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.

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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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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Never has pain felt so exquisite

Yesterday morning, I rigged my shiny new trapeze – the birthday gift my wonderful husband gave me back at the end of March, 4,380 years ago – and hung upside down from my feet.

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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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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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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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Like Wholesome Cocaine for Your Soul

None of us has any control over a global pandemic or other people’s behaviour or thoughts or actions. I don’t think we’ve ever lived through a time of such uncertainty. And yet I was trying to control it anyway. Perhaps you were, too. That’s what humans do; we try to control stuff.

Which is, quite simply, exhausting.

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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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3 top tips to get book reviews on Amazon

You’ve written a great book, you’re getting wonderful feedback on it, people are contacting to tell you how they’re getting on and how much they love the book, and yet on Amazon… it’s crickets.

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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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Sometimes your words will be crap

For the past three days, I have sat at my laptop first thing in the morning and cried tears of frustration.

Every word I’ve written has been dragged out of my brain with forceps and no pain relief – and arranging those words on the page has been torture.

Almost everything I’ve written has been total crap by my usual standards.

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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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? ? ? Tell me about yourself

“Tell me about yourself”

Four little words guaranteed to strike terror into most people’s hearts, especially if we’re standing in front of a roomful of people.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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? we need tiny beetle steps not giant leaps

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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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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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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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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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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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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