Hi, I’m Jenn.
That’s me right there…
…and my two Australian Shepherds, Quinn and Cooper. Adorable, right? But that’s not why you’re here, so let me get to it.
Did you know that it took me 20 years to publish my first book, to put my own words and thoughts out into the world?
TWENTY. YEARS. PEOPLE. (PSA: Don’t do this.)
That’s longer than your childhood.
That’s 7,300 days of regret for putting my dream on hold.
That’s 175,200 hours of being stuck and afraid of what others would think, of wondering if I was good enough, of worrying that I’d fail…
Let those numbers sink in a minute…
And the sad thing is, all those people I worried about – Aunt Mabel, Cousin Will, Grandma Doris – have never even read a single word I’ve published. (Because they never were my target audience, and I was just too stubborn to realize it!) And even if they had read something and hated it, so what? Not every story, not every article, and—let’s face it—not every pair of jeans is a good fit for everyone.
And that failure I thought was certain…WRONG!
All that fear, all that worrying, all that struggle…it was for nothing.
I let fear take hold and that fear fostered excuse after excuse after excuse.
I wrote my first book in middle school. My English teacher wanted to help me polish and submit it. I said no. (What?!) Yep. I was too afraid of being rejected, of letting other people read my words, of being judged.
So I continued writing but kept it a secret. (Apparently I didn’t want to risk someone else believing in me enough to try and help me succeed. How ridiculous is that…?!)
Then life took over. I got married and had a beautiful daughter who was born with very special needs. She was going to require full-time care and attention over an extended period of time, care and attention I wasn’t willing to turn over to anyone else. The situation called for a way for me to be a full-time mom and be able to pay the bills. That’s when my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and I started a business from home so I could be with her. It was a transcription, editing, and grant writing business. Figures. I chose to work with other people’s words and goals instead of my own. But that’s what we do when we’re afraid to do something. We take the easy road, the safe road.
Of course, I came up with every excuse not to write…money, time, fear. But truth be told, I could’ve made just as much money with my own writing if I’d only given myself a chance.
And time? There was never enough time. I couldn’t fit five minutes into my very busy day to sit down and write something. But I sure as heck had five minutes for an extra cup of coffee, five minutes to read another book, five minutes to paint my nails… In fact, I could even find a half hour to watch my favorite TV show, but for some reason finding time to sit and write remained elusive. It seemed beyond my reach to put pen to paper. I could picture my book. I could see my name on the cover. I could even see it on the shelf at my favorite book store. But I just couldn’t get it written.
Here’s the cold, hard truth. If I had spent as much time on my writing as I did on these excuses, I would’ve matched my income in a heartbeat.
Oh, and let’s not forget fear…fear paralyzed me.
Here’s the thing: I spent hours upon hours, year after year, studying story theory, story structure, character development. I became an expert at understanding what makes a story work.
I spent all my spare moments trying to mitigate the risk of failure by learning the ins and outs of writing, yet it took 20 years to realize I was missing the other half of the puzzle. I had to change my mindset. I had to learn how to plow through the fear and actually implement everything I’d learned. That was the missing piece. That was the key.
You see, it takes two parts to be a successful writer:
MINDSET + KNOW-HOW
You can have all the confidence in the world, but if you don’t know how to tell a story that works, or if you don’t know how to write a nonfiction piece that speaks to your audience, your writing will bomb.
You can also have all the know-how, but if you don’t use it because you’re afraid, you’ll fail right out the gate.
The two go hand-in-hand. There is no way around it.
Once I figured that out, I was able to approach my writing with a completely different attitude.
I had a story to tell. I had the know-how. And once I ripped apart my misguided mindset and put it back together again, I could finally say:
I AM A WRITER
I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR
I AM A SUCCESS STORY
Holding your book in your hands for the first time is one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. Don’t wait 20 years to experience it. And if you already have, don’t waste another minute more.
I’ve lived your fears, and I’ve beat those fears. Let me show you how.
I’m the author of four books, a writing coach, and an editor.
If you are:
- Someone who’s been spinning your wheels, making no progress
- Not sure if you’ve written (or are writing) a story that works
- Just plain don’t know where to begin…