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.

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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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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How Do You Come Up With All Your Ideas?

Ever look at those snazzy business owners in your inbox and on the internet and wonder how on earth they come up with all their stories, emails, articles, and podcasts? Wonder no more—you can do that too.

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Choking the onions

I’ve put off weeding that veg bed for a bunch of reasons, none of them good. And so I’ve wasted more time worrying about the onions than it took me to just do the bloody weeding.

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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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🚆 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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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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Take it like a writer

Criticism and feedback can feel like eating kiwi fruit with the skin on: uncomfortable, even painful, leading to shortness of breath.

But only for a few minutes. Maximum 7 minutes. Then I have to pull myself together and crack on.

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Your body is incredible

Be grateful for what you can do.

Your body and mind (which are inextricably linked) are incredible. What you can do with them is wondrous.

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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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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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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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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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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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15 Reasons to Write a Book

Ever thought about writing a book but never quite got started? You’re not alone.
Here are 15 reasons why I think you should write a book in 2020…

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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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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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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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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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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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What do you want to do?

Don’t let anyone shame you into ridiculous productivity.

Don’t be pushed into doing more than you want to.

It’s okay not to be okay.

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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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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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Derek the donkey thinks learning BJJ is hard

The Splendour Of Hard Things

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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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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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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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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Start Writing Your Book Today

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