Before we start...
Do you ever feel like your writing business is burning more fuel than it should? Like you’re wasting precious energy on things that don’t move you forward, but you’re not sure what those things are? What matters? What doesn’t? It’s so hard to sort through.
I promise you right now that you will get just as much out of this 5-day course as you put in ... and then some.
Don’t let the fact that it’s free convince you it doesn't pack a punch, or that it’s one of those little workshops that feels good at the time, might give you a pop of energy, but will have zero effect on the way you run your business a year from now.
My goal from the start was to design something that will change your entire career for the better, so your natural energy and enthusiasm can flow through the mechanisms of your business unimpeded and un-wasted.
Who am I?
You may or may not know who I am. So here are the highlights (and lowlights):
First and foremost, I’m a writer. A humor writer, nonetheless. I picked an uphill battle for myself from the start when it comes to selling books. Second to being a writer, I’m a reader, and that’s important because, thirdly, I’m a story consultant. I call myself a “fiction strategist,” though, because the approach I take to helping authors with their stories tends to go so much deeper than just the book itself. You’ll see that as you go through this course.
Before I was a full-time writer, I was an editor and a teacher. That sort of makes me sound stuffy, but I promise I'm not the type to dock points off the essay for spelling. I'm more of an idea junky.
Story is my obsession. I’ve edited over 200 manuscripts. I regularly read 100 books a year. And I’ve published 30 books so far. Story is my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Not my dessert, though. I prefer ice cream for dessert.)
When you’re passionate about something, you want to share that passion with others. So, in a way, I was destined/doomed for teaching. Both my parents are teachers, and I once had a psychic tell me there was a ton of blue “teaching” energy flying around my aura (long story). Like I said, destined/doomed.
I can’t think of any career more in alignment with who I am and what I’m passionate about than writing meaningful stories and helping other authors do the same.
(Alignment is a word you’re going to hear a LOT from me in this course. I apologize in advance.)
Purpose is key
The indie author community is my home. The people I talk to every day, the friends I can confide my deepest fears to, are all indie authors. It’s an all-consuming business, a lifestyle even, and so when I see something toxic creeping in, all I can think about is how to thwart it.
That’s where this course comes in. The rapid release tactic has served a lot of indies well, financially speaking, for the last few years. But there is a big difference between the six books a year that one had to publish back in 2016 to keep up and the roughly 6,000 one must publish annually to keep in the good graces of KindleUnlimited’s algorithm of lore. For every indie it's made rich, that grind has burned out a dozen more.
There’s got to be another way, right? Even if you’re publishing at a relatively comfortable 4 books a year, do you really want to do that for the rest of your life? Or do you want to create stories that connect so deeply with readers that they won’t forget them, that they’ll keep recommending your books to their friends who will recommend them to their friends and so on until the friends of friends of friends pass them down to their children?
Those are the kinds of books that make a career. Good Omens, The Princess Bride, Interview with the Vampire, A Wrinkle in Time—all “genre fiction” that has endured. And guess what? Writing a book that resonates like these classics doesn’t have to take years of your life. You just have to get clear on a few important elements, and then the story will flow from you in a natural and meaningful way. And when the right readers find it, they will want to tell the world.
That’s why I created this course. The writer in me knows how necessary it is to build a strong foundation for your career. The reader in me craves more timeless stories. The editor in me wants you to dig deeper, find that brilliance, and polish it the right way. And the teacher in me wants to show as many people as I can how to make this nutso career work for them.
What will we cover?
This course isn’t going to tell you exactly how to do things to make a perennial bestseller. That's not realistic in 5 days. The aim is to teach you a new way to think about your story, your career, and yourself.
The lessons will look like this:
- A written lesson
- A video with a deeper dive
- Journaling questions
Each day will have all three elements to help learners of all types get as much as they can from it. I suggest reading the material first before watching the video, which will build on the concepts. You can do the journaling right after watching the video if you’re so inspired, or if you prefer time to process, that’s fine too. Just don’t think you can skip over the journaling questions and get the most out of this process.
The topics of each day break down like this:
Day 1: Discovering your creative values
Day 2: Building your author persona
Day 3: Defining your series theme
Day 4: Meeting your protagonist
Day 5: Aligning your author career
But what will you really get out of this?
By the end of the five days, you’ll be thinking about your entire career differently. When I work one-on-one with authors in the areas we’re going to cover over the next five days, the responses are usually something like, “Oh my god, I can do this!” or “Why the hell am I just now learning about this?!” or even “WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THIS?”
And that’s how I felt once I started thinking about my story/career/life in these terms. I wanted to shout, it was so liberating.
Why do I bother?
I truly believe there’s not much more to this world than the stories we tell. I don’t mean to completely uproot you from all you hold dear, but is there any set purpose in life other than the one each of us makes for ourselves? That purpose is a story we’re telling ourselves. That doesn’t make it immaterial or unimportant or frivolous. Quite the opposite. It makes story the most important thing in the multiverse. Our lives are a tapestry of stories, and as writers, the stories we put down on paper are a tapestry unto themselves.
Everything is story. Let’s make ours count.