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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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? 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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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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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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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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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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? ? ? 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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