Fast Track to Publishing?

Fast Track to Publishing?

Is there a fast track to publishing? 

When you live somewhere for a while, you know there are shortcuts you can take to potentially avoid traffic. I was stuck in traffic at this one particular road leading to a highway, but I knew, due to experience, that I could avoid that traffic by taking a different road.

How is this situation like getting published?

I was speaking to graduate from our Writing Gym VIP Program about her frustrations in the past and her submitted manuscript getting rejected. Looking back, after graduating from the VIP program, she has a newfound sense of why the agents rejected her manuscripts before.

She realized even when she was working with editors, these editors did not have an “in” on the publishing industry standards. She was kept in the dark the whole time for working with people who were not talking to agents on a regular basis. 

Her frustrations mimicked how I would feel driving from Colorado and getting stuck in traffic. I might be in that line of bumper to bumper cars all the way up over the hill into the highway, not knowing that everyone else is waiting to get into the highway. Because I’m from out of town, I don’t know I have been sitting on the wrong lane. I want to go somewhere that does not lead to the highway, yet because of my lack of knowledge of the town, I end up on the lane that leads to this highway.

Many writers I know have been frustrated, because they have been sitting on the wrong lane.

They’ve been working with people who do not have inside knowledge of the industry, so they have been preventing themselves from getting on the fast track to publishing. 

I believe there are no shortcuts to publishing, but there is a faster way to get there. You have to work with someone who is directly connected and communicating with agents and publishers to get on this fast lane. 

Recently, I was having lunch with agents in New York, and we talked about the frustrating things that writers do and experience. Many writers have the potential to be successful, but their mistake is not getting the right people to edit their work. 

If you are a writer hoping to traditionally publish, and would like to get on the fast-er lane to publishing, get an inside look of the industry, and to know more about what editors and publishers are looking for, let’s talk. I would love to chat with you about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there. 

WRITERS: Busting Myths About Literary Agents

WRITERS: Busting Myths About Literary Agents

Busting Myths About Literary Agents

Many writers believe agents are impossible, difficult to get in touch with, and terrible people.

I’ve heard all kinds of myths about these agents. Today we’re getting to the bottom of this situation. 

If you’ve ever submitted a manuscript, it might seem like an impersonal and harsh experience. I understand that, because there’s a lot of rejection in the submission process. The reality of the situation is, we don’t always get a “yes” when we send in our first query letter (but do let me know if you have had this experience before–you are definitely an anomaly). 

Let’s think about what it’s really like to be an agent–who are agents? I meet with many of them to get the latest information about the industry, and they are super busy people. Imagine if somebody gave you a library’s worth of books. This is what happens to agents everyday. 

The mistake writers make is they don’t treat agents like the people that they are.

They’re busy people and have lives outside of their work. Writers forget this fact sometimes and don’t realize that agents don’t have a lot of time to read long query letters. 

On the flip side is this: writing and publishing is a business. If you want to publish your novel, you need to accept this fact. You need to know the right things to say, how to address the business, and the person who is going to be your agent. 

Once again, you must address the humanity of the agent and the business side of publishing

I help writers get these two things right every single day. I’d love to chat with you about your project, where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there. If you’re a writer who’s serious about publishing and doing it well, I’d love to chat with you about how you can do that. 

Fourth of July: To Be Of Service

Fourth of July: To Be Of Service


Fourth of July: To Be Of Service

Happy Fourth of July to those of you in the United States! 

As a member of the Rotary International organization, we hand out flags to all participants here at the local Independence Day parade. We do this to build community, and also to be of service to people.  

I got to thinking about our slogan, “Service Above Self,” on my way to this parade. Handing out flags to participants is such a small gesture, but it can make a huge difference.

And this slogan of being of service to others is something I truly believe in, and applies to many facets of my life. 

Service infiltrates every part of my life, including my business. Being of service to you is really important to me. I frequently share posts and writing tips on to Write to Publish and my other pages. All of these are to help you get your story out.

My mission, after all, is to help as many writers as possible to tell their stories and to do it well. 

That is my act of service, all day everyday, and I get to do it as a business. 

Happy Fourth! Celebrate well, celebrate safely. Happy writing!

Are You Letting Fear Get In The Way Of Your Publishing Dream?

Are You Letting Fear Get In The Way Of Your Publishing Dream?

Are You Letting Fear Get In The Way Of Your Publishing Dreams?

Here at Date with the Muse, I do numerous calls called “Clarity Calls” with my clients, in which we talk about where they are, where they’d like to be, and how they can get there.

For the first time ever, someone hung up on me during a call when we got to the solution for their writing problem: seeing the book as a difficult task to complete. This person was feeling insecure about the quality of his book, what he should write next, and more– all fears I hear from writers frequently. Once we got to the point of the call where we were talking about solutions to his writing problem, he hung up the phone.

If you’ve tried to book a call with me, there’s usually a wait time of three to four weeks before the actual call. This call was at 9 pm, a time frame outside of when I usually talk with people, but I held on to this meeting because I really am eager to help writers talk through their writing problems.

Writers are normal people, and they have all the fears many people have: “Are people going to like it?” “What happens if people like it too much?” “Can I really put my message out there?”“Is my dialogue any good?”

However, the writers in our Writing Gym programs are all overcoming their fears and have been finishing books in eight weeks or less!

They are overcoming their fears every day, and finishing their books–publishable books. Here at the Writing Gym, we keep in mind the publishing and craft standards that make great books that place well in the market. As you all know, I spend time with industry professionals every single day so that writers’ can get the latest up to date information.

In the last year, as many of you may have seen on Write to Publish, the Writing Gym’s work–my work– has been featured on Writer’s Digest, on a PBS show called Creative Living with Sheryl Borden, radio shows, podcasts, blogs, and more.

Why do we get so many features? Because we get results.

We help you finish, publish, and sell your books.

Here are the real questions for you:

Are you going to keep letting fear get in the way of your publishing dream?

Or are you ready to step into courage and allow yourself to have the support you need to get over your fear, get into the right relationship with your inner critic, and finally write that book?

I don’t want to get too personal, but one of my business acquaintances told me he wanted to write a book. He wanted to leave a legacy to his kids, something that can tell them about his life’s work. He wasn’t ready then, and asked if we could touch base again in January.

I said absolutely.

But he couldn’t publish his book. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he died. Before January ever rolled around, he died with his book inside of him. This event was one of the worst things that happened to me–to watch someone die without getting their story out. I don’t want this to happen to any of you. So if you are ready to get that book out of you and get real results, let’s chat.

I open time in my calendar every week to speak with people. But this isn’t for everyone–this is for people who are tired and frustrated with having a half-finished project in their life.  

Writing To Publish or Spinning Your Wheels?

Writing To Publish or Spinning Your Wheels?

Writing To Publish or Spinning Your Wheels?

There are three main mistakes I see writers make when it comes to their writing. They want to publish, to see their name on a book, experience the joy of a book signing, and eventually make real income off their books.

They feel it, they taste it—but then they miss the mark on making the right steps to publication.

If you’re serious about becoming a published author, of living the lifestyle of a successful multi-published author,

Here are the top mistakes to avoid.


Many would-be authors think they can just write a first draft, call it a book, and start collecting checks. While, in this digital age, that is actually possible, that doesn’t mean it’s going to lead writers where they want to go. If you just want your book on Amazon to get some bragging rights, this strategy might work. If you actually want to build a fanbase to become a prominent author with a following & bookstore book signings, your 99 cent Amazon ebook is not going to get you there.


Many authors come to me wanting to be a success. They know they’ve got a story to tell and that know it will appeal.  

Still, they want to do it as cheaply as possible. They seek out cheap editors or no editors at all and wonder why they’re being rejected time and time again.

Writing a book to publication is like anything else out there—you get what you pay for. If you invest nothing or a small amount, you can expect no to little results.

Most writers tell me that publishing a book has been a lifelong goal. If you treat your writing like the serious life goal that it is, if you invest resources into making your dream a reality, then you’ll get big results.


Writers can be independent people, self starters—lone wolves, if you like. That’s all well and good; you need some gumption to write a book and put it out into the world. The downside of this attribute, however, is that these types of writers think they don’t need any help to publish—it’s easy, right? What’s the big deal?            

Of all the mistakes, thinking publishing is a Do-It-Yourself project is the one where I see the most wasted time, disappointment, and writers who give up on their publishing dream altogether.       

Even worse, if these kind of writers are not willing to invest, they grasp for and cling to all the free writing resources they can, like a lifeboat in a rough sea.

Can authors publish on their own? Sure. There’s an exception for every rule, but DIY publishing success is an anomaly.

Let’s look at it this way (because you all know I love a good analogy): In a pinch, I could change my own car oil. (I’m resourceful like that) But if I needed a new transmission or axle? Well, I would take it to a professional. Could I try to do it myself? Sure. Auto parts stores abound in every town in the US & I’m sure there are a plethora of AutoRepair 101 videos over on YouTube.

But I am not an expert mechanic. Let’s say the free YouTube video says to loosen the thingamabobber. I don’t know what a thingamabobber is. So, I go look it up, and the free video tells me the thingamabobber is under the hoozamawhazzit. I don’t know what *that* is, so I go look that up. And on and on and on and on.

I am wasting my time, spinning my wheels. If I’d just gotten the expert help, the job would be done right. A professional knows what to look for at every stage of the process, and what quality end results should look like. An expert knows what the standards are and what pitfalls to avoid.

Writers who make this mistake end up frustrated, and are, in my experience, the writers most likely to quit writing all together and never see their book in print. Now that’s a crying shame.

However, writers who get the process right, who don’t make these mistakes, see accelerated results—they finish faster and publish faster. And because they’ve avoided the frustration and hassle that the mistakes bring, they enter the publishing process with confidence and the knowledge of what publishing industry standards are and how they’ve met them.

What kind of writer do you want to be: one who makes the same mistakes over and over again out of stubborn resistance? Or one who gets that novel published and moves on to write and publish the next one?

If you’re serious about publishing and tired of spinning your wheels, let’s talk about where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there. You can drop yourself into my calendar for a phone or Skype chat here.


Conflicting Writing Advice? Whom Should You Trust?

Conflicting Writing Advice? Whom Should You Trust?

Conflicting Writing Advice? Whom Should You Trust?


“Advice is the one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you only take what is worth having.”

George S. Clason writes this in the business parable “The Richest Man in Babylon.”

Lots of people are willing to give you advice. It’s free. Lots of people seek free advice for the same reason: it’s free.

But is that free advice really free?

A lot of people at recent writers’ conferences came to me confused about the conflicting advice that they’d heard from the stage. Different writers had different opinions on how to start a novel, how to use dialogue, how to submit for publication…and on and on it went.

Why does this happen? Where does all this conflicting advice come from?

If you’ve been following my work for a while, you’ll know I don’t toss around advice willy-nilly as so many others do.



Let’s take a closer look at this scenario by hopping into one of my favorite things: the analogy.

Let’s suppose you go to a friend and say “my relationship’s in trouble,” and that friend says “you should definitely leave.”

You decide to listen to your friend and leave the relationship.

All you really wanted was for your Sweet Honey to clean up the dirty dishes after eating–and now Honeykins is history.

What happened?

1) You got advice from the wrong source. You should always go to someone who is an expert in your field if you want serious advice.

2) More importantly here: the advice-giver didn’t listen to what it was that you needed, or ask about your unique situation. They simply threw out a solution without considering what might apply to your unique situation, needs, and goals.

Reason number two is the exact reason you don’t see me flinging around random platitudes and advice, because to stay in my integrity, to truly serve you and your goals to write a publishable piece, I take the time to listen, to read your work, and to apply the vast years of writing and publishing experience to your actual individual project.

Lots of speakers and people who advise writers out there just want to look smart, or seem like they know what they’re talking about, or want to be liked. These are nice motives, but at the end of the day my duty is to serve you and help you to learn to write to increase your chances of publishing at the highest level for you, the very best level to meet your goals and dreams.

I can’t do that without listening, and integrating YOU into the solution.

Any of you who have asked a question this group know this to be true of me, that I practice what I preach because I asked you a lot of questions before I talk to you about where you should go next.

Following advice that is not specific to your novel, genre, and specific goals can spell disaster–as it has for so many would-be authors who came before us.

This kind of impersonal advice is confusing, overwhelming, and has caused many writer to quit.


If you want to talk to me about your specific project, your goals for it and how you can get there, book yourself into my calendar here: Let’s get you some specific results related to your actual novel, and your individual goals and dreams.

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