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Dismantling Writer’s Block Part 2: The “I Can’t Write” Myth

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Dismantling Writer’s Block Part 2: The “I Can’t Write” Myth

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From Non-Writer to Non-Fiction Author

Kids are natural storytellers. They draw pictures with a clear narrative—even if it’s silly. Then they staple those pictures together and create books for fun.

If you stand still long enough, the little kids in your life will tell you all about their friends, family, and hobbies in surprising (and sometimes exhausting) detail.

Which means that whoever you are, you were born with the ability to create and tell stories. But for many of us, someone or something made us feel like we didn’t have the talent to write a book. We lost the joy. We lost confidence in ourselves.

Perhaps you:

  • Could never figure out how to diagram a sentence
  • Didn’t understand the five-paragraph essay
  • Grew up around people who didn’t use proper grammar
  • Went into a “non-creative” field like accounting, medicine, or (in my case) computer programming
  • Heard someone say your writing “lacked promise”

Whatever the cause, too many of us call ourselves “non-writers” for all the wrong reasons.

But if you’re reading this, you’ve probably thought: “I’ve gained some life experience. If I knew how to write it down, people would want to read it.”

As The Book Professor®, I believe almost anyone can write a compelling book with a little help. My team and I help non-writers create high-quality non-fiction books all the time! All you need is:

  • A message to communicate
  • The willingness to follow our process from beginning to end

It’s not easy, but if you’re a non-writer who wants to be an author, it’s worth it.

Your Idea Is the Key (Not the Grammar!)

A great non-fiction book is more than a collection of well-ordered paragraphs. It’s the story of someone who has lived life, encountered a problem, and figured out how to solve it. It’s valuable to readers who have similar problems themselves.

This “big idea” compels readers to turn pages. That’s why the first book-writing stage — “PLAN” — is crucial. In it, as your coach, I help pull the idea out of you.

During the PLAN phase, we create your BookMAP™. This isn’t an outline. It’s the process by which we figure out what the book is going to be. During this time, we determine the book’s purpose, audience, and content. (More about BookMAPs™ here and here).

When it’s finished, you’ll have everything you need to craft your first draft. And guess what? You don’t have to be a “writer” to get this far!

First Drafts & The Crucial Ingredient

Once you have a BookMAP™, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to write. Now it’s time to get it out. This stage in the process, called “PRODUCE,” requires a lot of hard work.

But here’s the good news: We’ll fix any mistakes or other issues later. The goal of the first draft is to get your story and wisdom down on paper. And do you know what the crucial ingredient to a well-written first draft is?

You!

Readers won’t be satisfied if you keep them at arm’s length. They want to get to know the real you and see all along the way.

As a coach, I work with our authors weekly. During the PRODUCE stage, I give them tools and tips to infuse their first draft with individuality.

For example, one tip I share is this: Be honest. Let the real you shine through on the page. We can always remove some of it later if you feel like you’ve gone too far, but you’ll be surprised how much you will keep.

I also teach this technique: Use sensory language. Tell us what you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. Do it as concisely as possible, but don’t hold back. If we need to, we can cut some of it later, but we can’t shape your final draft until you have a first draft.

The “Secret” of the Professional Writer

The next time you’re near your bookshelf, grab your favorite book and find the “acknowledgments” page. As you read it, you’ll discover the secret of every professional writer.

Nobody writes a book alone. Coaches and editors pulled your favorite book out of the author. They made suggestions, changes, and fixes throughout the process. This “great writer” even had a team who fixed grammatical errors, punctuation problems, and mistakes of all kinds.

During the third book-writing stage — “POLISH AND PERFECT” — you will go through a series of exercises to edit your first draft. This is where the magic happens! You will see your ideas, expressions, and experiences come to life and will be astonished at what you accomplished—as a non-writer!

You and your team at TheBookProfessor.com work through your manuscript. Together, we make sure it will stand shoulder to shoulder with anything in the marketplace.

But too often, beginning authors are afraid their first draft will lose its authenticity.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You keep “you,” but the prose becomes tighter, more precise, and more powerful as you go through draft after draft after draft. Then, your coach (me) and a copyeditor provide that extra bit of expertise you’ll need to cross the finish line.

But you are in charge the whole time.

For example, one client of mine, Terry Lammers, wrote a brilliant book that Forbes called one of the “best books to help entrepreneurs grow a business.”

He’s a business expert—not a grammar expert. He worked with me and our copy editors to make his prose grammatically correct.

However, that didn’t mean he abdicated his role as the author. He knows his subject better than anyone. If an edit didn’t resonate with him, he had the power to reject it. (And he did. Often!)

Another client, Beth Standlee (People Buy from People), was born and raised in Texas. When she saw an editor changed the word “daddy” to “father,” she changed it right back! She said, “I’ve never once called my daddy ‘father!’”

I want to help every one of my clients create a book that meets the highest possible standards. A bunch of us work together to get it there. But the author, in the end, is always in charge. What he or she says goes!

Are you a non-writer with a non-fiction book inside you?

Do you want to write a non-fiction book, but you’re:

  • Not sure how to start
  • Stuck on your first draft
  • Afraid you don’t have the discipline to finish
  • Unskilled as a writer

Would you like to get help from someone who can encourage, instruct, and guide you through a time-tested process that results in a marketable book?

If so, you can create a book that stands shoulder to shoulder with the best on the market.

If you’re ready to get your book out of your head and onto the page, let’s start a conversation today.

 


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Five Books Every Entrepreneur Writing a Book Should Read

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This book originally appeared on bookbaby.com

As venture capitalist James Altucher says, “… having a book is the new business card.” In addition to displaying your expertise in a given field, publishing a book can bring you personal and business credibility.

Business leaders engage in a host of activities designed to propel their careers, improve themselves, and promote their businesses. Writing is the most powerful of those activities — even though it has little to do with increasing sales or impressing investors. And I’m not talking about emails or blog posts — the most influential leaders in business commit significant chunks of their schedule to writing and publishing their own books.

There are many reasons why, but here are three of the most critical:

1. Personal credibility

Having a published book gives you credibility as an expert in your given field. With your book in hand, doors that were once closed seem to magically open — people simply pay more attention to what you’re doing and saying.

2. Business credibility

If you’re running a business and you publish a good book, your business becomes more credible, too. It lends an air of legitimacy to your enterprise and even pays dividends in helping you establish connections with potential clients and business partners.

3. Brand clarity

Publishing a book that defines and details the core principles and mechanisms of your business crystallizes what your company is all about and how it can create value for outsiders. It can also help clarify your company’s mission internally.

That said, writing and publishing a book  is not easy — even for seasoned and talented business executives. It demands diligence, grit,  research, and preparation.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or anyone embarking on a mission to write a book, here are five books about self publishing you should study before setting pen to paper.


writing a book Authorpreneur

Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve. It’s Time to Write Your Book.

Jesse Tevelow is an entrepreneur and author whose work has appeared in Businessweek and Forbes. His book, Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve, is built around one key principle, summed up neatly by the author: “Giving yourself an edge requires playing a different game. Writing books is the new differentiator.”

This book is divided into two sections. The opening chapters detail why entrepreneurs should write, along with how to go about researching and selecting a topic.

The second section gets more specific, providing guidance about how to prepare outlines and eventually take your book to market.


writing a book Book Blueprint

Book Blueprint: How Any Entrepreneur Can Write an Awesome Book

Author Jacqui Pretty is the founder of Grammar Factory, a publishing company that has helped over 100 entrepreneurs write and publish their own books.

But don’t fret,  this book is not a 200-page advertisement. Rather, Book Blueprintserves as a step-by-step framework for writing a quality book quickly, providing a blend of technical practicalities that every good book demands. It also serves up fair helpings of inspiration and encouragement that can benefit any writer.

 


writing a book APE

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book

Guy Kawasaki was one of the original hires at Apple, serving as the brand’s first chief evangelist. Today, he’s a brand evangelist for Mercedes Benz, a keynote speaker for premier business conferences, and the author of 13 books.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, co-written with Shawn Welch in 2012, remains one of his best — and one of the best books for executive writers, period. It’s full of practical, realistic solutions for overcoming hurdles in the writing process as well as strategies and tips for wading into the world of self-publishing.

APE is also noteworthy for Kawasaki’s introduction of the concept of the “karmic scoreboard,” the notion that what you create and release into the world will eventually come back around to either haunt or glorify you. With that backdrop, he urges the reader to really think about why they want to publish a book. The goal, he suggests, should be founded in kindness, generosity, and the intellectual enrichment of others.


writing a book Writers Process

The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

Anne Janzer is an award-winning author and writing coach who has worked with hundreds of high-tech business leaders around the world. In this book, she shares insights into the writing process that she’s found to be prescient in helping her clients write more effectively. Her work is grounded in science and seeks to explain how our brains function and how we can more purposefully generate moments of brilliance and productivity — as opposed to writer’s block and procrastination. Writing and publishing books demands a unique mindset. The Writer’s Process details exactly what that mindset looks like.

The book received high praise upon its release. In a review, Seth Godin proclaimed, “The Writer’s Process delivers research-based, hands-on, step-by-step wisdom that can help you wrestle with the lizard brain. Certain to help thousands of would-be writers write.”


writing a book 5 Steps

5 Steps to Self Publishing

While it might be a bit presumptuous to put my name alongside these great writers, I’m adding 5 Steps to Self Publishing to this list because of the unique purpose it serves.

The world of self publishing is awash in information about — what else? — self publishing. I’d argue there’s too much information available. This tidal wave of text inundates new writers and many find themselves paralyzed by the sheer volume of information, unsure where to start.

I wrote this guide to help aspiring authors cut through the glut of opinions, information, and misinformation. It addresses the essential issues every author must work through on their self-publishing journey. It might be a good place to start if you’re just beginning this process.

Is publishing your book a requirement in achieving your personal and business goals? Maybe not. But it certainly helps.

One person who can speak on that is James Altucher, the famous hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and podcaster. He has founded or co-founded more than 20 companies, including Reset Inc. and StockPickr. He’s also the best-selling author of acclaimed business books, including Choose Yourself, and he believes that self publishing was a critical component of his success.

“Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because having a book is the new business card,” Altucher says. “If you want to stand out, you need to show your expertise. Publishing a book is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, and friends what the most important things on your mind are right now.”


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How one “non-writer” became a Forbes-recommended business author

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Developing a One-of-a-Kind Perspective

Terry Lammers grew up working in his parent’s wholesale fuel and lubricant business. Based in Pierron, Illinois—a town of about 600 people—Terry stocked shelves and drove trucks while still in high school.

He studied accounting in college and gained some early business experience, then went back to work for his parents’ company. He says in his book, “It was just me, my mom, my dad, and two trucks.” When he came on board, their year-to-date sales were about $750,000, and his parents couldn’t afford to pay him a salary.

He used what he learned in college and business to help the company turn things around. They acquired a competitor, Bone Oil Company, and rebranded the business TriCounty Petroleum.

After that, Terry said, “We were off to the races.”

Under his leadership, TriCounty acquired several more fuel companies. Terry trademarked his own brand of lubricants and eventually grew the conglomerate to over $42 million in sales. With three young kids, he and his wife were able to retire early—a dream come true!

Soon, however, Terry grew bored. “After I sold the company,” he said, “I had no idea what I was going to do next! You can only hunt and fish so much.”

Eventually, he went to work for Regions Bank and learned how lending institutions value companies, assess balance sheets and cash flow, and determine risk.

After three and a half years, he and partner Steve Denny launched Innovative Business Advisors. Their firm specializes in business valuation, acquisitions, and consulting. In his work with clients, he’s developed a unique communications style that resonates with others.

Terry said, “Business owners have told me they do what I tell them because I’m honest, clear, and not arrogant.”

With a lifetime worth of experience, he wanted to find a way to package his advice—along with his unique voice—in a book. But there was a problem.

Terry had no writing experience at all.

Writing for a Non-Writer

“In the back of my mind,” Terry said, “writing a book was a bucket-list item,” but he didn’t know how to get started. He got some unexpected advice while speaking with a plumber he met at a networking event.

The man said, “You just have to sit down and write about eight chapters and you’re done!”

Terry decided to sit down and to write his book about mergers and acquisitions, and he started with page one, just the way the plumber had said. Before he knew it, he was lost. He Googled the phrase, “book coach” and found Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor®.

Terry signed up for The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program. But when he learned it would be a year-long process, he said, “I didn’t like that!”

He soon came to appreciate that time. As a non-writer who had failed in his first attempt at writing a book, he was now making real headway.

Capturing a Unique Voice

As Terry worked through the structure of his book, he could see that the process made sense. “I think it’s brilliant,” he said. “We started with our BookMAP™. You map the whole thing out, then bullet-point how you want each chapter to flow.”

The next phase of the process is called Write without Ruts, and Terry wrote the entire first draft of his book in about three months.

“Every Sunday evening,” he said, “I’d write two chapters. But every day I had my BookMAP™ in front of me. Since everything I was going to write about was all mapped out, I would think about the book all week long. When it came time to write my chapters, it really was like ‘getting it out.’”

Although Terry had no experience writing, he found himself with a first draft that actually worked.

But then he found himself in the midst of the Polish and Perfect stage, and that put his patience to the test.

Terry said, “Polish and Perfect is the painful part. I had to read the book several times. I had to read it out loud. It was like getting tased!”

He worked with both Nancy and the team’s copy editors, and Terry found he had a challenge to balance his unconventional manner of speaking and grammar with what would make for an interesting and readable book.

“One of the things Nancy teaches is to be very direct in your writing. Don’t say too much. Get it tight. I tried to be funny and conversational, but sometimes that just meant too many extra words. The editors whacked the hell out of it!”

Still, he felt like he was in control. As an expert in finance, he needed to educate the team’s editors on some of the terms and phrases he used. But if he was concerned that the editing process would strip away his unique voice, his friends and family responded differently.

“People tell me all the time, ‘I can hear you talking in the book.’ The editors didn’t take out the quizmacal [sic] things I say.”

In particular, he has a chapter called “Your Bankability.” Although “bankability” is a real word, Terry hadn’t heard it used in his circles. It had a great ring to it, and when his business partner Steve Dean read the book, he said they should name one of their key offerings “The Bankability Method.”

A Finished Book

For Terry, the book is part of building his brand as an expert in acquisitions. It was important to finish in a timely manner, and he credits The Book Professor’s Executive Group Mastermind with keeping him accountable.

 

He said, “While I was writing, I met a lot of people who said they were writing a book too. And you know what? They’re still writing their book, but I have a finished book.”

Terry published his book, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy or Sell a Business, in 2017. Recently, it was listed by Forbes writer Rhett Power as one of “The Best Books to Help Entrepreneurs Grow a Business.”

Power’s review of the book echoed what Terry and Nancy had worked so hard to achieve:

“In a straightforward, authentic style, he walks you through the many options you have for your [business]. By the end of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, I felt like I had an entertaining, informative workshop.”

You can purchase Terry’s book, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy or Sell a Business here.

You don’t have to be a “writer” to become an “author”!

Have you dreamed of writing a book but don’t think of yourself as a writer? Or do you have something to say but are stuck and can’t get it out?

The Book Professor® helps people who aren’t writers become authors. Whether writing a book is a life-long dream or something you must do to move your career forward, there’s help for you.

Learn more about how you can work with The Book Professor® and Nancy Erickson, click here.


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Dismantling Writer’s Block Part 1: The Lone Genius Myth

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Book Writers: Do You Think It’s Best to Go It Alone?

Perhaps you’ve seen some variation of this scene in a movie.

A man is sitting at his typewriter (why is it always a guy?), unshaven, half-drunk, and clattering away like mad. There are empty wine bottles and teacups strewn all over the room. Crumpled papers overflow the trash can. In anguish, he stops typing, tears out the sheet of paper, and rips it to shreds.

Sound familiar?

Movies like these have done us a great disservice. They’ve given us the “Lone Genius,” a class of people who spend their days struggling through their book without any help. Though it’s true that authors spend most of their writing time alone with the page, this is only part of the picture.

That’s because books are too long and too complicated to be written without a community of helpers. All authors (including this one) need those who can keep them on track, lend helpful feedback, and even give them a swift kick in the backside when needed.

The myth of the Lone Genius is behind a lot of unnecessary writer’s block.

Authors need a Book Mastermind. Here’s why.

A Book Mastermind Keeps You Accountable

Here’s an unfortunate truth. If you’re the only person holding yourself accountable to write your book, you probably won’t finish it.

It’s not because you have nothing to say, you lack discipline, or that people don’t need what you’ve written. It’s simply this: No one is waiting for you, so it’s easy to put your manuscript off.

The solution? Join a group of like-minded writers.

I put together The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program so that every week, writers know they have an online appointment they must prepare for. Everyone will be turning in the same assignment, and if you’re part of that group, you’re highly motivated to come to the call prepared. It’s that simple.

If that were the only reason to take part in a Book Mastermind, that would be reason enough for most of us to reach out for help. But there’s more.

A Book Mastermind Includes People with Complimentary Skills

You have a unique “Zone of Genius:” your training, your giftings, your experiences, and even your tastes. It’s your gift to the world, and it will permeate anything you write.

What’s great about a Book Mastermind, however, is your book benefits from other people’s Zone of Genius as well.

In a recent Book Mastermind, we had a wonderful group of men. They all got excited about each other’s work even though they had very different backgrounds.

One of our writers, a marketing expert for podiatrists named Rem Jackson was stuck on the title for his book. Mike Kitko (read his story HERE) was in that group as well. Mike’s an Executive Coach who knows next to nothing about podiatry. But as Rem was talking about the ideas he was presenting in his book, Mike blurted out something like, “Do you know what would be a good title for your book? Podiatry Prosperity!”

At that moment, it didn’t matter who came up with the idea. The title was perfect. Because Rem Jackson was participating in a group with someone outside of his Zone of Genius, he received exactly what he needed.

A Book Mastermind Gives Generous Feedback

Too many of us have been in writing groups where we received ego-driven, soul-crushing feedback from a teacher, a family member, or a friend. I’m afraid it happens to most of us, and I’m sorry if it happened to you.

However, that’s not the experience we’ve had in The Book Professor® Book Mastermind Groups. They have consistently been positive, encouraging places to write a book.

There’s a reason for that.

If you’re a member of a Book Mastermind with authors who intend to be a source of hope and help for their audience, then they’re generally people who want to be a source of hope and help to everyone — including you. When they offer feedback, it’s in the same spirit that drives them in everything they do.

A Book Mastermind Session Can Be Great Therapy

Every Book Mastermind I’ve been a part of has become, to some degree, a group therapy session.

I’ve worked with a woman whose book told the story of how she survived severe abuse. Another woman wrote about how she made it through her husband’s suicide.

Mike Kitko (the Executive Coach I mentioned earlier) was an alcoholic in a mutually destructive marriage. He had to tell about how he devastated his own life and hit rock bottom.

When people write about experiences like these, they have to relive them. In every Book Mastermind I’ve facilitated, its members surrounded, protected, and validated those writers as they told their truth.

It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the process.

Authors: Do You Believe in Magic?

Recently, one of our Masterminds included an author whose book contained a description of her life in an abusive and alcoholic home. Reading it to the group required extreme vulnerability on her part.

When she finished, I asked the group if they had ever experienced something similar. Everyone in the group had. I could hardly believe it.

Now, you don’t have to be spiritual to take part in Group Coaching. But let me say this.

I do not assemble Book Masterminds by curating people of similar backgrounds. I simply put people together who are available and ready to get started on their books.

But it seems like Something — or Someone — has put each of those groups together. Each one has a synergy I couldn’t have created if I tried. People with similar or complementary backgrounds, temperaments, and experiences end up working together every time.

Are You Ready to Leverage a Book Mastermind to Get Unstuck?

If this sounds like what you need to get yourself out of your writing rut, you may want to join The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Matermind and Publishing Program. Writing a book is a long journey, and this is a great way to have all the benefits of a Book Mastermind gently guided by our time-tested process.

In Module One, we take you “From Concept to Concrete Plan.” This is where, as a group, we learn how to figure out precisely what it is you have to say. Lots of personal revelations surface, and with each others’ support, by the end of sixteen weeks, you have a BookMAPTM to follow as you write. It’s the BookMAPTM that actually allows you to prevent writer’s block.

Module Two is called “Write Without Ruts.” During this part of the process, you get to write the first draft of your book without going back and fixing it up. Every week, you’ll listen to other people share their first drafts while you share your own. It’s intense, revelatory, fun, and exhilarating.

Module Three, “Polish and Perfect,” we get your book to the finish line, making sure that every word is in its place, that every line sings, and that every scene works. We need each other during this part of the process because it can get tedious. Our Book Mastermind is the place where we remind each other how important the work is, how special the book will be, and how great it will feel to share it with the world.

If you want to learn more about The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program, or you’re ready to sign up, CLICK HERE.

 

 


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Four Must-Read Books By Authors Who Died in 2018

This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Some bright literary stars died in 2018. I’ll remember these four writers for their contributions to literature and society, which will continue to have an impact for years to come.

It happens every year: we lose some of the best and brightest writers among us.

2018, of course, was no different. As this year moves along at an ever-faster clip, I thought it worth taking a pause and looking back to four of the world’s favorite writers who passed last year, along with the books that we can all treasure and remember them by.

The Right Stuff authours who died in 2018

Tom Wolfe — The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe pioneered the “New Journalism” approach in the 1960s, applying fiction writing techniques to the subjects that interested him. In many ways, he blazed a new literary trail all his own.

Wolfe was a prolific essayist, with many pieces appearing in prominent magazines of the day — including Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Harper’s. It was later in his writing career that he became an acclaimed novelist, publishing The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1987 and A Man in Fullin 1998.

I first encountered Wolfe’s writing in the mid-1980s while on a solo trek around the South Pacific islands just after college. I was eight months into the trip and getting homesick for the US when I picked up a copy of Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. In the book, Wolfe profiled NASA’s first astronaut class, known as the Mercury Seven, as well as some test pilots who never made it to space — most famously, Chuck Yeager, who in 1947 became the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

Wolfe’s fantastic depiction of the American space program prompted me to end my trip almost on the spot and return to America.


Earthsea authours who died in 2018

Ursula Le Guin — The “Earthsea” series

My high school English teacher introduced me to the writing of Ursula Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction/fantasy author who explored feminist themes. Her books changed my life.

Her best-known works, the books that make up the Earthsea collection, have sold millions worldwide, and she was regarded as a great science fiction writer. But Le Guin disliked being labeled.

“I know that I am always called ‘the sci-fi writer,’” she told a Scifi.com reviewer. “Everybody wants to stick me into that one box, while I really live in several boxes.”

I found this rebellion against stereotyping inspiring.

In addition to her more mainstream work, Le Guin also produced volumes of short stories, poetry, essays, and literature for young adults. Her themes ranged from children’s literature to explorations of Taoism, feminism, anarchy, psychology, and sociology. She wrote tales of a society where reading and writing are punishable by death, and of a scientist who battled aliens to save the world.

She was a warrior for good art. Le Guin won an honorary National Book Award in 2014 and warned in her acceptance speech against letting profit define what is considered good literature. She often criticized the “commercial machinery of bestsellerdom and prizedom” — even as she was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997, a rare achievement for a science fiction/fantasy writer.

“I have had a long career and a good one. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river,” Le Guin said in the speech. “We who live by writing and publishing want — and should demand — our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.”


Kitchen Confidential authours who died in 2018

Anthony Bourdain — Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Less than one year ago, the world was shocked to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was a writer long before he became famous. Most of his fans don’t know, for example, that he wrote two novels while working as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles.

Of course, it wasn’t until 1999 that his literary career started in earnest, when The New Yorker ran his unsolicited article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This.” In that famous piece, Bourdain exposed readers to what really goes on in restaurant kitchens — even those that are 5-Star. “If you are one of those people who cringe at the thought of strangers fondling your food,” he wrote. “You shouldn’t go out to eat.”

The public reaction to that article prompted him to write Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, the book that elevated him to celebrity chef status and travel television stardom. But he did more than entertain. He gave readers like me the courage and incentive to investigate local cuisine, no matter how foreign or alien it might be.

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s?” asked Bourdain in his memoir. “Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”


A Year In Provence authours who died in 2018

Peter Mayle — A Year in Provence

Peter Mayle was not as famous as the other writers on this list, but his travel memoir classic, A Year in Provence,inspired generations of romantic adventurers seeking an idyllic life in rural France. It certainly inspired me, as a reluctant adventurist myself.

Mayle was an Englishman who embarked upon his writing career in his 30s with sex-education books for children. His first book, Where Did I Come From?, published in 1973, sought to explain the facts of life to children. He followed that book with one on puberty, titled: What’s Happening to Me?

When Mayle wanted to try to write a novel, he and his wife, Jennie, moved to Ménerbes, a village in the Provence region of France, in 1987. Unfortunately, he was quickly distracted by the task of renovating the 18th-century stone farmhouse he and Jennie had bought. As a result, Mayle shelved the novel and instead told the story of the couple’s experience in his new home, with tales of encounters with local builders, neighbors, lawyers, truffle hunters, and more — with vivid descriptions of the region’s food and drink.

Mayle’s British publisher, Hamish Hamilton, didn’t think much of the book and ordered just 3,000 copies to be printed. But when The Sunday Times excerpted the book, sales in England rocketed past the million-copy mark. The book sold more than 600,000 copies in the United States.


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How an Executive Coach Finally Turned His Life Story into a Non-Fiction Book

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A Story Worth Telling

Mike Kitko is a man of intensity, integrity, passion, and energy. He’s a straight talker who doesn’t pull punches. His commitment to truth has earned him a trusted position as an Executive Coach for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and executives at all levels.

He’s also a sought-after speaker, teaching audiences hard-won lessons from his own life. His talks on self-mastery, finances, and business have earned him audiences all over the country. But he wouldn’t be where he is today without the difficult lessons learned through some harsh and heartbreaking times.

Mike, a Marine veteran who spent twenty years as an executive, was addicted to alcohol. He weighed 300 pounds, his marriage was mutually abusive, and his home was chaotic. His poor habits and lack of personal character caught up with him. He lost his job—and nearly lost his family.

Hitting rock bottom, he recognized he was living someone else’s dream — one created for him by his parents and a lifetime worth of TV and movies. He felt like an imposter and got busy turning his life around.

The story of how he got healthy, broke free from codependency, started his own business, and ultimately rebuilt his income and his family was worthy of a book. He wanted to show people they could turn their lives around too.

He also knew that as an Executive Coach, having a high-quality, finished book catapults someone like him into a higher echelon. To move his career forward, he wanted to put the lessons he learned into a book he could share with prospective clients and sell at speaking engagements.

Inspired, Mike sat down and began writing his book.

The Decision to Hire a Book-Writing Coach

Mike understood the power of his life’s journey and wanted to open the book with his childhood, move through his life, and end in the present. After the first few chapters, however, he started to lose his way. Mike wasn’t a quitter, so he decided to dump the first draft and start again from scratch.

But after four or five false starts, he knew he needed help. He had met Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor, and wondered what it would be like to work with her. As a coach himself, he knew the value of an outside perspective. When he and Nancy got together, he presented the idea for his book.

Nancy said something that challenged Mike deeply. In what he calls “a loving, maternal way,” she said: “Do you want two people to read your book, or two million?”

She went on: “If you create a book that’s an autobiography, only people who know you will want to read it. But if you write a book that can help people, connect with the pain and struggle they’re experiencing … to give them tools, help, and hopethen you’ve got something people will want to read. They’ll be thankful for the lessons they’ve learned, and your credibility will go up.”

Mike felt moved. He signed up for The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program, saying, “It’s always fun to go through something with a few more people.” There, he quickly learned why he had failed on his first several attempts to write his book.

Structuring a Non-Fiction Book

Under Nancy’s leadership, Mike said he and his group learned what he believes is the “greatest tool for writing a book”: the Problem/Solution set.

Instead of just telling their life stories from beginning to end, Nancy helped each member of the group discover their message and target audience. Each created and shared their BookMAPTM, a visual representation of the book from beginning to end that identified:

  • Problems the author had faced.
  • Solutions the author had discovered.
  • Stories from the author’s life that illustrated the problem/solution set.

Mike discovered one of the main reasons he couldn’t finish his book before: He never had a plan! This new structure made sense. He imagined his coaching clients and how they could immediately apply lessons he’d learned the hard way.

But Mike was still stuck. For some reason, he couldn’t let go of his original plan for a memoir. He kept trying to force his problem/solution book into the form of an autobiography.

Fortunately, in a one-on-one session with Nancy, he had a revelation. Through conversation, Mike was able to figure out his purpose for writing the book. He wasn’t writing to tell his story. He was writing to help other people. Realizing this, Mike finally let go of his initial idea — and the book came alive.

Taking the “Lonely” Out of Writing a Book

Working in a group with weekly deadlines, Mike found his manuscript moving along at incredible speed. He enjoyed hearing from others, cheering on their successes, and also finding out that, just like him, they had difficulties. Everyone would fall behind from time to time. Everyone would get a little stuck.

But the difference was that they had each other. Every member of the group seemed to draw out the best in him, and he in them. Well-defined deadlines meant they had concrete assignments to complete weekly, and that worked for Mike.

His Book Mastermind kept him going, even when he felt uninspired. He looked forward to the experience every time. Additionally, he was grateful the Group Coaching option also included one-on-one time with Nancy. Together, they could concentrate on his book without distraction.

A Skill that Goes Beyond the First Book

Mike’s business, among other things, has him creating a lot of content. He found that working on his book actually increased his creative output in all areas. In fact, it led to something astonishing.

While writing his book, Mike created two courses. One morning over breakfast, his wife, Angie, asked if the new courses could also be made into books. Mike was intrigued, so he sent the content to Nancy for her feedback.

She called him back and let him know that he had, almost by accident, written two more books.

He had so internalized the process — and received so much inspiration — instead of having one book, he had a trilogy.

Mike Kitko’s first book, The Imposter in Charge, launchesOctober 22. If you want to read the result of the process, plus derive benefit from Mike’s life experience, you can preorder his finished book here.

Are You Tired of Getting Stuck on Your Book Idea?

Aspiring authors tend to follow the same pattern. They sit down and start writing without a plan, without an audience, and without any structure. But writing is a lonely process, and going it alone is too hard for most of us.

But like Mike, you can get from first draft to published manuscript through The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program. In a group, you can receive:

  • Encouragement from a Mastermind group.
  • Deadlines that keep you moving.
  • Structure to help keep you on course.
  • One-on-one sessions with a certified Book Professor® coach.
  • A process that actually works.

If you’re ready to stop going it alone and want to leverage the power of The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program, you can learn all about it (and sign up!) here.


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Nonfiction Writing Technique: Comparison

One of the easiest ways to help your readers feel your passion and understand your message is to paint a word picture, and comparison is just the tool to do that. Enjoy this writing tip!

What’s the Purpose of Comparison?

Comparison serves a couple of purposes. It adds complexity to your writing and makes the reader think. It catches their attention and causes them to pay closer attention to the subject matter. 

Comparison is also a tool for explaining complex ideas. When we link an unfamiliar idea to common and familiar objects, it simplifies the meaning and makes for good communication. When you use comparison, you help the reader link the concept to their own life and experience, which keeps them invested in your message. 

There are three types of comparison: the simile, the metaphor, and the analogy. 

Simile

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. It uses a connective word such as like, as, than, or a verb such as resembles.

Writing a book is like running a marathon.

Similes are so common that you may have ceased to recognize them, but you certainly understand the meaning: 

  • as blind as a bat
  • as busy as a bee
  • as dry as a bone
  • as good as gold
  • as hard as nails
  • as wise as an owl

Should you use these kinds of similes in your own writing? No, no , NO! These phrases are cliches. They  are expressions that were once new and fresh, but have been used so often that they’re irritating. When you use a cliché you prove yourself to be a lazy writer, so invest your time to write fresh and innovative similes. 

Here’s an example of an interesting simile from George Orwell’s narrative essay “A Hanging.”

They crowded very close about him, with their hands always on him in a careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he was there. It was like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water.

Metaphor

A metaphor is different from a simile. It compares two unlike things by saying that the one thing is the other thing.

Nonfiction is a long, bumpy road.

Where a simile says something is like something else, a metaphor says that something is something else. 

A metaphor compares two dissimilar things and finds a point in common. It sounds like you are stating a fact, but you have to think it through for it to make sense. 

What do these metaphors communicate? 

  • My sister’s boyfriend is a zero.
  • The sky’s the limit.
  • Fear is a beast that feeds on attention.
  • Strength and dignity are her clothing.

For example, if you say, “You are the wind beneath my wings,” you’re not saying that a person is actually wind. Instead, you are referring to the support you receive from that person.

Analogy

An analogy explains an unfamiliar idea or a thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. 

Your story is as explosive as dynamite and will blast your readers into action.

An analogy also shows how two different things are similar, but rather than a figure of speech, it’s more of a logical argument. Metaphors and similes are tools that can be used to draw an analogy. Therefore, analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either a simile or a metaphor. 

You may remember working with analogies on your SAT or ACT test, or on IQ or Mensa tests. book coach, book writing coach

SHARD : POTTERY :: (____) : WOOD

  A. acorn
  B. smoke
  C. chair
  D. splinter 

This analogy compares a shard of pottery to a splinter of wood, but you probably won’t use anything like that in your writing. But you may use an analogy like this:

“The structure of an atom is like a solar system. The nucleus is the sun and electrons are the planets that revolve around their sun.”

This example compares the structure of an atom to the solar system, which helps us understand atomic structure. Notice that this analogy used both a simile and a metaphor. 

If you’re writing about a complex concept – a technical concept perhaps – an  analogy may bring clarity to the subject matter, and your analogy may include a simile and/or a metaphor. This is getting down into the technicalities of terminology, and I don’t want you to get hung up on the word analogy. But if the  subject matter warrants this type of comparison, by all means use it!

Use This Writing Tip!

When you use comparison in your writing, whether it be through an analogy, a simile, or a metaphor, you engage the reader’s imagination and make your writing interesting and compelling. Remember to respect your readers. They are your partners and are intelligent, thinking people. Don’t take the simplistic approach and spell everything out for them as if they’re kindergartners. Allow them to partner with you and invest their own brain power to interpret your message. 


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teacher appreciation

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day October 5th, 2019

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This year we’ve talked a lot about writing, publishing, and promoting your book because that’s what I love to do both personally and professionally.  But I want to take a moment to pay tribute to teachers.

World Teacher’s Day is very important to me. As a professional book coach, writer, and former collegiate professor, I am forever grateful to the teachers who ignited my love for all things “books.” I’ve always had an interest in reading and excelled in writing as a youngster, but it was my teachers who kept me motivated to pursue my dreams. They were there to offer a kind word of encouragement when I felt discouraged. There isn’t enough appreciation in our world for teachers. You usually only hear about the bad ones, when there are millions of terrific teachers who do what they do, simply because they care. 

Because their job is often underpaid, criticized, and unappreciated, many educational facilities find it hard to retain and attract excellent talent. Nonetheless, they still come to work each and every day ready to shape and guide today’s youth. 

What is World Teachers’ Day?

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. 

In 2019, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” The early twenty-first century is not an easy time to be a teacher. While teachers were once highly respected professionals, valued, trusted, and accepted as inspirational role models for young people, nowadays they too easily serve as scapegoats for the failure of education systems. Indeed, in our society that tends to glorify celebrities, we’re more likely to heap praise on performing artists, sports personalities, and social media influencers than on outstanding teachers. 

With large numbers of teachers likely to retire in the coming decade, a major concern is that there aren’t enough young candidates coming into the profession to replace them. Over 69 million teachers must be recruited by 2030 for primary and secondary education to meet the SDG 4 education targets. Of this number, 48.6 million new recruits will be needed to replace those who are leaving the profession either through retirement or voluntarily. 

These challenges and transformations in the 21st century are very real. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day 2019, we must take time to look at the future of the profession and the role of young teachers in it, taking on the changing climate of education and schooling, the need to draw in and retain a new generation of dedicated educators, and to prepare them for the 21st century challenges of “teaching in diversity” and “diversity in teaching.” (Source)

Take a moment today to think about what your life would be like if you’d never had a quality teacher. How would a shortage of quality teachers affect your children’s or grandchildren’s life and future? In honor of World Teacher’s Day tomorrow, tell the teacher in your life how much you appreciate and value their work in helping to shape our youth!


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Get a Coach-You Can’t Be An Expert In Everything

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No one can be an expert in everything. I talk a lot about the value of establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and I happen to be an expert book writing coach who helps people—people don’t think of themselves as writers—to write and publish their nonfiction books. I am not, however, an expert in everything! That’s why I want to share my own experience about working with a coach to achieve an important goal.

My husband, Tom, is an outdoor enthusiast, and he has a special relationship with the Grand Canyon. Every year for the past decade he has taken a couple of weeks to float the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon, enjoying the white water, scaling the canyon walls on challenging hikes, and sleeping under the stars. He is also a darn good photographer and likes to get up in the wee hours to photograph the deep black sky that radiates light from the millions and millions of stars. The Grand Canyon restores Tom and ignites every fiber of his being with its beauty and majesty. He can’t get enough of it, and he wanted to share it with me.

I also love the outdoors, but the thought of spending two weeks on a raft and living outdoors without the basic comforts of a bed or bathroom was a bit daunting. And then there was the hike in. To get to the bottom of the canyon, we would hike 8.5 miles down Bright Angel Trail, which has an elevation drop of one mile. We had to carry in all of our belongings in packs that weighed about 25 pounds. The hike usually takes between 5.5 and 6.5 hours, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You might think that hiking down is easy but, in fact, the hike down is harder than the hike up. Your shins and calves bear the brunt of the pounding, and afterward hikers often lose their big toenails. They are also prone to suffering intense calf pain for days afterward, pain that is nearly crippling.

As you float down the river, other hikes are part of the trip, and I don’t mean a nice little stroll down a trail. At times you have to plant your hands and feet on opposite sides of the wall in a slot canyon and then scale upward. On some hikes there are thin ledges — only two feet wide — that you must traverse. You have to inch yourself sideways and hope that your hands have a firm grip on the rock wall. It’s a long way down, but when you get past these challenging portions, you reach amazing scenes of beauty that you never knew existed.

I knew I could deal with living outdoors, but I wasn’t sure I could endure the hike down with a 25-pound pack on my back. I also knew I didn’t have the skills to climb a slot canyon or scale ledges.

If I was going to do this, I needed to get help. I needed a coach.

A Hike to Remember

I started training with Brent about five months before our trip. He planned a regimen where on Wednesdays we worked on building strength and on Fridays we worked on balance and agility. In between, I amped up my cardio so I would have the endurance I needed. When I went to my training sessions, I had no idea what we were going to do that day. I didn’t know how to get myself in shape, so I just did what Brent told me. All I did was show up and follow his instructions. When he told me to do twenty jump squats, I did them. When he told me to get on the stair climber and climb on my tiptoes, I did it. When he said to stand on the bosu ball on one leg and catch the ball he threw to me, I did it. No two sessions were the same, and week after week after week, I showed up and did whatever he said to do for that hour. Little by little, I built my strength and agility in those one-hour bite-sized chunks.

The day we hiked down the Grand Canyon, there was an excessive heat warning. Temperatures were expected to rise to 112 degrees on the canyon floor, which is exactly where we were going. We were fully prepared with energy snacks, plenty of water, and our hats and sunscreen, and there were water refill stations about every three miles. We were ready. I was ready.

It took us 5.5 hours to get to the bottom, and I felt pretty good until about the last half mile. It was my toes. They were screaming at me, and I was certain I would lose those toenails. The heat was exhausting, and by the time we reached the bottom it was 109 degrees, but we made it. I made it! Those small repeated increments of time I’d devoted to getting in shape for the trip carried me from the upper rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado river at the bottom. I never even had the deep muscle pain that some experience.

Get a Coach

So what does my trip to the Grand Canyon have to do with your book? You have a book-worthy idea inside you and might think, “I’m not a writer, I can’t do this,” but that’s not true. You may not be not a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become an author. You can do anything you want to do if you get the proper help. You need a book writing coach who can take the idea for your book and help you crystallize your message, plan the contents, write the manuscript, edit it to perfection—and finally—publish and distribute your book. You need someone to take you the entire distance so that all you have to do is follow. A great book writing coach can turn a “liver” into a writer.

Here’s the thing: people who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re what I call “ livers .” You’ve lived through something; you’ve been through something, you’ve learned something, discovered something, or developed something, and you’re busy living your life. You’re not a writer because you’re a doer. You’re out accomplishing things. You don’t need to learn the publishing industry or take any writing classes to write your book. You simply need to get your message out of your head and out into the world, and you need a comprehensive book writing coach to help you do that.

All you have to do is take the first step and get started. You have a message, and I have a process. Why don’t we work together? Contact me today and I can help you take the next step!


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You’re Ready To Get Back Into a Writing Routine-Now What?

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This month we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a routine-especially when writing a book.  But whether you’re getting the kids back to school or coming off that last summer vacation, establishing a routine is critical for you and your family’s success. Let’s face it; we all know kids do better when they have a routine! And that’s the truth!

But if you’re ready to start writing again and want to join our upcoming Fall classes, you might be wondering: how does our writing classes work? I’m happy to help. As a professional writing coach with over 25 years of experience, I have the privilege and honor of helping busy professionals write high-impact nonfiction books that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. I’ve worked with countless authors and seen the pride on their face when they have that finished, published book in hand. If you ready to make your impact and provide a solution to those that need it most, I’d be honored to be your professor. 

successGroup Coaching Classes-How It Works

Each coaching group is limited to a maximum of 10 participants to allow for maximum participation and to give personal attention to each member. 

The Curriculum

There are three modules in the program. Each module lasts 16 weeks: 

◦ Module One: From Concept to Concrete Plan 

◦ Module Two: Write Without Ruts 

◦ Module Three: Polish and Perfect 

Weekly Group Coaching Calls

All three modules are delivered online in 16-week courses. We start with a weekly Group Coaching call, which is scheduled on the same day and time every week. This is your own Book Mastermind, and during these calls, we review the lesson for that week, discuss what you wrote, and get valuable feedback from the other members.

It’s a dynamic process, and you learn a lot from each other and enjoy the camaraderie of other professionals who are also writing their books. Group Coaching calls are recorded and are available for replay in case you miss a session.

Accessing the course 

During that week, you will log into the exclusive client portal and access the online material, which includes high-quality HD instructional videos, handouts to download and reference during the lesson, and your writing homework to complete before the next lesson. These online tools are available to you at any time of day or night and are accessible for a full year!

One-on-One Coaching Sessions

In addition to our weekly Group Coaching calls, you will also have two separate 45-minute Skype conferences with me to discuss your work in greater detail. Your first conference is at the mid-point of the module during Week Eight, and the other is at the end of the module. During your conferences, we will focus specifically on your work, crystallize your message, address any challenges you may be having, and get you ready for the next step. 

Cost

The cost for the entire program is $350 per month for 12 months, or $1050 per quarter. You can choose your payment plan!

Not sure if our group coaching program is for you? We also offer a self-directed program and personalized one-on-one coaching. Contact us today, and we will be happy to help you decide which program will work best with your lifestyle and budget!


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Be the Solution: Change the World With Your Book 2

Write Your Book and Be Part of The Solution This Fall

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Looking for a little motivation to write your book this Fall? 

Do you ever feel like the world has gone mad? When you turn on the nightly news it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We have so many problems, and they are so complicated that it’s hard to even define them anymore, much less solve them. We know that top-down, organizational approaches rarely fix anything and, in some cases, they make matters worse or spawn bigger problems. You may be tempted to think there are no answers.

write-your-inspirational-nonfiction-book

That’s not what I think. I firmly believe that the answers are trapped inside of people like you. You know what you’ve been through, what you’ve overcome, and what you’ve learned, but you may not realize how valuable that is. You may not know that you have an inspirational book inside of you that needs to be written.

A great inspirational book will offer real hope and real help

There are two things that people cannot live without: hope and help. But what we need is real hope and real help, not false platitudes that say, “This, too, shall pass” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” When you open up and share your story—what you’ve been through, what you endured, what you discovered, what you survived, what you’ve developed, what you’ve learned—you offer real hope and real help to people who are looking for and longing for your answers. You impart real hope to the reader who sees you walk through adversity and come out on the other side. You offer real help as you show them the steps you took to make it through.

My job is to give everyday people the courage to tell their truth and the tools they need to write a high-impact nonfiction inspirational book that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. Everything I do in my life and work is based on what I believe is my God-given purpose, which is to connect people who have solutions with people who, in some cases, are literally dying while waiting for that solution. On one hand, there are people like you who have solid solutions to the problems you’ve overcome. On the other hand are people who need your help and are seeking that solution. I’m simply the hallway that connects you.

You probably have a book inside of you but think, “I’m not a writer. I can’t do this.” Here’s what I’ve discovered: People who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re livers. They’ve lived through something; they’ve been through something, learned something, discovered something, developed something, and they’re busy living productive lives. They’re not writers because they’re doers, and they’re out accomplishing things. It’s time to put what you have accomplished and learned into an inspirational book that can help others be livers and doers as well.

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself. You can change the world, one reader at a time, simply by telling your story.

write an inspirational book

Be the solution

If you or someone you know is ready to be part of the solution this Fall, please contact me today about joining our writing classes there’s still space left!


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How to Become an Author: Time Block 2

Nonfiction Writing Technique: Learn To Time Block

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Congratulations! You’re going to write your book and are ready to start. But how will you find the time? The rest of your life hasn’t changed, and your schedule was already full.

You’ve heard about The Law of Attraction, haven’t you? The Law of Attractions says that what you think about is what you attract into your life. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So what will you think about—that you’ll never get your book written or that you don’t have enough money to pursue it? Of course not!! When that nagging voice in your head says, “you’re not good enough, you’re too busy, this is too hard,” you have to knock it down. You know what I do when that voice attacks me? I stand up and shout out loud, “ STOP LYING TO ME!”

You didn’t wake up one day and say, “Oh, I think I’ll write a book now.” No—something put that seed inside you. And it’s been growing over time. This desire came from something bigger than you, and its effect will be bigger than you, too. Your message can change the world, and that’s exactly how we change the world … one reader at a time.

Life is busy, and time is precious. You’ve got work, the kids, vacation, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. That little voice that whispers sweet defeat in your ear even before you even get started needs to be put in its place. Tell it you ARE going to do this and you DO have enough time. This is a challenge, but you’re up to it.

Time Block and Finish Your Goals

So how do you find the time to write your book? I use a method for organizing my time called Time Blocking, and it can work for you, too. When you Time Block, you divide your time into blocks so that you can use it wisely and be productive. Of course, you have to be efficient when you carve out the time for writing, which means that you take a look at EVERYTHING you do, evaluate all your responsibilities, and organize the tasks into specific blocks of time. That’s how you get everything done.

Become an author by having a time block plan

Time Blocking also means that when your calendar is set, you HONOR the calendar, that you ENFORCE the calendar, and LIVE BY the calendar. It takes discipline, but it’s very effective once you get the hang of it.

When I was first introduced to the idea of time blocking, I thought Good Grief! I’m going to have to get up at 5:00 am in order to get everything done. I’m not suggesting that your days be as long as mine are, but on the other hand, if you need to pack more in for the short term in order to can get your book written, then so be it.

Notice how I block my time. Everything is color-coded, and you can see that I devote large blocks of time to my tasks– not just fifteen minutes here or there. I organize my time so I can concentrate fully on one thing, then move on to the next.

Every week, I have to schedule a time to plan, write, deliver, and produce my classes, as well as coach my clients, so I calculate how much time I need per week for those tasks, and schedule everything in blocks throughout the week.

If you need more help, contact me for one-on-one coaching or group writer courses or sign up for my newsletter for more information, class announcements, and tips for writers.

 

 


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