Alice Crider, Your Write Life Coach 
The Life-Changing Impact of Books
Posted on Monday, August 6, 2018 
I have experienced the life-changing impact a book can have on my life. I bet you, too, have experienced a moment where a book has fundamentally changed the way you see the world or your life. 

I'll never forget the day in my childhood when I read a whole “chapter book” in one afternoon (thank you, Beverly Cleary!). And the day I read Codependent No More and found out it’s not my job to fix, change, or control anyone else. I can still feel the relief in my soul today (thank you, Melody Beattie!).

That’s why it warms my heart when people say my authors’ books have changed their lives, healed their marriages, mended their relationships, and even saved their lives.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially after learning that Amazon posts a new book every five minutes, and there are literally millions of books being published in the English language every year. 
Are there too many books out there now? Is there room for more?

My answers are yes and yes. Yes, there are too many books available for any one person to be able to read them all. And yes, there is room for more. 
I realize that sounds contradictory, but hear me out.

Nobody has to read a book—ever. People only read because they want to. Most people only read a few select books every year, which means they forego reading millions of others. 
Yet millions of people search Amazon every day, and they find those life-changing books. They discover compelling stories. Then they read them and share them.

If you're cynical about whether or not you should write the book you’ve been tossing around in your head, I invite you to go and read some of the reviews posted about your favorite bestselling books.

Then ask yourself, what's the difference between you and those authors? 

Simply said, those authors stopped dreaming and started doing. They decided to risk being vulnerable in order to run toward their dreams and pursue their passion. Google their back stories and you’ll see they weren't born bestsellers, and they weren't handed publishing contracts by sheer luck.

What did it take for them to rise to the top? In a word: discipline.

Discipline is a combination of ambition, determination, confidence, patience, and execution.

And guess what? The road to publishing success is full of pot holes, mud, rocks, and ruts. It takes discipline to navigate that road.

The journey is not glamorous, and the miles seem endless. 

I’d love to tell you it’s going to be easy, but you don’t need inspirational fluff. You actually need to start making yourself painfully uncomfortable. Today, right now! You can’t coast into bestsellerdom, and I promise you, coasting isn't fulfilling in the long run. 
New writers often feel torn between a passion for writing and a need to build an author platform in order to be seen. 

The biggest misconception in that is thinking there is a middle ground. 

There is no middle ground! Life is in constant motion, and you're either going forward or backward. There are far too many writers spending too much time strolling through garden paths among daisies instead of four-wheeling the rocky road.

News flash! You are living during a time when it has never been easier to create, and it’s never been more convenient to share. In a time where so many people hide the truth, you need to over communicate yours.

My friends, it’s never been easier to be seen and heard. Make yourself visible online, where the channels are available and where there is no gatekeeper to decide whether your words are clever enough, if your stories are entertaining enough, or your message inspiring enough. It’s just you and your audience—you and your tribe.

The choice is yours. You can spend your time in the daisies, or you can create the story or message that's going to change someone else's life, and maybe your own. You can hang out in the quiet of the garden, or you can start driving up the bumpy, awkward road of vulnerability.

What’s really holding you back is fantasy. It’s far more comfortable to dream than it is to move forward and risk. Fantasy is a sweet poison that holds many of us in perpetual procrastination. As long as your goals are a dream, you can pretend you’ve achieved them.

Don’t get stuck there. Take the rough road now.

The Top 10 Mistakes New Writers Make, and How To Avoid Them
Posted on Monday, April 9, 2018 
Stress Less, Live More
Posted on Monday, July 10, 2017 
You already know stress can negatively affect your life, including work and personal relationships.

Stress is normal in short bouts, but not when it seems to be endless. If you feel stressed constantly, there are some things you can do to reduce it.

1. Take Breaks

Whether at work or at home, a 10-minute break every hour can help reduce stress and tension, plus it can help you be more productive during the time you’re working.

If you work at a desk, get up at break time, stretch, and move around. I like to step outside or walk up and down a few flights of stairs. Grab a glass of water or a fresh cup of tea while you’re up. That will make going back to your desk more pleasurable.

If your work is more active than a desk job, take a 10-minute break to relax. I like sitting where I have a view of something beautiful. This is also a good time to grab a quick snack or drink.

If you’re like me and you lose track of time while working, set a timer every hour until you get in the habit of taking breaks.

2. Give Up Control 

This is a tough one for me! But no one has control over everything that happens, so there is no reason to stress about what you have no control over.

Any time you encounter a situation that feels stressful or worrisome, ask yourself, “How important is this, really?” and “What’s my responsibility in the matter?” If it’s not important, it’s not your responsibility, or especially if you can’t do anything about what’s happening, LET IT GO. You don’t have to be a hero, and getting caught up in drama won’t help.

To help you remember this, write your worries on a piece of scratch paper and put them in a box. Set the box aside and think about something more positive. You can always go back to the box if you really must have a drama fix later.

3. Choose Your Own Emotions

Human beings have the remarkable ability to choose their own state of being. In any given moment, you can choose any emotion you want. But most of us don’t practice choosing, so we end up allowing the emotion of the moment to run the show. So most of us are only as happy as we choose to be. Emotions are habitual, so if you choose happiness day after day, it will soon become habit.

I’ve found it helps to make an effort each day to emphasize the positives in my life and to be grateful for them. Sometimes I choose to be grateful for what might appear as negative. Stress melts away when you choose happiness and gratitude over negativity.

Here’s the bottom line on stress:

     1. It comes with being human and living on Earth.
     2. You have options for dealing with it.
     3. Some stress is actually good for you!

We’ll discuss that last one another time.
What's Your Vision? 
Posted on Sunday, April 23, 2017 
“A vision without action is called a daydream; but then again, action without a vision is called a nightmare.” ~Jim Sorenson~

A vision is a guiding force to help you fulfill your purpose.

Without a vision, we stumble around, aimless, purposeless. But a written vision is like a road map with clear directions. Recent science indicates that vision statements cause a brain response that motivates us to take actions toward our vision. If you haven’t already created one for your life, I highly recommend it!

A personal vision statement is highly beneficial for your future. When creating it, you project yourself into the future and visualize yourself living your dream life. I suggest sitting down and starting with a list of everything you want to be, do, and have in your life. Here are some questions to ponder as you write:

     Who do you want to be?
     How do you want to be known?
     What are your values?
     What sparks joy for you?
     What legacy would you like to leave behind?
     What are your strengths? Talents? Interests?
     What inspires you?

Once you’ve completed your list, boil it down to its essence and write it out in present tense as if it is already happening. Be sure and include something that thrills you. Here’s an example:

“I, Alice Crider, am a wife and mom, an editor and writer, a coach, and a friend. I am grateful to be pursuing my writing and publishing goals. I’m excited because I am shopping for land for my dream ranch! My purpose in life is to empower others to fulfill on their purpose and dreams, and I feel ecstatic when I see them doing so. I am happiest when I’m living my purpose, and the world is beautiful when I’m pursuing my passions. ”

There really are no rules for how to write a vision statement, and nothing is set in stone once you write one. You can change it any time, write a new one every year, or start over if you’re no longer inspired by it. The important thing is to write something to run with.

“I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

What’s your vision?
7 Book Publishing Basics
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2014
21 Important Book Development Questions
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2017
When assessing your non-fiction manuscript and determining whether it’s ready either to pitch to an agent or to self publish, you’ll do well if you address these questions. They’re listed in no particular order, so feel free to jump around as you work through them.

     1. Who is your reader? Think of your target audience as one person and describe her/him.

     2. What does your manuscript deliver that’s new and relevant to your reader?

     3. What category does your book fit into? Think about what shelf you would see it on in a bookstore.

     4. Will your book be talked about? If so, how?

     5. Do you have an outstanding title?

     6. Does your subtitle offer a clear and compelling promise to your reader?

     7. What is the word count? Most non-fiction trade books average between 45-55,000 words. If your word count is too high, what can be cut without losing your message? If your word count too low, what can be added for value?

     8. Does the structure of the whole book provide a consistent flow and easy reading experience for your reader? Look at chapter length as well as the structure of each chapter.

     9. Are the chapters in the best order? If not, consider moving chapters to created the best sequence.

     10. Do any chapters need to be cut out or added? In other words, what’s there that’s not needed, and what’s missing that would make a difference?

     11. Does your book need an introduction and/or a conclusion? A seriously subjective question!

     12. Are your chapter openings compelling? Do they make the reader want to read the chapter? If you can’t answer this yourself, ask someone who can be completely objective.

     13. Do your chapters end with a transition leading to the next chapter? If you’re not sure, take a look at some bestselling books in your category and study how the chapters end.

     14. Are there subheadings within your chapters? These create an easier reading experience.

     15. Does your writing add value, distract the reader, or disappear? (More on this in a future blog post.)

     16. Are you credible as the author? Be clear about what qualifies you to write this book.

     17. In what ways does your platform support your message?

     18. How will the reader use your book?

     19. Does your concept promise something the reader wants, and does it deliver that?

     20. Will your reader be committed to reading your entire book by the end of the introduction or first chapter? If you don’t know, ask someone who can be objective.

     21. Does your writing flow so well that your reader forgets she’s reading? Don’t make any assumptions on this one; ask someone who can be objective to tell you.

Are these questions helpful to you? Can you think of more questions to ask?
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