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This simple question changed everything for me (12/7/2018) - A decade ago, I sat down on the floor of my old apartment and took out a stack of index cards. The floors were crooked, and whoever installed the carpet in the living room did it wrong — there was this harsh ridge running diagonally across the floor. There I sat, on one side of … Continue reading "This simple question changed everything for me" Why I stopped teaching online courses (12/5/2018) - Three years ago I stopped teaching online courses. Today I want to talk about why that is, and what I think does work for writers and artists who want to truly move ahead with their craft and their career. In the episode I mention my Creative Shift Mastermind group. You can listen to the podcast … Continue reading "Why I stopped teaching online courses" Your Creative Support System (11/30/2018) - My days are spent talking to writers, and delving into the reality of what truly works in ensuring they: Find more time to write and create. Define their creative identity. Forge a meaningful connection with readers. In those conversations, I hear a lot about what trips up writers in the process. They struggle alone, without … Continue reading "Your Creative Support System" “I rewrote that book for six years, and it never sold.” My interview with author Jessica Strawser (11/27/2018) - On the surface, one would think that Jessica Strawser was perfectly placed to easily become a novelist. She was the Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest magazine — someone who had incredible connections in the publishing world, and understood it inside and out. But her reality is different than the fairy tale that we tell ourselves … Continue reading "“I rewrote that book for six years, and it never sold.” My interview with author Jessica Strawser" Thankful (11/23/2018) - Every day, I work from a private studio. Here I collaborate with writers, work on my own writing, and obsess about the creative process. On the wall in front of me are photos of writers, artists and creators who inspires me: I want to share the story behind four of those photos today. Here is … Continue reading "Thankful" “I trained myself to write anytime, anywhere, in a split second.” My Interview With Author Elizabeth Spann Craig (11/21/2018) - Today I’m excited to share my interview with author Elizabeth Spann Craig. Okay, let’s get the impressive stats out of the way first: She writes 3.5 books per year. She has written 27 books since 2009. She share so much amazing advice about how she writer, managers her publishing career, and attends to her author … Continue reading "“I trained myself to write anytime, anywhere, in a split second.” My Interview With Author Elizabeth Spann Craig" Listen to Your Readers (11/16/2018) - A few weeks back I launched a program called The Reader Connection Project. This was meant to be a free 10-day course, where I walk writers through 5 actions they can take to immediately connect with readers. Things didn’t go as planned. I expected like 9 people to sign up for this. I figured I … Continue reading "Listen to Your Readers" The Essential Ingredients of a Writing Career: Hope and Perseverance, My Interview With Author Therese Walsh (11/13/2018) - I’m so excited to share my interview with author and editorial director of WriterUnboxed.com, Therese Walsh. In our chat, we dig into: How she co-founded a blog that turned into a thriving online community for writers. The realities of the book publishing business, and how to develop the right mindset to navigate it. What she … Continue reading "The Essential Ingredients of a Writing Career: Hope and Perseverance, My Interview With Author Therese Walsh" You have to ask (11/9/2018) - Some writers I speak to have this dream: that they will release their books, and something magical will happen. People will find it. People will read it. People will review it and tell their friend about it. A wave of interest takes hold, and before they know it, they have a dedicated readership. That dream … Continue reading "You have to ask" Keeping a Book Alive (and Selling Thousands of Copies) Two Years After Launch, with Author Cathey Nickell (11/5/2018) - Today, author Cathey Nickell shares details of how — two years after release date — she has ensured her book gets in front of readers, and has sold thousands of copies. Cathey is the author of Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car, and she recently finished her 50th school visit, presenting the book to kids. Everything that Cathey … Continue reading "Keeping a Book Alive (and Selling Thousands of Copies) Two Years After Launch, with Author Cathey Nickell" What To Do 8 Months Before Book Launch (11/2/2018) - Earlier this year, author Pamela Toler hired me to help her prepare for her upcoming book launch. We began working together 8 months before launch day, and when I said to her, “Many writers may ask why you began working with me so far ahead of book launch,” her reply was: “I felt I was … Continue reading "What To Do 8 Months Before Book Launch" “I learned to not be afraid of risk.” Illustrator, Author, and Art Director Samantha Hahn on Making her Creative Shift (10/31/2018) - In this podcast interview, I speak to illustrator, author, and art director Samantha Hahn about why — and how — she made a huge creative shift in her career. How, even though she had a thriving career as a full-time illustrator and author, she wanted to expand her work and her creative process. She shares … Continue reading "“I learned to not be afraid of risk.” Illustrator, Author, and Art Director Samantha Hahn on Making her Creative Shift" The Reader Connection Project (10/26/2018) - I want to invite you to a free 10-day project to connect in meaningful ways to readers. If you are an introvert who wants to develop an audience for your writing, this project is for you. Imagine if 10 days from now you: Had a clear sense of who your ideal readers are. Created at … Continue reading "The Reader Connection Project" “I rely on my creative community to feel sane.” My 2nd Interview with Writer and Illustrator Meera Lee Patel (10/25/2018) - Last Spring, I spoke to writer and artist Meera Lee Patel, and the conversation was filled with so many practical tips and deep wisdom that I reached out to her again to record a second podcast. To my total delight, she said yes! So three huge things jumped out at me in this conversation that … Continue reading "“I rely on my creative community to feel sane.” My 2nd Interview with Writer and Illustrator Meera Lee Patel" Creating a Radically Honest Homepage (10/19/2018) - Today I want to share some tips on how to create a website that feels authentic to who you are as a writer or artist: Step #1: Understand Your Goals Earlier this year I was having a conversation with a writer in my Creative Shift Mastermind about options for a website homepage. I explained a … Continue reading "Creating a Radically Honest Homepage" Can your writing make someone’s day? (10/12/2018) - I received this letter in the mail recently: It was from a writer I have been working with, and it was a letter expressing her gratitude for what we have been creating. To receive a letter like this is, well, a shock. I mean, how often do you go through your mail to discover a … Continue reading "Can your writing make someone’s day?" A Creative Career Guided by Principles: My Interview With Writer Sean McCabe (10/10/2018) - In my interview with writer Sean McCabe, we dig into the reality of what it means to run your own business. He shares the behind the scenes decisions that have sometimes cost him tens of thousands of dollars, or more than a year of his time going down a path that he later reversed. Sean … Continue reading "A Creative Career Guided by Principles: My Interview With Writer Sean McCabe" Choosing the writer’s life (10/4/2018) - Today I want to celebrate someone who has been a source of inspiration for me in the past year or so. She’s a novelist who writes historical fiction, and is currently finishing up a manuscript that she will pitch to agents. She’s actually a client of mine too, I’ve been helping her get creative clarity … Continue reading "Choosing the writer’s life" The Best Way to Support Writers (9/28/2018) - What is the best way to support a writer whose books you love? Take two simple, free, and generous actions: Action #1: Post a Review The first is to leave a review for their book at online retailers. Especially Amazon. This is a step that many people miss. They buy a book or take it … Continue reading "The Best Way to Support Writers" A writer is a story (9/21/2018) - This week, I bought another vintage typewriter. But this one came with a story of a writer. The typewriter is a 1959 Hermes 3000, made in Switzerland: In 2014, the owner had it serviced, a receipt came with it that had their name on it. The name was that of a woman, someone different from … Continue reading "A writer is a story" Double down on your writing (9/14/2018) - Not long ago, my friend Jennie asked me to consider what my perfect day would look like. At first, it was easy to scoff at this question, because each of us does so much to support the needs of others, and ourselves. It feels almost decadent to consider a day that isn’t defined by how … Continue reading "Double down on your writing" Risking It All to Become an Author — My Interview with Robert Fieseler (9/12/2018) - I first met Robert Fieseler, who I know as Bobby, when he was working at an ad agency. Then, to my astonishment, I saw him make some big changes in his life. Even though he was on a great career track in advertising, he began taking classes in the evenings and weekends to get his … Continue reading "Risking It All to Become an Author — My Interview with Robert Fieseler" How to Make Your Creative Shift (9/7/2018) - For the past couple of years, I have been working with small groups of writers and artists to develop a process that I call the Creative Shift. This is where you move past a creative rut and feel lit up about your creative vision and writing. Today, I want to share two things with you: … Continue reading "How to Make Your Creative Shift" Make Your Creative Shift (9/5/2018) - In today’s podcast episode, I take you through the three steps of my Creative Shift process. I have honed this after working with hundreds of writers who wanted a sense of clarity to move their creative work to the next level and truly reach people. I also talk about my next Creative Shift Mastermind program, … Continue reading "Make Your Creative Shift" What buying a typewriter taught me about writing (8/31/2018) - A couple weeks ago, I bought three typewriters: They were all used by the same woman who had passed away 20 years ago. I answered an ad for them on Craiglist and went to the home of her son to pick them up. He lived in a large house, which was now empty because he … Continue reading "What buying a typewriter taught me about writing" Writing Spaces: Where You Create Matters (8/24/2018) - Craft comes first. But when speaking with writers, I often find that they struggle to create. They can’t get in a good writing routine, and other important priorities (job, family, home) distract them from writing. Today I want to talk about how where you create can help you write more. A year ago I took … Continue reading "Writing Spaces: Where You Create Matters" How to Build a Following with Uniqueness, Authenticity, and “Getting Crazy.” My Interview with Travis Jonker. (8/16/2018) - I recently spoke to author, book blogger, and school librarian Travis Jonker about three aspects how he became an author: How he got his literary agent through his blog. How he developed courage to share his creative work by “failing in public” by creating a series of zines that he would mail to friends and … Continue reading "How to Build a Following with Uniqueness, Authenticity, and “Getting Crazy.” My Interview with Travis Jonker." The best advice that many writers fail to take (8/10/2018) - This week I saw a series of Tweets from author Delilah S. Dawson in which she tried to demystify the reality behind what leads to “huge traditional publishing success.” The entire chain of approximately 30 Tweets is amazing, but here are a couple to frame our discussion today: If I could change 1 thing about … Continue reading "The best advice that many writers fail to take" Conduct an audit of your author platform (8/3/2018) - I get emails like this all the time from writers: “All the literary agents are telling me: ‘If you had a platform, I would represent you.'” Why do they say this? A lot of books are thrust into the marketplace with a quiet “thud” — no readers, no sales, no reviews — and the agents want … Continue reading "Conduct an audit of your author platform" How to kickstart word-of-mouth marketing (7/27/2018) - This week I asked author Allison Leotta how she found her literary agent. The answer? From her existing network. Allison didn’t spend weeks researching agents, creating spreadsheets, and then spending months emailing dozens of them. Instead, she considered anyone she knew who was a published author, and reached out to them for advice. In her … Continue reading "How to kickstart word-of-mouth marketing" Why Writing a Novel is Harder than Law School, Running a Marathon, or Climbing a Mountain. My Interview with author Allison Leotta (7/25/2018) - Author Allison Leotta made an incredible career transition. After spending 12 years as a federal prosecutor who specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, crimes against children, she became an full-time novelist. She now has five books published, one being prepared for publication, and another being written. You can listen the interview on iTunes or via this … Continue reading "Why Writing a Novel is Harder than Law School, Running a Marathon, or Climbing a Mountain. My Interview with author Allison Leotta" What does it really take to succeed? (7/20/2018) - My days are spent obsessing about the creative process of writers and artists. The photo below is of Danika Massey. She has this amazing channel on YouTube where she goes by the name ComicBookGirl19. Here she is on her couch, crying: She had just got done telling her audience that she is going to have … Continue reading "What does it really take to succeed?" My next book is a mess (7/13/2018) - This is the feedback I just received on the draft of the book I’m writing: It wanders. It’s circular. It’s repetitive. It’s confusing. It’s a mess. It’s bloated. This is the book that I started writing in 2015. That I wrote 72,000 words on. Then I threw those words in the trash and started again … Continue reading "My next book is a mess" “What I wish I knew when I first became an author/illustrator,” with Lori Richmond (7/9/2018) - I invited author/illustrator Lori Richmond to talk about what we wish we knew when we first started in our creative careers. Both Lori and I made big creative shifts midway through life: we left safe corporate jobs to start our own companies that focus on creative work. In her case, she became a children’s author/illustrator. … Continue reading "“What I wish I knew when I first became an author/illustrator,” with Lori Richmond" 5 Things Successful Writers Do that Others Miss (7/6/2018) - Last week I mentioned that I have spent the last 8 years working with thousands of authors and artists. Today I want to share some of the trends that I see that successful writers do that others miss. What I share here today is the heart of what my Creative Business Boost event will be … Continue reading "5 Things Successful Writers Do that Others Miss" 8 years ago, I took a big risk (6/29/2018) - Eight years ago this week, I took the biggest risk of my life. Just before my first son was born, at the bottom of the recession, I started a company. Now, “starting a company” sounds kind of glamorous. But in my case, it amounted to me saying, “Hello world. Um, does anyone want to hire … Continue reading "8 years ago, I took a big risk" I’m Hiring (6/26/2018) - I’m hiring a social media assistant to join me at WeGrowMedia! This is a “virtual” position, meaning you can do 100% of the work from home, or wherever you are. Do you work best from the beach? That’s fine by me. I work with writers and artists and think these people are AMAZING. If you … Continue reading "I’m Hiring" I’ve never done this before (6/22/2018) - I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and I’m kind of excited, kind of terrified! Last Fall, some writers in my Mastermind group encouraged me to create an in-person event. I told them there was no way I would organize that, and then listed out all of the reasons. I told them how I hated … Continue reading "I’ve never done this before" What Silences Your Creative Voice (6/15/2018) - Recently my friend Leah Shoemaker shared a video of herself playing piano and singing an original song she wrote. It was so good! I wrote her an email to tell her so, and to just catch up. Her reply astounded me though. She thanked me, but then said, “For the most part, I hide singing.” … Continue reading "What Silences Your Creative Voice" How to Make a Creative Shift (6/12/2018) - Today I want to share with you the four essential ingredients to making a creative shift in your life. What is a creative shift? It is about taking a leap forward to get unstuck and ensure that your creative work — your writing and art — has an impact on the world. This is what … Continue reading "How to Make a Creative Shift" Take Authority Over Your Creative Vision (6/8/2018) - This past week I met Bruce Springsteen. And it was a direct result of sending out my email newsletter. About a decade ago, Reed Fry joined my newsletter list. He wasn’t an author or artist, my main target audience, but a friend recommended that he would appreciate my take on marketing and digital media. Over … Continue reading "Take Authority Over Your Creative Vision" How to Take a One-Day Creative Retreat (6/1/2018) - Yesterday was a little tough for me. I had this intense feeling of “the fear of missing out” all day long. Why? Because I missed out on meeting a bunch of famous authors and celebrities, and I missed catching up with some wonderful friends who I rarely see. You see, I decided to skip going … Continue reading "How to Take a One-Day Creative Retreat" Say YES to Your Craft (5/25/2018) - Saying “yes” to your craft means saying “no” to so much else. What I mean is this: if you struggle to: Find time to create To know exactly what you should create To finish what you start To understand who will love your work To reach those people There are no easy answers. No webinars … Continue reading "Say YES to Your Craft" The Man Who Writes 10 Books Per Year – My Interview with Michael La Ronn (5/22/2018) - How can one man write 10 books per year, while working a full-time job, going to law school in the evenings, and raising a young family? Today we find out. I am so excited to share my interview with author Michael La Ronn. He has published more than 40 books in the past six years: … Continue reading "The Man Who Writes 10 Books Per Year – My Interview with Michael La Ronn" Claim Your Creative Time (5/18/2018) - What is it like to begin writing a book again after a 60 year break? Yesterday I ran a small workshop about establishing a writing routine, and one of the writers in the group, Fred Sanborn, told us about how he wrote and published books in the 1950s, and then stopped. He was here today … Continue reading "Claim Your Creative Time" How to Manage Anxiety in Your Creative Process. My Interview with Artist Megan Carty (5/9/2018) - The other day I was looking at Instagram, and I saw a series of videos from an artist I follow, Megan Carty. She was in her studio, working on a series of paintings for a gallery show she is preparing for. She looked directly in the camera and said this: “I feel like I’m having … Continue reading "How to Manage Anxiety in Your Creative Process. My Interview with Artist Megan Carty" Getting Radical Clarity (5/4/2018) - There is this video I’ve watched a bunch of times this week, where centenarians — those who lived past 100 years old — are interviewed. In the video, they consider what they have created, and wisdom they would share with others. So much of it is about appreciating your connection to others. To spend time … Continue reading "Getting Radical Clarity" 5 Things I Learned By Writing Every Day For A Year (4/27/2018) - One year ago, I began writing my next book. I added a daily commitment to my calendar at 5:30am, seven days a week; it said simply: “Write.” Here I am, nearly 365 days later, having written every day. The results? Both ordinary and astounding. I want to share what I have learned in this past … Continue reading "5 Things I Learned By Writing Every Day For A Year" Forming Creative Community. Exploring the Terrain Beyond the Limits of Social Media (4/20/2018) - Illustrator and writer Meera Lee Patel chatted with me recently about the value of having a creative community. For years, she worked alone on her craft in her apartment. But recently, she joined a shared studio space. This is how she describes the shift: “It is the first time in my life that I have … Continue reading "Forming Creative Community. Exploring the Terrain Beyond the Limits of Social Media" Embracing Possibility: My Interview with Illustrator and Writer Meera Lee Patel (4/18/2018) - Illustrator and writer Meera Lee Patel describes why she began painting soon after she began working a day job: “I started painting as a way to find myself, as a way to remind myself of who I was when I was a little bit happier. Who I was when I was making things. When I … Continue reading "Embracing Possibility: My Interview with Illustrator and Writer Meera Lee Patel"