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What I’m learning about the creative process (5/17/2019) - This week, I simply want to take you behind the scenes into my creative practices, and what I’ve been working on. Every day, I sit here in this private studio, and what I share below is what I am earning about the creative process. But first, here is a studio tour video: Okay, here is … Continue reading "What I’m learning about the creative process" Chuck Wendig on Owning Your Voice and Choosing the Path of Your Career as a Writer (5/16/2019) - I’m excited to share my interview with bestselling author Chuck Wendig. He gets really honest about: How he got a 3 book deal to write Star Wars book via a Tweet. Why he says Twitter won’t help u sell books, but that it is filled with a lot of professional opportunities, giving you access to … Continue reading "Chuck Wendig on Owning Your Voice and Choosing the Path of Your Career as a Writer" How I Helped This Author Grow Her Platform From Scratch (5/10/2019) - Today I want to share the specific steps I took to help a first-time author establish her platform and release her book. The topline results of our work together so far: Her book was released this week. It hit #1 New Release in the Divorce category on Amazon. She now manages a thriving private community … Continue reading "How I Helped This Author Grow Her Platform From Scratch" “The support of my work often stopped at a Facebook Like.” My interview with author Leigh Stein (4/30/2019) - Leigh Stein did something that few writers do: she talked publicly about how many copies her books have sold. Her novel sold 8,000 copies. Her memoir that followed it sold 1,345 copies, which was hugely disappointing to her. In particular because it came out at a time when she was running an organization of 40,000 … Continue reading "“The support of my work often stopped at a Facebook Like.” My interview with author Leigh Stein" The joy and the risk of clicking publish (4/26/2019) - As a writer, there is this moment you dream of: the moment of publication. It used to be that the moment of publication was a rare event. The publication of your book, after years of crafting it. The publication of an article after months of writing and trying to getting it placed. But now, the … Continue reading "The joy and the risk of clicking publish" A Love Letter to the 1970s, My Interview With Author Brian Heiler (4/23/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I share something completely different. I interview author Brian Heiler about how he developed a thriving online community around his love for 1970s toys and pop culture. He runs PlaidStallions.com and is the author of the book: Rack Toys: Cheap Crazed Playthings. I can’t even express to … Continue reading "A Love Letter to the 1970s, My Interview With Author Brian Heiler" An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond (4/17/2019) - “The most interesting marketing opportunities are those that are unconventional.” That is how author-illustrator Lori Richmond sums up the case study we are about to present here. In today’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast, we take you step by step as to how Lori discovered a way to get her work seen by more … Continue reading "An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond" Craft and Connection (and David Bowie) (4/12/2019) - Reminder: Today is the deadline to register for my new program: Blogging & Email Newsletters for Writers. Get direct feedback from me each week to develop or improve your blog/newsletter strategy. Register here. I’ve been hearing a lot of advice from successful creators recently that I think may be chilling for you to hear. Like … Continue reading "Craft and Connection (and David Bowie)" Writers: own your connection to readers (3/29/2019) - My friend Sean Blanda has this expression he’s been using: “Always Own Your Platform.” He even has this adorable graphic that he uses when referencing it on Twitter: This is general theme I talk to writers about a lot. People can define an author’s platform differently, but I’ve always defined it as: Communication Trust Your … Continue reading "Writers: own your connection to readers" How to develop a non-negotiable creative practice (3/27/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I share my system for how to develop a daily creative practice. For some of you, this may be to double-down on your primary craft, such as your writing or art. But for others, it may help you better stay connected with your ideal audience through your … Continue reading "How to develop a non-negotiable creative practice" Why I stopped writing (3/22/2019) - For a very long time, I had established this daily writing habit. First thing in the morning, I would work on my next two books. Often I took a photo of it, which ended up looking something like this: But last summer I stopped this practice. I stopped working on both books. Today I want … Continue reading "Why I stopped writing" “I Needed to Own My Style.” My Interview with Artist and Author Samantha Dion Baker (3/20/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, artist, illustrator, and author Samantha Dion Baker takes us inside her career. She tells us how a simple daily practice of drawing radically reshaped her career, and helped her stay true to her creative vision. She is the author of the book Draw Your Day. You can … Continue reading "“I Needed to Own My Style.” My Interview with Artist and Author Samantha Dion Baker" Even successful writers struggle with this… (3/15/2019) - Something I obsess about is this idea of a ‘creative shift’ — how someone takes their writing and craft to the next level. In the past week or so, I shared podcast interviews with three successful authors, and each shared something that may surprise you: Seth Godin: Before he became the bestselling author we know … Continue reading "Even successful writers struggle with this…" Seth Godin on His Career and Creative Shift (3/14/2019) - I’m excited to share my interview with author, entrepreneur, and teacher Seth Godin. He just released a new book, This is Marketing, and has spent his career sharing advice in his 17 other books, 7,000 blog posts, and many other resources. In this podcast, we dig deep into Seth’s career, and the many decisions he … Continue reading "Seth Godin on His Career and Creative Shift" “I don’t want my art to be good or bad, I want it to be me.” My interview with Rebecca Green (3/10/2019) - In this remarkably honest interview for The Creative Shift Podcast, author and illustrator Rebecca Green gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how she continues to find her creative direction, and navigate growth in her career as a full-time author/illustrator. Some topics we dig into: How she finds the clarity to grow with her creative work, … Continue reading "“I don’t want my art to be good or bad, I want it to be me.” My interview with Rebecca Green" I was stuck. This is how I got unstuck. (3/8/2019) - Today I want to talk about the practical steps you can take to actually take your writing to the next level. By this I mean: Establish rock-solid creative habits. Define your creative identity. Get radically clear on your priorities of what you want to create. If you are like many writers I speak to, you … Continue reading "I was stuck. This is how I got unstuck." The Hopelessness and Hopefulness of the Writing Life. My conversation with Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (3/6/2019) - On Instagram this morning I saw a series of videos from author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore where she talked about how she keeps writing, even when she has some bad days with it. I asked if she would hop on the phone to talk about this topic, and she was up for it! In this conversation, we … Continue reading "The Hopelessness and Hopefulness of the Writing Life. My conversation with Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore" What comes after your book is published (3/1/2019) - Two years ago, I clicked the “publish” button on my first book, Be the Gateway. It can be scary to click that button. To not just put your voice in the world, but to be heard. For me, publishing the book was an important milestone, but not the end goal. For the past two years, … Continue reading "What comes after your book is published" A Masterclass in Human-Centered Book Publicity. My interview with Seale Ballenger. (2/27/2019) - Today’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast is a masterclass in human-centered publicity. I speak with Seale Ballenger, who is the Publicity Director at Disney Publishing Worldwide. He has worked with legendary writers, and shares his experience of what publicity looks like within the publishing industry. He has worked within Random House, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins … Continue reading "A Masterclass in Human-Centered Book Publicity. My interview with Seale Ballenger." Common pitfalls authors should avoid (2/22/2019) - I spent this past week helping 700+ authors better understand author website essentials. In the group there were lots of conversations and questions. It was a great reminder of how confusing it can be to be an author trying to be public with their work, and how easy it is to step into common pitfalls: … Continue reading "Common pitfalls authors should avoid" “I was allowing people to talk instead of me.” Inside the Creative Shift of Comedian and Author Nina G (2/19/2019) - In this week’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I talk to comedian, author, and speaker Nina G. She walks us through the moment when she made a profound creative shift in her life: “I was allowing people to talk instead of me. I cleaned house and started a new life.” She was working in … Continue reading "“I was allowing people to talk instead of me.” Inside the Creative Shift of Comedian and Author Nina G" Is my writing good enough? (2/15/2019) - A writer emailed me a question the other day: “The thing I struggle with most is the fear that my writing will stink. The fear comes from my tendency to compare my (theoretical) work with things I read, which tend to be classics — some of the best works ever created. I would enjoy any … Continue reading "Is my writing good enough?" Why Marketing (Your Writing or Art) Matters. My Interview with Author and Professor Tim Calkins (2/12/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift with Dan Blank, I speak to Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. We discuss the cornerstones of marketing and his experience in launching his latest book: “How to Wash a Chicken – Mastering the Business Presentation.” We dig into his book launch strategy, … Continue reading "Why Marketing (Your Writing or Art) Matters. My Interview with Author and Professor Tim Calkins" Author Website Essentials (2/8/2019) - I want to invite you to a free 5-day program I am running from February 18 – 22 called Author Website Essentials. Each day, I will share a video that walks you through the purpose of an author website, the essentials you need, what content to share, and how to create (or optimize) a minimum … Continue reading "Author Website Essentials" The Creative Shift Podcast (2/5/2019) - I’m happy to announce the new name for this podcast: The Creative Shift with Dan Blank. Last week I asked for your feedback, and was blown away by all of the response I received. In this episode, I reflect on what I heard from you, and what you can expect in this podcast moving forward. … Continue reading "The Creative Shift Podcast" I Need Your Help With My Podcast (1/30/2019) - I recently published three incredible interviews on my podcast: Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden “It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder It occurred to me that even though I started … Continue reading "I Need Your Help With My Podcast" Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers (1/25/2019) - I’m excited to announce a brand new program I’m launching called Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers. I invite you to join me for a four-week program to create an outreach plan to find and engage your ideal audience. Right now, only 10 spots in the program are still available. What you receive in the program: … Continue reading "Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers" Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati (1/23/2019) - In today’s podcast, I dig into a book launch case study with author Dr. Beth Ricanati. Last year she released her book, Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs, and we dig into the entire process of writing, publishing, and promoting the book. When I asked her to summarize the book launch, she said: “It … Continue reading "Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati" 500 Writers Came Together for This (1/18/2019) - Last week something unexpected happened, I’m still trying to process it. I announced a weeklong free program I was going to run called Social Media for Writers. I invited people into a Facebook Group that I had used for a different program back in the Fall, there were 203 writers in there from that time. … Continue reading "500 Writers Came Together for This" Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden (1/16/2019) - Today I share my interview with Emma Dryden, who in the course of her career has edited more than 1,000 books for children and young readers. She spent more than 25 years working in traditional publishing as an editor and publisher, working within Simon & Schuster and Random House. A decade ago, she founded her … Continue reading "Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden" Social Media for Writers (1/10/2019) - I want to invite you to a free program I am running from January 14th through the 18th, it’s called “Social Media for Writers.” That week, I will share advice on four steps to develop your author platform via social media in a manner that encourages meaningful connections with readers. You can join me in this … Continue reading "Social Media for Writers" “It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder (1/8/2019) - In this conversation with New York Times Bestselling Author Joseph Finder, we dig into the value of a writer connecting with their audience, how he got his agent and made writing his full-time career, his experience having his books turned into major motion pictures, and what his creative process looks like today. I loved how … Continue reading "“It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder" How I Helped Create a Successful Online Summit for 600 Writers (1/4/2019) - A lot of writers I speak to want to engage an audience online. Today I want to share a case study of the exact way that I helped one of my clients do this. Her goals were similar what many writers want when developing their author platform and growing their audience: To truly help her … Continue reading "How I Helped Create a Successful Online Summit for 600 Writers" How to Define and Achieve Your Creative Goals (1/1/2019) - In today’s podcast episode, I share specific strategies to define goals for your creative work, and practices to actually achieve them. If you feel like you have hit a plateau with your craft or are in a rut, these are the steps I would recommend you take to create momentum. You can listen to the … Continue reading "How to Define and Achieve Your Creative Goals" The Best Time To Be a Writer is Right Now (12/28/2018) - Celebrate the Stories That Matter to You As we look to the year ahead, I want to encourage you to capture, share, and celebrate the stories that matter to you. Sure, this can be by writing a book, but it doesn’t have to be that big. The other day I recorded an interview: … with … Continue reading "The Best Time To Be a Writer is Right Now" “Don’t lose faith and quit on yourself.” My Interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Thomas Greanias (12/26/2018) - Today I’m excited to share my interview with New York Times bestselling author Thomas Greanias. What jumped out at me the most was his advice to writers, and how they have a power that they often don’t fully understand. Unlike screenwriters and filmmakers in Hollywood, writers have greenlight authority on their own ideas, and also … Continue reading "“Don’t lose faith and quit on yourself.” My Interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Thomas Greanias" Invest in meaningful conversations with those who inspire you (12/21/2018) - As we close out this year, I want to encourage you to spend 2019 having meaningful conversations with those who inspire you. If you are a writer, that may be readers, other writers, booksellers, librarians, and those who support and celebrate books. For the past three years I have lead a small group mastermind for … Continue reading "Invest in meaningful conversations with those who inspire you" The simple daily habit that pulled me out of a 25 year creative rut. (12/18/2018) - For 25 years, I failed at learning how to play the guitar. One year ago I set a goal for myself: finally learn how to properly play the guitar by practicing every single day for a year. Today I want to share what that process has taught me about what it takes to establish a creative habit, … Continue reading "The simple daily habit that pulled me out of a 25 year creative rut." What Practicing Guitar Every Day for a Year Taught Me About the Creative Success (12/14/2018) - One year ago I set a goal for myself: finally learn how to properly play the guitar by practicing every single day for a year. Today I want to share what that process has taught me about what it takes to establish a creative habit, reach your goals, and share your work. The insights below be … Continue reading "What Practicing Guitar Every Day for a Year Taught Me About the Creative Success" “If you are not making things, you are not impacting people.” My Interview with Jennie Nash (12/12/2018) - Today I talk with author and book coach Jennie Nash. She shares some inspiring stories, and super practical insights about what it takes to write, publish, and ensure your work truly has an impact on readers. She runs Author Accelerator where her team of coaches provide accountability, feedback and support to writers. Oh, and Jennie … Continue reading "“If you are not making things, you are not impacting people.” My Interview with Jennie Nash" 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 shares so much amazing advice about how she writes, manages 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"