Making Time for Reflection

Making Time for Reflection

Making Time for Reflection


As I was walking through the Vermont woods on a beautiful sunny but cold day, I thought about the writing process. Some of you know I’m in the process of writing two books at the moment, and one is due back to my editor on Monday, so we’re wrapping up that draft.

I could have stayed at home and worked on that draft, because I’ve certainly got work to do, but as I walked through the woods, I thought about the importance of taking time to reflect. It’s important to set aside time for inspiration, take time to let your brain relax a little bit, give it space to reflect, and get inspiration. 

It’s amazing the ideas that come to you while you’re walking.

You don’t have to walk out in the woods; you can walk in your neighborhood, or around a track at your local college.

What matters is getting out, doing something different, and allowing your story to run in the background, to give it some time to marinate while you’re ruminating. 

It’s really important to the creative process to take time off from your book and not worry about it. Instead of thinking, “Am I ever gonna get published?” “Am I ever gonna finish it?” “Am I ever gonna do it?” give your brain a break and take some time off.

I hope you are finding inspiration, and ways to find inspiration.

Happy Writing. 


Finding Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

Finding time to write can be challenge. Every week, somebody writes to me about having a great concept for a novel, but they haven’t been able to write anything because they can’t find time. It’s true, we’re so busy in our lives with kids and jobs that it’s hard to find that time to put our thoughts on paper. I totally sympathize with those of you who are struggling to find that time. 

We all want to publish, but the problem is we don’t have a book yet, because we can’t find the time to write. So today, I want to talk about this frustration some writers face, how you can find the time to write, and why it’s so important.

Having a measure of accountability helps with finding time for writing. 

One of the aspects of the Writing Gym that is magical is you have that accountability. We have a personal trainer who is gentle, but also pushes you to be successful when you need it. This helps you feel challenged without being overly challenged. 

Another thing I’ve found with the writers I work with is understanding audience.

We talk a lot about audience when we talk about writing, because we want to be really clear on who our audience is. Knowing this fact will impact the tone we use in our writing. 

Audience helps us by moving us along and giving us time.  

When you have an audience for your writing, you’re inspired to make time to make writing happen.

In the Writing Gym, we share writing with each other. If you know somebody is waiting to read your writing, you’re much more inspired to write. When we have that audience piece in place, it inspires us to get the writing done.

In addition, knowing what strategies make you excited to come back to your writing help you find time to write.

We need to find a way to sit down in that chair again with inspiration so we don’t procrastinate. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, procrastination gets in the way of finding time to write. We may have work or other things to do, but if you’re like me, cleaning the kitchen counter can seem really important when there’s a chapter to be finished. 

So, having that inspiration is really important.

In the Writing Gym, we provide real key strategies to help you come back to your writing seat with that inspiration

You won’t have anything to publish if you don’t put aside the time to write.

Knowing these tricks and strategies to get yourself into a place of inspiration is really important.

If this sounds like you, I would love to talk with you more about what your situation is, how you’re working through your writing right now, what your potential struggles are in finding time, and some of the things we do in the Writing Gym to get people published.

I’d love to hop on a call with you so we can talk about making time for writing, and discuss how you can become a published author. I meet with agents and best-selling authors every week to get the top tips in the industry. 

Sign up for a time, and let’s talk about your writing.

Feedback Horror Stories

Feedback Horror Stories

Feedback Horror Stories 

One aspect of writing that we talk about in Write to Publish is feedback, and within that topic are feedback horror stories. Many writers say to me they feel like nobody really understands their writing, and they get feedback on the wrong things. They want input on one thing but get input on another, and worse, on things not as important or meaningful as the content of their writing.  

This happens for many writers, and it hurts their writing. There is also the possibility it can hurt your brain, which I wrote extensively about in my book.

 Getting the wrong kind of feedback at the wrong time can reprogram the neural pathways of your brain. So yes, there are consequences to getting bad feedback. 

I’ve heard stories about personal attacks people suffered because others were jealous of or didn’t understand their writing. I’ve also heard about people who wrote a ridiculous number of pages, simply because they had inconsistent feedback and weren’t sure what to do. 

Here is a dating analogy. Let’s say I love to date bad boys, but keep wondering why they’re so bad for me. Or I only date selfish people, and keep wondering why they’re so selfish. This is the same with writing.

Many writers keep getting bad feedback from beta readers, other writers, and other people, but never get themselves out of that pattern.

What these writers have to do is change. To help their writing careers, they need to experience real and positive feedback, something they’ve never experienced before. 

It doesn’t have to be a feedback horror story.

In the Writing Gym salons, we give you feedback that boosts your confidence and inspires your writing. We give feedback based on neuroscience. In my book, I wrote about how your brain is intended to function in a certain way. 

Let’s say your knees and elbows only bend one way. You know this fact, yet you want to run a marathon. You won’t be able to run that marathon, because your body parts weren’t meant to do things like that. Your brain functions the same way. If you’re in a writing group that utilizes beta readers, that is the equivalent of my marathon analogy. 

If you would like to know what it’s like to be in a feedback situation with a group that optimizes your brain’s natural function, then I’d love to speak with you.

Fill out my online form
Publishing: What are the Rules, Who Makes Them, and Do You Need to Follow Them?

Publishing: What are the Rules, Who Makes Them, and Do You Need to Follow Them?

Publishing: What are the Rules, Who Makes Them, and Do You Need to Follow Them?

I used to get a lot of bitter and antagonistic emails or messages saying “Those aren’t really the rules,” “You don’t do it like that,” and more. They all came from a place of bitterness, and let me tell you why. 

There are a lot of people out there who love to see the publishing world as a dreamworld: once they finish a book, they imagine getting published under a reputable publishing house, selling their books, and getting a lot of money from it. This may be true at some point in history and it might be true today for an anomaly of an author.

But for most of us, we have a long haul, an uphill battle, toward publishing. And to publish, you must follow the rules.

The people who come at me with bitterness and antagonism don’t want to follow the rules. Rather, they’re upset that there are rules. These people:

  1. Are not willing to do the work. There is a lot of work involved in writing. We must revise our work in accordance to what our editors recommend, and we must sacrifice our ego at times in order to produce the best possible outcome for our writing. 
  2. Don’t want the rules to play by the rules. They wish and hope for the game to be different. They want to write that novel, send it to a publisher, and get money for their work. It’s a really nice fantasy but it is just that–a fantasy. 

These writers do not agree with the system and its rules. In traditional publishing, you must find an agent who will then connect you with a publishing house, and you work from there.

This is the reality of publishing. It is the paradigm in which we are all working, and we have to accept it if we want success. 

There are people who try to circumvent this process by self-publishing. They think they’ve avoided agents and publishing houses, but what ends up happening is they have a garage full of unsold books. More power to you if you have found success in self-publishing. However, time and time again, I witness writers stuck with their unsold books. 

There aren’t rules simply for the sake of having rules. Publishing houses operate with these rules because we have established patterns on how this publishing business works. This process is like applying to college. You have to go through the application process, set up interviews, and more. The college sets the procedure, and in the same way, publishing houses set the rules and procedures for publishing.

We, as the writers, don’t get to choose the rules. 

I help writers to transition from the art of writing into the business of publishing. I help people publish and get the representation they need. If you are ready to accept what the guidelines are and are ready to sell your book, let’s chat.

Are You Truly Ready to Invest In Your Writing Career?

Are You Truly Ready to Invest In Your Writing Career?

Are You Truly Ready to Invest In Your Writing Career? 

Let’s talk about how you can write to publish. Specifically, I want to talk about whether or not you’re willing to do what it takes to write to publish. 

We get a lot of posts on our Facebook group, Write to Publish, that me and my team review regularly. We take a look at what the trends are–what people are asking or wondering about–and we see a lot of people asking about how to traditionally publish the most difficult genres. By difficult I mean poetry, memoir, and picture books. 

People on the group have caught on, and they’ll ask me frequently: “How do I publish my poetry?” “…my memoir?” “…my picture book?” Many times these people accompany it with caveats. They might want to publish a hybrid, something that’s poetry and short story, or do their own illustrations for their picture book, and more.

First of all, a lot of these people don’t want to follow the genre rules.

Probably one of the most popular issues people come to me with is they want to publish a difficult-to-publish book without spending money on it.

The bottom line: if you want to sell books, you’re going to have to spend money. 

Why? Writing is a creative process, and there’s a lot of joy that happens in creating these things that inspire us. But selling a book is business. It’s a different ballgame, it’s a different animal–whatever metaphor you want to use to describe it. That is simply the truth. 

You may have heard the business phrase, “If you want to make money, you’ve got to spend money,” and that’s as true for a book as it is if you want to open  a McDonald’s franchise.

If you want to make money, you’ve got to spend money.

The bottom line is: You’re going to need to invest if you want to sell a book. 

Most people who are writing a book want to sell their book, because that means they’re reaching readers. Unless you want to give it away for free, in which case you’re going to spend a lot of money on books you’re giving away for free, there’s no way to circumvent spending money.

There is no magic pill or magic bullet.

If you want to get your books into readers’ hands, you need to invest. That’s the absolute bottom line, and the rules of the publishing industry are not going to bend for you. 

You can certainly shoot for the moon and go for one of the top five publishing houses, or send it to one of those “Publish my book for me” companies that throws together something that looks like a book.

And yes, there are definitely exceptions. 

There are “one-hit wonder” books that we see in the industry, like Stephen King’s son and Jerry Seinfeld’s wife. But the fact of the matter is unless you have inside connections to very successful people (such as parent celebrities, celebrity spouses, and more), that will likely not happen for you.

Overnight success is only overnight success if you know the right people. 

If you’re like me, an everyday Joe who just wants to be successful and get your book into the hands of readers whose lives can be changed by the message you have to share, you need to decide. Do you want to self publish a book full of typos and beg people to buy it for $0.99 cents on Amazon? Or do you want to make a difference with your unique message you have to share with the world, and get it into the hands of readers who are longing to hear what you have to say? 

If it’s the latter, and you’re serious about writing to publish, I’d love to talk to you about where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there. Every day, I help writers to finish books and to publish well. I make a few slots available in my calendar every week specifically to talk with you.

So if you’re looking to finish, publish, and sell a novel let’s chat.

The Bumpy Road to Publication… And How to Prepare for a Smoother Ride

The Bumpy Road to Publication… And How to Prepare for a Smoother Ride

The Bumpy Road to Publication… And How to Prepare for a Smoother Ride

Bonjour! Some of you may know I studied French Literature in Paris, and what a joy and an honor to be able to do so. It was really interesting to be back in Paris last year and see everything again. 

While I was back, I thought about the idea of traveling someplace else and experiencing complications along the way. Even if you’re only taking a day trip, you might get lost, lose your map, someone spill a drink in the car, and more.

  Things happen when you travel. There is always a risk.  

I also thought about the amazing writers who participated in the Writing Gym’s England Retreat. These writers travelled all the way across the United States, and then travelled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean for this retreat. That took a lot of time, investment, and courage to go to a new place and try something new. 

Travel always requires investment in yourself, to take a risk and go to the next level. So what I was wondering for those of you reading this,

Are you ready to invest in yourself and in your writing? To take that risk and to be that writer?

The writers that participated in the Writing Gym Retreat took that step. They had the courage to take that risk so that they could be successful in their writing careers. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to cross that bridge of fear and accept we’re going to take that step to be a writer. But if you are ready to be brave and to talk about your own journey, click this link

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