TSLS 0029 - #AskStephanie: How can I get through my half finished writing project?

There's nothing more tempting than giving up a project half-way through...

You don't have to tell me. I have about a million unfinished works that may never see the light of day, ever. I have the ones I'm uncaring about getting finished, but then I have the big ones that I feel gut-wrenchingly guilty about because of how much I believe they would benefit and entertain the world.

I'm guessing the project you're talking about now is one of those projects. Unfortunately, no matter what project it is, it takes the same amount of work to complete - but here's what you need to remember when you've been in a project for so long the magic has faded (and how to get it back).

You’re not in the honeymoon period anymore, and that's okay. 

It wasn't always that way, but things change. Sooner or later you have to accept the new circumstances so you can adapt, and start making changes.

The grass isn't greener on the other side; the grass is greener where you water it. 

I don't know who first said that quote, but it's stuck with me since I first heard it. Even if you feel you're struggling, it doesn't mean it's time to look for a new, shinier project and throw all your hard work away. Things can get better if you put the effort into making it happen.

You believed in yourself and the project once, never forget that.

It’s impossible to finish a creative work without belief in yourself, but it's possible to restore it. Just because you're not at the bright-eyed infatuation stage of your creative work doesn't mean that where you are right now isn't okay.

It doesn't mean you can't make it better.

It doesn't mean you're not exactly where you're supposed to be.

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TSLS 0028 - My personal approach to overcoming overwhelm (and how it saves my ass every time)

Sometimes I get super guilty about not doing things "the industry" has said I should be doing in order to "succeed". 

I feel like I should be doing webinars. And facebook advertising. No, twitter. Instagram? And bigger, more exciting launches and guest posts and interviews and newsletters and and and...

I can inherently see the value in these things and know that they might actually be beneficial, but there's just one problem.

I don't actually want to do them.

Every time I even think about doing them, my whole body tenses up. I'll stare at papers and plans for hours and my soul just can't bring yourself to make it work. Or to even start. The thought of doing the things bores the HELL out of me. 

Do you ever feel like this? That feeling that even if you tell yourself you'll do it eventually, and have even made plans to do it but still haven't? There's a reason for that. And it's not because we're lazy. It's simply because we don't want to.

It isn't a strength of ours.

It isn't an interest.

It isn't a priority.

So we can only do one of two things in this situation: we can either make it a priority and stop dicking around...Or we can: 

@@Throw it out the window and see how it feels.@@

Because having this huge thing on your mind without doing anything about it has a larger effect on your mindset and neurological health than you actually realise.

It's called the Zeigarnik effect, and it basically means that you cannot move forward or even perform effectively when you still have "that thing" at the back of your mind, plaguing you with guilt because you haven't done it yet.

It's time to move forward.

I'm doing this at the moment. I wanted to do guest posting at least once a week because it's obviously the thing to do in order to promote myself. I love connecting with people, I love writing, what could go wrong, right? On paper it seemed fine, but when it came down to it, the thought of force-writing another post each and every week, plus pitching just suddenly felt too much on top of everything else I do weekly. It took me a while to admit it to myself and I kept putting it off in the form of excuses and complaints. For example:

"Ugh, I don't like the idea of being forced to do stuff."

"I hate when I have to do things on a schedule."

"Pitching to so many different people each week is going to be time consuming and confusing."

"I don't have a good system to keep track of pitches."

"I'll have to hold back articles that I'll just want to share on my own blog."

"I don't even know where to start." << this is a big one. I can guarantee you do, you just don't want to.

I also recently threw an idea to create an audio course shop out of the window which had held me back for weeks (because I was forcing monetisation when my soul just wanted to give it away for free.)

@@When your body, mind and soul say "ugh", listen.@@

Now, let me tell you the best thing about this. When you throw shit out of the window, it honestly gives so much room to your strengths. Because you know what happened immediately after I let go of these issues? My mind went:

"Ahhh, great! Now we can focus on what I REALLY want to do."

For me, that's focusing on the people I already have and empowering them to share the message. I want to invite people into my world in my own way. I'm a flaky transgressive artist, I don't like to be on any schedules. Sure it may take longer for me to get awareness for my movement, but it will feel one hundred times better to do it the way I want to.

Does that mean I will never guest post? Not at all. But at this specific time, that specific idea is out the window - because subconsciously it was in the way of how I really wanted to do things.

So here is my lesson to you: Listen to your own intuition, and remember that just because something may be the best method, if you don't want to do it then it obviously isn't the best method for you. (And if that's the case, chances are it won't work for you anyway.)

You don't actually have to do all the things you COULD possibly do. I promise you that.

You always have permission to let go of the things you don't love.

So throw it out the window.

See how you feel.

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TSLS 0027 - #AskStephanie: Why have I been comparing myself to others so much recently?

When you're comparing yourself to others, you're receiving a direct message from The Universe. So it's time for you to start listening to your emotions.

When we compare ourselves or envy others, it's actually not for the reasons we assume. It's actually not because they have better looks, more talent, or more money.

We compare ourselves to others when we feel they have something more that we believe is out of reach for us.

We're really admiring the intangibles. Their courage, their perseverance, their willingness to show up in the world. And we're wondering to ourselves whether we have what it takes to be like them, to exhibit those qualities for ourselves.

The #wholewriter within you knows that these qualities are inside you...but you're just not allowing yourself to use them. That's why seeing these qualities in others is becoming a negative experience.

Comparison is a reflection of what you are not allowing yourself to do.

I repeat:

@@Comparison is a reflection of what you are not allowing yourself to do.@@

You can become more skilled in any area of expertise if you make the conscious decision to do so. There's nothing stopping you - except, of course, the fear you might fail. Or the worry that it might be hard. Or the struggle because right now, your favourite TV show is on.

Every day, in every moment, this is how you actively discourage yourself from living your dreams.

I know you want it, but you're afraid. Which is why it's much easier to hate on others, or throw a big ol' pity party for yourself, instead of facing up to the fact that to be like this person you admire, something has to change.

The only difference between you and them is the choices they've made.

The Universe is challenging you to face up to your biggest fears.

It's challenging you start giving yourself more chances. 

It's challenging you to become the person others compare themselves to.

Are you up for the challenge?

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TSLS 0026 - #AskStephanie: What is the best affirmation I can use to stop being so overwhelmed?

If there are no physical or physiological reasons for your lack of creative work, then all it takes is a mindset shift.

You've got to take matters into your own hands and remind yourself, “I have the power to change this.

If you’re not living an intentional life, you’re living an unintentional one. Your entire lifestyle is a choice you’re making (or not making) every single day. As Lewis Howes once said:

“Every moment you get to choose how you show up in the world, and how the world shows up to you.”

So here is the question you need to meditate on if you're not making the impact you want to during the day:

How do I need to prepare?

How do I need to prepare? How do I need to prepare for this work? How do I need to prepare for this day?

Close your computer.

Grab a pen.

Take five minutes to write down the answers to those questions, and you will turn your whole day around. Because often that's all it takes to stop the endless chatter in your mind; the overwhelm, the confusion and despair.

Just one step at a time, one simple practice at a time, that's all it takes.

Being intentional is all about, well…the intention. There needs to be an expectation and intention behind every day. Without that, it’s too easy to fall back into the mediocre life that has already carved out for you.

Stop letting the worries rattle around in your head and get it all out on paper. Make a plan.

Prepare for more.

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TSLS 0025 - Stop struggling, start thriving: A quick ten-minute guide to turning your writing day around

Are you struggling to finish, edit, promote or sell your creative project?

Trick question - the answer is no. You are NOT struggling.

"Struggle" is a hideous word that teaches you to feel helpless about yourself, it stems from an inaccurate, limiting belief that is blocking gratitude in your life. Nothing good ever comes from the word "struggle":

@@The word struggle is the arch-nemesis of abundance.@@ 

I can guarantee that 90% of the times you've used the word, it wasn't necessary. It's just a negative condition for your mind to attach itself to in times of stress, and doesn't better the situation in any way. What it does is just teaches your mind to despair, and surrender. 

There are so many other ways to describe your situation which won't create negative conditions in your mind, and won't bring you down. Sure, you might not be achieving the results you want right now, but you're not struggling - you're manifesting, preparing, creating, strategising, recalibrating, pivoting, transforming, transitioning, working.

Instead of: “I’m struggling to make ends meet” try, "There's no limit to the amount I can earn today."

Instead of: “I’m struggling to find a character name” try, "I have all the time I need to discover the perfect character name."

Instead of: “I’m struggling to find an agent for my book.” try, "I get closer to finding an incredible agent every single day."

Instead of: "I'm struggling to..." try, "I EXPECT to..."

Stop struggling, start manifesting.

@@I expect to change. I expect to receive. I expect to manifest.@@

Change your word from "struggling" to literally anything else, and I promise you'll feel better about yourself and the situation.

You might even unlock your brain and figure out a solution, simply because you're giving your brain the option to think in a completely different way. Radical. Banana. If you raise your expectations, your enthusiasm, your commitment and your intentions around the thing you want most from your creative career, The Universe has no other choice but to rise up and match the energy you're bringing to the situation.

Then, once you've generated the energy, you need to take action.

You manifest abundance by expecting good things from yourself and the universe, then stepping up to meet them.

Action is what closes the deal. Do what you think it would take to achieve the goal or dream that you want. Give yourself to something, in the true spirit of abundance. Believe that whatever you do will come back to you in tenfold...

And then, be ready.

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TSLS 0024 - Five rules I follow every time I start a new project

Do you have any guidelines for when you start a new project?

I didn't until a short while ago, but I knew something had to change because whenever I would start something new, I'd hear this tiny nagging voice in the back of my mind that would remind me of my shortcomings from the LAST project I started.

How much time I wasted, and all the things I could have done better if I'd organised my time, my outline or my mindset more efficiently.

I'd promise myself that this time it'd be different, and that everything would work itself perfectly this time, only to fall back into the exact same patterns over and over again - until I figured out these five crucial things every creator should keep in mind when doing their creative work.

I can't tell you enough how setting down these simple foundations saved me from so many problems further down the road.

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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 0022 - Your creative work has value.

When I started writing my spoken word poetry collection earlier this year, I had this constant nagging feeling that due to everything going on it wasn’t the right time to finish it, because it didn’t seem important enough.

It was about heartbreak which, compared to everything else that was going on in the world then and now...like, doesn’t even seem like it should be in the top #10 of things we should be worrying about in our society and lives right now. Poverty. War. Modern slavery. Racism. Ridiculous laws being brought into our world by greed every single day. How would a spoken word album about heartbreak help anyone?

Why create a spoken word album when all of this was happening and was so much more important?

Why create a spoken word album when speaking on political subjects instead might help someone more?

I tried to Google my pain to see if anyone else could relate, or to see if Google would have some kind of magical measuring stick or perfect timeline for when I would finally feel okay about creating fictional works again without feeling guilty about it. 

I typed in, “Is my work important enough?” which, as smart as Google is, it had no answer for.

I guess what I was looking for was permission to complete it.

As a black, female, and member of the LGBT community there’s almost always something that seems more important than fictional works. Something to protest, something I can be angry about if I want to be. There are countless injustices happening; and so many people, voiceless, dis-empowered and suffering. But there comes a time where you realise that you can’t always carry all of this pain on our shoulders all the time, because frankly it is exhausting. 

Creating art that is serious and political all the time would put me and my art into a box that I don’t particularly want to be in; contributing to a stereotype of an “angry black woman” in a way that most people tune out unless it’s presented to them differently these days. 

So what I realised was that yes, there were more important things I could be protest about or champion or fight for in that moment - but to even have the energy to take on those battles, you sometimes have to create for yourself first; create things that light your soul up, that make you happy, or you’ll burn out from all the stress (and that helps no one).

It’s okay to create something even if the only reason you have to do it is because your heart tells you to. This is how you will open up your greatest revelations. 

You don’t know how “important” your work might become until you do it. 

Heartbreak might not seem all that important to write about in relation to other issues that were going on at the time in the world. Not even in the top #10. But to someone who is going through it right now - it is #1 the most important issue in the world. And that’s okay. I would never go up to someone and minimise their pain, or compare it to other issues I believed were more important...so I have vowed not to do that to myself, or my art. 

I recognise now that importance is a subjective concept, and there is room for it all. I also recognised that:

“Not important enough” is simply another translation of the fear of actually creating something - the fear of wasting time and failing. 

Who knows where it could take you though if just this one time you ignored the fears that prevent you from trying and actually completed it?

Your work only has the potential to be worth anything if you actually make it

Everything you love today was once nothing but a doubtful idea in the mind of a neurotic creator. And it is often the things artists throw together in passion or frustration that turn out to become their most popular pieces, treasured and loved by their fans. 

It’s not your duty to analyse the thing you’re being told to create by the Universe. Ridiculous or serious, fiction or non, art is a bold statement in the world about your personal freedom, about the way you are choosing to express yourself, and your power to speak out.

So, this is me, giving you permission to create the art you want.

Your latest work might be the single piece of work that changes your life.

You literally, simply don’t know...but this is your permission to try.

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Writing in the era of Trump

It's about time I wrote about Trump.

I never ever thought I'd get political here, but the Trump situation just become too much of an elephant in the room to not address...since it's been affecting so many of the people I work with, their work, and my own.

In a time where children are being snatched from their families as "punishment" for fleeing their own tense and violent home countries, then being forced to PAY to have them returned...you'd really believe we were living in some kind of shocking, but still only fictional dystopia. We watch movies on TV and read books about things like this happening in the past, and truly believe that nothing of the sort would ever happen in our lifetimes because society has advanced much further then, hasn't it? 

But then...events happen. Atrocities occur right in front of our eyes. And unless we take the time to speak up about them, they will only continue, and before we know it we are accomplices in a world that is completely spiralling out of control.

With all of this happening, you can imagine how hard it is to be in your tiny writing bubble, your small sphere of imagination, trying to write about the perhaps lighter, more fun fictional works you once used to do. This is the message I have been receiving over and over from writing friends and clients across the world of late. How does one concentrate...? Does it mean we're turning our backs on what's happening? Do we sacrifice our time and our peace until happier times are upon us?

I want to give a huge shout out to Alice* on my email list who was the first person to email me to express her concerns about this. You inspired this post, honey, so thank you. 

If you're one of the people all over the world who are feeling this way, this is for you.

It can feel pretty useless writing about pixies and fairies when a tyrannous orange man is taking over the world...and not even in your story. You care, as you should. And you shouldn't feel bad or guilty about that. This is one time where your hesitation or discomfort isn't coming from creative fear, but deep, primal fear. Fear of simply surviving in the world we're currently inhabiting - even if you don't live in America and aren't affected by any issues yet personally.

I myself am not American - but to think that issues happening in other countries can't or won't affect your life at some point would be grave ignorance. To ignore Trump at this point is to ignore xenophobia and racism, healthcare disasters and hate crimes, and it doesn't matter who you are, you're allowed to feel some type of way about it. 

Writers are citizens of the world as much as any other person - you don't have to be IN politics to be political, or to care about politics.

Don't ever think that someone else's pain is "none of your business".

As a writer, it is especially your business to know what is happening in the world, to have your own opinions about it, to be accepting and to speak for those who can't speak for themselves, and to lift people up, even if that person you manage to do that for is yourself.

Your writing can be an avenue for you to vent your frustrations about the world in an artistic way, because grounding it in your current truth can help to bring back deeper meaning, passion and relevance to your work.

Besides actively getting involved with protests, calling your representatives and speaking up against what you do or do not believe in (if you're in America), writing can be a powerful and authentic form of activism. Your method of educating those that might be in better positions to help, simply by you helping to ignite the spark in others. 

We must continue until we can see a way out, a better future, and sense sinks back into the veins of our society. Until then...

The world is truly weirder than fiction.

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The rise of the #wholewriter: how I am partnering with the most enlightened writers in the business to create a global movement

It's about time I talked about my family.

These are the people supporting the same causes as myself in helping writers create not just successful books, but successful lives.

This top ten list* contains the holistic and the spiritual, lightworkers, poetesses, INFJs and catalysts - the ten #wholewriters to watch this year -influential women who are dedicated to your emotional wellbeing and your creative soul. These are the people I myself trust with my own creative journey to help support me, so I hope they will be super useful to you as well.

I've talked about traditional writing blogs, and how much I hate them (besides these very select few), but OH do I love alternative creative blogs that speak to your soul. That is my whole deal, after all. 

It's time to celebrate my sisters and give you wonderful people a few more blogs to check out that share the same values we do.

Lauren Sapala - (Lauren Sapala)

Lauren Sapala is probably my oldest soul sister who has been there with/for me since the very beginning!

I still thank my lucky stars everyday that we got to meet, connected so well and respect each other so much that mutual support is so easy.

She's one of the people I thank in the acknowledgements of The Authorship Program® book and she was a crucial player in its creation and development.

Oh, and her blog? It is KILLER. It's not a request that you go and check it out, it's an ESSENTIAL - if you are a spiritually inclined type of person you will go crazy for the power in her words, her vulnerability and just insane practical knowledge of writing and the writing life.

Jackie Johansen - (Your Words Electric)

I feel like I've known Jackie forever and relate to her on a deep soul level.

She is just the kind of person that radiates so much good energy, just seeing her fun profile pictures makes me happy and she's always the friend I want to turn to when I need someone trustworthy and non-judgemental. I feel like if I had to be away from my business for whatever reason, there's no one I would want more to stand in for me than Jackie because sometimes I read her content and think "she's saying exactly what I was thinking."

Jackie is so cool, she's recently incorporated Reiki into her writing coaching - I've never seen anyone incorporate creativity and lifestyle in such a unique way, and so it's something I'm dying to invest in myself!

Cassie Paton - (Witty Title Here)

Cassie is someone that I was a huge fan of before we even became friends.

She was talking about motivation on her blog at the time, and I thought one thing in particular she said was so incredible that it's now a quote in The Authorship Program® book (and one of the most liked and favourited, at that). Immortalized forever.

Cassie is a powerful, passionate writer who now runs a blog "for female writers who give a damn".

I am just in love with everything she does, and know you will be too.

Jordan Rosenfeld- (Jordan Rosenfeld)

Jordan Rosenfeld is a reading, writing, creating MACHINE, and I'd be surprised if you haven't already heard of her.

Even if you think you haven't, there's a chance you might have read one of her articles on Writers Digest, CreativeLive or The Atlantic, to name just a few.

You have to go and check out how many places she's written for seriously, it's legendary.

I was first drawn to Jordan due to her blog tagline which is "Practice, Polish, Persist", but when we got to know each other even better through me conducting interviews with her and becoming friends, I loved that she had many more similar values to me in terms of creativity and wellbeing.

Jordan is a wise, loving, wonderfully creative artist and there is something for everyone over on her blog.

Claire De Boer - (The Gift Of Writing)

Claire De Boer is one of the strongest, most influential women I know and I always have 100% trust that everything she creates will be AMAZING. I tracked her down a couple of years ago and made her become my friend by sheer force of will, which was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.

I've seen her do so much great work over the years, including the work she dis as former editor of SheLoves Magazine.

Every favour she ever asks of me will be done, the answer will always be yes because I trust in her and her work, completely. 

Katrina Pffankuch - (Creative Katrina)

I love this woman so much I can spell her last name on the first try without even thinking about it, haha! As a fellow Leo, she just has a beautiful aura of calm and friendliness, and there is no one I rely on for spiritual guidance or support more.

She has a great podcast called Flirting With Enlightenment which is a blend of mindfulness, creativity and spirituality covering tips that help you tap into your inner wisdom.

Allison Marie Conway - (Glory Begin)

I owe it to Allison for giving me my favourite quote of ALL TIME: "Sometimes even more important than what you build is what you burn". 

What I love most about Allison is the way that everything she does or says is so unique and innovative.

Her work seems as if it comes from a higher place - as if she has no choice but to express it and share it with the world. Her aura of spiritual power has gained her quite a cult following, and with her new book Vein just out, I'm so excited to see how well she does in the months and years to come.

Jo Malby - (Inspire Portal)

Jo is one of my most treasured friends, an absolute wealth of knowledge and I am so proud to know her.

Having worked with Jo I know that the beacon of light that shines through in her words online is absolutely genuine - that she has a stedfast mission for creatives and is 100% committed to making it happen.

That mission is finding inspiration and offering it through creative and healing practices, ancient wisdom, and modern techniques, to fuel your writing, art, and life. I bow.

Colleen M Story - (Colleen M Story)

Colleen is one of the most consistently brilliant people I know. She's so hard-working and creative, I don't think I've ever seen her at a loss for words and ideas. And more, she is relentlessly supportive of other creatives.

Her blog is phenomenal, just jam-packed with incredible information that "puts the power of you behind your best creative life". 

Since a writer’s life is typically so sedentary, she started it to help inspire other writers, artists, and creatives to watch out for their physical and mental health while pursuing their art.

(Exactly the same thought process I had when I created The #Wholewriter Mastermind Group).

Lucy Flint - (Lucy Flint)

Lucy Flint is just a massive bowl of cheery sunshine. She's like the best friend every creative writer deserves. Go and say hi to her on Twitter and see if you don't feel better, just by the enthusiasm and energy she brings! I love how her passion shines through in her blog, which is about "the lionhearted writing life", and her product reviews are the most useful and relevant reviews I've ever come across. I can't WAIT for her book to come out.

So there you have it! I do hope you do check out all of these wonderful people and subscribe to their amazing, juicy content - you won't regret it. And let me know in the comments:

How many of these wonderful women did you already know about? Or is this all brand-new?

*This "top ten" was not written in order, I don't rank my friends. Haha.

This post contains affiliate links, so that Amazon can support me while I support my friends and their genuinely incredible works. #ethicalaffiliate.

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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 0020 - The official wholewriter t-shirt is here!

Let me tell you a little about what this little ol' T-Shirt means to me. 

It's a message. This shirt means you're a writer who wants to take care of themselves in the pursuit of all their hopes and dreams, and is proud enough to let the world know it. You're willing to share that message with all the other writers who struggle with self-worth, and with feeling that their talent or passion isn't good enough in the eyes of the world. 

It's a community. And one that others will find because of you. Can you imagine being the person who saves someone's life...someone who was feeling alone and unloved and unheard but finally finds their tribe, all because of you and your t-shirt? It opens a new world for those few people out there in the world that our message has not yet touched.

It is a plea to all struggling writers. Your mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and financial health? They are all so important to me. And I know that's a lot to believe when you're out there feeling all alone with your fears and weaknesses, but this shirt is to remind you that you are NOT alone. You are not the only one feeling this way, you are not the only person to have ever experienced setbacks or insecurities, and you are not the only person who cares about YOU. Because we do.

It is an invitation. To join the movement, to stick around, and to grow with the community into the best version of yourself that you can be; the person inside of you who is not afraid, to set an example to all those around you who were ever afraid to pursue their destinies on the account of them being "not seeming important enough in the world". For not being a STEM subject.

It's the future. It's the next generation of empowerment and compassion for all creative people worldwide. It is an era of open-hearted communication and respect for the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our societies. It's working from the bottom up. And I hope you're ready.

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TSLS 0019 - Introducing The #Wholewriter Movement

Inside each and every writer who has ever been afraid to spread their message or use their voice...

Every writer who has grown terrified of what people think, or how they are perceived; who has ever received abuse for their art, or has ever failed, or has ever felt like giving up...

Inside each and every writer who has experienced these things, is a #wholewriter.

I'm talking about the person inside you who is not afraid. 

The inside you, somewhere, who is still a dreamer, a romantic, and who is still creative as ever. And who has never been harmed by criticism or negativity from others or from your own troubled thoughts. A person who is strong, and confident, and perfect. This person is just waiting for the day you realise that staying small isn't doing you any favours. 

This person is lying dormant under the weight of your fear and your insecurities, but it's easy to reconnect with them if you're willing to do so.

This is the movement:

The #Wholewriter Movement is an open conversation on social media dedicated to developing the next generation of writers through empowerment, advocating self-care & ending creative shame.

THERE IS A #WHOLEWRITER INSIDE YOU WHO IS NOT AFRAID. Welcome to the movement.

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TSLS 0018 - Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage (Or, how to face your fears head on today)

My hands were a six on the seismic scale as I stood, naked, in front of the mumbling crowd.

Not really.

But having been out of the social scene for two months while working on new projects, it felt that way. 

I'd decided that the best way to dip my toe back into the water was to do a speech in front of over 500 people, including celebrities. Y'know, just to warm myself up. Because that was the rational thing to do, right? 

On the count of three, I forced myself to stammer something out. And there it was. My humble sound-wave, travelling at light-speed into 500 people's eardrums:

"Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Lennox, and I'd like to thank you all for being here today."

I'd over thought, over-analysed and obsessed over every single word of that introduction. I wrote, then deleted. Wrote, then deleted again. And still, it was terrifying. But it taught me a lot about fear and how to charge right past it.

That thing you're most scared of doing? The thing that's been keeping you up at night? It's suffocating you.

As we speak.

Stealing your creativity, potential and motivation, when you should be working with these things instead of allowing fear to drain them away. How many more things is your relationship to fear costing you, right in this moment?

You don't realise how deeply fear has imprisoned you until you try to break free.

"We are so accustomed to the comforts of 'I cannot', 'I do not want to,' and 'it is too difficult,' Pandora Poikilos once said, "that we forget to realise when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak."

The more you stall on an idea, the higher the pedestal rises and the more unobtainable it seems, but avoiding your fears will never make them any easier. Walk up with your head held high, however, and you'll see them shrink before you.

You are not weak. You have the power to carry this thing out, and you have the courage to get through.

When I used to send messages to editors and agents, I'd walk away from the computer to stop myself from sabotaging the emails. The voice in my head would hiss at me:

"OMG what did you just do? You look so desperate. Email and tell her it was a mistake!" 

But still, I'd sit with the discomfort. 

"She's probably opening it right now, and laughing at how much of a loser you are." 

Still, I'd sit with the discomfort. 

Eventually, the voice would change. It would say: 

"Okay, that wasn't so bad. It's done now, I did what I could, and I'm okay with that. I can't ever say that I didn't take the opportunity. Now, on to the next thing."

Don't worry about the "no's", or the worst case scenarios, because whatever happens, you'll grow.

You'll strengthen yourself in preparation for better things to come. You'll learn something. You'll have the courage to do it again, and even better. The most important thing, always, is that you simply move past the first hurdle, because it only gets easier from there.

And don't forget to consider the alternative.

What happens if I never face up to this thing you’re scared of?

The alternative for me, if I had chosen not to stand up and share my story with that audience, was that I'd have ended up with no one to be vulnerable with - no one to laugh with, share resources, or celebrate my successes with. I might have missed the opportunity to meet the people I did, who I know will support me for life. 

If I had chosen not to stand up on that day, I wouldn't have received the thunderous applause and ovation I was destined for.

Consider your alternatives - the best outcomes, and the worst - then ask yourself:

 Isn't it worth the risk?

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TSLS 0017 - Introducing The Authorship Program® Collection

Finally: a proven, step-by-step system to becoming a successful author on your own terms.

1. The Authorship Program® Online Course - https://www.stephanielennox.com/products/ap-course
2. The Authorship Program® E-Book - https://www.stephanielennox.com/products/ap-ebook
3. The Authorship Program® Paperback - https://www.stephanielennox.com/products/ap-paperback
4. The Authorship Program® Daily Practice - https://www.stephanielennox.com/products/ap-daily-practice
5. The Authorship Program® Coffee Mug - (out of stock!)
6. The Authorship Program® Keepsake Box - (out of stock!)

Also, not shown:

7. The Authorship Program® Licensed Facilitators Kit: https://www.stephanielennox.com/products/tap-licensed-facilitator-kit

Your readers needs you. 👍

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Stephanie Lennox
TSLS 0016 - Introducing The Authorship Program®

Writing isn’t a choice, it’s a destiny.

How else could you explain the endless daydreaming, the new story lines, characters, and happy endings? The new notebook smell, the messy, hurried handwriting, or the tomes of craft books scattered around our neglected homes?

How else could you explain the persistent feeling that writing is what you were made for? 

That’s why it hurts so much when we sit down to write and all the fears and doubts kick in, and you start to doubt whether the writing life really is for you. It only makes it worse when people tell you, “No one said it would be easy!”

Well I’m telling you, it can be. 

@@The trick is to stop being your own worst enemy.@@

You are creative. You are talented. You have everything it takes. The only reason you're not moving forward is because you're letting your fears get the better of you.

I know this because I've been right there. 

I've been wracked with fear, doubt, insecurity, and anxiety, too...you name it, I've had it.

But let me tell you something. 

When I thought about the life I'd have to live if I gave up writing - if I gave in to the fear, and had to surrender to a life without sharing my message or entertaining or teaching people for a living - I couldn't breathe.

I couldn't bree-aaa-tthe.

So for me, there simply wasn't any other option. I had to figure out a solution, or I knew I wouldn't survive. 

Writing doesn't get harder...the only thing that makes it hard is when your feelings towards it change.

Wouldn’t it be great if something could take that pain away? 

Something that could take the stress out of the experience and stop you from acting like your own worst enemy?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a program that would encourage you to move towards your dreams and be the best you can be?

Well, here it is.

Everything you've ever needed is all wrapped up here in one smug, convenient package.

Oh yes.

This particular package includes:

  • Over 300 activities: You can improve your writing and your life as you read with activities that are embedded within the pages of the book, for your convenience.

  • Summaries: If you're in a hurry, need a quick pick-me-up, or want to remind yourself of the key ideas of a lesson, there are easy to read and remember summaries in the book to help you do just that.

  • Case Studies: The book is full of real-world examples of people whose problems have been solved through the program.

  • In Depth Analyses: This book goes deeper than any writing book has ever gone before, with deep analyses on a wide range of writing-related subjects.

  • Tips: Need to improve your writing technique, or improve your mood, right NOW? You'll find hundred of great tips to help you do that in this book. 

  • Golden Rules: The reoccurring themes in the book are referred to as "The Golden Rules". These are essential to your personal growth, and they are laid out clearly and completely within the book.

  • Psychological & Scientific Theories: This book isn't all "woo-woo" and cheerleading. All my practices are backed by scientific and psychological studies.

  • Mantras: Why not discover some easy sayings to help your writing day get just that little bit easier? Mantras are the best way to do that.

  • Affirmations: Remove all the negativity from your mind using affirmations, that help you focus and become a more positive, resilient human being.

  • Index: Find exactly what you want, when you want it, with this comprehensive index.

The Authorship Program® helps you solve ANY creative challenge.

1. The Authorship Program® Online Course - http://bit.ly/2bIFoHi
2. The Authorship Program® E-Book - http://bit.ly/2bIFoHi
3. The Authorship Program® Paperback - http://bit.ly/2bIFoHi
4. The Authorship Program® Daily Practice - http://bit.ly/2bIFoHi
5. The Authorship Program® Coffee Mug - (out of stock!)
6. The Authorship Program® Keepsake Box - (out of stock!)

It is a book, online course, and multimedia experience that removes the emotional barriers preventing you from leading the life you're destined to lead.

If you resonate with anything I've said at all in this launch, I invite you to stand up for yourself and your dream and grab a copy of the life that will change your life today.

Your new life is waiting.

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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 0014 - You are not "just" a writer, my friend.

All my life I’ve known exactly who I am. I’ve always been secure in my creativity. 

Most of the time I’ve been content with this lot in life and haven’t wanted for anything else.

But there have been a few times where new people have come into my life and made me feel like what I was doing with my life wasn’t enough. In those times I’d go from being happy and safe in my purpose, to thinking, “Is what I do too small, too unworthy - and just not enough?

I’d think: “Why is my purpose so lame and misunderstood?

“Why couldn’t The Universe have blessed me with one of those skills that people instantly cheer on, love and adore in life, one that doesn’t take weeks of gruelling, thankless work to be impressive?”

Here’s the funny thing, though. Do you know what I would do to get myself out of those funks? 

I’d write.

Because that’s my thing. 

That’s my most comfortable, natural way of connecting with the world and inspiring others, whether I particularly love it or not. 

Writing is a specially engineered brand of lunacy, but it’s also a destiny, and that’s why we keep going. It’s a compulsion, and I personally had to stop pretending I had any say in the matter.

This post is for anyone in fact whose work may not always produce benefits that others cannot measure, like education, entertainment or inspiration. Anyone who has felt that pit of despair as I used to have as well where you wished things were different.

It’s to all the people who aren’t Mina Schwartz: travelling the world being flown over for speaking gigs and who don’t have the picture perfect Instagram life yet.

I want to tell you why that’s perfectly okay, and why it doesn’t take a single thing away from who you are or what you give to the world.

1. To the right person, you have the exact right gift.

It’s not for everyone, and not everyone will understand, but the exact right people will, and they will love what I offer with all their heart. Above all else.

Are you an author in need of inspiration? Right here, right here. If you’re not, then be on your way - because I don’t need you and you don’t need me. And that’s fine. But that also means that your opinions or thoughts on my business really don’t matter.

2. You are more important to the world than you think.

Education, inspiration and entertainment are not always things that can measured. There’s no global standard or level you have to hit to prove you’ve adequately impacted someone’s life. It’s often an invisible achievement unless a person wants to tell you directly but there’s no denying that we desperately need these things like we need air or water.

They keep the world interesting to a consumer of your works. They teach a different perspective. They let an observer live in someone else’s shoes for a while at a time where maybe, they desperately want to escape their own. It gives them room to breathe again. Who can put a price or a label on that? Writers fulfil those basic human, spiritual needs - needs that will always be there, needs that will never go out of fashion.

3. No matter how loudly someone brags about their life’s purpose, they wish for more bells and whistles secretly sometimes, too.

It’s human nature to be curious and envious of what other people have, because in our lifetime we all know we won’t be able to do IT ALL.

For every decision we make, we are leaving three or four behind; so take no notice of the person who seems to be all-confident and all-powerful in their confidence, acting like they know for sure they’ve made the right decision. They go home and envy others just the same. It’s not just you feeling this way, it’s all of us.

Don’t worry if their purpose / career / achievements seems bigger or better than yours. You don’t know what they’ve done to get there. You don’t know what it is costing them to maintain their status. You don’t know if you would like the situations they had to survive to lead the lifestyle they lead now.

Your purpose is yours because you are just the person to absolutely rock it. Your skills, interests, passions, were all created for this reason, and this reason alone.

So please don’t feel bad about this purpose, or your gift. Let the wrong people laugh and wonder how you’ll ever make a living or a life doing what you do.

Ignore them and just give what the world gave you to give.

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