Posts in Fearless Creativity
TSLS 0041 - How to shift from a failing mindset to a successful one (in 10 seconds flat)

There is no need for doubt, because the answer is always yes.

LISTEN TO ME!

There is NO NEED for DOUBT, because the answer is ALWAYS YES.

In your life, in your work, in your relationship, in your destiny.

When you have a success-centered mindset, you have to know that the answer is always yes. Even a failure or a setback is a yes to something in your future that you don’t even have any idea is coming for you. If you succeed, there was nothing to worry about because it was destined for you. You were meant to have it. Doubt is a useless emotion that only hinders either of these outcomes.

So when you’re doubting that what you have to say is worthwhile, and let me tell you, it is. The answer is always yes, fact.

And when you’re doubting that you don’t have the talent, remember that it’s not about you. No one is telling you to take off your clothes. You are the one who has been called to share a certain message, a message worth sharing. And sure, the journey might feel a little uncomfortable at times, because you’ll always feel that desire to portray the message in the best way you possibly can, but just know that's not doubt. That's being vulnerable, and that's what the world needs.

When you’re doubting that your message is too BIG, or too small, or whatever other worry you have in your mind right now - know that even if you make the biggest mistake of your entire career tomorrow, you'll keep breathing.

The sun will still rise.

And the only thing you'll have to face is your own embarrassment, which you can CHOOSE not to have! You can start right now. Because you are not the centre of everyone's universe, you are but a piece. And you do not have to carry the burden of embarrassment on your journey because it is a self-inflicted form of torture or sadomasochism that affects no one else’s life but your own.

If you fail, you can just do something else.

If people don't like it, you can just change you strategy.

If you were vulnerable, you can be proud of yourself.

There is no doubt strong enough in this world that has the power to ruin your dream, unless you give it the power to do so.

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TSLS 0037 - We need to talk about the judge (and how she is killing your creativity.)

There are two parts of every writer: you, and the judge.

You are carefree, passionate, and someone who loves the act of turning words into art. You laugh at spelling mistakes and swear in your first drafts. Your grammar is terrible, but you don't care. You paint with your words, make up things that make no sense at all, and when you're in the zone in this way, you love it. 

The Judge is a hard-faced cow who only cares about the outside world, the impact the work will have, and to whom. She's the one that makes you change words, backspace, edit plot points and structure. She is uptight, terrified and of course, judge-y.

The Judge is always over at your house during the first draft, which drains your creative energy. She always asks things like, "Who would read this? Who would even want this? What is the point of this?" which creates two issues: doubt, and unfinished work.

If you have 200 unfinished manuscripts in the "Misc" folder on the computer right now, you know what I'm talking about. The judge has judged.

Now, please note that The Judge isn't a bad person. She does only have your best interests at heart. Like a mother, she stops you from doing stupid stuff or unleashing something completely unfit for purpose into the world. But in the midst of creation, you just can't worry about that. 

You know what you want to express. You have to do it your way, no matter how messy or flawed or ridiculous, while the iron is still hot. Because if you don't, you risk losing the message of the work, and the passion in the message of the work.

Here's how you kick The Judge out of your house.

  • Pick any manuscript and start writing.

  • Go and make a fucking mess, and don't worry about it! Know that you'll probably - no, definitely - have to change it all up later.

  • Embrace your work. Go. Play. Ignore spelling mistakes or grammar and just say what you have to say. 

You are going to hate doing this at first, because it feels mean. The Judge will be outside the door, yelling her concerns through the letterbox. You need to ignore her and write. Anything. Whatever comes to mind. Do it as fast as you can, until you complete something. 

No matter what she says, you'll only truly know whether something is good or not when it's complete.

You'll only truly know if there's a place in this world for your work, or not, if it's complete. 

And if you decide it's not, it wasn't a waste of time. It will be a complete work of art that you can learn from, expand on and feel great about. And thats incredible.

Forget about The Judge entirely until you're done, if you can. She can visit later.

For now though, you know what to do.

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TSLS 0036 - The ultimate writer's block pep-talk (to be read in every creative emergency)

We've all experienced "writer's block" at one time or another, right?

You know, that feeling that all your best ideas have been stolen away by "the boogeyman".

Where you can't remember your writing voice and everything you spit out seems stale and unoriginal. That is, if you're spitting out anything at all. A lot of the time you're just in the staring phase, paralysed by the blank page and the thought of defiling it is making you a little sick, to be honest. Right?

This feeling has been annoying, frustrating and even debilitating for me in the past, so I can relate if you feel like this is where you are right now...but I also have some ultra-fantastic news for you.

"Writer's block" is curable, you've just got to stop acting like it's not.

And I don't mean that in some fluffy woo-woo, "The Secret" kind of way. This is a fact:

If you freak out every time you get stuck on your latest writing project and convince yourself that it is forever instead of just a season, you'll turn something that was really only a small setback into a hideous, debilitating long-term issue.

You are not blocked forever. You're not going to suffer forever. And in fact, the suffering can end exactly when YOU decide.

"Writers' Block" is simply a type of fear that gets stronger every time you call it by this name.

@@"Writers' Block" is simply a type of fear that gets stronger every time you call it this name.@@

In The Authorship Program®, we discuss the importance of knowing that some beliefs are limited, and some are unlimited. Some beliefs are useful, and others are detrimental. Writer's block is the most detrimental belief of all.

Feeding into the idea of it and giving it more strength and weight in your life than it should have is only keeping it around longer than it needs to be.

So, how long is it going to take you to gather the courage to turn on the lights and peer under the bed, only to find that "the boogeyman" is just a pair of old socks?

How long will you let fear eat away at everything that was fun and good about writing, instead of plunging in and remembering that it isn't so bad after all?

There's no physical reason you can't pick up a pen and start writing whenever you want to.

Don't tell yourself you can't - you can.

And you will when you're ready.

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TSLS 0033 - What really holds you back from using your writing voice

Never start a sentence with "and" or "because". Never write prologues, or epilogues. Never start a novel with your main character waking up. Never say "never" and always avoid "always". You know, stuff like that.

These are the rules of writing you must never break otherwise you'll never become an upstanding member of the writing community and all your writing will fail. 

Just kidding.

The rules were created with good intentions, but it's time to rethink them - because your fear of doing something that might be "wrong" is what’s holding you back from finding your real writing voice.

There are no rules in writing.

At best the rules are but feeble suggestions, which didn’t hold back any of the most successful authors of all time - like Shakespeare whose works were filled with almost entirely his own lexicon of words and phrases; or writers like E.L. James, who may not have conformed to the standards of traditional writing, but still gained a raving fan base worldwide.

There are no rules in writing.

No list of rules will ever make your novel famous, or save you from critical comments. No formula will determine how people will feel about your story, or how well the world receives your characters. No one can teach you how to write. Teach yourself, through courageous expression and experimentation.

There are no rules in writing.

No one will ever be able to bring the same perspective or insight to the blank page as you. Not now, not in the future, not EVER, unless they actively copied you. Do you realise who incredible that is?

There are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, and you have the power to sculpt, rearrange, and touch people's souls with them in a way that is as unique as your fingerprint! Why stifle that with regulations?

There are no rules in writing.

There are no limitations.

Write your novel even if you're worried it might not be in fashion at the moment. It might have never been in fashion before. It might be so experimental you don't even have a name for it yet. It doesn't matter, just write.

You don't know what the next big novel will be, no one does, so there’s nothing to say it won’t be yours.

There are no rules in writing.

Stop colouring within the lines, stop worrying about what other people will think of you. You already have everything you need to create the work you want to bring into this world.

Don’t allow the “rules” to hold you back, because there are none.

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TSLS 0032 - The world needs you to be yourself (and by that I mean, to not hold back.)

A lot of people will tell you throughout your life to "be yourself", which is cliche.

We are being ourselves at all times, aren't we? Unless we're intentionally lying or deceiving. We are all here, right now, in our bodies, in our shells - we are here, we are present, and the only thing we can be is ourselves. 

People said it to me when I was younger and all it left me thinking was, "Okay, how? What do I specifically need to do?" 

(I was a very results-oriented child.)

"Be yourself" doesn't come with any further guidance on the matter. It has no before and after, and just doesn't mean much to anyone.

So I'd like to propose a better alternative...don't hold back.

That's where your story lies.

We are always ourselves, but we can all remember a time where we've held back out of fear, am I right? "Don't hold back" because when you not holding back can be measured, noticed, expanded upon. Here's how to put this into action:

  • Don't do anything that you don't like, just because you think it'll impress.

  • Don't be ashamed of the things you love.

  • Don't be afraid to say what you really feel, and believe that you truly believe.

  • Forget about wanting people to agree with you.

  • Forget that you might be writing in a way that the experts might not agree with.

There is something powerful in not holding back, for every single one of us.

We all have this sense of knowing when someone isn't being themselves, whether we're aware of it or not. There will be a lack of true connection - a cavern of unease between us and the people overflowing with insecurities, or the person trying to deceive us by acting like something they're not. Don't be that person.

You wouldn't believe how much better it feels, too. The moment you're ready and willing to say to the world, "I am who I am"? That's the moment that things will radically change for you. The moment your brand emerges. The moment your version of success truly becomes possible for you.

The people you meet, the places you go and the opportunities that arise will become more relevant than ever, and will take you closer to your ultimate goals than a lifetime of imitation or dishonesty ever could.

Don't hold back.

The Universe will respond.

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TSLS 0023 - What your soul is telling you when you get side-tracked by other people's successes

I've never in the history of my life, ever, wanted to climb a mountain.

That is, until I saw a bold, brave, beautiful woman rockin' it in a fitness magazine the other day. I stared mouth agape at the picture of her, completely confident and smiling into my soul, and suddenly I heard a voice inside myself whisper: "I need to climb a mountain."

Now, that's ridiculous, isn't it? Climbing a mountain wouldn't make me any happier, more beautiful, or confident (at least, I don't think it would). It certainly wouldn't allow be to BE that beautiful confident woman within the pages of this glossy magazine. So why? What was this compulsion to be someone I'm not and where did it come from?

If you're a Type-A person like I am, you will know this feeling.

You're chugging along nicely with your own ideas and goals, when suddenly a wild new concept appears that completely shakes your world upside down. And now all you can think about is that new concept, your ideas be damned. 

Sometimes it's because the new idea seems so much better than you feel yours could ever be. 

Sometimes it's because the new idea ignites your insecurities and makes you want to take the easy way out of the guilt you feel for not yet completing your own ideas and goals. 

Other times, it's because the person seems so confident and sure of themselves and the new idea, that you start to think it would be the coolest, most impressive and easiest thing for you to do, too.

But when this happens, you need to take a good hard look at what exactly it is you're jealous of. 99.9% of the time, it's not the actual "thing". It's the confidence surrounding the person and their thing. 

You don't necessarily want to do the "thing", but you want to feel the feeling. 

You admire the traits that have lead them into their destinies and into their highest selves and you know that if you can find that yourself, you know all the amazing things it could do for you. All the amazing ways finding it within yourself as well could transform your life.

Another example of this is when I see professional dancers.

I get instantly jealous and start thinking I want to become a professional dancer. When in reality, I’d have no passion to do that full time, I'd probably suck at it, and it isn't my calling. But I'm jealous because what they do looks so fun, I can see how hard they’ve worked at it, and I can see their best selves shining through their moves. I’ve got to stop that, and so have you.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing and focus on cultivating YOUR thing to provide the happiness you want. That kind of happiness won't come from you putting your own destiny off by looking for an alternative or easier option that totally isn't suited to you. Alright?

You have your own thing. Go do it.

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TSLS 0021 - How to tap into your inner #wholewriter in just 15 minutes

What if there was a system you could use immediately, at any time, to help you out of a creative funk?

Amazing, right? Because you're a busy creative, trying to get paid, published and trying to save the world. And technically, there’s nothing stopping you from doing all of that. (Keyword: Technically). 

Mentally and emotionally however, it's a whole different story. So this is something I created and teach in The Authorship Program® called holistic problem management, which will help you pinpoint the not-so-technical issues in your writing life and move past them. 

When it comes to emotional issues, traditional methods don't work because:

  1. They don’t tailor to the emotional side of you; the side that just wants to be motivated, entertained and inspired.

  2. They only give you information about writing that doesn’t inspire you to act.

  3. The advice in traditional writing blogs is usually too generic and impersonal.

This is my response to those failing traditional methods, because HPM changes all of that. This post will be your in-depth guide into holistic problem management (HPM for short), what it does, and how it can help you succeed in your next writing project.

What is HPM and how does it work?

HPM is the practice of using the fifteen guiding principles from The Authorship Program® to analyse your situation, identify the problem, and find the right practice to solve it.

So when you hit a creative block, what you’d need to do then is to ask yourself these simple questions, which have been adapted from the principles:

1. Are you showing up?

2. Are you playing to your strengths?

3. Why aren't you deserving of success? Why not you?

4. Are you taking control of your own destiny?

5. Are you aware of your emotions and how they're affecting the situation?

6. Do you have mental and emotional support systems in place?

7. Do you remember what this will take you closer to?

8. Do you know what your purpose is?

9. Do you have a plan for when you feel unmotivated?

10. Can you motivate yourself in one sentence?

11. Do you know your goal, and do you have a plan for achieving it?

12. Do you know how to abuse your muse?

13. Do you have time limits?

14. Do you know what success will look like for you after you complete this project?

15. Do you know what happiness will look like for you after you complete this project?

The great thing about this process is that everything you need is already within you. Just thinking about these questions will prompt your brain and inspire it to find the answers you truly need to break through your blocks and succeed with your next project.

Once you start integrating HPM into your life, your writing life will change forever.

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TSLS 0015 - Don’t just wait for success, prepare for it.

Everyone is always so busy preparing to fail.

I see it everyday, in the people I work with; in the way my friends and family talk about their "Plan B"s and other options, how everyone around us in everyday life is seeking a back up plan that is cushy and comfy and easy to fall back on in case they never have the guts to go fully in.

So here's my question, my daily practice for you today, the thing to think about today and to consider seriously: have you ever tried to prepare yourself to succeed?

Like, really. No back-up plan. No excuses. No easy way out when the going gets tough.

Instead of making plans for what you're going to do "in case I fail" - why not instead make plans to ensure that you don't? 

Instead of simply knowing you need to be better at writing if you ever want to be on The Oprah Show, why not start practicing your press release? Why not prepare an article every day in case she invites you to be a contributor? 

This isn't empty delusion - this is visualising a successful outcome so that it creates the conditions for success in the future. And even if it isn't the success you planned for, there will still be success. You will have still created the foundations for something that you will always have - in physical work and in mental strength. 

Let's face it - people who aren't prepared for opportunities rarely receive any. And on the rare occasion they do, they lose them, or mess them up, or feel that they are not worthy enough to receive them, right?

So think about it: what in your life do you want, but are nowhere near prepared for?

What are you not prepared for, and yet spend all day complaining that you don't have?

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TSLS 0013 - Your first draft is just the beginning.

Allow yourself to be terrible!

You need to start somewhere.

Give yourself the grace period, the opportunity, the freedom of creating something completely, unabashedly, embarrassingly bad.

I know in your mind and in your heart, you will die a little inside when I tell you to start the e-book you've been dreaming about in a shitty Word document. Or to start your blog with one lone post.

I know your soul will cry out:

"No graphics? No formatting? Arial font?!"

But that's just perfectionism speaking.

Perfectionism is an emotional block, and a huge one at that.

It will never come out as the masterpiece you see in your mind right away...but that's not a bad thing. Because as soon as you surrender yourself to the idea that it will never be as perfect then get it down in physical form anyway, you will free yourself. 

Not only will you have something physical to work with, but you'll open space in your mind for even bigger, better ideas. New opportunities will come into your life in a way they simply weren't able to before, when you had your blinkers on and were closed to new things.

Unless it's on paper, you're not in control of your idea, it's in control of you. 

You might think you're protecting your idea from being ripped apart by the world, but really, your precious idea is holding you back from moving forward in your creative growth like a jealous boyfriend.

I'm not saying your idea can't ever be good. I'm saying that you need to bring it into the light before you can see what it really is right at this moment.

You need to analyse it under the magnifying glass, naked, expose its vulnerabilities, then when you realise that you love it anyway... you can truly commit to make it as awesome as it can be.

What you bring into the world won't ever be perfect...

But it can still be really, really good.

At first it will be terrible, but you can always make it better.

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TSLS 0010 - The 4 signs you’re finally ready to write a book

Making the decision to write a book is a big task...so how do you know if you’re actually up for it?

In this blog post I just want to help out anyone who is thinking about it but has no idea where to start. Having written a truckload of stories, poems and plays, I have the top four signs that you might just be ready.

1) Are you playing scenes in your head?

Snippets in notebooks. Lines of dialogue. Conversations between people who haven’t even been transcribed into the world by you yet. These are all the key signs that you’re getting the creative itch, and a new story is in the works. 

Sometimes it isn’t even exclusively limited to simply book scenes either.Sometimes it is full on life scenes from your future life, too: you accepting your awards, holding them up in tears in front of an audience of your raving fans in the spotlight. Or you preparing with the director for reading of the treatment of your debut movie. You want something more, something bigger in your life and right now, your brain is dipping its foot out into the waters, daydreaming and seeing if it's possible - or more importantly, if it's possible for you.

2) Do you have a good idea of who you will dedicate the book to?

This one is always an interesting sign. When you’re thinking about writing a new book, naturally one of the things most authors do is think about their future audience, or their future fans, or who the book will entertain in the world. And you think about the people closest to you in your life or the social group you are hoping to influence with your words in the hope that one day you can dedicate a small piece of your heart to them.

(Oh, and if you hadn’t thought about that before, you totally are now. You are, aren’t you?)

3) Are you suffering from munschasen sydrome?

So there’s this syndrome and since I learnt it from Ash Ambirge, I haven’t been able to get over it because it is SO IMPORTANT for writers to know. It’s the idea that once you get an idea in your head, it holds space there until you either give up on it or do it. That idea literally haunts you, preventing you from moving forward or having space for any other ideas until you use up that one. Isn’t that crazy? But somehow I know you’ve had that feeling. It just sticks in the back of your head, stressing you out. And you don’t want that, do you?

4) Are the books you read calling to you, (or mocking you)?

Okay, so this sign has two factors. Factor one: the books you’ve been reading lately have just been so good and so inspiring and worldview expanding that you can’t help but feel that you want to bring your own goodness into the world in the same way. 

Then there is more commonly, Factor Two: you’ve read some read lame-o’s in the past couple of months and it is filling you with irrational envy. If these people could get their junk published, why not me? I could do better than this! (And that is the story of how so many authors are born…)

So those are four signs. But check this out.

The biggest sign of all is the fact that you're reading this article. 

No matter what you believe right now, you actually don't have to fit any kind of mold to truly be ready to turn the world out with your art. 

All your writing problems are emotional, and so above anything else, I know you're simply seeking that push to get started. That feeling that someone has your back, and can help you through the trials you know you’ll face along the way. The Authorship Program® can provide that for you, so join us in the online course today! We also offer the most incredible community you will ever experience in your lifetime. 

If you were looking for permission, consider this yours.

You can do anything you set your mind to. 

You have permission.

And you’re 100% ready.

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TSLS 0009 - Why you've been denying your call to write

You know what's more painful than going all out and trying to achieve your creative dreams?

Not doing so.

Because your soul will never stop wanting it, and your fingers will never stop aching for it.

There's nothing more damaging to the soul than not being who you were meant to be - and nothing more damaging than not writing, when your calling is to write. So if you haven't giving it your all so far in your creative life, these thoughts and feelings are at the heart of the problem.

You think you have time (haha, hahaha.)

Are you so busy pushing your writing career into the future, and thinking about it in future terms, that you haven't even started on it in the present? Have you ever noticed that when you talk about publishing your first book, it's always "later" or "tomorrow" or "next week"?

Sacrificing real work for daydreaming is a classic sign that you’re scared of using the power you have to change your own destiny. But here's the thing:

There's nothing riskier than waiting on tomorrow to make a start on your dreams.

The situation you were in today may never be the same again. The opportunities you had today may never come around again. Your life, your dreams, your health, your options could all change at any time - for better or for worse. No time will ever be perfect, so stop waiting and start now.

You're scared that you might fail (so you're holding back.)

As a coach, it never fails to amaze me how people self-sabotage themselves. Clients tell me that they want to write more than anything in the world, but when I set them a task, they find every excuse under the sun to not do it.

They're usually afraid of making a real effort, in case their work doesn't turn out as brilliant as they imagined it would. But here's the thing about that:

If you're not working to the best of your ability, you have no one but yourself to blame when it fails.

When you do your absolute best, you won't feel any shame, even if you fail. You would grow from the experience, you'd realise failure was not the end of the world, and you could try again with your head held high. But if you don't try your best, you're wasting your time. It won't feel good, it won't deliver results, and you'll always wonder: "What if I'd given it my best shot?"

You're overwhelmed (I hear you.)

We're all overwhelmed. If the pressures we all carry on our shoulders every day were physical, we'd all be pretty ripped right now - flat stomachs and six pack abs from carrying it all.

When you're feeling overwhelmed, it just means you need to take a break.

You'll find inspiration soon enough. You'll feel the urge to get started on something right away, and when it happens, attack with full force.

No matter how much you think you'll want to do it later, nothing can compare to the excitement and drive you get in that first moment. Use it!

You're waiting for "God in the machine" (but he's not in there.)

If you're waiting for "God in the machine," it means you're waiting for a solution to your struggles to appear one day, by magic. Like a pen, for instance, that downloads your manuscript from your brain right onto the page! (Okay, that's a little over the top, but a girl can dream...)

You may not be waiting for something quite as unrealistic, but even waiting for "inspiration" and "motivation" are examples of god in the machine.

You're not in a novel, finding a magical item is highly unlikely, and happy endings just aren't guaranteed...by any measure.

The only way you can secure a fulfilling future is if you set out to create one for yourself.

Your entire success depends on you and the choices you make, and on being responsible for your own actions. It might be scary at first, but it's way better than leaving it to The Universe to determine your success or failure in life.

You've given up already (and you shouldn't have.)

You may not have said it out loud, and you might never say it out loud, but that doesn't mean you haven't had some thoughts.

It may be that your subconscious has convinced you that you're not ready for greatness yet, or that the creative life just isn't a possibility in your life right now. Or it may be that at some point you concluded that you're just an "ordinary" person, and that your vision is just too big. And so, it ends up that everything you do is half-hearted, or you stop trying at all.

If you do have any of these thoughts, there's nothing I can do to change them for you. If you believe you're ordinary and can't do it, that's your truth - and no one will ever be able to change that besides you. But that's actually the good news. Because at any time in your life, you can decide not to be simply ordinary anymore. You can raise your own standards, and answer the call.

The world is waiting.

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TSLS 0008 - The 15 principles of highly successful authors

What if there were 15 principles that could take you from who you are now, to the successful author you always wanted to be?

The Authorship Program® can help you do just that. I discovered the principles through research of hundreds of case studies detailing the key similarities, habits and qualities of some of the most famous, wealthiest, and most celebrated authors in the world.

Theoretically, every author that has ever had any measure of success has learnt how to harness the power of these principles - and now you can, too.

1. They commit to writing the damn book. (Commitment)

@@"Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it's a relationship, a business or a hobby." - Neil Strauss@@

This might sound obvious but, a writer writes. They dedicate themselves to an idea, they dedicate themselves to an actual day of the week (not “someday”), then they make plans to see the idea through to the end no matter what.

2. They believe in the possibility of their success. (Self-Confidence)

@@“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” - E.E. Cummings@@

If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? To be a success you need to hone your craft enough so you can always confidently say, "Yes - success is possible for me right now”.

3. They believe they are worthy of success. (Self-Esteem)

@@“Believe you can and you're halfway there.” - Theodore Roosevelt@@

People only work within the confines of how they perceive themselves, and when your self-esteem is low, that perception is usually far from the truth. You won’t be successful until you believe that you are truly worthy of it.

4. They take control of their lives. (Self-Efficacy)

@@“Become major, Paul. Live like a hero. That's what the classics teach us. Be a main character. Otherwise what is life for?” - J.M. Coetzee@@

You can’t waste time waiting for permission from an imaginary, all-knowing mentor to tell you exactly what you need to do with your life. No one in this world is now, or will ever be qualified enough. If you want to get your novel(s) published, you need to be the one who gets things moving.

5. They learn how to truly connect with others. (Emotional Intelligence)

@@“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” - Mark Twain@@

Learning to connect with others makes you a better writer, a better communicator, and greatly improves the chances of people liking you and your books. Once you’ve mastered the art of emotions, you can create content that provides readers with the connection they crave.

6. They transform their mindsets. (Mindset)

@@“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” - John Dryden@@

Our minds often become set in their ways, creating repetitive thoughts, bad habits and patterns that often hinder us from moving forward in our writing careers. Successful authors take the time to find these sets, combat them, and change them.

7. They decide what they stand for. (Values)

@@“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.” - José Ortega y Gasset@@

Every word you set on paper, every page you punctuate, and every story you finish becomes an extension of yourself when you’re a writer. Successful authors know their values come through in their works and tell the world who they are.

8. They connect with their purpose. (Purpose)

@@“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.” - Margaret Atwood@@

Successful authors have come to terms with the fact that writing is their personal mission, accepted how worthwhile and valuable it is to the world, and offer it to the world without reservation.

9. They learn how to motivate themselves (Motivation)

@@“I said 'Somebody should do something about that.' Then I realized I am somebody.” - Lily Tomlin@@

If you can’t motivate yourself, you’re screwed in so many ways. Successful writers don’t just have motivation for their writing, they know exactly what that motivation is, and what they need to do to regain it if they lose it from time to time.

10. They create affirmations for themselves. (Affirmations)

@@“There is no affirmation without the one who affirms. In this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.” - Ayn Rand@@

All the successful authors you can think of have used affirmations at some stage in their lives to propel them forward, so the sooner you create some for yourself, the sooner you will be able to claim your rightful place among them.

11. They set goals for themselves. (Goal-setting)

@@“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” - Paulo Coelho@@

It’s hard to remember where you’re going if you don’t set checkpoints for yourself along the way. Successful authors ultimately know what they are trying to achieve, and continually make small steps towards it.

12. They write the damn book. (Productivity)

@@“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” - Stephen King@@

That’s right! At this stage, successful people have actually written the book. This is not to be confused with the first point in this post, which was simply making the decision to write. Commitment can only be measured by action.

13. They manage their time. (Self-Management)

@@“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” - Bill Watterson@@

They learn to manage their time like it’s the most precious thing in the world…because it is. They spend more time on the things that are important, and find ways to consciously remove the stresses (no matter how small) from their lives.

14. They create their own paths to success (Success)

@@“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Viktor E. Frankl@@

A big part of being a writer is finding your own way. You might want to research what the greats did before you, but at some point you have to take the first tentative steps on your own personal journey.

15. They make writing work towards their happiness (Happiness)

@@“I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” - Elizabeth Gilbert@@

The only thing that matters is your happiness. All successful authors know this. Write about the things that truly matter to you; that entertain you, interest you, and will contribute to your happiness in the long term - because the success will follow.

How many of the principles have you mastered?

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TSLS 0005 - The writing life doesn’t have to be hard. Your journey isn’t a curse…it’s a destiny.

I stumbled into writing at a super young age.

People picked up on the fact that it came naturally to me, and gave me opportunities. I’ve ghostwritten for executives, won national awards, studied with the UK’s best universities and showcased my work in the UK's best cities, and I feel like I’ve already had a better writing career than most people in their thirties and forties (which I'm so so grateful for). I was simply set on a path by The Universe, and I didn’t resist or argue - which is why I believe that writing is a destiny.

If it's yours, I'm sure there'll be a point for you too where you’ll realise:

This is it. This is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life."

When it hit me that I might have to deal with that, though - being a writer (and having all the associated pains that come with it) for the rest of my life - I started to worry. 

It’s not just the writing we commit to, is it? I thought. It's also the fear. The overwhelming, 24/7, around the clock fear. Fear of judgement from others. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that there's no specific roadmap to follow to keep it profitable and sustainable.

People search their entire lives for their purpose. It's supposed to be an incredible thing once you find it. And yet, when it happened to me, all I could think was, what am I going to do now?

I'd fallen into over-hyped, generalised, stereotypical thinking.

Let's get this straight right now: writing is a beautiful, spiritual thing. It's not something that should cause you emotional pain.

It is NOT natural to spend every day wracked with fear, and if you are, something is wrong.

@@Your life as a writer might be mandatory, but pain is optional.@@

You need to decide what you're going to do to make your life and your destiny work for you, and stop letting mass opinion dictate how you should feel about it. You need to ask yourself:

1. What can I do to end the cycle of fear that happens every time I start a new piece of work?

2. What can I use to help me move towards my dreams, and encourage me to become the best I can be?

When I asked myself these questions, they led me to create The Authorship Program®. It serves as my compass and guide to a better writing life every day. It's there for me whenever fear tries to take over and make me forget who I am.

Writing The Authorship Program® was the best decision I've ever made. And guess what? You’re lucky. Because if you're interested in getting a personal writing companion for yourself, you don’t have to wait five and a half years to get it like I did. It happens to be available right now.

So, in conclusion...

Change your beliefs, like I did with mine. 

I wasn't prepared to sit down and feel sorry for myself for the rest of my life. I wasn't prepared to think of my vocation, my life path, my future, my destiny as a curse. Are you?

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TSLS 0002 - To the person who still hasn't started their creative legacy yet

Hey you,

You who has always wanted to start a creative life, and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. You who is feeling time and life slip away because they haven’t done the things that would really make their soul sing. You who is thinking it’ll be too hard or you don’t have time or you’re too old, or too young.

To the person who knows a full life is lived through self-expression and leaving a legacy behind to inspire, educate or entertain future generations.

I know that little voice has been working overtime on you every day, making you feel worse than you should. I bet that at some point or other in your life you’ve told yourself that you’ve done “nothing” with your life. Or worse, telling yourself that you’re nothing.

Well, this may seem a little out there, but stick with me on this: being nothing right now isn’t such a bad thing.

Everyone has to start somewhere.

Everyone who has any modicum of success has had to walk that line of fire and fear not knowing whether they’d even make it to the other side. But they do. And they’re stronger and braver and more ready than ever for the journey.

You have nothing because you are doing nothing. And if you continue as you are you’ll always consider yourself to BE nothing... but now is not the time to feel hopeless. Your hopelessness is the only thing preventing you from putting a dent in the universe.

So what if you’ve done anything yet? So what if you’re nothing right now?

With the right guidance, you are about to be really SOMETHING.

All you need that push that I hope I’m providing for you right now, and who knows where this life and this opportunity will take you.

Since you think you’re nothing right now, nothing you do can make you anymore insignificant than you already think you are. Nothing is at risk, except that insignificance. There’s no reason not to try.

You’re already experiencing the worst it will ever get. 

You might as well do something.

You might as well try something.

I promise you - it can only get better from here.

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