Become a Writer Today

Sisu: The Finnish of Courage With Joanna Nylund

An episode of Become a Writer Today

By Bryan Collins
Welcome to Become a Writer Today hosted by Bryan Collins from Ireland. Get practical advice about creativity, productivity, writing and lots more.

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How to Write SEO Friendly Articles with Abidemi Sanusi
Abidemi Sanusi is a former human rights worker and now writer. Her book, Eyo, was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Based in London, she's also an SEO consultant and coach. In this podcast episode she explains: Why every writer should learn to write for the web How to balance writing fiction and nonfiction What's working in SEO today for writers and authors How she balances creative and analytical work Why she still writes fiction And lots more Attention writers!  What's the best grammar checker of 2019?  Find out in my guide and get a discount on your tool of choice.
September 19, 2019
Ultralearning with Scott Young: How to Learn Skills Faster
Canadian writer Scott Young learnt the entire MIT computer science curriculum in just one year, travelled around the world for 12-months without speaking english and has taught himself creative skills like drawing portraits. In his new book, Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, he's condensed what he and others have discovered about learning hard skills fast. I recently caught up with Scott and in this interview, he reveals: Why he decided to write a book about ultra-learning How he approaches writing, research and self-editing What new writers should do if they want to acquire skills like copywriting The essential role of critical feedback for writers What his writing and ideal early morning routine looks like And lots more Attention writers! What's the best grammar checker of 2019?  Find out in my guide and get a discount on your tool of choice.
September 5, 2019
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life With Garrain Jones
In 2011, Garrain Jones was 40 pounds overweight and living out of his car in California. Today, he runs a seven-figure coaching business, has spoken in 32 countries and is about to release his new book *Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life*. Jones's journey from the backseat of his car to the stage started with studying how successful entrepreneurs spend their day. He was surprised to find they often rise between 04.30 and 06.30. In this interview, Jones explains: How to Create Your Panda Power Hour What he learnt after studying how successful entrepreneurs operate His process for writing his book Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life And lots more. I started by asking Jones to tell me about how he got from living out of his car to running a seven figure coaching and speaking business. Attention writers: Would you like a discount for grammar checker? If so, check out my ProWritingAid review. 
July 29, 2019
Sisu: The Finnish of Courage With Joanna Nylund
Have you ever faced an insurmountable barrier? If so, a Finnish idea may help you solve that problem. Sisu is a concept that means strength of will, determination, perseverance. It’s kind of like stoicism. Finnish author Joanna Nylund delves into this concept in her book Sisu: The Finish Art of Courage, which was published in 2018. I recently had the chance to catch up with Joanna and in this interview, she explains: What exactly Sisu is and why it's so useful How this Finish concept can help become a better entrepreneur, writer or author Her process for writing the book Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage Why she uses so many visual elements in her book How photography informs her writing and creative work I started by asking Joanna how she went about explaining a finish concept outside of her native country. Resources Sisu Attention writers: Would you like a discount for grammar checker? If so, check out my ProWritingAid review. 
July 29, 2019
How to Build a 7 Figure Business in 12 Months With Ryan Daniel Moran
Ryan Moran is the founder of Capitalism, Freedom Fast Lane and the author of an upcoming book called 12 Months to One Million. He has also helped over 300 entrepreneurs launch and grow seven figure businesses on places like Amazon by encouraging them to ask and answer three simple questions that guides them through these stages. In this interview, Moran explains: The three questions every entrepreneur (and author) should ask themselves before launching a product or selling book Why he wrote a book even though it's not necessarily the fastest way to build a business What his writing process looks like Why he teaches his ideas in different media, from books to podcasts to videos How he manages his time as an author, entrepreneur and coach And lots more. I started by asking Ryan about the background behind his business and why he decided to write a book in the first place. 
June 28, 2019
How to Conquer Writer's Block for Good
Have you ever looked at the blank page and found yourself out of ideas? Or perhaps you’re wondering, "Do I have writer’s block?" Don’t worry. Almost every writer has asked themselves how they’ll produce something from nothing. Even famous writers are vulnerable to the paralyzing effects of writer’s block. In this episode, I explain what writer's block is and how you can conquer it once and for all. Resources: How to Beat Writer’s Block: 36 Surefire Strategies for 2019 (A Definitive Guide) Yes You Can Write! 101 Proven Writing Prompts that Will Help You Find Creative Ideas Faster for Your Journal, Blogging, Writing Your Book and More  Discover How To Conquer Writer's Block For Good In Just 7 Days Attention writers: Would you like a discount for a grammar checker? If so, check out my ProWritingAid review.
May 27, 2019
How to Unlock Creative Thinking With Best-Selling Author Professor Michael A. Roberto
Professor Michael A. Roberto teaches leadership, business strategy and managerial decision-making at Bryant University in Rhode Island as well as for the Great Courses. He's also the author of several best-selling books. In his latest work, Unlocking Creativity, this New York Times best-selling proposes six mindsets that can help entrepreneurs and business leaders unlock creative thinking. Michael and I talk about: How he tests his ideas for articles and books like Unlocking Creativity Why he's a morning person... and how this helps his writing routine How he balances lecturing with writing nonfiction articles and books What students want from courses based on books And lots more. Attention writers: Would you like a discount for a grammar checker? If so, check out my ProWritingAid review.
May 10, 2019
Finding Your Motivation and Writing Viral Nonfiction with Jeff Hayden
Would you like to write nonfiction articles that get thousands if not millions of views? If so, meet Jeff Hayden. He's a nonfiction writer and author I've admired for some time. Jeff has written thousands of popular articles for over the years. He also recently published The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win In this interview with Jeff, we talk about: Why goals don't always work (and what you should do instead) What his research process for articles and books looks like How he writes viral articles on His method for handling articles that get lots of views... and ones that don't And lots more Resources Jeff Haden on Inc The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden Attention writers: Would you like a discount for a grammar checker? If so, check out my ProWritingAid review.
April 26, 2019
Make Your Business Run Like Clockwork and Put Your Profits First With Mike Michalowicz
Do sometimes find you don't have enough time to write because you're spending hours on other parts of your business? Or perhaps you're earning a side-income from writing but you can't seem to take a profit, after expenses? I struggled with both of these problems. So I spoke to Mike Michalowicz, author of Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine,  and Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself. In this interview, he explains: * How he puts paying himself first as a successful nonfiction author * Why business owners (including writers and authors) must master effective delegation * What his early morning writing routine looks like * Why writing for Mike doesn't always mean sitting at a desk and typing And lots more Finally, here's my take on the best grammar checker for 2019. 
April 16, 2019
How To Write a Nonfiction Book With Joanna Penn
A few people online have helped me with my creative career either directly or indirectly. Joanna Penn is one of those people. I first started listening to the Creative Penn podcast by Joanna Penn in 2014 just before I started Become a Writer Today. Since I started listening five years ago, Joanna’s show and books have taught me valuable lessons about creativity, self-publishing and writing books that sell. I’ve admired Joanna’s work for years and I was finally able to interview Joanna for this Become a Writer Today podcast episode.   In this interview, Joanna explains: * How she approaches writing a nonfiction book * Why some entrepreneurs rely on ghostwriters for writing a book * What her creative process for fiction and nonfiction looks like (and why they differ) * The question every aspiring author should ask before they write their book And lots more Connect with Joanna at Check out her book How to Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge Into Words
April 4, 2019
The Creative Process Behind Writing a Memorable Business Book With Ajit Nawalkha
Are you considering quitting your job to work in your business full-time? You may not have to burn the boats or go beyond the point of no return, just yet.  Ajit Nawalkha is the author Live Big: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Passion, Practicality and Purpose.  From Jaipur, he's also the CEO and co-founder of online education platform Mindvalley.  As a business coach, Nawalkha also helps new entrepreneurs turn their fledgeling business idea into something they can work on full-time.  In this podcast episode, he explains: Why you shouldn't quit your job, at least not yet His process for creating memorable business books What the creative process looks like for non-fiction writer and entrepreneurs And lots more Finally, here's my take on the best grammar checker for 2019.
March 12, 2019
Daniel Pink on When You Should Write, Research, Work and Play
Daniel Pink is the New York Times best-selling author of books like When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  His new book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing was one of my favourites of 2018 and it informs how I now structure my day. In this podcast episode, Pink explains: ● His research process for writing best-selling non-fiction books like When, Drive and To Sell is Human ● The ideal time for writing, researching, attending to admin and more  ● How he approaches his workday and keeps to a writing routine ● The differences between early risers and night owls And lots more. Finally, here's my take on the best grammar checker for 2019.
March 5, 2019
Jason Chicola Weighs in on How to Make More Money as a Freelancer
 A founder of UpWork and Rev, both online businesses, Jason Chicola shares how writers can earn an income online. UpWork is a platform that connects freelance writers and others with clients.  After years of working directly and indirectly with freelancers, he is convinced that the gig economy is steadily growing and paying well.  In this interview, discover: ● How to succeed in a gig market ● Two ways to create a successful writing business ● Why he believes opportunities continue to grow And lots more. Listen Now
February 12, 2019
Gaming, Storytelling and Creative Projects With John Romero
Latest episode of Become a Writer Today   In a now famous essay, Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham argued for dividing a working day up into maker and manager time.  Writers and creative professionals can use the former to attend to business and the latter for deep work, like writing or coding.  But what does this look like in practice? Enter John Romero.  Although not a writer, he's the creative talent behind games like Doom and Quake. In this podcast episode, Romero explains: How he structures his day for working on his business and deep creative work The role of play for creative professionals His approach to building a relationship with fans And lots more
January 24, 2019
Turning Your Writing Into a Million Dollar Business With Elaine Pofeldt
What does it take for an author to create a seven figure business? A team of writers. A marketing department? Offices around the world?  The answers may surprise you. Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specialises in small business, entrepreneurship and careers. She is the author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, a look at how entrepreneurs are hitting seven-figure revenue in businesses where they are the only employees  In this podcast episode, Elaine explains: How writers and creative entrepreneurs can create a seven-figure business What her writing routine looks like and why physical exercise is so important Why outsourcing and collaboration are so important if you want to scale your author business And lots more
January 19, 2019
Anthony Metivier on Memory Palaces, Mind-Mapping and Self-Publishing Non-fiction Books
Anthony Metivier is the author of more than a dozen best-selling non-fiction books that help people improve their memory and learn new languages. He’s also a popular blogger and a professor. I’ve known Anthony for a few years and his approach to creativity can help writers of all types create better books that readers love. In this podcast episode, Metivier explains: * How to use a memory palace to research a book * Why he believes every writer should embrace mind-mapping * How self-publishing non-fiction books helped him build an online business
January 10, 2019
My Annual Review - 2018
January is one of my favourite times of the year. It's a time for renewal and for reflecting on what worked and didn't work during the previous year. So in this 2018 annual review, I will share with you what worked for me during 2018, what didn't work and what I'm going to focus on during 2019. Hopefully you can use some of my lessons to build authority this year and earn more from your writing. Finally, here's my take on the best grammar checker for 2019.
January 9, 2019
Alex Newton of K-Lytics On Selling More Non-Fiction Books
Alexander Niehues (aka Alex Newton) worked as a senior management consultant in the corporate world for 20 years before quitting his career to work at home in Stuttgart and founding K-lytics. In this podcast episode, Newton explains: How to use analytics to sell more books Why he relies on outsourcing and contractors What non-fiction authors can do to earn more money The types of books that sell a lot on Amazon today And lots more.
January 3, 2019
Find a Creative Master from The Power of Creativity
Finding a mentor can help you become more creative and find success with your writing or art. This is a chapter from The Power of Creativity, available now on Audible.
December 20, 2018
Creating Atomic Habits With James Clear
James Clear is the New York Times best-selling author of Atomic Habits. He also coaches readers (and even writers) how to succeed in their personal and professional lives by reaping the rewards of smart daily decisions. In this podcast episode, he explains: How to use effective habits to write a book The value of writing just one page a day His process for coming up with book titles like Atomic Habits How writing two articles a week helped him build a business and write a New York Times best-selling book Find out more at and
December 14, 2018
Howard H. White on Setting Audacious Goals and Writing a Best-Selling Business Book
Michael Jordan credits Howard H. White with supporting him throughout his 15-year career and helping him beyond the game of basketball. He's Nike's liaison for athletes such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley White is also the author of the popular business book Believe to Achieve. In this interview, he explains: * How he wrote a popular business book * His process for setting big audacious goals * What he learnt from Michael Jordan And lots more.
November 27, 2018
Marianne McGuire On Meditation, Creativity and Art
Meditation is a proven practice that can help writers and creative professionals find better ideas for their work too. After I wake up early, I typically meditate each morning for 10 or twenty minutes before sitting down to write. This practice can help you find better ideas for your fiction and non-fiction too. Just ask meditation coach Marianne McGuire. In this podcast episode, she explains: * The link between focusing on your breath and the blank page * How new writers can conquer feeling overwhelmed * A type of meditation practice that's perfect for writers And lots more.
November 20, 2018
Self-Publishing Your Non-Fiction Book
Do you want to self-publish your non-fiction book? What services do you need to pay for when publishing your first book? I think you'll agree with me that there's a lot to self-publishing a book for the first time. These are just three of the questions I faced when I started self-publishing books. In this podcast, I’ll explain how to get your book ready for Amazon... today! Want more? Check out
November 15, 2018
Self-editing Your Book Until It's Good Enough to Publish
Have you ever written a paragraph in your book, rewrote it, written another paragraph, and then went back and rewrote that too? And on and on and on… An hour goes by. You realise you haven't written anything at all. All you’ve done is rewrite the same part of your book. Ugh! For years, I wrote like this. I worked on my stories and ideas, and I spent hours tinkering with my sentences, moving the nouns around and looking for the right verbs. This is a terrible way to write, and in this podcast I'll explain why. Want more? Get my free self-editing checklist at
November 8, 2018
Adam Jelic of MiGoals On Creating and Selling a Daily Planner
Over the years, I've tested dozens of digital productivity tools for setting goals and managing to-do lists. Although digital tools are useful, paper-based daily planners are becoming more popular. MiGoals is an example of an Australian company that sells these type of daily planners online. Co-founder Adam Jelic and his team created a series of daily planners and journals to help writers, entrepreneurs and creatives accomplish more each day. A former soccer player, Jelic started his business as a side-hustle in 2010, while working full-time selling photocopiers. Jelic felt motivated by the regarded Australian Football League Player, the late Jim Stynes, who encouraged people to get out of their comfort zone, face their fears, and do things that matter. So Jelic set a goal of leaving his full-time job to work at MiGoals full-time and support his family. But, how did Jelic turn this goal into reality?
November 1, 2018
How to Handle Critical Feedback From Your Book Editor
When was the last time you had to deal with criticism? If you’ve worked with an editor, you’ll know how difficult it can be to deal with criticism. Working hard on an article only to get it back covered in red ink or with a request for a major rewrite isn’t a pleasant experience. But here’s the thing: It happens to every writer, and it’s part of the job. Failure and rejection are pit-stops along your journey to becoming a better writer. I know this from personal experience.
October 5, 2018
How to Set Goals for Your Writing
No matter what type of writer you are, setting a writing goal will help you succeed with your articles, stories and even books. In this episode, I will explain the different types of writing goals you can set and how you can track your goals. Recently I came across a great quote and a piece of advice by David Brooks who is an American writer who writes with the New York Times and other publications. He said: "Great creative minds think like artists but work like accountants." This is a fantastic piece of advice because yes, there's a time for exploring interesting ideas that you're intrigued by, but you also need to quantify what success for your writing looks like. Be honest with yourself. Ask: have you actually produced anything of merit? In other words, you need to be able to step back from your work and ask yourself, "Is this getting the job done?"
September 28, 2018
Creating Remarkable Content with Nate Weiner, CEO of Pocket
Like many people, I spend way too much time thumbing through news feeds and clicking on intriguing Twitter headlines. Over the years, I've investigated various ways of reducing how long I spend staring at my feeds so I can focus more on work or unwinding come five o'clock. Today, I regularly use the app Pocket to save interesting articles I come across during the working day to my phone and read them later after I've worked through my to-do list. I wanted to discover more about how to create and write popular non-fiction articles. So I spoke to Nate Weiner, CEO of Pocket. I started by asking Nate why he created Pocket in the first place before getting into what makes for a remarkable article.
September 21, 2018
7 Odd Productivity Tricks for Writers
Would you like to get out of the starting blocks faster when your alarm clock sounds? If so, you need a morning ritual or routine you adhere to without question. Beethoven, for example, went for an early morning walk each day with a pocket notebook to capture ideas before composing. He did all right. In The Creative Habit, American choreographer Twyla Tharp explained, "It's Pavlovian: Follow the routine, (and) get a creative pay off." So what rituals can you follow to rise up and start the day the right way? Find out in this episode.
September 14, 2018
How to Conquer the Loneliness That Comes With Being a Writer
Writing is a lonely job. It demands spending extended periods by yourself working on articles, stories or books, often without feedback from others. Look at the work spaces of many famous writers, and you'll find them typing away in basements, coffee shops and rooms at the tops of their houses or backs of their apartments. The American poet Raymond Carver, for example, often wrote on a notepad in his car. The big question is: How can you balance the time you need by yourself to create and the accompanying feelings of loneliness?
September 6, 2018
Want to Become More Creative? Take a Nap Every Day
Lots of top writers and creative professionals nap every day. It will help you find more ideas and focus on your writing. In this episode, I explain how to nap effectively and get away with it, based on an interview with Christoper Lindholst CEO of Metronaps.
August 2, 2018
What You Can Learn About Success from Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the world's top business writers, but did you know he struggled to find success for years? In this episode, I explain how Gladwell made peace with marketing and writing and what you can learn from his approach.
July 26, 2018
The Best Grammar Checker in 2018: Whitesmoke vs Ginger vs Grammarly
What's the best grammar checker you can use in 2018? Or are you looking for the best online proofreading software? As a writer who loves tools, I've tested some of the most popular proofreading tools and best grammar checkers for writers, bloggers and authors. In this post, I'll explain what's the best proofreading software and grammar checker software in 2018 and what you need to know about each one of these tools. I'll also review Ginger and Whitesmoke in detail.
July 19, 2018
4 Timeless Productivity Lessons from Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein knew how to work hard, and he also knew when to take time off. He once said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." Einstein's curiosity drove him as a child, adult and older man to pursue scientific ideas and projects that are still applicable today, such as his famous Theory of Relativity. His life and approach to work, as detailed by Walter Isaacson, offers many lessons if you want to become more productive.
July 12, 2018
3 Timeless Productivity Lessons from Benjamin Franklin
Author. Printer. Politician. Scientist. Postmaster. Founding father. As one of the leading thinkers and public figures of the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin knew a thing or two about getting things done—and playing the whistle (more on that later). He demonstrated a tremendous stability to balance competing projects, interests and jobs. So how did he accomplish so much during his lifetime, and how can you apply these mental strategies today?
July 5, 2018
The Power of Creativity
Where are you going next?” I was sick of this question. I was nearly two months into a summer backpacking trip around Brazil, and I’d begun to loathe the backpackers around me. They kept asking me questions – not because they cared about my answer, but so they could prove their experiences were more valid – and I was tired of it. I guess I was jealous.... In this episode I narrate an extract from The Power of Creativity and explain how you can find better ideas for your creative projects. Find out more by visiting
June 14, 2018
What I Learnt By Writing Over One Million Words in a Journal
This is a follow on episode where I elaborate on my journal writing practice. It's also based on this detailed article I wrote for Better Humans on Medium: Resources
June 7, 2018
Riffing on Kurt Vonnegut's Rules for Writers
Kurt Vonnegut got over his fears about becoming an author. He learnt how to write great books… and how to sell them. He also crafted eight rules for struggling and fearful writers… but they apply to all types of writing, even if you’re crafting the copy for the back of a cereal box. Resources Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules for Writers: Why Publish A Large Print Edition Of Your Book:
June 1, 2018
David Mamet's Rules for Success
Famous American playwright and screenwriter David Mamet offers two rules for success as an artist. Although he speaks primarily from his experiences as a dramatic writer, Mamet’s advice is useful for all kinds of creatives including painters, musicians, comedians and even bloggers on Medium. He said, “You’ve got to do one thing for your art every day, and you’ve got to do one thing for your business every day.” What does Mamet’s advice look like in practice? And is he right?
May 22, 2018
How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
Do you want to turn your blog into a book? If you're a non-fiction writer, this is a fantastic approach to writing a book. Last year, I set out to write a book about non-fiction writing. I decided that I wanted to turn some of the blog posts from Become a Writer Today into book chapters. So I drew together the strands of my published blog posts with the topic for my book. In this episode, I'll explain what I learned from this approach to book writing. I'll also give you some blog to book tips. But first, why should you consider turning a blog post into a book? And how do you know if this approach to book writing is for you?
May 15, 2018
Writing the First Draft: The No-Nonsense Guide for Authors
I once wrote the first draft of a book chapter that smelt so bad, I had to open up the office window while reading it. It's a good thing my first drafts are for me alone, and yours should be too. When you sit down to write a first draft, you may lack confidence or feel uninspired by what you're about to do. When you’re writing a first draft, it's you alone wrestling with your ideas and stories, and if you pin one to the page or if procrastination pins you to the chair, nobody needs to know. Most writers, even successful ones, don't write good first drafts. They're more concerned with getting the words out of their heads and onto the blank page. They know they can fix their writing later on during a subsequent rewrite or during the editing process. You may feel like you're writing with a crayon in your mouth, and that's okay.
May 8, 2018
Getting Your Technique Down
New York man Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) wanted to do one thing with his life: to live for art. During his teens and early twenties, he experimented with drawing, painting and sculpture. Then, in 1970 a friend gave Robert a loan of a 360 Land camera, a clunky but technically simple, silver and black device. Robert settled on the camera as his creative tool of expression because “it was more honest.” At first, Robert restricted himself to only taking pictures of his former -girlfriend and life-long creative partner the singer Patti Smith. The confines of a single muse shaped his creative vision and enabled him to hone his technique. In Just Kids, Patti writes: “He was comfortable with me and he needed time to get his technique down. The mechanics of the camera were simple, but the options were limited.”
May 1, 2018
Writing and Working From Home
I've worked at home on and off for several years as a journalist, copywriter and marketer. I've procrastinated and accomplished nothing while working outside of the office. I've also enjoyed some of my most productive days while working at home. I'm not alone. Earlier this year, social media software company Buffer found that more than 90% of employees working outside of the office would prefer to work remotely for the remainder of their careers rather than going back to the office. You might prefer working from home, so you need to take the right steps to avoid distractions and become more productive.
April 24, 2018
What New Writers Need to Know About Fear
I want to talk about four of the most common fears that new writers and people who set out to write a book for the first time often have. To talk about these fears I want to tell you a little bit about my writing journey. You see, when I was in my early twenties I decided I wanted to become a writer and I said I wanted to write a book but there was just one problem, I wasn’t writing anything at all. You see, I believed I wasn’t ready to write and I needed some anointed mentor in a tweed jacket to pull me aside and say “Bryan, now is your time!” and I became jealous of the success of the people around me – the journalist I went to college with and the other students in the creative writing class I was in and I felt sick by my lack of progress. So I joined an advanced creative writing and non-fiction writing workshop in Dublin and on the second evening, the instructor said that every student had to submit a short story or a personal essay.
April 19, 2018
How to Write Every Day
I knew I wanted to publish my first book, and that learning to write every day was the key to doing it. But, it wasn’t enough to know the concept. I had to figure out how to keep my deadlines and finish writing what I started. How could I write every day and balance having a job, two kids, friends and family who don’t write, and all the in-betweens? I faced my biggest challenge yet. If couldn’t face this one down, I’d never be able to call myself an author. I’d never be able to look myself in the mirror again. Find out how I created a daily writing habit. Resources:
April 17, 2018
Yes, You Can Write! Use These Writing Prompts
Now, my list of writing prompts works for me... because I wrote them. No, that’s not the sound of my over-sized ego banging off the ceiling. I’d like you to create your own list of writing prompts and add to it over time. Whether you’re writing a journal entry, a blog post or a book chapter, keeping a personal library of writing prompts will save you hours of wasted time. Use a notepad. Use a digital app like Evernote. Use the back of your hand if you have to... but build your personal library of writing prompts. Start by taking a great first line from your favourite book, writer or story. You could go on to record snippets of conversations, headlines you like and even ideas you come across in great books. Use what works and discard the rest. If you do this, you won’t have to perch yourself over the blank page and wonder if you’ve got what it takes to become a successful writer. Instead, you’ll be able to say, “Yes, I can write!” Want more? Get your free book of writing pro
April 12, 2018
What Steve Martin Said After Becoming Wildly Successful
Steve Martin spent much of the 1970s becoming America’s top stand-up comedian. He toured the country with his surreal show, and he sold out arenas to thousands of screaming fans. Martin wanted more. His real goal was to break into the movie business. Martin knew it would take a single-minded focus to achieve this new, larger goal. So, he put his stand-up comedy career to one side to concentrate on acting and screenwriting. Resources Born Standing Up by Steve Martin Steve Martin's Masterclass-
April 4, 2018
7 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing Your First Book
It’s exciting, isn’t it? Writing your first book and then sending the final version to your editor and later it being available (and SELLING!) on stores like Amazon. The months (or even years) of hard work are over, and now you can watch with pride as your book goes out into the world. Now, you can sit back as your ideas and stories make an impact on readers and earn you a side-income. You can finally call yourself an author. But, what if you’re not there yet? What if you’re still struggling to finish writing your first book? Then, I think you’ll agree with me that writing a book is tough work. Like really tough. But, don’t worry. In this episode, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m going to reveal seven of the most common writing mistakes aspiring authors must avoid (and how you can do it).
March 27, 2018
How to Become a Better Writer: 7 Ways You Can Improve Your Craft
Several readers and listeners recently emailed me asking: “How can I become a better writer?” The right answer to how to become a better writer (or even a good writer), depends on what level you’re at, what you write, and what becoming a better writer means for you. For example, Stephen King may think success means topping the New York Times best-seller list. (Suffice to say, Mr. King did not email me.) Success for a new writer could mean getting published in a magazine for the first time. Years ago, success for me meant writing pretty little sentences. These days my answer to how to become a better writer means helping readers (more on that in this episode).
March 22, 2018
Why Journal Writing Is Such a Valuable Practice
"The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” — Virginia Woolf Do you keep a journal? I’ve spent years writing in journals of various forms and it’s my favourite writing practice. In this short post, I explain why you should start one too. Top Tools for Journal Writing A notepad: you can’t beat the classics! Day One: a dedicated journaling app for Mac and iOS users Journey: a diary app for Android The Daly Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday: Packed full of journaling prompts, I keep a copy on my desk The Early Morning Pages by Julia Cameron: a guide to writing in the early hours A password-protected file: nosey-parkers, keep out! Onenote or Evernote: both are useful if you like tagging entries WordPress: you can password-protect your entries
March 16, 2018
Knowing When It's Time to Write (And Finding Space to Do It)
In episode, I explain how you can find time and space for working on your non-fiction book. This is an extract from The Art of Writing a Non-Fiction Book. The full audiobook is available now on Amazon and Audible.
March 14, 2018
How to Self-Publish a Great Book With Chandler Bolt
I caught up with Chandler Bolt, the author of six self-published books and the founder of Self Publishing School. In this interview, he told me about: * How to self-publish a book * The one thing you must do before you write or self-publish your book * How to avoid the common mistakes new writers (not authors!) make * The simple rule that helps Chandler balance writing with running a successful business Check out:
March 13, 2018
How to Sell More Books on Amazon with David Chesson
In this interview, David Chesson of Kindlepreneur and I talk about how to sell more books on Amazon Kindle. Dave is 31 years old and a 9 year veteran of the US Navy. He was also a military kid who has lived in all corners of the globe. But that’s not what defines him. After his family, his real passion is books, but more specifically Kindle ebooks. David blogs regularly about selling more books on He's also the man behind one of my favourite tools for indie writers: KDPRocket. Check out:
March 13, 2018
Managing Your Creative Deadlines Like a Pro
Whether you're writing fiction, non-fiction or blogging, deadlines are important. In this episode, I explain five ways you can manage your time and ship your work. I even offer a tip from Elon Musk's playbook.
March 13, 2018
How to Become Focused and Productive Without Burning Out
Lots of writers and creative professionals worry about keeping focused and productive without burning out. Find out how to strike the right balance in this episode.
March 13, 2018
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