I’m Not Jack Bauer, You Are.

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Photo by John Antoni (Creative Commons)

I don’t want to boss you around.

I simply want to help you do awesome things.

I want to be the Scottie Pippen (on the Bulls) to your Michael Jordan (pre-Wizards).

I want to be the Tony Almeida (good guy version) or even Chloe O’Brien (less quirky version) to your Jack Bauer.

The Trivette to your Walker Texas Ranger.

You get the idea.

You might not think you need coaching.

Even Rambo had Colonel Troutman and the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

You might not want to be challenged.

I don’t blame you! No one likes pain.

But pain is not as bad when you have someone on the journey with you.

 

My coaching sessions are comfortable, upbeat, and filled with encouragement.

It is time to pursue dreams only God can come up with.

 

Can I help you on your journey? 

I offer coaching services and you can read more here. I’d also like to invite you to an introductory 10 minute phone call for FREE to see if we are a good fit. Just email me with the subject line 10 minute phone call. I’ll set it up.  I can’t wait to talk to you!

 

What Key Question Guides All You Do?

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Photo by Bart Everson (Creative Commons)

 

I often wonder how can I make a difference? How can I change the world? What can I do to move forward in my dream?

But while it is easy to ask “how” or “what”, everything derives from the question “why.”

Why gets to the heart of the issue.

Why takes away distractions.

Why is the reason you get out of bed.

Why is your mission statement.

Why is your driving force.

My why is this—I want to encourage you to use your God-given gifts.  To help you pursue your passion and follow your dreams.  

 

Have you determined your why? If so, what do you think it is? If you haven’t figured it out, now is the time to figure it out!

It takes some time to figure out your why.

It is a process of connecting the dots and looking inward.

To figure out your why, it is essential to ignore the fear-filled voices in your head.

 

Here are three steps to figure out your why:

1. Take inventory of what you like to do. What are some of your hobbies and passions? 

2. How can you use what you enjoy to help others?

3. Take some time to connect those together. 

 

It is not a quick process. It took me about 6 months of reflection to figure out my why.

 

Keep working on it and don’t give up!

 

 

7 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Writer

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Photo by Tnarik (Creative Commons)

I’ve been writing seriously for a little over a year and a half. If you don’t know my story, you can read more here. I’ve grown so much in a relatively short amount of time and I’m so honored to know so many fantastic writers.

But I’ve also had some challenges along the way: from focusing too much on social media and web traffic, to being obsessed with becoming a carbon copy of the most popular bloggers.

I wish I would have focused more on these things instead:

1. Read a lot. But most importantly—read work that inspires you. Topics and stories which captivate you and carry you to another place. Know there is no shame in revisiting old classics from when you were a kid. For example, I have fallen in love with comic books and graphic novels I read 15-20 years ago.

2. Write in private. Don’t start a blog because you keep hearing folks tell you to start a blog. Keep the work in private and focus on your craft. With blogs come a million new distractions. It can easily become a popularity contest as opposed to an exercise in writing—especially for a beginner. Without extreme focus and dedication, blogging can become a roller coaster.

3. Don’t overdo it. When I first started out, I was very excited about writing so I spent hours and hours writing every day but I didn’t take care of myself. One month later, I was completely exhausted. I fought my body and tried to ignore the warning signs. Before you know it, I made myself sick.

4. Don’t go in alone. You need support. You need community. I so wish I had this when I started out. What if you don’t know anyone? Well, you know me. I want to help!  Know there is hope, so please don’t be overwhelmed. There is a great group of writers in Writers Unite and they want to encourage you and support you to create your best work. I have lead this group for the last 8 months and I am thrilled to be a part of such a great community.

5. Write with joy. Write because you love what you are writing about. Go ahead, you can get fired up. I’m currently writing a Batman story and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve EVER done. If the thought of writing doesn’t excite you like a kid on Christmas morning, you probably are not writing about the right topic. If you are writing only to make money, you have already failed. You won’t ever be satisfied. You have to write for something more; why not choose joy?

6. Question everything. When starting out, it’s easy to just look to others for answers. The assumption is as follows: this worked for Jake, therefore it will work for me. This is often false. Each of us is different. There are no real writing rules or steps that you must follow. Everything you read about writing is a suggestion. Go ahead and question this post. I’m not offended at all. All of this is from my personal experience and yours might be different, so please find what works well for you and do it.

7. Experiment like crazy. Experiments are not failures, they are experiments. I experimented with a guitar blog for quite a while. I thought guitar was my main passion, but it turns out it’s a hobby right now. But you know what is great? Guitar could still become my main passion down the road. NOTHING is certain. Just put yourself out there and experiment. Go ahead and start today!

If I can help in any way, just fire me an email.

 

What is the best advice you have for beginning writers?

 

Free ebooks are Good. (Here is a Free Copy for You!)

 

 

Photo by Tammy Perlmutter/Cover Design by Gabby Cosco

Community matters. Community can be the difference between shipping or quitting. I am so honored to be a part of a community of writers who want to take action.

Recently, the Writers Unite community I lead published an ebook titled Love Poems Deconstructed and it is NOW available!! It’s  TOTALLY FREE and you can get your copy by  clicking–> right here

How did this happen? This poetry collection was not something I planned in advance. As I led a #writestuff Twitter chat during February of 2013 and I was frustrated talking about writing instead of actually writing.

Then the idea for this project popped in my head.

What if we did an ebook as a community of writers? We could encourage and support each other. What if it was something totally different, like a poetry ebook?

I put the question out there to see if there was any interest, and the response was fantastic. Writers sent in poems on the topic of love and relationships—each one with an interesting, fresh perspective.

I hope you enjoy the ebook. Again you can find it just by clicking—-> right here.  Thanks so much for reading!

 

If you enjoy this ebook, will you please share it with a friend? Thanks!

I’m the Master of Self-Loathing (and How You Can Not Be Like Me)

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Photo by Bobafred (Creative Commons)

 

I woke up this morning in hopes of writing, but instead I paid some bills. I shared a post on Twitter and Facebook.

I wasted a fantastic opportunity to really jump start my day but instead did mundane tasks that require little or no energy.  

Instead of beating myself up about it, I decided to write about it.

I often have an incredible tendency to self-loathe.

“When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves.” Chuck Palahniuk

What does self-loathing accomplish? Not much at all. It just bottles up hate, and then it eventually leaks out.

And as you know, hate leads to the dark side.

 

How can you avoid falling into this trap?

1. Don’t compare to others—do your own thing.

2. Surround yourself with a positive support network: friends, family and other dreamers.

3. Pursue whatever you do with joy. Do what gets you FIRED up.

 

Do you face this challenge as well? How do you avoid this trap?

 

Enjoy this post? Please consider subscribing (white square box under my picture) and you’ll never miss a post!

The Modern Day Writing Rules (and Why They Don’t Work For Me)

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Photo by dbbent (Creative Commons)

These are the rules of writing today:

1. Have a blog and post at least 2-3 times a week.

2. Build up web traffic (via Facebook and Twitter).

3. Get as many comments, retweets and likes as possible.

4. Guest post to get even more traffic.

5. Reuse blog posts in ebooks to sell as products.

6. The more products you have the better—even if the products are repetitive.

7. Follow steps 1-6 to get the attention of publishers and build up your audience.


I’m sure these rules might work for some folks—and that is great—but they don’t work for me. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for everyone.

So what works for me? Wow, good question. I’m not sure.

What I do know is this—I’m doing my best to learn and grow more everyday.  

I love the freedom of writing short stories, poems, video interviews, podcasts, and writing to encourage you.

I know to have more success* in writing it is important to fit a category. I’m sure as the reader—especially if you are a new reader—some of my writing might be hard to follow from time to time. I want to focus on having shorter, (poetry-ish or poetry-like for those who like poetry) posts on Tuesdays, and longer posts on Fridays.

 

Have you found what works for you with your writing?

 

*I believe success is a personal definition. I find success in being honest and helping others.

 

 

Faith, Life, and Art Collide

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art–4theglryofgod (Creative Commons)

Over the past week, I encouraged others in an awesome writing group to participate in a blog link up to tackle questions about faith, life, and art.

I asked the following questions:

How does faith influence your art?

What role does it play?

Does your faith have implications in what you write?

Or just write something about your faith—especially if those questions felt confining.

And I’m overwhelmed at the response!

 

Kirsten LaBlanc wrote this post about the amazing faith of a child.

Andrea Hultman shared a poem here as she had just discovered her faith.

Chris Morris wrote here about “making your mess your message.”

Janet Boyer shared thoughtful responses to the questions above here.

Rebekah Gilbert shared ”I’ve discovered this week that my art is where my struggle between faith and religion is revealed.” You can read more of her post here.

Chad Jones has a post filled with honesty here.

Michelle Woodman wrote about her thoughts on Faith, Life and Stories here.

Andrea Ward shares her sincere struggles with this topic here.

Stephanie Carter shared her thoughts here about faith and dreams being separate.

 

If you’d like to read more of these fantastic posts, just search Twitter using the hashtag #faithartlife.

Thanks to ALL who participated!

 

Do you think your faith impacts what you create?

 

Blogging Burnout and How to Move Past It (And a Free Ebook!)

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Photo by photoarion (Creative commons)

Blogging burnout is inevitable.

If you aren’t careful, you might even start to hate blogging altogether.

The joy is gone and then you go through the motions.

What do you do then?

Instead of giving up, I realized “It’s Time for a Writing Revolution.”

In this short ebook, I will give you some practical steps to help you figure out what you REALLY want to write about.

No strings attached—this is my gift to you.

 

Just click right here ——-> Writing Revolution Ebook –(Right click and select save as to save.)

 

Have you ever experienced blogging burnout? How did you respond?

 

 

Faith Defined

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Photo by Keunerr (Creative Commons)

What is faith?

Is it religion?

Is it opium of the masses?

Or is it something in our soul?

Faith is hard to define.

Sure, love is difficult, but faith is even more complex.

It is faith which stops many of us from putting a bullet in our brain.

Faith holds us together.

Faith helps keep us relatively sane.

We all have the heart of a killer.

Me? I’m just like Hitler.

You? You’re just like Dahmer.

We’re as dirty, filthy, and nasty as it gets.

Is there any hope for us?

How can we ever get out of the sewer?

Deep inside, you know you will.

 

That—is faith.

 

 

This blog is part of a link-up with the Writers Unite group answering the questions: How does faith influence your art? What role does it play? Does your faith have implications in what you write? You can read more answers to these questions this week by searching the Twitter hashtag #faithartlife.