experience gave me exactly what I needed to…” or “Well, now I know not to trust THAT guy!”
I want to help you get the most out of your story—for both you and the people you might help. Think of one...
In 2017, a very personal story of mine appeared in SUCCESS magazine. This wasn't a story covering the life of a celebrity or an entrepreneur. It wasn't a piece on how to acquire a vital business skill or a psychological trait that could make or break your success in life.
This article was about me and some brutal truths about my life.
I’ve had countless pieces published, but the fact that this one was going to be on newsstands was terrifying to think about in the days leading up to publication.
Writing about someone else’s struggles is enlightening. Writing about my own was empowering ... but scary.
Know what I mean? I learned a lot from that experience, and I continue to learn as I share my own story.
If you’re someone who is working toward building a business or writing a book based on what you’ve learned from your story or experiences, you’ll need to ask four big questions to tell your story in the right way.
What's the Point?
Do you want...
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