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Intend It

June 18, 2021– First, we’d like to wish a very Happy Birthday today to, Michael (my favourite person EVER) and my sister, Meghan (my other favourite person ever, June 20)! May all of your wishes come true and may you be as happy as you make others ❤️.

As we continue to talk about author mindset this month, I hope that you’re putting the work in on getting your mind right! We’re talking about intention today and how it’s a catalyst for growth, change, and making your writing dreams come true.

What is intention? An intention is defined as an aim, target, plan, objective, and goal. But did you know that it also means deliberateness, calculation, and forethought?

So many wonderful things have happened in my writing life because they were my intention. Some of them include: Working with the best and brightest, being a guest speaker at a massive superconference, being a best selling author, winning best local author in my city, being published multiple times globally for books and magazines, attending educational seminars around the world about writing and publishing, increasing my income by 50%, and working with ideal clients who share the same values as we do at Pandamonium.

Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to intentions. Intentions lead to action. Action leads to realization of the thought. Whatever you think about consistently (good or not so good) is what will happen and show up in your writing life. Let’s explore each of these in detail by using a case study.

  1. Thoughts-What you think of most of the time happens.
  2. Feelings-What you feel about your thoughts happens.
  3. Intentions-What your intentions are, lay the groundwork for what you want.
  4. Actions-What actions you take toward your intentions make things happen.
  5. Realization-This is the completion of the intention. This is the realization that what you thought about, felt, intended, and acted upon has come to fruition.

Emilia was an author who came to me for some coaching. She had struggled over the years with author confidence and mindset, and she said that no matter how hard she tried, she felt like she was simply spinning her wheels. I put together a plan for her, and this is how our conversation led to an author mindset roadmap of sorts.

L: What do you spend most of your time thinking about when it comes to being an author?

E: That I’m not good enough and that my work isn’t good enough, that’s why I keep getting rejected.

L: How does that make you feel?

E: Lousy, defeated, like bursting into tears.

L: What were some of your intentions when you set out to be an author?

E: I wanted to sell a ton of books, be recognized by my peers as a great writer, and be a best seller.

L: What actions did you take to meet your intentions?

E: I submitted a couple of manuscripts and queries, but I got rejected, so I shelved everything from there and haven’t been able to write since.

L: What if I told you that if you started over and changed your mindset from the get-go, that this time you would have a different result, would you be interested?

E: Of course!

L: It all begins internally. We just need to change your focus and the voice in your head.

Emilia worked with me for four months. She had such a huge change in her author mindset that things began to manifest in her writing life, and she surpassed her original goals. Her mindset allowed her to see things differently; not everything worked out perfectly and on schedule, but her life did a 180. The things that didn’t work out, she had a completely different perspective on. Once we changed her thoughts, it was a chain reaction.

Your thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions all need to be working together! Don’t contradict your intentions by not having the feeling, thought, or actions to match. Take a look at your own author roadmap, is it pointed in the direction of success?

We’ve got a brand new course coming soon just for authors! It’s called The Author Mindset Blueprint. Email pandapublishing8@gmail.com to reserve your spot and get more information!

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Destroy It.

June 16, 2021– We’re talking about author mindset this month and today’s post is all about FEAR and how to destroy it as an author. Let’s dive in!

Fear is something that shrinks us, it keeps our world small, it’s a liar. Don’t get me wrong, there are things in this world that are scary, but they shouldn’t be debilitating. The best way to get over your fear is to jump right in. Usually, it’s fear of the unknown that scares us the most! That’s why we don’t take chances in our writing life, we don’t advance our career as authors, and we find ourselves watching opportunities slip through our fingers from the sidelines rather than actively participating.

As an author, there have been times where I’ve been afraid too. Like the time I lost my reading and writing skills for an amount of time because of a concussion. Or the time where I was chosen to be a guest speaker at a superconference and the room was packed with my peers and other professionals who were waiting to hear my presentation. I’ve been afraid lots of times, but each time I overcame those fears by jumping in with two feet, sticking to the plan, and doing what needed to be done no matter how difficult it was. I also stick to a rule in my life and that is whatever I’m afraid of, I run toward. Fear is an indicator of what we need to do next.  I think the key to destroying my fears was threefold:

  1. Preparation– I prepared as much as I possibly could. Whether it was practicing my speech a hundred times in the weeks before I was due to present, or taking an active approach to my recovery, I did what I needed to do to feel prepared for what was next. When we have a plan, we feel more confident, able, and assured.
  2. Self-Belief-One thing I’ve always believed in is myself and my higher purpose. Once you realize that you’re here for a reason that is so much bigger than yourself every excuse of why you can’t do something or why you’re afraid, falls away. You must believe in yourself and your abilities and know that no matter what comes your way, that you’ll meet it and rise above it.
  3. Perseverance– Anyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn to a fault. I’m one of the most stubborn people on the planet and when someone tells me that I can’t do something, I do it and take pictures. Perseverance and practice are what help melt fears away. When you stick with something and hold it in your mind and visualize your success, the fears get smaller and eventually disappear completely. You’re not going to hit it out of the park on your first at bat, it takes practice, perseverance, and patience. Be stubborn in your goals, but flexible in your approach. Fear hates persistence.

As an author, what are you most afraid of? Write down your biggest fears and ways that you can destroy them. ACTION is the way to success and overcoming any obstacle. Action destroys fears and gives you the confidence to realize your goals. Run toward your fears, not away from them and watch your writing life transform.

 

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Grateful

June 15, 2021-A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday yesterday! I’m so thankful for each one of you. On the subject of thankfulness, we’re continuing our theme of author mindset this month, and it would be a shame to leave out something that will change your *ENTIRE* life; we’re talking about gratitude! Did you know that gratitude is one of the most important mindsets of all when it comes to being successful as an author?

Yesterday while enjoying my coffee, I decided to peruse the bookstore. It’s one of my favourite things to do, and I always said I could never work there because it would ruin the magic for me! It’s one of my happy places. As I was browsing, I came across a beautiful aquamarine journal with The Gratitude Journal scrolled beautifully on the front in white writing.

I picked it up and decided to purchase it for myself as a gift from me to me. The pages are divided into sections:

  1. Highlight of my day. This is where you would list the best thing that happened during your day! I wrote,  time spent with my niece and nephews at the park while eating ice cream.
  2. Today I am grateful for. In this section, you write down what you’re grateful for. You can put down three things. I wrote a fantastic note from our client who says that he’s so happy with what we’re doing in his marketing plan. I added I’m so grateful for my team and the opportunity to work with such a talented group of individuals on the same page. 
  3. Express joy. This section is where you can draw an image, doodle, or word that helps you express joy. I wrote, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  4. Something I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Here is where you write down your hope for the next day. I wrote, getting back to work, spending time reading, and walking Luna.

Gratitude for what we have in our lives reminds us of how fortunate we are and places a spotlight on the many people, experiences, and things we have to be thankful for. Working and communicating from a place of gratitude is powerful and life-changing. When we focus on what we want, we get more of it. Careful! Because it works the other way too!  When your author mindset is gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, and happiness, you begin to unlock doors, and great things start to happen. Even if you’re in the worst mood or things aren’t going your way, or you’re having a challenging day, focusing on gratitude will change that. You’ll start to feel better in no time!

As an author, try this exercise: 

  1. What are you grateful for in your writing life?
  2. Who are you grateful for in your writing life?
  3. What are you looking forward to celebrating in your writing life?
  4. What are you grateful for that your writing lets you experience?

Focus on the good things that are happening for you as an author. You’ll find that you have so much to be grateful for.

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90% of Authors Fear THIS

June 11, 2021-Author Mindset us our theme this month and I certainly hope you’re getting lots of valuable information and putting it into action! I’m going to tell you something that most authors dread…they hate it so much and it scares them to death.

Today we’re talking about the Fear of Selling! This is a HUGE barrier for most authors and takes a toll on their positive outlook and mindset indeed.

When authors think of selling their books they equate the practice with that of a used car salesman; it gives them an icky feeling and most of them don’t realize how much harm this is doing to their book sales, confidence levels, and growth as an author. Plus, used car salesmen trick people, sell them things they don’t need, and are deceptive. Authors are none of those things.

People buy YOU first and then they buy your book. This is the first rule of selling.

So how can authors be more confident when talking about themselves and their work and selling their books? Here are three tips:

1) Focus on your target. Authors struggle with selling and the reason is this: THEY ARE SELLING TO THE WRONG PEOPLE. Instead of focusing on their target customer (specific demo and psychographics and those most likely to buy), they think they should talk to everyone. Not only is this exhausting, but it’s highly ineffective. Don’t offer people your book who aren’t interested or don’t have a need for it! Simple. For example, if you’re selling a children’s picture book at a book signing, you’re not going to approach a teenager and ask them to look at your stuff. They have no need or want for it. This is why it’s ESSENTIAL to define your target so that you don’t waste your time and theirs.

2) Let them decide. It’s not your job to make judgements about your customer and whether they will or won’t buy your books. Your job is to make a connection with the person, educate them about your work, and offer them the opportunity to take your book home.

3) Remember this. Authors have said to me, “I don’t want to bother people with my book, I don’t want to be a pest.” And to them I say, “It’s a shame you have a book you don’t believe in and even worse, that you don’t believe in yourself. There’s a person out there who needs your book and it’s unfair that you’re not willing to share it with them.” This is the reason why you became an author-to tell your story and inspire others to do the same!

Don’t be among 90% of authors who have a fear mindset about selling. Remember that you are enough. If you’re struggling, we can help. Check out our course here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/course-get-your-book-noticed-and-increase-your-sales/

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A Letter From Your Future Self

June 10, 2021– As we continue to dig into our Author Mindset theme this month, I’ve come across a really cool exercise! I want you to write a letter to yourself now from your future self. Yep, write a letter to your author self from the future and see what you’ve accomplished and achieved. Here’s an example of one that I wrote for myself.

Dear Lacey, 

I’m so excited to tell you that five of your books have become best sellers. I know that status doesn’t matter all that much to you, but it’s a big accomplishment, and you should be proud of yourself. Your tour across Canada and the United States in the Pandabus was a huge success. You made so many wonderful friends and important connections for Pandamonium Publishing House and the illustrators and authors that work there, plus you had a blast doing it! Your donation of the entire Pandamonium Publishing House collection to schools and literacy programs has made such a difference in the lives of young readers. You have helped ignite a love of reading among children with the stories you publish. 

Your continuing education has paid off; I know that the hours were long, and it was difficult to stay focused at times, but you made it. You have so much new knowledge to propel you to exciting heights in your career, business, and writing life. Hard work and perseverance paid off. You get what you work for, not what you wish for. But you’ve always said that best. 

Working towards getting the Pandamonium Collection into the hands of readers around the globe is no small task, but I believe in you, so you need to continue to believe in yourself. Great things are coming, don’t give up no matter how hard it gets. Literacy matters, and that is the goal that you must continue to focus on. Literacy is freedom and power for those who have it and use it. 

Things get tough sometimes, but on the bad days, I want you to remember why you’re doing this, to make a difference in the world and to leave a legacy of literacy. You have an army of people who are rooting for you and who stand beside you in your mission. When you think you can’t keep going or that there is too much darkness to endure, remember who is watching. Be the light you want to see in the world. When everything is going against you, remember that airplanes take off against the wind, not with it. You’re going to be better than fine, I promise. 

Keep working hard, and remember, the risk you’re afraid to take could be the one that changes your entire life. 

See you soon, 

LLB

By doing this exercise, we do two things that set us up for author success:

  1. Visualization. The letter from our future self allows us to visualize all of the success that we want to see. When we hold images in our minds and work toward them, they have no choice but to manifest. Visualizing everything you want to achieve, be, have, and do, is a powerful exercise that can give us a glimpse of what we’re working toward.
  2. Renewal. The letter we’ve written to ourselves renews our ambition. It reminds us to keep going and that our goals are reachable. It gives us a renewed sense of responsibility to ourselves, our readers, and our teams and urges us to realize that what we are working toward is so much bigger than ourselves.

I hope that you’ll do the exercise and that you’ll keep the letter in a place where you can read it often. Here’s to your success and an unbreakable author mindset.

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Don’t Fear the Reaper…I mean rejection

June 9, 2021– I hope you love this month’s theme, which is author mindset! Let’s dig into a topic today that is the bane of many authors’ existence-rejection and the fear of it.

Rejection is part of life, and the sooner we accept that as authors, the better. Every rejection gets us one step closer to getting a YES! Think of some of the greatest people in history; they were rejected time and again but refused to give up, and most importantly, their mindset remained positive.

Fearing rejection is like waiting for the axe to fall; it gives us a deep sense of dread in the pit of our stomachs and paralyzes us instead of pushing us forward despite it. Things like fears of people not liking our work, or worse, ridiculing it, the fear of being “found out” (see my blog post on imposter syndrome), fear of being vulnerable in that once the words are on the page, they can never be taken back, and the fear of being not good enough.

Rejection is an opportunity! Look at Tom Edison and his perseverance in the face of MASSIVE rejection.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”-(uky.edu) Wow! If we authors could only have that outlook, our writing lives would change completely!

Some of the most famous and prolific authors were rejected hundreds of times collectively-Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, Louisa May Alcott, Dr. Seuss, James Patterson, and John Grisham. And they persisted. I don’t know about you, but when I look at the list above, it looks like every single author who made it big got rejected tons of times. That’s good news for the rest of us!

What happens when you embrace rejection? Lots of wonderful things:

  1. You become untouchable. When you embrace rejection, a cool thing happens-you’re not emotionally affected by people’s opinions, words, or made-up situations in your mind. You’re free! The value that you place on yourself and your work is higher than what anyone else may think of you, and that is where your power lies!
  2. You get closer. When you embrace rejection, you get one step closer to your goal. Remember the Edison example? Here’s another one-Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 144 times; what if they had given up after 143 times? The point is every time you hear NO as an author, it helps you get to the 1 YES that you need faster. Get the no’s out of the way before you hear the YES!
  3. You grow. As a publisher, I have a rule. I never reject an author’s work without telling them why. I figure that they’re brave enough to send in their work and ask me to look at it that the least I can do is give them more than a form rejection letter. When I first started writing, I had enough rejection slips to wallpaper the side of my house! But I revelled in the advice written on a few of them and took that advice to grow my skills as a writer and be better every day.

I urge you to look at rejection through a different lens; it’s just part of the process, it’s not personal, and what is supposed to be yours is waiting for you on the other side of fear and rejection!

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It’s All in Your Head

June 1, 2021– It’s already June! Can you believe that we are halfway through another year? Today we’ll be starting a new theme for the month, and it’s all about Author Mindset. We’re going to dig into this in-depth, and I’m going to share some science, some tips, and some exercises that will help you get into the right headspace so that you can achieve your goals and have fun doing it!

Everything begins and ends in our minds, and we cannot have a reality without the mind entering into it. Author mindset is how you see yourself as an author/creator/artist, how you see your work, your beliefs about yourself and your work, and what limitations you have put on yourself as an artist. We’re going to talk about some really cool things like genetic inheritance, limiting beliefs, and self-sabotage and how to make massive changes. Whatever you believe about yourself, good or bad, will end up being your reality.

Today’s exercise is simple. I want you to get a pen or pencil or open your laptop and write down five good things that you believe about yourself as an author and write down five not-so-good things you believe about yourself.

For example:

  • I am a great storyteller.
  • I am passionate about writing.
  • I can write a bestseller.
  • I am motivated and disciplined to write every day.
  • I can help combat illiteracy through my books.

Not so good things:

  • I procrastinate in making decisions in my writing which delays the release of my books.
  • I am messy and unorganized and waste time trying to find things that I need to begin writing.
  • I don’t think that I can ever be awarded a prestigious prize for writing because my books are too silly.
  • I don’t think I can make enough money from my writing to do it full-time.
  • Does anyone really care what I have to say?

Read the first list aloud; how does it make you feel? Take note of your feelings, jot them down beside each answer you gave.

Now read the second list; how does it make you feel? Write down your feelings beside each answer you gave.

Every single problem has a solution. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you don’t have a positive author mindset that looks at problems as challenges that can be overcome, you won’t be long for this industry.

I want you to write down five solutions to your not-so-good list.

For example:

  • I will decide on a direction for my book within 10 seconds and follow my instincts to make the right choice.
  • I will organize my writing space for ten minutes each day.
  • I won’t worry about what critics think about my work; as long as I enjoy it, nothing else matters, not an award and not other people’s opinions.
  • I will commit to educating myself in book marketing, sales, and best practices to write full-time as a career eventually.
  • It doesn’t matter if no one wants to read my work; I do this because I enjoy it and am free from the judgement of others.

I hope that you’ll do this exercise and that it will give you insight into how you think about yourself, your work, and what your author mindset is at the moment. I’ll give you the tools, but you have to use them. Nothing changes if nothing changes!

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Limiting Beliefs

June 4, 2021– What’s holding you back as an author? Did you know that sometimes we are unaware of the thoughts that have been programmed into our subconscious? I know it can be a bit difficult to understand, but today we’ll explore limiting beliefs, what they are, where they come from, and how you can break free of them.

What are limiting beliefs? They are thoughts that are not true that hold us back and shrink our views of the world and who we are considerably. They hold us back professionally and disrupt our personal development. Limiting beliefs can sound like, “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never reach my goals,” “I can’t afford it,” or “I don’t deserve it.”

Where do limiting beliefs come from? A lot of the things that are pre-programmed into our subconscious take place during childhood and around our experiences during development and onward into our teen and young adult years. For example, perhaps you heard your parents say to you at a young age, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” “Starving artist,” “That’s not a real job,” “How do you plan on making money?” I had one author discuss their limiting beliefs with me, and she said that her parents used to tell her that she couldn’t make a living from her art as a writer, so she had better find a real job because life is expensive. That belief stuck with her 40 years later, and it hindered her growth professionally, and she suffered greatly for many years with self-esteem issues and procrastination. We must remember that most parents try to do the best they can, but sometimes they say things that have been programmed into their subconscious at a young age by their families. My dad is an entrepreneur, so naturally, I saw him achieve a level of success that was not at a desk or in a factory, and this showed me what is possible (working for yourself and making an income, being your own boss, taking responsibility for everything that goes on in your company etc.) and that I can achieve even bigger things. We must look at limiting beliefs as a blueprint. If we don’t change the blueprint, there’s a ceiling on what we can achieve because our minds, efforts, and actions will not be in sync to do anything more than what we believe.

How can you break free of limiting beliefs?  When someone tells you that you can’t do something, or that you’re never going to make it, or that you should stop writing and get a real job, they are showing you THEIR limitations. To break free of limiting beliefs, we need to ask ourselves for evidence constantly. “You can’t earn a living by writing.” Is that true? What evidence is there to support that belief? There are plenty of authors who have earned a living and made buckets of money with their books. Continually ask yourself if things are true and what proof you have to support that. Remember that what is true for other people doesn’t have to be true for you! Our brains have a way of making things up and skewing the facts to support our limiting beliefs.

I want you to write down some of your own limiting beliefs that you have as an author and closely examine them. Why do you have them? What do you need to do to break them? 

Remember that everything begins and ends in the mind, and what you believe has no choice but to become your reality, so make it a good one. If you want to believe in something, believe in yourself and that you have the ability to do anything you set your mind to and take action toward.