March 13, 2019– If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen me post about a book I was reading last week; The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal, is an excellent read for anyone who wants to know how self-control works and how our brains process things. There are three key sentences that really stuck out and I’ve since employed them for the business/writing tasks that I don’t love to do.
That’s it, pretty simple, right? Now, let’s combine them to make a powerful statement. If you’re struggling with doing mundane tasks consider the examples below. The more specific you are, the better this works!
I will write 500 words in an hour and I won’t get distracted by social media during that time because I want to reach my goal and finish my book.
I will wake up early to finish my blog post and I won’t answer return emails until this afternoon because I want to go for a walk with my spouse after breakfast.
I will finish my fabulous presentation on grammar by Tuesday and I won’t turn on my phone until it’s completed because I want to show my boss that I deserve a raise.
You guys get the point! This will work in many areas of your life such as organization, education, writing, reading, leisure activities, relationships, and more. It works because I will, I won’t, and I want, allow us to be clear on what our priorities are and they draw a firm line in the sand showing us what we are willing and not willing to do and what the pay off is. This technique works really well and I hope that you’ll try it yourself! Let me know if you do and if it worked for you by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 1, 2019– I was boarding a flight in Toronto recently, and while we were getting on the plane, I overheard a woman and her son talking about a book. Of course, I’m always interested in book recommendations, so I continued to eavesdrop. The young man said quietly to his mother, “This book is amazing, it’s easy, straightforward, and I think this will work for what I’m trying to accomplish!” The book that he had in hand was titled, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. I headed to my seat and took out my phone because the boy had piqued my curiosity. Of course, I had no idea what he was trying to accomplish in his life, but I thought the book sounded intriguing and he sure seemed to believe in it!
I looked up the book jacket info on Amazon and read some of the reviews; they were pretty impressive. I downloaded the audio version and plugged in while we waited on the tarmac. The book, in a nutshell, is about how most of our behaviour happens on autopilot and if we set small goals such as a single push up, once we’re in position, we’ll always do more. Eventually, these small goals will become habits, and we will operate from a place of automation instead of force. So, how can mini habits change your writing life? I’m so glad you asked!
You’ll exceed your goals if you start small. When I first became an author, I created mini habits unbeknownst to myself; I would write every day for only fifteen minutes. Soon those fifteen minutes each day became a habit and the fifteen minutes turned into an hour or more. I have an author friend who started writing only fifty words per day. Soon, his fifty words per day multiplied into fifteen pages per day. The point is, if you set a small goal and stick to it, you’ll reach your goal, and you’ll be motivated to do more.
You’ll create discipline without out even realizing. If you create a mini habit of listening to a business audio book every time you get in the car, or a mini habit of reading one page of a book per day, you’re creating discipline in your life and discipline equals freedom. You would have a massive amount of knowledge in one year if you read one page per day or listened to something while traveling! These mini habits will translate into big results because they will become as automatic and as disciplined as brushing our teeth before bed. Why do we brush our teeth before bed? I don’t know, because it’s a habit that we’ve had since childhood and we just do it. See what I mean?
You’ll get out of your comfort zone. I make it a mini habit of handing out one business card per day. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of a year it sure adds up! You can cover a lot of ground and grow your writing business if you just implement this one small thing. You could use this approach for sending out queries, submitting manuscripts, connecting with a stranger, or meeting new people. Having a mini habit is an excellent way to get you out of your comfort zone and into a better writing life. Imagine sending 300+ queries out to publishers or agents in a year? That’s a lot of action, and statistically, something is bound to happen!
Start with small mini habits and watch them grow into something amazing! In a later post, perhaps we’ll talk about taking this concept one step further with habit stacking. Stay tuned!
February 28, 2019– I had the absolute pleasure of meeting author Jarrett J. Krosoczka at the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators conference in New York City. He was the keynote speaker and in my opinion, one of the best speakers at the event bar none. His story was moving, emotional, and hard to listen to at times. I hope that you’ll check out his YA graphic novel, Hey, Kiddo, it’s fabulous and beautiful. Here’s a video of Jarrett talking about his book. Enjoy!
December 31, 2018– Well friends, it’s been an epic year in so many ways; I started some new adventures, made lots of new friends, traveled, and of course published a few books. But what about the books I read? It would be unfair of me not to mention them as some of them made such an impact on me, that my life and way of thinking will never be the same.
60 books in a year was my goal, and I’m happy to say that I reached it. For all of you numbers nuts, that works out to approximately 1.15 books per week. Now, remember that not all of the books I read were in paperback format, some of them were audio books, and e-books. This method of “reading” allowed me to listen to books while travelling and while doing mundane tasks. I know that without audio books, it would have been much harder for me to reach my goal of 60 books read for the year.
Let’s get on with it! Here is my list of books that I read in 2018: (A quick search on Amazon will show you details and the authors)
5 Thieves of Happiness
Murder, She Wrote- Hook, Line, and Murder
The Million Dollar Blog
Murder, She Wrote- Dying to Retire
Never Lose a Customer Again
Mind Over Mind
Outwitting the Devil
Murder, She Wrote- Scared to Death
Every Breath You Take
The Couple Next Door
You are Not so Smart
The Brain that Changes Itself
Tools of Titans
Make Your Bed
Discipline Equals Freedom
The Power of Gratitude
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
To Kill a Mockingbird
Do the Work
12 Rules for Life
The Checklist Manifesto
The 5 Second Rule
The Obstacle is the Way
The 10x Rule
33 Strategies of War
All Marketers are Liars
The Toyota Way
The Magic of Thinking Big
The 48 Laws of Power
Challenge Your Potential
Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty
The Positive Power of Negative Thinking
How I write
On Writing (Stephen King)
The Psychology of Winning
1 Page Marketing Plan
The Art of War
The Idiot Brain
Screenwriting for Dummies
I See You
The Woman in Cabin 10
The Sales Bible
Save the Cat
Book Yourself Solid
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
So, there you have it! I look forward to reading another 60 books in 2019. Remember, you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Happy Reading! X LLB
November 14, 2018– We read a lot of books around here at Pandamonium Publishing House, as we should because we are writers. I’m a firm believer that the more you read, the better you write. We like to read all types of books including books that aren’t always in our genre. I’m currently reading an interesting and pretty short book that’s non-fiction and it’s written by Admiral William H. McRaven (talk about a cool name) who is retired from the United States Navy. The book is called, Make Your Bed, Little things that can change your life…and maybe the world.
Admiral McRaven gave a commencement speech to the University of Texas students, which you can view on Youtube. His school of thinking is that if you make your bed every morning, you’ll have accomplished the first task of your day. He also believes that making your bed reinforces the fact that the little things in life matter and if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
This is my second time reading this book in a year. I read it at the beginning of the year and I’m re-reading it now. This book is fantastic because McRaven is right! I made my bed every single day except for four days over the past year and let me tell you, boy did it make a world of difference when I didn’t! When I neglected to make my bed, I went to bed restless, had a terrible sleep, couldn’t shut off my brain, and felt unsettled. That’s not to say that every day that I did make my bed was a great day, but the point was that no matter what life threw at me, I could come home, get into my perfectly made bed, and disappear from the world. Daily life requires structure and making your bed is the first step.
I hope that you’ll read this book as there are a lot of fantastic stories and lessons within. (My favourite chapter is number four, the sugar cookie story!)
October 5, 2018– Ahhhhhh Fall; what a wonderful season! It’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up and read. Check out the fall reading challenge below, but feel free to substitute where you need to. Happy fall and happy reading!
September 12, 2018– I am currently reading (for the second time) The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. And I can’t say enough about this little book!
This book is the exact kick in the ass that us writers need. It’s no-nonsense, fuss-free look into what is really holding us back as artists! I highly recommend this book for anyone who dreams about writing the next Great Novel, anyone who has regrets over unfinished screenplays, poems, or paintings, and anyone who wants advice as an entrepreneur.
The War of Art is so valuable in unlocking hidden barriers within ourselves! This is a must-read for anyone who wants to start living.
July 20, 2018- The only thing worse than burning books is not reading them. Banned books? Really; are you kidding me? How can any book ever be banned? I don’t care what’s inside and as Oscar Wilde so intelligently said, “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
We can all have differences in opinion when it comes to art and art (books) is very subjective. That doesn’t mean that it should be banned. Check out this ASTONISHING list of banned books which I’m very proud to say that I’ve read 3/4 of them and the remaining just landed on my to-read list! I hope you’ll join me in reading these literary wonders. Happy Reading!
July 9, 2018- In June, I was invited by a dear friend of mine, to participate in a challenge on Facebook. This challenge was right up my alley, and I’m so glad that she chose me to share in this specific task. Mary Ann explained that each day for fifteen days that I would have to share a book that changed my life. I have never been so excited as this to take part in anything in my life! Some of the books that made the cut were Great Expectations by Dickens, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; each and every one of these books among others, had an enormous impact on my life and I’m so grateful for each experience. Check out my Facebook page, Pandamonium Publishing House, for my complete list of the fifteen books that changed me.
This week I want to challenge you to do the same, please choose and share the fifteen books that changed your life. You can share one or two at a time, whatever suits you best, and just know that by doing so, you will inspire others to pick up the titles, or that by sharing the books that you love, you may ignite another person’s love of reading. Not long after I posted my book on day three, I received a message on my timeline from a friend that said because of my daily posts, she was inspired to read again for the first time in a long time. Nothing makes me happier than people reading! I hope that you’ll take me up on this challenge. Happy reading!
April 27, 2018-Here are some recommendations for books on mental health, I have personally read two of the books listed below and they were extremely helpful. These may also be useful for digging into research on your characters that may be struggling with the same issues!
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