A Letter From Courage - a 12 MAD short

I was looking at my writings the other day and came across this little short that resonated with me once more.  I'm sharing it now for your reading.

Please enjoy!

All my love,

Renee Settle, Owner - 12 Minutes A Day, Writing for the Non-Writer

www.12minutestory.com

PS - I've got a story up for pre-sale on Amazon.  Click the button below to order.  There's a special gift when you buy it, so be sure to pre-order!

3 Writing Excuses Debunked

Excuses. We all use them. Most of the time, they are valid because we have to prioritize the million things we require ourselves to do. Notice how I say, 'require ourselves to do?" Because we have choices, from the time we choose to get up until the time we choose to go to bed. My grandmother used to say, "The only thing constant in this life is death and taxes." That first part still seems valid today. We can't choose our death. We can choose not to pay taxes, but there is a consequence. Just like everything else we choose not to do. I hear all the time that most people don't have time to sit down and write. They have a story, but they just don't have time to write it.

 I believe you. Right now, in your life, you don't have time to write. Writing is a very engaging process that takes effort. When you're writing, it's really difficult to fold the clothes, do dishes, or drive the kids to soccer practice. I get it. I struggle every day to get my personal writing in and I'm a professional writer.

 It's all about focus, to tell you the truth. I don't focus on my own personal writing. I know, as a new writer, you don't know how to focus on your writing. I've said this before, it's much like working out. If you don't do it, the results won't be there. It's no one's fault, but your own because you didn't get up and go do something. That's the truckload of truth about writing. If you don't get up and write it out, it won't happen.

 The nice thing is, you don't have to spend an hour or even 30 minutes writing to see results. You can spend 12 minutes a day and you'll see results. That's the beauty of it.

 But I imagine the excuses already.

  • I don't even have that kind of time to sit down and write.
  • I can't write a coherent sentence to save my life.
  • And, of course, there is my favorite excuse: Nobody wants to read a story about me, my life is boring.

 Let me address these individually.

Excuse #1 - I don't even have that kind of time to sit down and write.

I understand completely what this means to most people. I had a client who was so busy, she barely had time to sleep. She was a nationally known speaker and her time was split between coaching her own clients, facilitating group sessions, building an incredible conference, and maintaining a family. She said the same thing. “I don’t have the time to write.” As I worked with her, I realized she had time while she was driving and most of her inspiration happened while driving to meetings and between meetings. But, a person can't write while driving. It's worse than texting while driving. The pen gets in the way of the steering wheel and those stupid cars around you need attention. It's very distracting. So, I suggested she record her chapters. If you can sing in the car, you can definitely talk in the car. She set up her phone to record and while she drove she would talk into it, recording her chapters. Transcribing isn't too expensive, once you've got the audio. So, she did it and most of her chapters were recorded on audio and transcribed. You might know her. She published her first book last year. We found a solution to give her the time to write. It was perfect for her lifestyle. So, if you can't find the time write, try recording your chapters.

Excuse #2 - I can't write a coherent sentence to save my life.

 This one gets my goat. Not because it's an excuse, but because it's a lame excuse not to write. In the current social media environment, there aren't many people who can put a sentence together in a cogent manner, including me. All you have to do is go to Facebook or Twitter to see the products of horrible sentence structure. That's why editors are in such high demand. Professional writers may have a bit of an edge because they make words their business. That's also why people hire professionals to ghostwrite. But the truth is, the first draft is NEVER and I mean NEVER perfect. Most of the sentences are messy and gross.

That. Is. Okay.

Again, I'll reference working out. When you first start to work out, it's terrible. Your body screams and protests. Sometimes, you may even have to get a workout partner or a coach to help you understand the routines. At the very least, you probably look on YouTube to watch someone else doing it. You learn by trial and error. The key to that is learning by trial and error. Just write it. I don't care if it's the worst piece of writing you've ever put to paper. I don't care if you want to scrunch it up into a teeny, tiny ball and spitball it at the computer screen. Just write it. Because eventually, what you write is going to be better. Like working out, you're going to see some amazing results. If you still aren't convinced to write it yourself, then hire a ghostwriter. Unlike working out, writing can be done by someone else. You still reap the benefits. So, there's that.

Excuse #3 - Nobody wants to read a story about me. My life is boring.

Okay, I'm going to do my best not to shake my head at this. I've yet to meet anyone who has had a boring life. They come to me thinking their life is boring. By the time we finish, they truly understand how incredibly amazing and event filled their life has been. We get stuck in this idea that because we lived it, everyone else has a much more exciting life. While sometimes, that may be true, our lives are just as event filled. We have memories that are unique to only us. We felt them. We reacted in a certain way. Because of that, our lives took a turn. Whether that turn was good or bad, depended on what we chose. But it was eventful and unique only to us. I've said to myself many times, "Well, I didn't climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I have a boring life." Then I start telling stories about sliding off a barn roof when I was a child and swinging from a rope that could have seriously maimed, if not killed, my brother. In fact, I almost killed my brother numerous times during our youth. My point is, an amazing things happens when I tell my story. People say, "Wow, you had an eventful life!" I always cringe because to me, it was boring. That's exactly why I found adventures with my brother. Because, the majority of the time, we were bored. I know there are time in your life when you felt bored.  Did you do something you wouldn't normally do? I would hazard to say that most people have lived quite a unique life. Because it's theirs and only theirs. No one else on this earth, past or present, lived the life you have lived. The life you are living right now. That's why I want to shake my head, because your life ISN'T boring. There are people in this world who NEED to read your story. Maybe so they don't feel alone because something similar happened to them. They don't have any idea how to deal with it. But you went through it. Because you chose to write it down and they read it, now they have another choice to make.

The truth is…

I honestly believe it's our duty to write our stories. From the beginning of the human race, we've striven to be heard. To have immortality by putting a hand-print on a rock. Right now, we have so many ways to leave our legacy. But the only true way, that has been tested by time, is writing. Go ask the author of Gilgamesh or the Brothers Grimm. The biggest selling book of all time, The Bible, was written. No one knew it would last this long. No one knew we would be making movies about fairy-tales written hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. The written word is the closest to immortality we humans have ever gotten. I believe we all deserve this kind of immortality. Your story matters. My story matters. Together, our stories can change the world.

 Write on!

Renee Settle

Ghostwriter & Owner

12 Minutes A Day, Writing for the Non-Writer

The MOST Important Thing To Remember When Writing Your Book.

By Renee Settle, Idaho Writing Coach & Ghost Writer

The single most important thing to remember when you are writing your book is that your first draft will look like crap.  You should expect it to look horrid and not in the least bit readable to anyone who has two brain cells to put together.  I'm exaggerating, but you get my point. Many of my clients are so afraid what they write will be horrid, that they don't write anything.  But, we are our own worst critics, so what's in your head looks worse than a churned up pile of worm meat.  Some people fear that if a professional were to read it, they would think it was crap.
 
Let me tell you something, in case you didn't know it. Professionals write a lot of crap. Yes, even professionals start out thinking that what they just wrote wouldn't be fit to burn, let alone be read by anyone, especially their peers. They KNOW it's going to be crap and they write it anyway. Then, they sift through it, water the good parts, and grow an amazing piece of work with help.
 
Many people think that a writer sits down at a table with their favorite writing instrument and creates the "Greatest Testament Known to Man!"

Newflash

Do you really think Truman Capote, Sun Tsu, or Winston Churchill sat down at their desks and wrote, then submitted and published "In Cold Blood", "The Art of War", or "The Second World War", respectively, in one sitting and without rewriting, editing, formatting, or any guidance whatsoever? If you honestly contemplate that, it's not realistic. Any more than it's realistic to get a full year's workout in one hour at the gym. You do not promise to work out and do it one time expecting to look like a model, do you? Writing your story is the same thing.

If you are struggling to write, remember that whatever you write is going to be a pile of worm meat, but inside that pile is a diamond or three that will wash up clean and bright.  And if you sift through all your piles of worm meat, you'll be guaranteed to find what you really wanted to say, in the exact words that needed to be said.
 
And if you don't find it, your team will most certainly find it.
 
So write crap. Get messy and write the horrid stuff without the grammar, word usage, or spell check. Then, when you're exhausted from writing, go back and read over it. Sift through the pile, find the gems and get rid of the other stuff. Worry about grammar, word usage, and spelling during the second and third time you read it. 

The Real Truth

One of the biggest messages I give my coaching clients is this. "I can't help you write your amazing story, if you don't write it badly first. Just write it."

I’ll be happy to coach you through writing your story, but if, after this reading this, you still don’t want to write your story, hire me or another professional to ghost write it for you. We are used to the process. And a bonus is it’s nicer than working out, because you can have someone else do it and still reap the benefits. So if you’re interested in hiring me, reach out here or here or even here. I’ve only got a few slots open and I believe in your story as much you do, so let’s do this!

Write On!

RS

Top 3 reasons why you need to write a book in 2016

IF YOU ARE A COACH OR SPEAKER

By Renee Settle, Owner & Inventor, 12 Minutes A Day

With the new year coming soon, I'm sure you are reflecting on what you want to accomplish in 2016.  If you are a coach or speaker, one of those goals should be to write a book.  Below are the top three reasons you need to write your story if you are a speaker or coach.  The time is now!

1.      You will reach a wider audience with your story.

 If your plan this year includes growing your coaching or speaking business, then you definitely want to write a book.  The reach of your audience will double by publishing on Amazon Kindle.   The self-help genre is craving good content and you could be the one to give your amazing message to thousands, if not millions, of people around the world. As coaches and speakers, we know it's a numbers game. The more people who hear our message, the higher the chances of gaining clients.  Writing a book can help you reach the maximum audience for your message. Check out this speaker who did just that.

2.      Your message will be clearer.

By writing their message in a book, my clients have focused on the importance of what they want to say.  The process of writing down your passion naturally helps refine it.  The market is dying for focused information that can help with individual issues and daily, real world problems.  People aren’t looking for generalized help. They are looking for specialized assistance that only you can provide.  And in this day and age, focusing your message in a book can actually bring more revenue and clients.  Don't believe me?  Check out these coaches and business owners who have focused their audience by writing a book.

3.     People get to know what you’re about.

How many people can you reach in a given day?  Even if you have back to back meetings from 8 am to 5 pm you won't be able to tell the world what you're passionate about in your lifetime.  But if you write a book, you can let people know more about your message than they can get in one single discovery session.  They just pick up your book, read about your message and contact you for help.  How easy is that?  You can give people an opportunity to get to know you before they meet you.  You can give them the knowledge they need to seek you out.  It affirms your position as an expert in your field because they can read what you're passionate about.  They get to decide whether it’s right for them and reach out to you, if they are curious for more information. This is exactly what this book does.

If you are saying to yourself, "2016 is the year I make a huge impact on the world through my speaking and coaching." Then you need to write your book.  Find a coach or ghost writer, like me, who can help you make that dream come true.  You will be able to reach a wider audience, refine your message, and create a way for people to get to know you better.  I have openings right now, so go here to book a discovery session and let’s talk!

I am honored to announce this

See Me Now By Janet Ravenscraft

There are days when I love my job more than other days.  This week is one of those weeks, actually.  A friend and client of mine, Janet Ravenscraft, published her first book.  The photo she sent me was of her grinning from ear to ear, holding the proof copy in her hands.  My heart swells and overflows with gratitude that she chose me to help her along the way to her dream.

So I am honored to announce the book, See Me Now - From Invisible To Invincible.  It's an inspirational story of how a child grows up invisible and learns to become invincible.  It's her life story and an inspiration to us all.  Along the way, she gives the reader her actions and advice that might work to help them overcome similar circumstances.

As well as being an author, Janet is a coach and speaker who's signature message, "It's Never Too Late", engages audiences with humor, warmth, and, at times, raw emotion.  She lives this mantra and is passionate about sharing the message.

Go grab a hard copy of her book here

or the Kindle version here.

In honor of Janet and the holidays, I'm offering an extra special discount on packages to those of you who book a discovery session with me before December 31, 2015.  Go here to book it