Just Getting Started?

These articles are all about what to do if you're just starting out on your Author Adventure: planning, preparation, and dealing with your Inner Dickhead.

Just be yourself okay?

Our brains are wired that way, to always see the bad – the problem – rather than the good. It used to keep us alive back when we lived in caves.

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How Talking To Your Clients Helps You Beat The Blank Page

Ever had insomnia? Not just a little trouble sleeping, but the twitchy, panicky, staring into the void teetering-on-the-edge of madness insomnia?

Every now and then, it feels like you’re poised on the knife-edge of sleep—so you grab at it, wildly, desperately, only to feel sleep slip away, leaving you grinding your teeth.

To me, that’s what the Blank Page Of Doom feels like sometimes. When I have the seed of an idea I can’t quite hold onto—or too many ideas, boiling across my brain too swift to catch.

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Deeper not wider

It’s incredibly tempting to throw everything you have at your courses and products and articles… but how about, instead, you go deeper and narrower?

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Write Your Book’s Introduction In 3 Simple Steps

Think of your introduction as a sales letter for the rest of your book. Your reader is thinking, subconsciously, “What’s in it for me? Why should I give up my valuable time to read this book?” You need to convey that in your introduction. Here’s how…

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You are not your business

You are not your business. You are not your art.

Take the criticism. Allow the reaction. Then examine it carefully.

Is there a lesson you can learn and use to improve? Take it.

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How To Think Up Your Big Book Idea

The flash of inspiration you’re waiting for? It ain’t gonna happen. It is a myth; a myth that has stopped good writers from writing since humans first scratched their shopping list on the cave wall…

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A ridiculously small pin-head

Our Inner Dickheads hate change. They love the status quo (not the band).

There’s no point trying to silence that voice, either; it won’t go away. It’s a part of you.

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Don’t rely on your friends

It’s up to us to persuade the right people that our books are worth investing in.

Nobody else is going to do it for us – and that’s a really cool position to be in because it means we’re in charge of our own destiny. We get to make our own successes (and failures) without relying on (or blaming) others.

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Scratching out eyes

On Finding Mudita

Of all the negative emotions, after shame, I think envy takes the biscuit: it seeps into everything we look at and it keeps us stuck.

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Koala asleep on a branch

Are We Sleepwalking Through Life?

Just because I got elbowed in the face once in Primark doesn’t mean everyone who shops in Primark is an arse. Just because I got elbowed in the face once in Primark doesn’t mean everyone who shops in Primark is an arse. Repeat until I believe it.
Do you know how I rationalised that ugly little belief? By telling myself I don’t shop in Primark because it’s unethical and because I want my clothes to last for more than two washes. (Both those things are also true, it’s just not the true reason I don’t like Primark.)

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Writer’s Block Is A Big Hairy LIE

Have you ever been stuck? Staring at the Blank Page of Doom in despair?

Yep, me too.

Have you ever blamed it on “writer’s block”?

Yep, me too.

Here’s the thing, though: there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

It’s a made-up myth, a lie we tell ourselves to get out of doing the work.

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Asking The Right Questions

Knowing what questions to ask when you start to write your book is the hardest part… We spend so much time looking for answers, we rarely stop to think if we’re asking the right questions. And sometimes we don’t know which questions to ask at all…

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That escalated fast…

Well, that escalated fast.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking and mulling over and wondering what to write (and resisting the urge to make terrible jokes because too soon?).

So today I’m going to share what I’m doing while the world goes into lockdown.

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the 1%-ers

We think that unless we can make giant leaps forward and see enormous and sudden improvements in what we’re doing, we’re not doing anything.

It’s hard to keep going when keeping going is hard (and boring).

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Roast potatoes for brains

Post-festive-sludging and I feel like my head is stuffed with roast potatoes.

I am struggling to form a coherent thought, let alone write about one.

This is extraordinarily vexing to someone who writes for a living.

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🚆 long train journeys are the best

The thing about tiny beetle steps is, eventually they add up to great big leaps.

We get hung up on the great big leaps. We strive for massive improvements, to become an overnight success, and wish for miracles to happen fast.

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The morning monster cure

If you want to write your book, you need to build a good writing habit or you’ll never manage it.

What are you struggling with? What feels horrible?

What if, instead of saying you’ll write 500 words a morning, all you have to do is make a cup of tea, open your document, and scribble down what you’re going to do next?

Make it easy and make it attractive.

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13 Books That’ll Help You Become A Better Writer

Two questions get fired at me often:
How can I become a better writer?
What books do you recommend I read to get better at marketing my business?
My answer to the first question is: write. Write every day and don’t worry too much if what you write is sometimes crap. You’ll get better.
Write. Edit. Improve. Repeat.
And read everything you can get your hands on, good and bad.

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“I’m the kind of person who…”

The reason we fail to make the changes we want and achieve the results we desire isn’t willpower or laziness or lack of ability; it’s because what we’re trying to do is at odds with who we believe we really are.

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Why your projects are always late…

Whether your project is a giant railway infrastructure, a cottage renovation, or writing your book, it will inevitably take way too long and cost much more than you budget. It’s because you suffer from the planning fallacy — with a healthy dose of optimism bias and overconfidence thrown in.

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a look of horror

The 67,000 mile-an-hour Book

We all have the same amount of time in the days, weeks, months, years.

So why do some people get tons of writing done, and others struggle to make any progress at all?

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New year new…?

Within the haze of end-of-year parties and admist the overindulgence of the festive feasting period glows an ember.

The glimmer of an idea.

The hope that perhaps this year will be different.

Maybe this will be the year we’ll write our books or run that marathon or start that business or go after that big contract.

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Living with purpose

My purpose is to write. To share my stories and other people’s stories – especially those people whose voices are muffled and marginalised. People who stand up for humanity and thoughtfulness and against oppression and cruelty and blind adherence to a doctrine that makes no sense.

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How I stopped drinking alcohol

Since Christmas 2018, I’ve probably had fewer than 20 alcoholic drinking occasions – and when I have had a drink, it’s generally been one small one.

And it hasn’t been a struggle.

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Peel your eyes

Writing is a source of great anxiety to a lot of people – including me, sometimes. Just because I’m a writer doesn’t mean I have all my shit together.

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