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3 Things Infinity War Can Teach Us About Belonging

Belonging is a key theme in my fiction writing. To stay in the know about my writing projects and to receive regular writing tips and articles like this, .

How to Stay Motivated When Writing a Novel

Tips for Staying Motivated

Want to Make Money as an Author? Start Thinking Like a Brand

If you think that creating a beautifully written book is enough to guarantee a best-seller, I have bad news for you.

A well-written book is a great start, and if you’ve got one ready to go, I congratulate you on the herculean effort I know that went into it.

Unfortunately though, if you want to make money out of book sales, you need to wrap your head around something that may seem like the complete antithesis of creative writing.

You need to start thinking of yourself as a brand.

If you write strictly for a hobby, that is, you don’t want, or need, to make money from selling your books, at ease. You can go back to trawling through social media/watching reality TV/reading a book, doing whatever you were doing before.

The rest of you though, don’t go anywhere. Trust me, I’ll know if you stop reading now. : )

Run It Like a Business

A very wise publishing friend of mine recently told me that the most difficult part of working with his clients is convincing them why they should act like they are running a business.

The leap from writing books to running a business, isn’t as big as you may think.

Businesses sell products – you (I assume) want to sell books (products).

Running a business requires financial and time management – so does writing. Whether you’re squeezing it in between your day job or family commitments, you will need to juggle your time and resources to pursue a career as an author.

Importantly, successful businesses need to invest time and effort into marketing.

For authors, aspiring or otherwise, your marketing (or lack of it) has the potential to make or break your writing career.

This is why, you hear so much about why you should build your author brand or platform.

Start Thinking Like a Brand

Authors are brands, whether they like to think of themselves that way or not.

***Brand is the only thing that matters when the market is saturated***

Okay, brand may not be the only thing, but I don’t need to tell you that the book marketplace is super competitive, and brand is often the difference between an author gaining cut through or not.

While it pains me to say this, many brilliantly written books may never make it to a book store, or generate the sales they deserve, without brand recognition.

When Should I Start Developing My Brand?

If you’re an aspiring author, you may believe you don’t have to worry about this ‘marketing stuff’ yet.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

The best time to start marketing yourself as an author is ASAP!

The more time you have to build your platform and generate interest, as well as followers, the easier it will be when you do publish your book. This applies whether you self-publish or have a traditional publisher.

First-up, you want to create a brand that agents, publishers, influencers and other book industry types want to support and invest in.

Start creating a brand now that your target audience, and readers, can really connect to, so when you do launch your book, you have a ready-made fan club buying it, and telling all of their friends to buy it too.

So What Do I Do?

Fortunately, I’m not just hear to dump bad news on you.

I want to help.

In the spirit of sharing the love I created a FREE mini e-course on how to .

The course is based on my successful HOW TO Marketing program I use with business owners, and informed by 21+ years of my professional writing experience, and what I know as a Certified Practising Marketer.

How Does It Work?

Once you sign up for FREE, you will receive one email-lesson a week with simple tips on how to build your author brand. It is completely up to you how and when you complete the suggested activities.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the  and you can get started immediately.

KonMari, the Cabinet and the Cliché – Flash Fiction

Another freakin’ candle. How many was that now? I’d lost count after the eleventh one. I read the embossed label. Leather and cedar infusion – what the…?  

“Okay, candle. Thank you for…I don’t know what, and goodbye.” I chuck the candle into the donation box.     

I was nearly finished with the fourth KonMari category, komono, or miscellaneous items.  

Now you won’t find any Instagram posts of my perfect rows of underwear and fitting sheets standing to attention in their origami-like forms, because that’s not why I’m doing this.  

The ‘clean-out’ had been a long time coming – my therapist will attest to that. Marie Kondo with her ‘Does it spark joy?’ test was just the final kick in the butt I needed. It gave me permission to move on and dispose of things that no longer served me.  

When I started with clothing, I shed rivers of tears farewelling the maternity clothes, a collection of the barely and never worn. Then there were the piles of T-shirts and shorts he hadn’t bothered to take with him. Next, were our shared mountains of books, paper, and endless komono. 

Then I got angry. Angry that I was left to clean out his…‘our’ crap, and that he’d been able to tap out when it had got too hard. He’d left his…‘our’ life behind. He’d got his clean slate with Lisa, sweet and uncomplicated Lisa, super-fertile Lisa. How many kids did they have now? That was another thing I’d lost count of.  

The anger had sustained me over the weeks. It had enabled me to deal with even the most sentimental items. Sorry, Marie, I jumped a step, but damn it felt good when I burnt that box filled with love letters he’d written me, the movie stubs from our first date and the wedding garter he’d insisted I wear.  

Now all that was left was the hall cabinet. I’d nearly forgotten about it. I walked past it dozens of times every day, but its shelves and drawers were nothing more than a catch-all for all forms of junk. It was where useless and half-broken items went to die – a shrine to things that had outlived their purpose. 

The ‘goodbyes’ came thick and fast as I tossed everything from loose screws and dried out tubes of super glue. In no time the cabinet was empty. It was completely bare and waiting to be refilled with new junk – junk from my new life. All of a sudden, I felt scared, terrified of the ‘what ifs’ that lay ahead. Would the new junk be any better than the old junk? Then it hit me.  

For the first time in my adult life, it would be ‘my’ junk and the ‘what ifs’ would all be of my own doing. I had chosen to live with the possibilities of ‘what if’ instead of surrounding myself with daily reminders of ‘if only’. I smiled stupidly to myself because as clichéd as it sounded, I had chosen joy.   

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Famous Authors Who Nail Their Marketing & What You Can Learn From Them

The idea of marketing yourself as an author can be understandably overwhelming, especially if you are in the early stages of your writing journey.

Aspiring authors may wonder what they can do to enhance their chances of making money from their future books. Recently published authors may question what they can do to increase their profile and book sales.

The answer to both of these conundrums is to look to authors who have made it big and see what we can learn from their approach to marketing.

Before we go any further, let me pre-empt and clear up one of the most common misconceptions about this topic. That is, the belief that “marketing is easy for authors who are already famous. They have an audience to market to”.

Let’s lay that one to rest straight away. I would go as far as saying that without exception the most successful authors put the time and effort into their marketing well before they were well-known.

Even if you are starting with an audience of one, it’s better than not starting at all. The sooner you can get a headstart on your marketing the better.

Across the board, successful authors took steps to connect with and give to their audience or ‘community’ early on.

Here are some other key marketing lessons we can learn from famous authors.

J.K. Rowling – Leverage Your World-Building

Let’s be honest, I could spend all day unpacking the genius that is J.K. Rowling but in this post, I’m going to focus on just one element of her marketing strategy.

The Harry Potter series came with in-built marketing opportunities, thanks to Rowling’s detailed world-building and fully fleshed-out characters.

Rowling continues to share character insights and tidbits about the series today through the site. Fans can join the Pottermore community for free and complete quizzes that will uncover your wizarding identity, Hogwarts House, Patronus and more.

Content from this site is also shared across social media platforms to continue to feed fans and enthusiasm for the Potter brand.

If you have gone to the trouble of creating rich characters and places, you should look for ways to leverage this knowledge.

This is particularly the case for fantasy writers who often go to extreme lengths for world-building, in terms of language, locations, magic and more.

Look for ways to share little snippets from your books and world on social media and your website that may not even appear in your written work. The more you share, the more real your world becomes and the more likely fans are to engage in it and invest in your work.

Know and Appreciate Your Fan-base

E.L. James – Fan Fiction

Fifty Shades of Grey is one of those books that when mentioned at a writer event is likely to spark a fierce debate about its artistic merit. I tried to read it and 80 pages in decided it wasn’t for me. However, no one can deny that there is obviously a market for this kind of fiction and I’m of the belief that those who don’t like it don’t need to stick their nose up at it.

I for one celebrate the fact that E.L. James wrote a book series that was highly successful (at one point it was said to be selling paperback copies faster than the Harry Potter series) and her fans LOVE it.

This brings me to the marketing lesson of knowing and appreciating your fan base, and E.L. James absolutely nailed that.

James promoted Fifty Shades of Grey in several ways before it went from relative self-published obscurity to a worldwide phenomenon.

It was originally fan fiction for the Twilight series where her episodic pieces soon gained a fan-base.

She nurtured and continually fed this community with regular content she knew her fans would love, until changing the names of the characters, and putting the book on her website.

James also gained grass-roots support by reaching out to relevant book bloggers.

A major part of her success was making her content accessible (and initially free via fan fiction) and nurturing her following.

Elizabeth Gilbert – Facebook Community

If you’re looking for an example of an author who understands her fanbase and how to create a Facebook community, go no further than Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic.  

Of all of her communication and social platforms, Gilbert appears to engage most on her . She tends to use Facebook as a mini-blogging platform with lengthy posts addressed to her community. Many of the posts start with the phrase, ‘Dear Ones’, where she speaks directly to each member of her community with honest,
insightful and heartfelt posts that are a signature of her brand.

The lesson here is, it doesn’t matter how or where you choose to develop your community, as long as you do make the effort to do so.

Understand your fans and speak directly to them, giving them the content they want.

Joanna Penn – The Self-publishing and Author Marketing Guru

In the self-publishing world, provides an authoritative and highly engaging voice for authors wanting to market themselves.

Author of Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book, Penn has the highly successful Creative Penn podcast and at , provides extensive resources and tips on how to market yourself.

Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, so knows her stuff and is generous with her knowledge.

There is not enough room here to cover all of her marketing lessons but two quotes from Successful Self-Publishing encapsulates the core of her philosophy and what we all can learn from.

“Writing is about you. Publishing is about the book. Marketing is about the reader.”

“Branding is your promise to the reader. It’s the words, images, and emotions that surround your work and the way readers think of you.”

Scott Pape ‘The Barefoot Investor’ – Give Freely

When it comes to non-fiction in Australia, no one has reached the same heights of success in recent times as Scott Pape with The Barefoot Investor.

Pape’s book sold 250,000 copies in the first six months of its release and has topped Australia’s best-selling book lists month-on-end, ahead of non-fiction and fiction titles.

A lot of Pape’s success comes down to his branding nous and giving freely to the audience.

At his , you can access loads of free resources and content. Visitors to his site then have the option of purchasing his book or joining his membership program.

The idea of giving free stuff to visitors to your site (or via other channels) is that you are giving them a taster and reward for connecting with you. It provides a gateway and conversation starter to encourage them to buy your book, product or services.

The lesson here is to offer something for free such as blog articles or downloadable resources.

You should also include a call to action to sign-up for regular content such as a newsletter where you can promote your paid assets, and potentially convert prospects to sales.

You may also like to have a higher value item such as the first few pages of your book, a short story, or exclusive resources, on your site that can only be accessed by providing an email first.

Finally, make your paid products for sale and very visible on your site, preferably only one click away from your free content.

These are just a few lessons from famous authors and tips to get started with your marketing. What are you waiting for? Get started today!

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Can’t Find Time for Writing? Then You’re Not Busy Enough

You have probably heard the saying that if you want something done, you should ask someone who’s busy, and I have found this to be true when it comes to my creative writing.

The last couple of months have been some of the busiest of my life. I got two new clients for my business, which both involve steep learning curves and a lot more work. Plus I was offered two amazing speaking opportunities that involved a lot of workshop development and prep work.

At the same time, an idea for a new book started pestering me. This idea was very loud and persistent, demanding it be written. The problem was that I had three unrelated manuscripts in varying stages of completion – polishing, editing and revising.

There were no specific deadlines for these manuscripts so I was just chipping away at them when I ‘could’, while simultaneously lamenting that the process was taking forever.

Goals, Targets, and Deadlines

I wasn’t prepared to put the other manuscripts on hold, so instead I set myself some ambitious goals, which were realsitic if I buckled down.

I set myself word count targets and a deadline for completing the various stages of each work-in-progress book.

For my new ‘idea’ I set myself a goal of entering the completed manuscript in a specific competition in 12 months time. Working backward I laid out a plan and a timeline that started with research while I finished off the other books.

There was the tiny issue that I was incredibly busy with my business, as well as many other parts of everyday life which include being a mum to an 8-year-old boy.

The Difference Between Being Busy & Out of Control

It didn’t take long before I was feeling overwhelmed. I’m a trained journalist and the idea of missing deadlines (even if they are self-imposed), doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m also someone who likes to feel in control of most aspects of my life.

While I know I am way more productive when I’m busy, I don’t like being the kind of busy where you feel like you are spinning multiple plates and if just one of them falls, everything will come tumbling down.

I needed to put order into my life.

Order and Routine

Deciding to ‘Marie Kondo’ my whole house at the same time may seem counterintuitive to the idea of finding time to write. But doing a massive tidy up, starting with my desk, removed not just physical clutter but mental clutter from my life.

I created a space that I love turning up to every day and it has made a world of difference to my sense of calm and productivity.

I also put in place a routine to write every day (Monday to Friday). I know this isn’t practical for everyone but what I found was that my target word count became easier to achieve each day as I had momentum from the previous day.

In the past, I had only made time a couple of times or maybe even one day a week to write, and I found I wasted time having to catch up with where I had left off.

Why Busy Is Better

There have been periods when I wasn’t as busy with my client work and I could have spent more time on my writing but for some reason, I wasn’t motivated to get on with it.

At times I dreaded it because I had left it too long between drinks and not regularly immersing myself in my fictional world had dulled my enthusiasm.

The lack of a goal with a specific timeframe also affected my motivation.

Now with so much on my plate, I feel like I am kicking goals in several areas of my life. Having small wins in other activities, gives me the lift I need to write.

And even when something isn’t going right with my creative writing, I gain strength from other parts of my life – like , don’t put too much pressure on your writing by making it the only thing to focus on.

I counter my really busy periods by not working weekends and rarely working at night. This ensures I have time for family, friends and me.

So yes I am crazy busy during the limited hours I do work, but it seems to be working.

I have learnt how to be incredibly efficient with the time I have and am more productive than ever.

Don’t take my word for it though, the science agrees. can increase motivation and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a task.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get busy.

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Why You Don’t Need a ‘Pitch’ to Successfully Pitch

I’m a writer. I’ve been writing for a living for more years than I care to remember.

At risk of sounding up myself, I aint too shabby when it comes to putting a few words together.

I can be pretty damn persuasive as well, when I want to be.

There’s one caveat though.

I may be the cat’s meow (at least that’s what I like to think on a good day) when it comes to putting together compelling messages, pitches, stories, articles, ads…pretty much anything really, as long as it’s in the written form.

But when it comes to delivering the same type of content verbally, it quickly goes pear-shaped.

Anyone who knows me, will say I have no problem talking. They’ll probably say I can talk the leg off a chair. I reckon they’ll say I’ll go up and talk to anyone – that I’m the classic extrovert.

There is definitely some truth in that. Once I’m in my comfort zone, I can, and will, chat to anybody, but initially approaching and speaking to a stranger doesn’t come so easily.

I’ll happily speak to the person next to me at the bus stop, the usher at the theatre, other clients at the hairdresser, on one condition – that I’m speaking about things I’m extremely confident about, strongly believe in, or if it’s just classic small talk.

Ask me though to pitch something important to someone verbally, whether it’s a novel or a business idea, I become crippled with verbal diarrhoea, or say nothing at all.

For me, it all comes down to having confidence in what I’m speaking about.

Believing in your writing or idea is one thing – something we’ll talk about another day – but until you can have that confidence, there’s an easy tool that will help you ‘fake it until you make it’, as they say.

Creating A Killer Pitch

I was a mess, the first time I pitched my novel to a publisher.

I’d gone to extreme effort to polish a few paragraphs with an awesome hook, and it sounded pretty darn good…on paper.

I realised too late that the pitch didn’t sound so great when read aloud. It sounded like I was reading from a script, and that’s exactly what I did. I read from the piece of paper because I was comfortable with what I’d written.

It was a brilliant lesson and reminder that I needed to work on my elevator pitch, specifically to be delivered verbally.

But where would I start?

The answer lay in all of the years of media training I had delivered to businesses and executives over the years.

 I didn’t need a ‘pitch’. I needed key messages.

The Power of Key Messages

The problem with writing a pitch and then memorising it word-for-word, is that when you go to say it, it is likely to sound like a script.

In real life we don’t speak the same way that sentences are put together on paper.

And when we do try to do that, we tend to sound unnatural or robotic.

We concentrate so much on delivering the exact words, that we lose all of the intonation and natural expression we normally use when we speak – all of the things that help to engage and keep other people interested.

The way to get around this, and take it a heck of a lot easier on yourself, is to develop key messages that you can use a guide – not a script.

Key messages are the takeaways you want your target audience to hear and remember – whether that audience is an agent, publisher, potential client, or a stranger at the shops.

Key messages – How To

  1. You want to develop three key messages based on the core themes or ideas you want to put across when pitching.
    • Why three? Three is an easy number to remember and will help keep you focused, and on point.
  2. To develop your key messages, ask yourself what are the three most important things you need to get across about the topic, novel or idea you are pitching.
  3. Write down these things and package them up into sentences.
  4. Each key message should consist of 1-2 sentences – the shorter the better – and should capture the things you think will appeal to the audience the most.
  5. Once you have written out your key messages, go through and highlight or underline keywords or phrases that represent the most critical themes or ideas you want to convey.

How To Use Your Key Messages to Pitch

The thing that stands key messages apart from a written pitch, is that they give you the freedom to adapt them as needed, at the time of use.

Key messages don’t need to be used word-for-word or remembered off-by-heart – you just want to focus on remembering the general gist of each message and the keywords or phrases you identified as most important.

Initially commit the key messages to memory, but then practise saying them out loud a few times and you will notice that you may start changing up your words, or tweaking them each time. Keep doing this until you have something that feels natural to say, and then remember it and practise it more.

But it doesn’t end there.

The beauty of key messages is that they can be tweaked depending on your audience, or even how you’re feeling on the day. They may also evolve over time.

You will most likely use slightly different language when speaking to someone at a BBQ than you would speaking to a senior executive.

Key messages enables you to ‘go off script’ without losing track of what you were trying to say and ensures you still convey the most important parts.

You’re also likely to sound more authentic, relaxed and engaging.

Trust me, I’ve done it myself and it really works.

Remember you’re not delivering a speech, your starting a conversation.

Bonus tip!

Once you nail your key messages, here’s your next challenge. Why not try and distil the three messages into one concise statement – you can call it your tagline or slogan if you like – that captures the core essence of what you’re trying to say.

And then, edit it until it is 140 characters or less – now you have an awesome little sound bite that’s made for Twitter!!

So what are you waiting for? Start working on your key messages and you’ll be pitching like a pro before you know it.

Stop Waiting for the Muse to Arrive – Just Write

‘My writing has just stalled completely. I haven’t written anything for weeks.’

I was sitting with a lovely writer, on our lunch break from a writing workshop, listening to how she didn’t know what to write next, so she’d stopped writing.

She was devastated, because she was so attached to the story and its characters, but the ‘muse’ had left her.

I nodded my head knowingly. All of us writers have been there at one time or another.

I too have sat there, paralysed at my keyboard, waiting for that temperamental little minx of a muse to appear and shower me in magical creative fairy dust. And guess what? She never showed.

The Perfect Writing Conditions Don’t Exist

I had bad news for my new writer friend. If she persisted on her current path, the Muse wasn’t going to show up for her either.

You see, many of us writers like to think that we can only channel our creativity under the exact right conditions.

And given those conditions, the Muse will appear.

Those conditions may rely on being in the exact right mood and place. Having a beautifully designed workspace. It being the right time of day. Not being too tired. Having a big stint of time to sit down and write, completely undisturbed. And possible even having the astrological planets perfectly aligned. The thing is though, I’m yet to come across any writer whose life creates these perfect conditions for them on a consistent basis, or even at all.

I’ve used every excuse under the sun for why I couldn’t finish my book. In fact I used them for the best part of 10 years.

‘I write for a living, so I have no creativity or energy left each day.’  That was my favourite one.

Excuses are merely that. They are excuses. And you have to have call them out for the BS they are.

Life will inevitably get in the way of your writing. Deal with it, and recognise understand that it isn’t the reason why the Muse won’t appear.

The Muse Doesn’t Appear on Command

Even those of us, that accept that the perfect writing conditions don’t exist, have been guilty on occasion of tapping our fingers impatiently at our desk, waiting for a burst of creativity to appear.

Guess what though. The Muse doesn’t appear on command either.

Merely sitting at your keyboard, isn’t enough to signal to the Muse that you’re ready for her.

It’s a good start, because that’s where she’ll be looking for you, but it’s not enough.

Prove You’re Serious

The Muse needs to know you’re serious about your writing.

She’s not going to waste her time and magic on someone who isn’t prepared to do the hard yards.

How do you prove you’re serious?

You show up and you just write.

As simplistic as it sounds, you just have to sit at that keyboard, or notepad, and write your way through it.

The words may be rubbish, incoherent even, but you have to give the Muse something to work with.

Write whatever comes to you.

The great thing about writing is that the more you do it, the better you get at it.

The more you make yourself available to the Muse, the more responsive she is.

And the best part about writing is, that it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.

Start with any words. You can change them later. Just get words onto a screen, or a page.

One word, after another, until you have a sentence. One sentence after another, until you have a page. You get the picture.

While I’d love to say that writing is all about being creative, the big ugly truth is that it’s not. More often than not, it’s about showing up day, after day, even when you don’t feel like it, and writing, writing, writing.

So stop waiting for the Muse, write for her.

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Just When You Think You Can’t…Ganbatte

Writing a novel may be hard work but it’s nothing compared to the gruelling task of editing…at least that’s my experience.

You see it’s possible to get on with the task of drafting a novel, even on days when the  up, you can just keep at it. If you just write, the words slowly add up and eventually you will reach your goal.

The beauty of the drafting process is that you don’t have to overanalyse your words. Most of the time, I can get in the flow and not think too much about the words I’m using.

The most important thing is just getting the words down.

When drafting a novel, I focus on having discipline and word count targets. This may not work for everyone but it does for me and ensures I stay motivated. Setting myself tangible goals, that relate to nothing else other than word counts, means I can make positive progress.

As a result, I find that completing the first draft of a novel is relatively pain-free, and dare I say it, enjoyable! – I knew there was a reason writers put themselves through this torture on a regular basis.

Things though quickly unravel when I get to the first edit or revision of my novel.

At this point, things become a little less tangible. The first edit isn’t about picking up typos and formatting errors, it’s about much more subjective components.

I have to look at my work critically and ask whether the structure, story and characters work, as well as, many other potentially soul-destroying questions.

My Own Worst Critic

Reviewing your own work requires you to embrace your inner critic, but what if you’re too critical of your writing?

If you’re anything like me, you may be your own worst critic and this can send you on a rollercoaster of emotions.

The typical editing process means you can experience any or all of the following on any given day:

  • Imposter syndrome – “I’m not a proper writer, who was I kidding?”, ” I’m a fraud”.
  • Second guessing – “should I change that?”, “I’ll just change that back”, “Was the original version better?”.
  • Negative self-talk – “I can’t believe I wrote this rubbish”, “What was I thinking?”, “I’m not good at this”, “I might as well give up now”.

Occasionally I do have moments, and sometimes days, when I feel like I’m ‘winning’ at editing. I may come across a section of prose that I may not even recall writing and I marvel at it, believing that I may actually be okay at this fiction-writing gig.

Unfortunately though the times I feel like the cat’s pyjamas and am convinced I could be the next JK Rowling, are few and far between.

All too often I feel paralysed and have multiple crises of faith when it comes to editing my novel.

When You Just Can’t

After a lot of trial and error, procrastination and excuses, I’ve found one thing that keeps my editing on track. It’s ‘Ganbatte’.

I’m a self-confessed Japanophile, having lived there for a couple of years, and I have a go-to list of Japanese words that inspire me.

‘Ganbatte’ is one of my favourites. It roughly translates as: keep at it, do your best, don’t give up and work hard.

Japanese often use the phrase ‘Ganbatte kudasai (please)’ in the same way we would wish a person good luck before an exam or performance.

Ganbatte though is less about luck and more about tenacity. As a culture, Japanese value effort and perseverance and this is a quality that I remind myself to embrace whenever I hit upon a difficult editing phase.

Just when I think I can’t keep going with my editing, or there’s no point in trying, I channel the Japanese warrior in me – yes I like to think there’s a little samurai in all us writers –  and tell myself ‘Ganbatte!’.

You never know, it may work for you too. ‘Ganbatte kudasai!’

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Guess what…I probably admire you

Admire. Out of the dozens of words I could have randomly chosen from the jar today, I chose ‘admire’. A little spooky when the last post I did was on the word ’emulate’ and I spoke about a few famous people I admire.

I’m very fortunate to have loads of role models in my life in the shape of family members, friends and some colleagues but there are others I admire too….and strangely enough I probably don’t even know them.

It may be even you! 

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time connecting with likeminded writers and business owners via social media.

It seems that while we are all truly unique, that there are loads of us that share common goals, challenges and interests.

It’s energising to see people going after the same things you are, it’s inspiring to see them kicking butt in their chosen field and it’s comforting to see that we all have our challenges and not so great days.

I’ve found that it’s not hard to find people you admire.

There’s the entrepreneurs living and breathing their dreams, the start-ups going after everything, the creators making amazing things, the mums and dads juggling life and business, the dedicated stay-at-home parents, the millennials and youngsters finding their feet in this big world, the teachers, the charity workers, the nurses, the office workers, the bus drivers, all of you getting on with your day with gusto, optimism and tenacity.

Then there’s the ones that maybe aren’t having such a great day but will do their best to just get though it….and most of all the ones that stop to give a moment of kindness to another person.

Yes I admire you.

But what value is there in me admiring you…especially if you don’t even know me?

Instead admire yourself. Admire all the things you are good at…and trust me there are plenty…we are all good at some things.

Then go out and find your community of people who you admire. The ones that you connect with and have things in common. The ones that you feel good to be around.

They may be right in your neighbourhood or in social media land, but they are out there just waiting for you to join them….just waiting to admire you and for you to admire them…a community of mutual admiration and respect…now that’s something you can really value.

‘Admire’ is today’s word out of the jar. Read more about my .