Practical Self-Help

Chapter 9 is Up on Leanpub
May 11, 2013
How I made Scrivener and LeanPub work together
May 13, 2013

I don’t believe in the current mumbo jumbo of all you need to do is “think and you will change things in your life” or “your previous decisions have put you in the situation that you are in.” I do believe that your attitude will resonant and you will attract either positive or negative stuff depending on how you are feeling. Is this much different than the mumbo jumbo I don’t believe? Yes and no. It’s the same theory, but in the practical terms that I understand and relate to.

I found a self-help e-mail newsletter is written along these same lines.  Now, normally I don’t sign up for stuff online. I know, having worked the back end of email marketing that when you sign up for something, your put on this list where they try to sell you stuff all the time.  But this one is different. The guy actually said in the introductory / confirmation one that yes, there would be sales stuff but that would be highlighted. Everything else would have a conversational tone like an email from a friend, but with advice I could use. And, so far, that’s exactly how they have felt.

This all started when I came across a web page that promoted Write Your Book Already! seminar. I can’t remember exactly where I found out about it. Wherever the source was, I was hooked by the title and went through all the information on the page. By the time I was finished, I wanted to buy the program. However, I didn’t, and still don’t, have the extra money for such a splurge, even though I know it will probably help my writing.

I liked the guy on the video and wondered if there was anything else I could learn from him that didn’t cost so much. I started looking through the website some more and stumbled upon the sign up for his newsletter which said, “Welcome to the personal business REVOLUTION. Join me every Sunday for a mix of business, marketing, and sales insights as well as more about learning and personal development to grow your capabilities.” I was like “Okay, this sounds like more self-help mumbo jumbo, but I’ll try it.”

I’m glad I did. You actually get two emails a week. One from Chris on Sunday and one from Rob on Thursday as a follw up up. The first week didn’t do anything for me. The second week of Are You Feeling Overwhelmed? and You’re Making Too Many Decisions.

The Feeling Overwhelmed one talked about a core issue I have a big problem with, worrying about belonging and trying  to play by all the rules so that I do. This has affected every part of my life from my writing to my relationships. Yes, there are rules and laws that you have to obey like Thou shall not kill, driving down the highway at the posted speed limit, or putting a period at the end of the sentence so people know you are done with a particular set of words. I’m not talking about those rules. I’m talking about the ones that are more advice than rules. These are the self-help books. the how-to books, and even advice from friends and family. Not that any of this is bad, it’s how I internalize all the information that’s problem. I want to do everything  just right (read be perfect), even when I find myself  pulled apart and locked up by contradicting information (whether it be the actual words or my interpretation of them and how they should apply to my life).  All because I want to be accepted and therefore successful.

You’re Making Too Many Decisions actually made me laugh and then made me think. I was, and still am, in many respects, the person who feels like I can’t see my way clearly enough to plot anything.  I feel like most days all I’m doing is reacting or making so many decisions, even simple ones, that I’m struggling to keep up with what I need and want to do. Over the last week, I’ve decided to change that because of what I read.

Yesterday was a great example of this, I blocked out my time and wrote. Ended up getting Spirit Chapter 9 up on LeanPub and writing 5 blog posts that will be published over the next 5 days. Can’t say I’ve been that productive or consistent with any of my blogs in a long time.

Today’s newsletter was all about action because Transformation Comes from Action, Not Reading.  Again, it made me laugh and think, especially on the part that it said it’s okay to fail publicly. That too is a big one for me. I don’t like going splat in public, not many people do. But I’ve taken that to the extreme self-limiting notions that I’ve done too many stupid things and made too many mistakes’ to ever be successful, especially when it comes to my writing.

Spirit is a perfect example of this. Some days I actually think, “Am I crazy to put a half finished book on the Internet?” and other days I’m like “Yeah, it’s out there. Hopefully people will read it and even if they don’t, it’s out there finally.” Then I get bummed by the fact that I’ve had no sales or comments on the book’s page even though I’ve mentioned it here and on Twitter a couple of times. If I go strictly by those metrics then yes, I’ve publicly failed. But Google Analytics is reporting that I’ve had a few visitors, so that’s a good sign. Also, LeanPub isn’t the big stage, Amazon is. When the book fails to make a sale there is when I should start having a problem. Based on what I’ve read and compared with my own writing, I know that my story is just as good as, if not better, than half the stuff you can get for your Kindle right now.

Anyway, I want to give a big shout out to Chris and Rob. I’m glad I stumbled upon them. Their self-help advice resonates with me. And while I know that I won’t take all of it, the parts that I do will transform my life.

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